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A True Story

Why Life Insurance and Income Protection are important – a real-life example.

We would like to share a true-life insurance claims story and the importance of having the right people and the right cover for your needs.

Tania and her husband Marty approached Fitzpatrick & Co. unsure what they needed but were concerned about protecting their family in case of ill health.

Our adviser reviewed their current life situation, gave them options and helped them implement the policies that they selected.

Less than 12 months later Tania was diagnosed with a severe brain tumor. We have recently been successful in securing the payment of Tania’s Total & Permanent Disability payment and she continues to receive her monthly income protection payments. The below is a letter received from Tania this week:

“When I met you to discuss our insurance needs, I never ever thought

I would need income protection or Total and permanent disability cover as I lead a healthy lifestyle. I remember you talking to me about the risk that my family could face if I was out of action as I was a working mum. I decided to take your advice and take out the insurance policies, but little did I know that within 12 months I would be diagnosed with a  malignant tumor in my head. I now need years of rehabilitation, am unable to ever return to work and our world has been turned upside down. The Life, total and permanent disability and income protection policies you put together for me changed our lives forever. Marty remembers when he called you to tell you what happened to me and you got onto the claims process immediately.

We had a lot of forms to complete and you came to our home and sat with me one morning to go through it all. I am so grateful for the numerous phone calls over six months between the insurer and you so that you could minimize my involvement, as I was unable to comprehend the information. We truly understand and appreciate the time you put into our claim.

We can’t believe that we have now paid off our mortgage thanks to these policies. In addition, Marty can go to work and continue to run his business while I get the necessary medical attention and care that I need. My income protection policy allows me to contribute to our family and medical needs. Your advice, guidance and assistance with the payment of the policies covered all our issues and

removed all financial stress. I m very grateful that we took your advice and that we had Fitzpatrick & Co. looking after us.”

Life Insurance and any insurance is a vital aspect of not just your life but your business. The above story shows the real-life reason why having the right cover and people are so important.

For assistance with any of your insurance needs please contact Mick Le Grand, Director of Programs at Fitzpatrick & Co. on (03) 8544 1634 or email [email protected]. Fitzpatrick & Co have specialized in the horticulture and arboriculture industry for more than 30 years, providing assistance and financial support to companies, associations and events. We are there when you need help.

August 27, 2019 / by / in , ,
Tools Of The Trade

I have a liability policy. Does this cover my tools? No!

Tools of Trade cover is a separate policy that provides in most policies Australia Wide cover for all your Tools.

If any of your tools got stolen can your business still run? Or if your entire toolbox was stolen how much would it cost you to replace all of the items in it, including many of the items that you have built up over many years? Tools of Trade cover can provide cover for these items and not leave you out of pocket or unable to work without these items.

Insurers don’t need an individual list of items but will need a value for them, and some may require you to specify items if they are over a certain value – around $2500 depending on the value of the item. They will cover any item regardless of sum insured, but need to know what they are covering so they can ensure you are adequately protected and can receive the right sum insured in the event of a claim.

It is important to check your policy on a Tools of Trade policy as sometimes the cover can be limited by either location or theft exclusions. For example, if a tool was stolen from a non-locked vehicle, toolbox, shed or back of a ute, it may not be covered depending on the policy. Can you afford to run your business without your tools? Or will the small cost of Tools of Trade insurance provide adequate protection to keep you running in a frustrating time when your tools have been stolen?

Fitzpatrick & Co hs specialised in the horticulture and arboriculture industry for more than 30 years, providing assistance and financial support to companies, associations and events. They are there when your industry needs you.

For assistance with any of your insurance needs please contact Mick Le Grand, Director of Programs at Fitzpatrick & Co. on (03) 8544 1634 or email [email protected]

June 26, 2019 / by / in ,
Self-Managed Super Fund

Are you and your Self-Managed Super Fund (SMSF) protected from the latest changes?

Running your business and setting up a Self-Managed Super Fund can be a great way to plan ahead for your retirement or to protect your current assets from any penalties.

Recently, the Government introduced Section 166 into the SIS Act 1993 (rules of SMSF). This was to give the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) more IMMEDIATE power to penalise trustees of SMSF’s if their fund was found to have breached under this Section of the (SIS Act 1993).

Currently the ATO have recognised17 common breaches that have a penalty attached.

As you may be aware, SMSF regulations are very complex and change all the time and if the ATO find you (trustee of the fund) have breached these regulations, they can now simply impose a penalty of up to $12,600 per breach (called a Trustee Administrative Penalty) per trustee paid DIRECTLY out of your pocket! (It CANNOT be paid out or your SMSF).

In a recent presentation from Dana Fleming, Assistant Commissioner ATO, Ms Fleming stated: “…. trustees are ultimately responsible and liable for the maintenance of their SMSF and cannot shift the blame to their professional advisers for contraventions.” “…. trustees may face significant penalties if they don’t comply with the regulatory obligations and requirements that come with running an SMSF. If you don’t run your SMSF properly, we may impose a penalty.”

The ATO wants SMSF Trustees to be more compliance conscious, and to enforce this, it is expected that the ATO will further significantly increase its audit activity on SMSFs over the coming years.

The ATO has issued over $3.3 million in trustee penalties already! Don’t let it be you! We have a solution that can assist in this area! Every day matters. Contact our office today.

Fitzpatrick & Co has specialised in the horticulture and arboriculture industry for more than 30 years providing assistance and financial support to companies, associations and events. We are there when your industry needs you.

For questions about your current policies, or how we can tailor an insurance package for you please contact Mick Le Grand at Fitzpatrick & Co. on (03) 8544 1600 or email http://[email protected]

April 19, 2019 / by / in
Are You Covered?

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.

February 11, 2019 / by / in
It’s Time – Words| LEN McKeown

Business is rapidly changing every day in Arboriculture. With new equipment, new ideas and greater knowledge our industry continues to grow and develop.

Having some adaptability is needed if, as business owners, we are to keep up with the pace of change. Depending on the size of the business, the owner takes on more tasks and the need to delegate more to staff increases. If your company continues to grow, your time becomes more precious and the pressure to hire more staff and improve your processes becomes critical for your success.

As a business owner myself I have been through and still continue to go through daily changes. I knew that I could do better and the need to develop the TreeHQ software became apparent. I found someone capable to work with and who could turn my ideas into a reality that would be worthwhile to my business, but also other arborists and their businesses.

Each step and component of TreeHQ was created as I thought about the need in our business and the benefit this could have for myself and others. TreeHQ has filled a void in my business and I am glad that I started the journey of its creation.

When I think about why I created TreeHQ and why it is needed the answer remains unchanged. As business evolves the need for TreeHQ remains the same. This system gives me the flexibility to grow with my company.

Ask yourself why improve your business systems, why look to improve things?

TreeHQ gives you the ability to create more time in your business, it allows you to have better communication with staff and clients, creates a database, invoices and tracks workflow. It has Google map integration and the ability to insert new quotes or inquiries on the spot.

It has changed my business personally through the ability to have video as a way of informing my staff what to do and capture visually and audibly the words of the client. This can remove the ambiguity of ‘he said, she said’ and to capture any previous damage on a site.

All this can be operated from your smart devices by you or your staff. Your workflows are literally in the palm of your hand making your job easier.

TreeHQ has become much more than software that runs my business. It’s become a way to give something back to an industry I love and enjoy. The ability to help others improve their businesses excites me. We are a team of people invested in better business practice for an industry which we are all a part of. I am hoping you will see a worthwhile investment for your business. So please give us a call, and we will do whatever is needed to help you in the transition on a better way of doing things using TreeHQ.

For a limited time, we are offering to build clients a free website. Please note terms and conditions apply.

For more details contact our office at 1300 106 033, send an email at [email protected] or visit

February 1, 2019 / by / in , ,
Run Off Cover

I’ve closed my business; do I still need insurance cover?

Most Public and Products liability policies only provide cover against liability for damage to property or injury to person where the occurrence (damage/injury) happens during the currency of the policy. Therefore, any damage/injury that occurs after your policy expires may not be insured, unless you have taken out a replacement policy or run off cover.

If you are a sole trader, partnership or a registered company and you cease to trade you may need to maintain liability cover for goods or services that you provided in the past against any claim that may arise in the future. This cover is called Run Off cover and is available to ensure protection against future liabilities even though the business has ceased trading.

We strongly recommend that you arrange Run Off Cover, especially if you’re a sole trader or partnership or the company continues to exist and has ongoing net assets. The last thing you want in your retirement or when no longer working for yourself is a large bill that a liability policy would have responded to if an incident has occurred.

Please contact Fitzpatrick & Co to discuss your situation and to arrange a competitive quote to ensure continued protection against unexpected liabilities.

Fitzpatrick & Co have specialised in the horticulture and arboriculture industry for more than 30 years providing assistance and financial support to companies, associations and events. We are there when your industry needs you.

For more information call Mick Le Grand, Director of Programs at Fitzpatrick & Co. on (03) 8544 1634 or email [email protected]

November 21, 2018 / by / in