Insurance Insight November 2020

2020 will go down as a year most Australians would rather forget. COVID-19 has impacted practically every aspect of our lives and while restrictions are easing and things are slowly heading towards a “new normal”, the fall-out from the pandemic continues.


One of the sectors still dealing with the crisis is insurance. In this issue, we look at Business Interruption insurance and provide an update on the NSW Test Case Ruling announced on 18 November 2020.


Another line of cover impacted by COVID-19 is Professional Indemnity insurance. Already facing a hardening market, anticipated claims stemming from the pandemic have made conditions worse.   


As we officially enter natural disaster season (November to April), we’ve compiled some risk mitigation tips for individuals and businesses to follow.


Speaking of reducing risk, we look at how insurers are using wearable tech to help keep workers safe.


Ahead of International Computer Security Day, on 30 November, we explore business email compromise (BEC) attacks and offer some practical tips to help businesses combat this continuing cyber-threat.


We hope you enjoy this edition of Insurance Insight.






Professional Indemnity cover is a must for many professions and businesses but obtaining cover can be complicated.





On 18 November 2020, the NSW Court of Appeal announced its ruling against insurers in the business interruption test case heard last month.





As we head into natural disaster season, it’s time to prepare for extreme weather.





Could smartbelts make “doing the back in” a thing of the past for Australian workers?





Last year Australian businesses lost $132 million to email scams. To reduce the risk of falling victim, follow these strategies.




View the latest workers' compensation updates 




EBM News & Events


45 years of putting people first


On 1 October, EBM turned 45. A lot has happened since Neville Elkington and Alan Bishop decided to start their own insurance brokerage in the spring of ’75. But one thing has stayed the same – the company’s commitment to putting people first.


To mark the anniversary, EBM CEO Ward Dedman penned a piece for LinkedIn. He reflects on the journey the company has made over 45 years and what the decades ahead will hold.


A new Board Director


EBM is pleased to announce that Sharon Fox-Slater has been appointed to the EBM Board of Directors from 1 October 2020.

Sharon Fox-Slater, EBM RentCover Managing Director, joined EBM in 1993 and was part of the core team that helped launch one of Australia’s first landlord insurance policies into the market. Since then, she has worked to transform EBM RentCover from a small start-up into a national operation of more than 90 employees and 160,000 policyholders.

Sharon is an integral leader at EBM and will play a key role on the Board through her blend of leadership, technical expertise and industry knowledge. The EBM Board of Directors looks forward to Sharon’s contributions to the future of the company.


In announcing the appointment, CEO Ward Dedman said Sharon will be instrumental as EBM plans the next phase of the business.


EBM’s Cameron Gaspar Awarded 2020 Best Young Business Achiever by KDCCI


Congratulations to EBM Account Manager, Cameron Gaspar, who was awarded the 2020 Best Young Achiever at the Karratha & Districts Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KDCCI) gala on 6 November 2020. The event recognises the efforts and achievements of some of Karratha’s best businesses and brightest people.


This is a fantastic achievement and a testament to the high levels of client service, work ethic and passion Cameron brings each and every day.


Tune in to “EBM Insights” podcast series


The latest episodes of EBM Insights are available to listen in to.


D&O dilemma: A raft of class actions is contributing to the hardening of the Directors & Officers (D&O) insurance market with premiums skyrocketing and insurers changing their offerings and exiting the space. In this podcast EBM’s Thom Anderson-Nicholls and Darren Schwartz talk about the Directors & Officers (D&O) insurance market.


Freak Accident: Two little words can have a very big impact, especially if they result in your life being irrevocably changed. That’s precisely what happened to Craig – a freak kite surfing accident turned his life upside down, but thankfully he had an invaluable financial safety net in place. PBF Australia’s CEO, Martin Browning, and EBM Regional Director, Craig Goodwin, share this story.


Join us at:


🎧 Anchor -


🎧Spotify -


We hope you enjoy!


News in brief


WA passes new WHS laws

The Western Australian Parliament recently passed new Work Health and Safety legislation. Under the new legislation, industrial manslaughter has been criminalised with a maximum penalty of 20 years’ imprisonment. Insuring against penalties for breaches of the WHS legislation has also been prohibited. The new laws will come into effect in 2021 once supporting regulations are finalised.


ICA declares disaster

The hailstorms that struck south-east Queensland over the Halloween weekend have been declared a catastrophe by the Insurance Council of Australia. Affected EBM clients should contact their Account Manager for claims assistance.


Cyber top business risk

According to the World Economic Forum’s Regional Risks for Doing Business 2020 survey, the top risk concern for Australian businesses today is cyberattack. Cyber threats ranked second in the 2019 survey but moved to the number one spot this year. The other top risks for Australian businesses were spread of infectious diseases, fiscal crises, energy price shock (no. 1 risk in 2019) and extreme weather events. Globally, the top risk for business was unemployment. Business owners should speak to their EBM Account Manager about Cyber Liability insurance.


Drone operator accreditation

CASA now requires anyone who intends to fly a drone (Remotely Piloted Aircraft) for business purposes to gain RPA Operator Accreditation unless they already hold a Remote Pilot Licence. In addition, CASA has mandated that any drones flown for business or as part of the operator’s job must be registered with CASA. Accreditation and Registration for commercial drones is required by 20 January 2021.


Review into NSW worker’s comp

In August, the NSW Government launched an independent review into the NSW workers’ compensation scheme and icare. Public consultation ended on 30 October 2020 and the final report is expected by 30 April 2021.


Budget encourages investment

The 2020-21 Federal Budget includes temporary measures which allow companies with a turnover of up to $5bn to fully expense eligible depreciable assets and to offset tax losses against previous profits and tax paid in or after 2018-19. The temporary (to 30 June 2022) measures provide an incentive for businesses to bring forward investment to access the tax benefit before it expires. ABN holders looking to purchase plant, equipment and assets should speak to EBM Finance about finance options and those businesses which plan capital upgrades should talk to their EBM Account Manager to ensure sums insured are updated.


ASIC updates unfair contract term protection

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has updated information sheets 210 and 211 to provide information for consumers and small businesses on how unfair contract terms will apply to insurance contracts from 5 April 2021.


Regulatory relief extended

The Federal Government has extended insolvency and bankruptcy protections until the end of 2020. The protections, first implemented in March, temporarily increase the threshold for which creditors can make statutory demand and provide temporary relief from personal liability for directors trading while insolvent. Credit Insurance provides protection for insured debts following the insolvency of a debtor.


ICA/APRA call for risk mitigation funding

Ahead of this year’s disaster season, the Insurance Council of Australia has joined the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority in calling for significant funding for investments in natural disaster mitigation. APRA warned that the country needs greater national investment in natural disaster mitigation to protect homes, businesses, and infrastructure from damage, and resilience to ensure that insurance remains available and affordable in disaster-prone areas.


Queensland storm losses top $600M

According to independent catastrophe insurance data provider PERILS, the hailstorms that devastated Central Queensland in mid-April resulted in a total industry loss of AU$604 million. PERILS data showed property damage accounted for 95% of the total insured losses, with residential property accounting for 79% and commercial property 16%. Motor losses, personal and commercial lines combined, accounted for a further 5% of the industry loss. Home and business clients in Queensland should contact EBM’s Gold Coast team to secure the right cover ahead of disaster season.


Legal corner: builder fined for breaching insurance obligations

The Victorian Building Authority has prosecuted and fined a builder $10k for managing work under a major domestic building contract without insurance. Builders should talk with EBM’s BuildCover team to arrange the insurances they need.



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