Many Australians, especially those who own businesses, discover they don’t have the cover they need in the worst possible circumstances.
Insurance is one of those subjects that many people glaze over. So, just to test how knowledgeable you are about this important but unsexy topic, see how many of the following questions you can answer.
- What type of insurance can provide cover if a natural disaster results in my business having to shut down for a period of time?
- What type of insurance can provide cover if a client takes legal action against me?
- What type of insurance can provide a payout to cover costs relating to everything from a broken window to a tax audit to a light-fingered employee?
- What type of insurance is legally required if you employ staff? What is the penalty for failing to take out this insurance?
- Business interruption insurance
- Professional Indemnity insurance
- Business insurance
- Workers’ compensation insurance
- It varies from state to state but you’ll typically be at risk of jail time if an employee has been injured (or worse) NSW imposes a ‘double avoided penalty’ equivalent to double the amount you should have paid in workers’ compensation premiums
If you failed to get all (or any) of the answers right, you can take solace in being a typical Aussie. One in ten businesses don’t take out Business Insurance cover.
Australia is one of the most under insured nations in the developed world (under insurance is when an individual or business has no or inadequate insurance to cover their legal liabilities, or the cost of loss or damage to their assets).
There are two under insurance traps – not having any insurance at all and not having sufficient insurance. The perils of the first are self-evident. Many business owners only find out about the downsides of the second after they try to make a claim.
It is natural for any business to try and save money, and it is important to ensure you are not paying for things you are not covered. But it is more important to have the right cover and not just take the first policy you are quoted or see. Ask questions, challenge the insurer or broker and ask about what you want to know or what you want covered.
A number of under insurance claims come from clients who buy online without consultation with an insurance professional. Whilst some of these policies are good and can save you time, you need to ensure you are buying a policy that is right for you, and not just to save a few dollars, because in the end those dollars that you thought you have saved, may end up costing you your business.
Talking to your broker or insurer is also important to ensure you have the right cover. What was covered and relevant five years ago, may not be the same today. Particularly if your business has changed or grown, or you have employees doing different things. All is relevant to your insurance policy and ensuring you are not under insured.
Insurance has also changed significantly in the last few years and cover you thought you had may have changed, or their may be better policies out there for you or for your business.
How A Broker Can Help
The good news is that it’s possible to arrange the appropriate cover for your business without devoting countless hours to learning about the finer points of insurance. You can outsource the task to an expert who deals with business like yours on a daily basis. They can tailor a competitively priced policy to protect against the major risks your business faces.
For any questions or more information please contact Mick Le Grand, Director of Programs, at Fitzpatrick & Co. Insurance Brokers – [email protected] or call (3) 8544 1634. Fitzpatrick are Horticulture and Arborculture specialists who have been supporting these industries for over 20 years.