Business Insurance over the festive season

With Christmas fast approaching, it is often the busiest and most stressful time of the year for many businesses. While we rejoice for the increase in customers and sales, the increase in activity can mean extra risk for your business. Now is the time to check in to ensure you have enough financial protection to keep your business safe over the festive season.

Here are a few things you’d like to keep in check:

  1. Increase in foot traffic
    During that time of year, one of the first things that comes to mind is crowds. Whether you run a retail store or a hospitality venue, you can expect an increase in foot traffic. The increase in visitors will also increase the likelihood of an incident or accident occurring. Risk in injury claims not only applies to customers and patrons. This also applies to employees seeing an increase in workload and financial stresses.
  2. Increase in stock
    With the festive season, if you’re in retail or manufacturing, you’re likely carrying increased stock levels. Make sure you revise how much stock you are actually carrying and see if your current policy will cover that cost. In line with this, ensure that the extra goods you’re getting delivered have adequate cover.
  3. Increased chance of burglary and shoplifting
    Over the Christmas break, whether you are operating with skeleton staff or are planning on closing completely, Christmas is prime time for burglary. We mentioned earlier how crowds increase the risk of injuries. Crowds also make it easier for shoplifters to steal merchandise without getting caught. The same goes for money, if you anticipate having extra cash on-site, make sure you’re protected.
  4. Temporary staff and employee theft
    Many businesses hire temporary staff to help out during the busy season and if not properly trained in safety procedures, accidents can easily happen. Unfortunately with the increase in staff, employee theft of merchandise or money tends to go up too.

In order to ensure your business is protected over the holiday season, take the time to carry out an audit and update where necessary sums insured and liability limits. Get in touch with Optimus 1 today and make certain that you have sufficient coverage to protect your business during the Christmas season.

Disclaimer: This article provides information rather than financial product or other advice. The content of this article does not take into account your objectives, financial situation, or needs. Please seek professional advice from your broker before acting on any information.

La Niña likelihood increases

It is that time of the year again, La Niña event is imminent. La Niña brings an increase in rainfall which in turn increases the risks of flooding and water damage to properties. The bad news is that the chances of a flood-inducing La Niña system forming this year have risen, yet again.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology, the recent cooling in the tropical Pacific Ocean means there is a 50% chance of a La Niña forming. The worse is, Australians are not prepared. Close to half of the Australian population don’t know what La Niña is while 51% don’t secure doors, windows, or roof coverings when a storm is coming.

Now is the best time to ensure you’ve taken all your precautions. Check your building for any cavities where water could seep in and make sure your pipes aren’t clogged. Get a roofing specialist to inspect your roofs and give their tick of approval on them being as watertight as can be. You’ll like to pay particular attention if your building was built in the 1980s or prior as it is highly likely that that the roof is made of asbestos. Roofs made of asbestos tend to be very old, brittle, and prone to damage. The claim could cost you a significant amount if you were to replace the whole roof. This would be problematic as your premium may not cover you for the entire amount of the claim; which means you’ll be out of pocket.

Have a first aid kit, clean water, and a torch handy, as well as a list of emergency numbers you can contact. When it comes to insurance, ensure that the sum insured is adequate in the event the building is damaged by a major storm. Ensure that your policy covers flood damage too. Depending on where your business is located, premiums covering flood damage can be expensive and in some areas, not available at all. For example, if your area has been subject to flooding and excessive rainfall multiple times in the past, chances are that your insurance premiums will be high. Some insurance providers may even entirely refuse to cover your business for storms and flood damage.

Take a closer look at your current policy, whether the area you’re in has a history of floods and any areas water could potentially seep in in case of heavy rainfall. If you’re unsure as to what your excess limits are, reach out to your broker.

** Disclaimer: This article provides information rather than financial product or other advice. The content of this article does not take into account your objectives, financial situation, or needs. Please seek professional advice from your broker before acting on any information.

What is Volunteer Insurance?

Whether you run a charity, a not-for-profit, or regular live events, volunteer insurance exists to protect both you and the volunteers that work for you. From music festival ticket collectors to ongoing charity work, volunteers are often the most important part of your organisation, and they need to be protected from accidents. Volunteer Insurance will cover them for personal accidents, and they and your organisation will be at a serious disadvantage if you do not have the right coverage in place. If you want to attract the right volunteers and keep your vital volunteers safe and confident, this specific insurance is going to be an essential requirement.

Who Needs It

Many types of organisations will need to have the right volunteer insurance policy in place.  Community groups, charities that provide healthcare for the elderly or disadvantaged, religious organisations, recreation clubs, and any charity or organisation that runs events, all make use of volunteers. These workers will not be covered by a standard business insurance policy, as they are distinctly different from salaried employees. Volunteer insurance policies protect the volunteer, but they also protect the organisation from public liability claims caused by the volunteers.

Did you know?

  • There are an estimated one billion volunteer workers worldwide, and Australia has just under six million of them. (Volunteering Australia)
  • The Australian economy receives approximately $290 billion from the work carried out by volunteers. (Pro Bono Australia)
  • According to the 2020 census by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, volunteering rates were similar for males and females at 23% and 26%. Members of the population aged 40-54 were the largest group participating in voluntary work through an organisation. (Australian Bureau of Statistics)

What does it cover?

Employee insurance is very different from volunteer insurance, and you need to be aware of the protection that you are missing out on if your community group, non-profit, church, or charity makes use of volunteers. Volunteer insurance coverage means that you will get protection for:

Personal accidents: If a volunteer is injured while being involved in authorised volunteer activity, they will get protection and may receive weekly payments until they have recovered. This protects volunteers who are engaged in other work, as they may lose out on regular wages if they are injured while volunteering. It can even cover expenses caused by the accident and medical expenses.

Public liability: A well-tailored volunteer policy will also cover public liability. This type of policy will have a broader goal, and will offer protection for the organisation, any paid employees, and volunteers in cases of third-party personal injury or property damage. Not all volunteer policies will include public liability, so you need to confirm your coverage with your provider.

Voluntary Boards: If you have directors and board members that are categorised as volunteers, then you may want to include Professional Indemnity Liability. This will protect directors and officers from negligence by volunteers, defamation, slander, and sexual harassment. This is not usually included with a standard volunteer insurance policy, but may be a valuable addition if you make use of high-ranking professional volunteers.

Why do I need Professional Indemnity insurance?

Mistakes can happen. If your business is found liable for negligence, the costs can be financially devastating. Not only could you be subject to an expensive lawsuit, but your business’s hard-earned reputation may be damaged as a result.

Professional Indemnity insurance is mandatory in some industries such as medicine, accounting, law, and financial advisers. However, even when not required by law, it is often a customer requirement that you have this cover in place. In fact, any business whether large or small, or individuals offering a service in exchange for a fee would still like to consider Professional Indemnity insurance.

Professional Indemnity Insurance covers claims made against your business by customers or other third parties alleging that in performing your professional services, your business has caused them a loss. While policies vary in the benefits they provide, professional indemnity can cover civil liability, inquiry costs, defence costs, fidelity cover, and advancement of costs and expenses.

  • Civil liability: Civil liability to a third party arising out of the conduct of their professional business
  • Inquiry costs: The cost of defending an inquiry by a regulatory body into the professional conduct of the insured
  • Defence costs: The costs involved in defending a claim triggered by the policy
  • Fidelity cover: Direct financial loss of the business caused by the dishonest or fraudulent conduct of an employee which is first discovered during the period of insurance.
  • Advancement of costs and expenses: Additional costs and expenses incurred during a claim

A claim against you for alleged unprofessional advice, failure to exercise required skill, or breach of professional duty, can be as costly as it is time-consuming. Legal action takes its toll on everyday business running, causing stress and requiring administration and time away from your core activities.

Professional Indemnity insurance can ensure that you have access to the required financial help and expertise to defend yourself; so you can focus on getting back to what you do best. Having adequate Professional Indemnity insurance cover could relieve you from the financial burden that legal costs and compensation represent. Without Professional Indemnity insurance, you would need to pay the costs for any claims made against you out of your own pocket.

Why is Management Liability insurance important for your business?

Conflicts arising from the workplace have become increasingly common, in particular with current market conditions affected by the global pandemic. SMEs are subject to legal action which can be financially devastating for both the business and its executives. The need for Management Liability insurance has grown in importance.

Management liability insurance covers the costs of defending directors, managers, and employees against any claims that are the result of their actions or decisions. Having the appropriate policy allows the aforementioned stakeholders of a company to be protected against fines, penalty compensation, and defence costs. Managers and owners can also be held personally liable, which puts your personal assets at risk. Management liability insurance also extends to protecting your wealth and your family’s security, not just your company.

While policies do vary in the benefits they provide, the most common coverage includes employment practice liability, directors’ and officers’ liability, crime, corporate liability, statutory liability, and defence costs.

  • Employment practice liability: Provides cover for alleged employment breaches, such as discrimination, harassment, bullying, failure to promote, breach of contract, retaliation, and wrongful termination.
  • Directors’ and Officers’ liability: Protects your proprietary limited company’s past, present, and future directors, officers, and managers against claims of wrongful acts, such as misrepresentation or breach of duty (subject to business size).
  • Crime: Provides protection for your business when there has been a direct financial loss such as theft of money, securities, and property. This can include employee fraud or dishonesty, third-party crime, electronic and computer crime, destruction and damage of money. However, note that not all criminal activity is covered.
  • Corporate liability: Covers costs that your business would incur if you need to defend and settle claims from outside parties alleging wrongful conduct, as well as an investigation into the affairs of the company.
  • Statutory liability: Covers the cost of defence, fines, and penalties under some statutes
  • Defence costs: Covers your legal costs if your business ends up in court.

Even if claims made against you and your business aren’t founded, the legal costs of defending these claims can be financially crippling for businesses and individuals. In fact, 1 out of 4 private companies have reported experiencing a D&O loss in the last 3 years. On average, the reported loss from such claims amounted to $387K, with the maximum loss being $17M!

Unfortunately, when it comes to management liability your turnover or industry won’t matter much – you will have legal obligations to hold yourself accountable. If you’re a business owner or senior manager it’s your responsibility to ensure that your business meets them. Management liability insurance is designed to ensure that even the most prepared and well-run businesses are covered for any potential mishaps.

Social media risks for your business

Social media is everywhere. It’s unavoidable, it’s powerful, and it’s here to stay.

That being said, social media does come with a set of risks. According to the latest EY Global Information Security Survey, 59% of organisations had a “material or significant incident” in the past 12 months. In fact, social media risk management is a completely different domain of expertise.

It is also crucial to recognise that with social media, messages can spread far and wide very quickly! While it is one of the reasons why social media marketing is so praised, when defamation, slander, and negative publicity are involved, it can cause serious damage to the reputation of a business. A negative brand image will have a lasting impact on your business until resolved effectively with social media risk management techniques.

Basic security practices and mitigation strategies can be adopted in order to manage those risks:

1.0 Social media policies and guidelines

Have a clear process as to who is responsible for posting on social media. Have guidelines as to what messages are appropriate to feature on social media and tone/voice to be used. This process should also provide guidance on how often social media is monitored and responded to and especially how to respond to negative comments.

2.0 Employee training

Human error accounts for 20% of cyber-attacks according to EY Global Information Security. In today’s busy world, it is all too easy for an employee to accidentally expose the company to threats online. Ensuring that your employees are involved in relevant training involving social media is key. Have training sessions around how to identify and avoid scams, attacks, and other security threats; who to notify, and how to respond if a social media security concern arises.

3.0 Professional use and personal use of social media

Always be wary of the language you use on social media. When deciding on what social channels to use for your business take into account the needs of the organisation, not the owner’s/manager’s personal views of social media. Also, remember that nothing on social media is really private. It is important to take the time to think through a message before sharing it on social media.

Regardless of all precautionary measures, insurance is always recommended as an extra layer of protection. Insurance has a role to play, but it is important to understand how cover works in relation to social media risks because the protection insurance provides has limitations.

So, what can insurance cover?

If you have been accused of defamation as a result of comments you have made on social media in your capacity working for a business, cover may be available within public and product liability insurance, professional indemnity insurance, as well as certain other policies.

Public and product liability, as well as professional indemnity insurance, may also help cover legal costs required in defending yourself in court; in the instance where you’ve been a victim of keyboard warriors on social media. That being said, policies are unlikely to cover for threats such as someone “simply” trolling your business, but rather provide cover for the loss of a major customer contract. For this to happen, the trolling or event would likely need to be defined as a crisis event.

The digital world isn’t 100% secure and even with the best antivirus software and firewalls, cyber threat is real. With the numerous social media accounts available and the use of 3rd party apps for creating content and scheduling posts, hackers have more avenues to crack through to a business; increasing risks of breaches in data records, intellectual property, and ransomware. In this case, having cyber insurance could be invaluable.

Social media offers a world of opportunities but just like any other channel, social media is not risk-free. The risks can be mitigated with effective policies and practices. Of course, as much as precautionary measures can be taken, you should consider insurance to cover your business if all fails. Social media marketing and risk management should be taken seriously and it is essential for growing businesses to ensure they are both given equal attention.

Contact us today to receive assistance on how insurance can protect you against social media risks.

Disclaimer – the information provided here is general advice only and has been prepared without taking in account your objectives, financial situation or needs.

How Cyber Insurance can help protect your business

As our reliance on technology, the internet, and all things digital continues to grow, so does cyber risk. For businesses of all sizes and even government bodies, falling prey to cyber attacks is one of the key areas of concern every day. Evidently, every business with an online presence or electronic data records is potentially at risk. Cyber incidents can put a business in a financial crisis as well as threaten your intellectual property, put your customers’ confidential information in jeopardy, and cause significant damage to your brand. Let’s take a look at the common types of cyber threats and what you can do to protect your business.

1. Malicious Software (Malware)

Malware is the generic term encompassing viruses, spyware, trojans and worms. The aim is to gain access to private information such as credit card details and passwords. Malware can also spy on a user’s computer and take control of its functionalities. Malware can happen to anyone and at any time. Malware attacks don’t require advanced skills and can be “performed” anywhere in the world.

2. Scam Emails (Phishing)

Chances are you’ve probably already come across scam emails before as they are typically sent to thousands of people. Scammers have become increasingly good at mimicking language, branding, and logos to appear real. Unfortunately, phishing scams aren’t only limited to emails – they are now also prevalent through SMS, Instant Messaging, and across social media platforms. Be cautious of requests for money (urgent or overdue bills), suspicious attachments, or “click here to win” links and requests to check or confirm login details.

3. Ransomware

First off – Never pay a ransom! You are not guaranteed to regain access plus you could be susceptible to another attack (and be even more out of pocket!). Similar to phishing, ransomware attacks are typically carried out via a malicious but legitimate-looking email link or attachment. When the link is clicked on or the document downloaded, ransomware will encrypt a user’s files then demand a ransom to restore access – typically payable using cryptocurrency like Bitcoin. Ransomware creators prey on businesses of varying sizes but due to small businesses often being less security conscious, are less likely to implement cyber security measures.

So what can you do to minimise your risks?

1. Regular updates

Make sure that you’re turning on automatic updates. Updates are newer versions of software you’re utilising. They tend to run faster and more efficiently but even more important, they’ll tend to have higher security levels which in turn reduces your risks of cyber attacks

2. Automatic backups

A backup is a digital copy of your business’s most important documents. If your information is lost, stolen or destroyed; at least you’ll have a back up which means you’ll be back into business quicker and easier. You could also opt for an external drive and keeping it somewhere safe offsite if you prefer.

3. Multi-factor authentication

A security measure that requires two or more proofs of identity to grant you access – think of it as a double layer of security. It’s usually a combination of a pin and a physical possession. It could be a password, security question and a code sent to your mobile phone for example. More sophisticated and high value data could be protected by fingerprint and retina screening. While a hacker could get a hold of your PIN, it is unlikely that they’ll be able to obtain and use other proofs of identity.

While taking the above precautions will reduce your risks of cyber attacks, what happens if all fail? This is where having insurance is crucial!

As covered previously, with the rise of cyber attacks, data breaches are becoming the norm, and having adequate coverage to protect your business from risk is paramount. So what can cyber insurance cover?

Cyber insurance can help cover financial losses to your business (do take note of your excess limits), your customers, and other 3rd parties following a cyber security breach.

This might cover costs associated with:

  • Loss of revenue due to interrupted business
  • Hiring negotiators and potentially paying ransom in extreme cases
  • Recovering or replacing your records or data
  • Liability and loss of third party data
  • Defense of legal claims
  • Investigation by a government regulator
  • Copyright infringement
  • Misuse of intellectual property online
  • Crisis management and monitoring
  • Prevention of further attacks

Insurance policies vary and with a myriad of options out there, it is best to seek professional advice. Contact Optimus 1 today to receive assistance on what insurance cover will suit your needs.

7 Types of Insurance Your Business Needs

Running your own business is exciting. It can also be risky.

As a business owner, you’re exposed to a variety of business risks that could damage your business, cause you extensive financial problems or even sink your business altogether.

But if you’re protected with the right insurance, you can go about your work with the peace of mind that comes from knowing that no matter what gets thrown your way, you’ll be able to deal with it. It will free up time and energy for you to concentrate on what really matters: growing your business.

That’s where we come in. Our team will make the time to speak with you about the way your business works, and from there we’ll use our expertise to suggest the appropriate insurance policies to suit your individual situation. Your solution may require multiple insurance policies or a business pack may be more appropriate.

Before you speak with us, you might want to think about the types of business insurance you think you’ll need‑you can iron out the details with us later.

Here are 7 common types of business insurance to consider:

1. The Compulsory Policies
You might already know about some of the insurance policies that are compulsory in Australia, depending on the state in which you operate. If you hire workers, you will need workers compensation insurance. If you own a motor vehicle, you will need third party insurance. Some companies are required to hold public liability insurance. Talk to us about which of these might apply to you!

2. Business Vehicle & Fleet Insurance
Whether you’re a builder, tradesman, delivery company or a commercial business looking for vehicle insurance and have a number of vehicles in your business, you can have them covered under a single commercial fleet insurance policy. These vehicles can be registered in the name of a company, a partner or director of the company, allowing one policy to cover your whole business. Depending on the insurer, a fleet can be as small as two vehicles. We can help with individual business vehicle policies as well.

3. Property Insurance
Whether you own an office, rent a space or work from home, the space you work in and equipment stored there should be insured to protect against any problems with theft and accidents. Keep in mind that everyday home insurance policies often don’t allow for problems related to working from home, so it’s worth checking to see how any existing policy you hold applies to your business.

4. Product Liability
If you’re thinking about selling a product as part of your business, you will want to look at product liability insurance. This will protect your business in the event that your product causes damage, and should be tailored to the specific product you are looking to make.

5. Professional Liability
If you deliver a service, protecting yourself against negligence claims with professional liability insurance is a must. This type of claim can come up if you make a mistake or fail to deliver your professional services—this is especially important if there are professional guidelines you need to meet within your industry.

6. Technology/Cybercrime
The accidental damage or loss of your computers and data can be covered by technology insurance. Cybercrime policies should protect you from the costs of business disruptions and data security measures in the event you experience an attack.

7. Business Interruption
You can think of this as income protection insurance—but for your business. In the worst case scenario that your business operations are affected, your business could lose income and the ability to manufacture products. If your company relies on a specific physical location for business, like a factory or retail store, you will want to look at this type of insurance.

Business Pack Insurance

Business pack insurance covers several different types of insurance under one policy. This means less paperwork for you, and it’s often cheaper too. Keep in mind, though, that some business packs will not cover all risks and may have smaller sub limits.

As your insurance broker, we can look at your business risks, offer risk management strategies and help you understand the various insurance policies available to you.

To get started or to review your existing policies, contact us on (07) 4041 5611 or

Reviewing Your Business Insurance

Insurance is something that most business owners set and forget. They simply don’t think about insurance unless they need to use it. Like your business, your insurance needs will change over time. It is a good idea to review your coverage periodically to make sure that you are not paying for insurance that you don’t need and, more importantly, that your assets have adequate protection.

When to review your business insurance

As your business changes so do your insurance needs. Here are a few specific situations where you should always review your insurance policy:

  • Change in size – If your business has grown or shrunk dramatically your insurance needs will change as well. Factors like hiring more employees or adding locations will likely impact your coverage needs.
  • Location change – When your company moves locations you may need more or less coverage than you currently carry simply because different locations carry different risk factors.
  • New innovations or technology – if your company implements the latest and greatest innovations or technology it is a good idea to look at your coverage to ensure that these new innovations are covered.
  • Annually – even if you haven’t experienced any major changes in the last year it is still recommended that you evaluate your business insurance annually. In doing so you can close any gaps that you might have missed previously, and you also have a chance to evaluate your premiums or shop around.

What does a business insurance review include?

During the business insurance review process, you and your insurance broker will sit down and evaluate a number of components related to your business. Most of this evaluation comes down to risks and how to mitigate risk with insurance.

  • Personnel Review — You should review whether you have gained or lost employees or if you are allowing people to work from home.
  • Equipment Review – if your business has purchased vehicles, computers, machinery, or any other piece of equipment after your last insurance review you may need to update your coverage.
  • Technology Review – Living with the internet provides additional costs and risks for business owners. You will want to ensure that you have insurance protecting against hacking and reducing your liability in case of a breach of security.

Business insurance review during COVID

Think of how your business has changed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Maybe your employees now work exclusively from home, connecting via video chat rather than in person. To do this you probably have purchased technology to make this happen, items like microphones, laptops, and software packages. Some of these changes are permanent, others, are not.

Conducting a business insurance review for companies who are shifting to remote work can save money and ensure that they are covered for new liabilities.

For example, you may not need as much liability coverage on your building itself because your employees are not using the building. However, you may want to shift that coverage to cover your new technology. This ensures that your premiums are going towards covering parts of your business that need coverage and getting rid of unnecessary coverage in the process.

Wrapping up

Up-to-date insurance protects the business that you have worked so hard to build. Conducting a business insurance review annually or after any major changes in your business is a good way to save money on premiums and to ensure that your business is not leaving anything to chance.

Contact us on (07) 4041 5611 or click here to book in for a review of your business insurance.

Real Risks in Business: A Guide to Insurance

Starting a business is a risky business, which is why it pays to be prepared! While it is impossible to predict exactly which possible hardships may befall your company throughout its years of operation, it is possible to load up on the right business insurance that will provide you with coverage when you need it most.

Below is an explanation of some of the most common risks in business, and how best to mitigate them going forward.

Damage to business property and/or assets

This could be as a result of a flood, a storm or another natural disaster, or it could be as a result of attempted theft or vandalism. Either way, damage to your business property and/or assets is sure to prove a costly challenge to overcome. This is why so many business owners opt to take out property insurance. It is a type of insurance that is recommended whether you own or lease your business property.

Business interruption

This is a risk that is not only extremely common, but it is also something that almost every business from around the world deals with on a regular basis. Business interruption in some form or another is inevitable. Whether it is due to the fact that your office is uninhabitable following extreme weather, or because your network is down, business interruption means an interruption to productivity and cashflow, which can have far-reaching consequences, especially if the interruption lasts longer than a few hours. In this regard, it is a good idea to invest money in a business interruption insurance policy which can be carefully customised to suit each business owner’s unique requirements.

Injuries on your business premises

Every business owner who employs workers is required by law to have workers’ compensation insurance. This insurance covers medical-related costs and will provide wage-loss compensation in the event that an employee is unable to work for a period of time following an accident or injury. However, it does not usually provide cover for any lawsuits that may arise following an accident or injury on your business premises. Sometimes, it will be a client who injures themselves on your property. In these instances, it becomes obvious why so many experts advise business owners to take out general liability and public liability insurance.

Employee-related incidents

You increase your business risk exponentially simply by hiring employees. As mentioned, workers’ compensation is mandatory, but there are other ways in which to reduce your risk and ensure maximum coverage relating to your employees and any issues involving them. For example, it is worthwhile looking into management liability and employment practices liability insurance. This type of insurance has been created to provide adequate protection to business owners and managers in terms of lawsuits connected to workplace discrimination of potential, current and past employees. It also protects against most third-party claims.