Australia has a long history of courage and resilience and our thoughts are with the thousands of people battling with the devastating natural disasters that are continuing to ravage parts of our country.

 

For many Australians, insurance will be top of mind as they start to rebuild their lives. In this edition of Insurance Insight, we have put together some tips to streamline the claims process.

 

Our expert team is here to work for you. If you need advice or have suffered a loss at your home or business, please contact your Account Manager or contact us on 1300 467 873.

 

In other news, we look at the impact of “selfies” on travel insurance, new protections for whistleblowers and what to look for when renewing your insurance coverage.

 

We also report on new Work Health & Safety (WHS) laws being considered in New South Wales and Western Australia. The legislation could ban insurance protecting managers and company directors from WHS fines. We explore the implications for business and what you need to know.

 

We wish you all the best for the year ahead.

 

Steve Sparkes

Steve Sparkes

Managing Director - Corporate Broking

Ryan Cameron

Ryan Cameron

Managing Director - Broking


                  

NEWS                     

 

FIRE STARTER

WE'RE HERE TO HELP

As communities across the country battle savage natural disasters, EBM is here to help you with your insurance claims.

SEE MORE...

 

DIGITAL

NSW & WA WH&S

New legislation in New South Wales and Western Australia proposes to ban insurance protection for breaches of Work Health & Safety law.

SEE MORE...

 

FINANCE

NEW YEAR POLICY REVIEW

Is your business one of the 62% of SMEs that is likely to be underinsured?

SEE MORE...

 

NEWS

MONEY FOR NOTHING

Tax office to compel insurers to reveal lifestyle assets.

SEE MORE...

NEWS IN BRIEF 

NSW and Victorian Governments Announce Bushfire Clean-Up
The NSW and Victorian Governments have announced that they will coordinate the clean-up of residential and commercial properties destroyed in this season’s bushfires, at no cost to residents, so communities can start rebuilding as soon as possible.

Treasurer urges payout priority to local trades
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has urged insurers to prioritise local tradespeople from fire-devastated communities when allocating the $2 billion recovery fund to help lead the rebuilding of Australian towns. At the start of January, more than 8500 insurance claims totalling $700 million had been lodged, around 20% had been assessed, and half had been settled.

Insurers confident of footing the bushfire bill
Insurers are confident they can absorb the mounting toll of bushfire claims according to international market analysts S&P Global. “In our view, loss estimates are likely to be at the higher end of initial estimates because we believe insurers will be sympathetic and pragmatic in their assessment of claims, given the magnitude of events and the heightened focus on governance and behaviour in the banking and insurance sectors since the royal commission. However, we note that major insurers have strong stop-loss and aggregate reinsurance programs to absorb losses at or around their natural peril allowances, as well as further extensive catastrophe reinsurance protection.”

New travel insurance advisory site launched
Travel insurance comparison site Squaremouth has warned travellers to Australia that it is too late to buy insurance against natural disasters, particularly wildfires. Travellers who had an insurance policy in place before the fires began may be covered to cancel their trip.  Otherwise, the site says reimbursement is only likely if accommodations are uninhabitable due to fire damage or evacuation orders, or travellers are unable to reach their destination entirely, due to evacuation, airport closure or smoke preventing inbound flights. The company has launched the Australia Wildfires Travel Insurance Information Center to help travellers seeking insurance advice.


Australians losing almost $1m to cyber crims each day
Data from the Cybercrime in Australia Report has revealed Australians are losing around $328 million a year to cybercrimes. Almost $900,000 is being lost daily to cybercrimes such as identity theft and shopping scams – with almost one in three Australian adults impacted by cybercrime in 2018. More than 11,400 individual scams were referred to law enforcement between July and September, equating to a scam being reported every 10 minutes..

Share economy participants in Treasury sights
The mid-year budget update detailed a new third-party reporting regime for share economy platforms from 1 July 2022, ride-sharing businesses (like Uber) and short-term accommodation platforms (like Airbnb) will be required to report identification and income details of participating individuals to the ATO with the information to be used in data-matching activities. Asset-sharing, food delivery, tasking-based platforms and others will be added to the regime from 1 July 2023.
 
 

OTHER NEWS

 

WORKCOVER UPDATES

NT WorkSafe

Changes to Average Weekly Earnings

Entitlements for injured workers in the NT changed on 1 January 2020, with a shift in Average Weekly Earnings affecting sections of the Return to Work Act, including:

  • Weekly benefit - the maximum gross weekly benefit after 26 weeks is now $2,535.45
  • Non-Cash Benefits - the gross maximum payable for electricity, meals or accommodation is $591.61 per week
  • Vehicle Running Expense – suggested rate per kilometre of 34 cents

More information is available from NT WorkSafe

 

WorkCover Queensland

New Workers' Compensation Legislation

The Queensland Parliament passed The Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2019, on 22 October 2019. The new legislation is designed to provide more support for injured workers, particularly those with psychological injuries. Details at WorkCover Queensland.

 

Changes effective 30 October 2019

  • Access to psychological support services before claims are decided
  • Insurer discretion to waive the six-month limit on claims lodgement
  • Ongoing rehabilitation and return to work programs after compensation has expired
  • Apologies and expressions of regret exempt from consideration in common law claims
  • WorkCover-funded health and safety initiatives

 

Changes effective 1 July 2020

  • Self-insured employers will be required to report injuries and payments to their insurer
  • Workers’ compensation scheme extended to cover unpaid interns
  • Changes to qualifications and training for Rehabilitation and Return to Work Coordinators

icare NSW

Choice of Claims Management Providers for Big Business Customers

Insurance and Care NSW (icare) has appointed three new companies to give its eligible large business customers a choice of providers for claims management services.

 

From 1 February 2020, eligible customers can engage Allianz or GIO to manage new workers compensation claims. QBE is due to start midyear with EML continuing to provide claims management support for more than 320,000 employers across NSW.

 

More information at www.icare.nsw.gov.au/authorisedprovider

 

EBM's specialist Worker's 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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