Welcome to the October–November edition of Insurance Insight.

Robots doing chores, 3-D printing, biometric security… the way we live and work is becoming ever-increasingly tech-driven. In this edition we look at the homes of the future and how insurers will tap into advances to deliver hi-tech, high-touch solutions. 

We also take a look at another aspect to our tech-laden lives – our increasing dependence on devices and the fire risks they pose in our home and offices. We’ve got some practical tips to reduce the risk of putting a device on to charge resulting in an inferno.

Whether you are looking at upgrading your technology or other equipment for your business, spring is gearing up to be a great time to make those purchases. In our finance article we tell you why.

 

We welcome your feedback and invite you to contact us to explore ways to reduce the risks to your home and business posed by our hi-tech lives.

 

 

 

Steve Sparkes

Steve Sparkes

Managing Director - Corporate Broking

Ryan Cameron

Ryan Cameron

Managing Director - Broking


                  

NEWS                     

 

FIRE STARTER

I-FIRE STARTER

As our lives become more tech-driven, the risk of devices being charged and causing fires is on the rise too. So how can you protect your home and business premises from the i-fire threat? 

SEE MORE...

 

DIGITAL

DIGITAL FORTRESSES

Futurists are predicting our homes will be ‘digital fortresses’ in the

next 20 years. And insurers are set to tap the tech to protect our investments.

SEE MORE...

 

FINANCE

EBM FINANCE

Should you be investing in new or upgraded plant and
equipment this spring? Your competitors probably are!

SEE MORE...

 

NEWS

EBM NEWS & EVENTS

Our CEO shares his experience at Stanford University, we welcome
a new National Marketing & Development Manager, and our
team get inspired at the NIBA convention.

SEE MORE...

NEWS IN BRIEF 

$6 trillion in cyber losses
According to a recent insurance industry report, annual global cyber losses are expected to reach US$6 trillion by 2021. The report also noted cybersecurity spending would exceed more than US$1 trillion in the five years leading up to 2021. Talk to your EBM account manager about building an effective cyber resilience strategy and protecting your business with Cyber Liability insurance.

Bushfire catastrophes
In September, the Insurance Council of Australia declared the bushfires that ravaged northern New South Wales (40-plus fires) and south-east Queensland (70-plus fires) a catastrophe. The bushfires resulted in widespread property damage. As bushfire season kicks into high gear, speak to your EBM account manager about protecting your Home and Business with the right insurance.

Top global risks revealed
The World Economic Forum’s Regional Risks for Doing Business 2019 report has revealed that fiscal crises topped the list as the leading risk to global business. Cyberattacks came second, followed by unemployment/underemployment, energy price shock, and failure of national governance.

Young worker life insurance ban
Young workers will no longer automatically be charged for life insurance in their superannuation. From April 2020, firms may only include life, disability and income protection insurance in default pension plans to new members aged under-25 or those with balances below $6,000 if they’ve explicitly asked for it. 

ICA compiling farm protection uptake data
About 299,500 farm insurance policies have been placed out for a sum insured value of $153 billion and 143,500 crop covers for $5.6 billion, according to the Insurance Council of Australia. Collecting the data is part of the five-point plan the ICA developed last year to address the low take-up of multi-peril crop insurance (MPCI) in Australia. The plan was presented at the National Drought Summit to help farmers deal with the long dry spell and the ICA is continuing to work with relevant government departments to achieve a higher uptake of MPCI. Talk to an EBM FarmCover expert about insurance options for primary producers.

WA introduces new workplace safety laws
The Western Australian State Government is introducing a new Work Health and Safety Bill into Parliament that will modernise workplace safety laws, better protect workers and hold those responsible for any workplace deaths. The legislation includes the introduction of two new offences relating to industrial manslaughter which will carry penalties including up to 20 years’ imprisonment and fines of up to $10 million. Speak to an EBM Account Manager about Statutory Liability cover for your business.
 
Federal Government challenges leave ruling
The Australian Government is pursuing a High Court action to try to overturn a landmark Federal Court ruling that has implications for leave across industries including mining, construction, nursing and aged care. The challenge relates to the Mondelez International case where the court’s decision would provide employees working long shift or industry-specific rosters with far greater leave entitlements than those who work a standard 38-hour week. Business owners should consult an EBM Account Manager about Employment Practices Liability cover.

Court ruling may curb IR class actions
A landmark Federal Court ruling could curb the recent spate of multimillion-dollar employment class actions by requiring litigation funders to pay costs ahead of legal action. Justice Michael Lee ruled that the Fair Work Act's costs shield, which exempts parties from the usual obligation to pay the other side's costs if they lose, does not apply to litigation funders and is moving to order the funder of a class action against a labour hire company to pay an expected $2.1 million in security of costs before proceeding. The ruling will have ramifications for ten other class actions that have been launched over alleged underpayments and workplace law breaches in the past 18 months.

APRA & ICA call for risk mitigation to keep insurance affordable
Noting that premiums in disaster-prone areas in the country’s north have skyrocketed over the past decade in comparison to the rest of Australia, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority has called for greater investment in natural disaster mitigation to keep general insurance available and affordable in northern Australia. The Insurance Council of Australia backed APRA’s call, noting just 3% of disaster funding goes towards prevention and 97% goes towards recovery at present. To reduce the physical loss and economic disruption caused by storms, floods, cyclones and bushfires, APRA is calling for all levels of government, working with insurers and other stakeholders, to help to protect vulnerable communities by investing in mitigation, such as flood levies and sea walls, risk mapping, and more robust building codes.

ACCC considers government mutual
As part of its three-year Northern Australia Insurance Inquiry, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is investigating a proposal to establish a government mutual or reinsurance pool to deal with higher-than-average premiums in disaster-prone North Queensland. The ACCC also flagged the possibility of a direct taxpayer subsidy to policyholders in northern Australia “to address the acute affordability issues experienced by some consumers” in the region, The Australian Financial Review reported.

RBA warns climate risks may become uninsurable
In its report on the financial implications of climate change, the Reserve Bank of Australia has warned changing weather patterns could lead to some risks becoming uninsurable. As a result of the insurance sector not covering these risks, governments, businesses and individuals would be forced to bear the costs of natural disasters and other climate change-related events. The report noted: “Insurers are most directly exposed to the physical impacts of climate change. This can arise through natural disaster claims, crop insurance, and health and life insurance.”
 
Builder fined for misleading insurer
A Western Australian builder has been fined $1,000 for misleading conduct after understating a project’s value by two-thirds on insurance documents and on a building permit application. The builder was contracted to provide roofing, renovation and painting services for a project with a final account of $106,718, but the builder listed the value of the project as $35,000 when he applied for a home indemnity insurance policy and the relevant building permit from the council, breaching the Building Services (Registration) Act 2011. Speak to a BuildCover Account Manager about builders’ warranty insurance. 

Fraudulent claim dismissed by court
The owner of an oil tanker that was scuttled in a bogus pirate attack has had his US$77 million insurance claim dismissed by the British High Court. The vessel’s owner was “the instigator of the conspiracy” to set the tanker on fire through a bogus pirate attack back in 2011 in the Gulf of Aden. The vessel’s insurers alleged the fire was deliberately started with the owner’s consent and the court agreed, noting that if the owner’s total loss claim had been paid it would have solved his “serious financial difficulties”.

 

WORKCOVER UPDATES


icare New South Wales


New maximum weekly compensation amount

In New South Wales, the maximum weekly compensation amount is capped and indexed in April and October.
From 1 October 2019 to 31 March 2020, the maximum amount will be $2,195.70 gross per week


EBM’s specialist Workers’ Compensation team


Workers’ Compensation is complex and EBM can assist you with every aspect of your Workers’ Compensation policy. Please contact us to see how we can help. 

If your business is faced with a Workers’ Compensation claim, EBM’s Injury Management team is here to help you with advice and support throughout the claims process.

 

 

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