Attention Transport, Logistics & Supply Chain Operators – Changes to Chain of Responsibility Laws

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Attention to any of our transport and supply chain clients – changes to the Chain of Responsibility (CoR) laws are coming into effect on 1 October 2018.

Chain of Responsibility changes to Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL)

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator has communicated changes to the HVNL to provide that ‘every party in the heavy vehicle transport supply chain has a duty to ensure the safety of their transport activities’.

The objectives of the legislation is to improve road safety, reduce damage to infrastructure, promote a ‘level playing field’ for the industry, improve deterrence and enforcement and improve efficiency and compliance.

What does this mean for transport, logistics and supply chain clients?

At a high level, what this means is that there is a greater obligation to reduce or get rid of potential risk of harm by doing everything you (reasonably) can to ensure safety.

The best way to do this is to create or check that you have rigorous safety management systems and controls in place (such as policies, procedures and training) that will help you to identify, qualify and manage your risks.

A lot of the focus driving these changes is around managing risk and compliance in regards to speed, fatigue, loading and maintenance, as well as documenting the actions you’ve taken to manage your risks and improve safety.

What are the biggest CoR changes?

The six biggest Chain of Responsibility changes (as per an article by mondaq) include:

  1. The addition of vehicle standards (maintenance) including mass, dimension, loading, speed and fatigue.
  2. The standard of legal duty is changing such that businesses could be prosecuted for failing to put in place CoR control structures and practices, EVEN if an accident or incident hasn’t arisen.
  3. Executive liability is changing – currently an executive can only be prosecuted where a breach of a CoR component is committed by their business, and the new standard will require executives to exercise ‘due diligence’ to ensure that their businesses comply with all duties under the CoR.
  4. Your CoR management system will more closely align with your WHS management system with the exception that under CoR you have a greater responsibility for the conduct of other parties within the chain (even offsite).
  5. Industry codes – the new laws mandate that any registered industry codes must provide greater compliance substance than those in the past in order to be accepted for registration.
  6. Increased penalties to ensure that greater attention is paid to CoR compliance.

Have questions about the specific risks facing YOUR business, or want to talk about your insurance safety net? Just give us a call!

In an online era, what’s the value of an insurance broker?

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Do you need an insurance broker?

These days with nearly everything at our fingertips with the click of a button, is there any need for an insurance broker? Before we can answer that question, it’s worth understanding what an insurance broker is, and what they do.

An insurance broker is a qualified professional that can give you advice on your insurance solution. We work on behalf of you, the client, and not the insurers. We work with you and help you to understand and manage the risks facing you or your business, and then recommend an insurance solution.

The value of using an insurance broker.

You’re the expert at running your business, and we’re the experts in insuring it. We’ve spent years studying, developing and maintaining our insurance credentials so that we understand insurance inside and out, especially the differences between insurance policies. We can help you understand what’s included and excluded. Not all policies are created equal, and you may find some online that are really cheap but when it comes down to it, when you really need it, it may not cover what you assume it does. Unfortunately these nuanced differences can mean a significantly different outcome if you need to make a claim, and a few hours of Googling isn’t likely to cut it when it comes to understanding the fine print in your policy wording. 

You probably don’t get very excited about buying insurance, but it’s a layer of protection that most of us understand the need for. Those of us who have experienced a claim might already well understand the value of a broker – peace of mind that you have the right insurance solution in place, someone to advocate for you with the insurer and a lot less time on hold on the phone waiting to talk to a real person!

Just like using a professional accountant or lawyer, making sure that you get expert advice and assistance with your insurance can be well worth it – financially and so you can rest easy knowing you’re in good hands.

Why choose Managed Insurance Solutions to be your insurance broker?

If you haven’t used an insurance broker or Managed Insurance Solutions for your insurance needs previously, you may not be aware of the benefits we can bring you or your business. Here are some of the top reasons you should give us a call to discuss your insurance needs:

  • With four branches across South Australia, we’re part of YOUR community. We understand how you do business and your unique risks. We face the same ones. We’re not a nameless, faceless call centre.
  • We’re SME business owners helping other business owners. We’re family members helping other family members. We care about our clients and making sure they get a good insurance solution at a competitive price.
  • We’ve spent years to earn and maintain our qualifications and develop experience and understanding that cannot be matched through Googling insurance directly online yourself for a few hours.
  • We can access insurance solutions that aren’t available online, and in some cases are only available through brokers.
  • We’re part of a network of nearly 350 authorised broker businesses called Community Broker Network (CBN). Through CBN, we’re able to access packages that are exclusively available through our network, that have been leveraged by CBN’s size and scale for the benefit of clients.
  • We attend ongoing learning and development to stay on top of emerging risks so we have the most up to date insurance information to respond to these changes.
  • If you have a ‘risky risk’ or difficult to place risk that you’ve not been able to find insurance you’re satisfied with, we have access to a huge range of insurer and underwriting partners, giving you the best chance of getting a reasonable deal.
  • If you need to make a claim you know we’re here for you, advocating for you and following up to make sure things are progressing, saving you time, hassle and heartache.

Get a quote from one of our insurance brokers.

Are you ready to get a free, no-obligation quotation from one of our insurance brokers? Even just to give your insurance a good review and make sure you have good cover at a good price. Contact us today by clicking here or calling (08) 8582 1277.

Driver-less vehicles are coming to South Australia – what does it mean for insurance?

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With South Australia’s first ever driver-less bus taking to the roads, Managed Insurance Solutions thought it was timely to have a look at what these driverless vehicles might mean for insurance in the future.

It’s exciting technology, to be sure, and offers huge opportunities – especially if you think of our ageing population that may not have ready access to public transportation. It could also increase road safety, as the driver-less vehicles don’t get tired, distracted by their phone or get behind the wheel after too many drinks.

Insurance risks for driver-less vehicles

According to a recent Insurance Business article, there are questions surrounding liability that remain unanswered when it comes to driver-less cars. The main question is around who will ‘own’ the risk, the car manufacturer or the customer. There’s not yet regulation in place to answer this question, and it’s likely that insurers will need to develop or tailor existing insurance solutions that take into account additional factors like accident frequency, commercial/personal use of the vehicle, road conditions, and condition/roadworthiness of the driver-less vehicle.

Due to the technology involved with driver-less cars, there is also a larger cyber risk involved – there could be incidents and issues arising from cyber-hacking, terrorism, kidnapping, theft and so on.

On the other hand, the same technology could also provide us with far greater (and less ambiguous or biased) data on traffic accidents or vehicle malfunctions. We may learn even more about how to prevent accidents and keep everyone safer on the road.

And, in some positive news for your pocketbook, if the driver-less cars work as anticipated (fewer accidents), we could also see reduced insurance costs and premiums overall.

New report calls for changes to our laws

A new report has called for changes to our legislation in preparation for the arrival of driver-less vehicles, with full automation expected to occur in Australia within the next 10 years. The report, titled “Transforming Mobility”, was a joint initiative from auto insurer NRMA, PricewaterhouseCoopers(PwC), and Keolis Downer.

It highlighted the need to update the nation’s more than 50 federal and state laws, including those related to CTP insurance, before the widespread launch of self-driving cars.

According to this Insurance Business article, the report said that for computer-piloted cars to hit the road en masse, the absence of provisions for non-human drivers in federal and state laws should be addressed first. This includes significant changes to existing traffic laws regarding future fines and penalties, as the introduction of self-driving cars would shift the liability from human drivers to the registered operator of an autonomous vehicle.

The report also warned that changes to the current CTP insurance system should be made to ensure that drivers, passengers, and pedestrians would all be adequately protected in case of an accident caused by an autonomous vehicle.

The ethics of driver-less vehicles 

The first pedestrian death involving a self-driving car highlights the many ethical challenges posed by autonomous vehicles.

Just like human drivers, there is always an amount of risk when operating a vehicle, and part of the responsibility of the driver is to weigh up and calculate those risks (sometimes quite quickly).

The driver-less vehicles have to allow for some risk, or they wouldn’t leave the garage. But what is the correct way to program the car to decide on acceptable risk or, even worse, in the case of unavoidable injury or death – how does the car decide which people are prioritised? Is it based on the total number of injuries or deaths that could be prevented? Is it based on the age of the occupants?

There’s a classic trolley/tram scenario, a thought experiment, that asks if you’re driving a trolley that is hurtling towards a group working on the tracks but if you pull the lever it would instead hurtle towards a lone worker. What is the right choice, ethically?

This may be the kind of decision we’re asking (or programming) driver-less vehicles to do. And should this programming allow for preferences by the owners of the car, or be based on a set of pre-agreed moral codes?

It’s not likely that we’ll have these mind-bending questions answered before driver-less cars begin to appear on our roads, but it’s worth continuing the discussion.

Future predictions for driver-less cars

There are many great benefits that could arise from a future with automated vehicles.

We can provide transport options that didn’t exist before, especially for our elderly or those with physical challenges.

It could reduce congestion on the roads – especially if there’s a reduction in accidents, we’re less likely to hear of huge delays in the traffic report.

And, imagine if your car can drop you off at work, and then instead of taking up valuable parking space (and costing you money for that parking spot), it heads off to do its second job as an Uber-type ride sharing vehicle. Your car could be making you money while you are at work – a very nice new idea of a side hustle!

But there are also grey areas – many of these vehicles are not quite ‘fully’ automated or completely able to be operated without a driver. They still rely on a driver for some situations, which means that the liability and responsibility is split.

We think this is going to be the biggest challenge in the shorter term – making sure our clients have the right insurance solution for these split or shared responsibility situations.

So until the spread of these driver-less (or semi-driver-less) vehicles begins in earnest, watch this space! In the meantime, if you need a normal ‘human driver’ quote for your car or motor vehicle insurance, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Is your restaurant or cafe protecting yourself and your customers from salmonella?

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Risk mitigation and insurance for restaurants and cafes

As you might be aware, there was a recent salmonella outbreak in a South Australian bakery, which impacted over 30 people. How would your restaurant or cafe business cope with the direct and indirect costs (such as damage to your brand and reputation) of something like this? Read below for some tips on how you can prevent a salmonella outbreak from occurring, what type of risk management practices you can put in place and what kind of insurance safety nets are available.

About ‘food poisoning’ or foodborne illness like salmonella

Foodborne illness like salmonella lead to unpleasant symptoms, hospitalisations and even death in some cases. Everything from ice cream and lettuce to poultry and nuts can be contaminated by deadly bacteria, viruses and parasites that cause foodborne illness. The threat is further complicated by the fact that the human eye cannot detect whether a food or beverage is infected with a foodborne illness until it’s too late and symptoms arise.

Quick tips for preventing salmonella

  • Cook poultry, ground beef, and eggs thoroughly. Do not eat or drink foods containing raw eggs, or raw (unpasteurised) milk.
  • If you are served undercooked meat, poultry or eggs in a restaurant, don’t hesitate to send it back to the kitchen for further cooking.
  • Wash hands, kitchen work surfaces, and utensils with soap and water immediately after they have been in contact with raw meat or poultry.
  • Be particularly careful with foods prepared for infants, the elderly, and the immunocompromised.
  • Wash hands with soap after handling reptiles, birds, or baby chicks, and after contact with pet feces.
  • Avoid direct or even indirect contact between reptiles (turtles, iguanas, other lizards, snakes) and infants or immunocompromised persons.
  • Don’t work with raw poultry or meat, and an infant (e.g., feed, change diaper) at the same time

Source: CDC 

Good restaurant and cafe practices

Preventative measures you can put in place in your restaurant or cafe now:

  • Reinforce good hygiene – Employees should understand how to properly wash their hands and do so frequently to avoid passing on harmful germs to food. They should also know how to maintain food safety when sneezing or coughing—and if possible—stay at home when feeling sick. The use of gloves, utensils or other tools to avoid bare hand contact with food is another way to help prevent transfer of germs from hands to food.
  • Proper cooking – Ensure that foods such as meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, dairy products and fresh produce (which can contain bacteria that cause foodborne illnesses) reach the correct internal temperature during cooking before being eaten. Don’t rely on your senses, use a properly calibrated food thermometer instead.
  • Regulate and record time/temperature – If temperatures are too hot or too cold, food safety can be compromised. One solution is to use temperature monitoring solutions – time, temperature, delivery records, carriers, location and weather are all recorded and stored, allowing organisations to improve performance, accountability and transparency throughout the entire process.
  • Avoid cross-contamination – Clean and sanitise prep areas properly to reduce the risk of bacteria lingering on surfaces or spreading to other foods prepared there. Raw meat, seafood and eggs should be prepared separately from ready-to-eat foods to avoid cross-contamination. Regularly clean and sanitise food prep surfaces and designate certain cutting boards and areas for certain types of food.
  • Follow storage instructions – Proper storage is key to keeping food fresh and safe. Food should be kept in packaging that protects it from contamination and extends its shelf life. Not only will proper storage enhance freshness and reduce illness outbreaks, it will lessen food waste and improve the bottom line.

A focus on food safety allows you to provide your customers with better quality products and greater peace of mind. With greater knowledge of common illness-causing issues, businesses can reduce the occurrence and impact of outbreaks and food recalls ensuring brand protection and higher sales.

The role of insurance in protecting your business

In the case of salomonella, your public and products liability solution is designed to respond to your situation. Public and products liability protects against your legal liability to customers, clients and members of the public, i.e. third parties (not including employees), for bodily injury and property damage arising from your business activities and products. In some cases, the policy can cover the legal costs of investigating and defending a claim made against you, your people or your business. In other cases, insurance may cover lost income for a customer if they contracted salmonella poisoning and were unable to draw income (for example if the customer was a contractor by trade) while they recovered. Public and products liability also protect your business from potential claims from customers slipping, suppliers tripping or even stomach-turning events like a tooth or finger being found in food.

Other types of insurable risks for restaurants and cafes

  • Business insurance – you can protect your building and your contents including damage to your chairs, tables and fitout, along with machinery breakdown (with extensions for loss of stock). Water damage and fire are two of the biggest risks for restaurants, cafes and catering. Business interruption is an important solution to help protect the continuity and sustainability of your business.
  • Management liability (ML) – if you have employees in your restaurant, it’s important to ensure fair treatment. ML can help protect against bullying and harassment claims, discrimination, unfair dismissal and fines from Fair Work.
  • Cyber insurance – as a restaurant or cafe owner you could be exposed if you hold any personal or payment details from your customers or suppliers, or if you suffer a denial of service attack on your website and your customers are unable to order while you’re being held to ransom. We tell clients ‘if you use the internet for your business, you have cyber risk’.

Want to talk about your restaurant or cafe business or get a free quote? Contact us.

Insurance checklist for the New Year

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Make a resolution to review your policies and coverage.

As we begin a New Year, many of you have put together some New Year’s resolutions. Of course this makes going into a New Year fun and helps a person develop some goals. This is also an excellent time to re-evaluate your insurance solution… check out our insurance checklist to get you started! 

Insurance checklist

Here is a 10 question checklist to ask yourself that will help you and your insurance broker put your insurance in order for the year ahead.

  1. Did you have a change in your personal circumstances? Did you have a baby? Get married? Purchase a new home or car?
  2. Are you interested in increasing your liability limits if available? Are your limits high enough? This includes general liability and commercial auto liability.
  3. Are all of the cars and licensed drivers at your business listed with your insurance provider?  Delete drivers who are no longer part of your business.
  4. Do any of the vehicles on the policy have custom equipment attached? This may not be covered on your policy unless declared.
  5. Do you own any specialty equipment that may need special cover?
  6. Have you added to, updated, and/or remodeled your business in the past 12 months? (ex: replaced roof, added on, updated wiring, heating, plumbing)? This may impact your insurance profile.
  7. Has your business changed in type of operation or size of operation in the last 12 months? This may affect your premium up or down.
  8. You may have an exposure to damage from flood, which may not be covered by your property policy. Would you like to receive more information about flood insurance coverage?
  9. Have you acquired or disposed of any assets or equipment during the past 12 months? There may be limitation on equipment not housed at your place of business.
  10. Do you understand your cyber/data related risks and have appropriate security and cover in place? This is one of the biggest gaps we see with many businesses.

Source: RK

Even if you haven’t experienced significant personal or business changes, you could be eligible for better pricing or new insurance solutions that may better serve your needs, so it’s worth a conversation.

This is certainly not all inclusive of insurance questions and perils but may help to spur some thoughts for updates in 2018. Take some time to talk with your insurance broker and review your policies and see if they meet your current needs. Your broker can help determine whether your current insurance solution provides adequate coverage or if you might need more or less.

We can help you evaluate what’s changed this year and make sure you are in great shape for 2018. If you need help with some of the lingo, want to verify what your current insurance provider tells you or just want to have a better understanding of the world of insurance, contact Managed Insurance Solutions on (08) 8582 1277.

We look forward to working with you this year, next year, and beyond!

Do I need business interruption? | MIS FAQs

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Many businesses are not sure if they need (or perhaps just don’t understand) business interruption insurance. In this post, we’ll try to explain business interruption insurance, and why your business may want to consider it.

What is business interruption insurance?

First of all, business interruption insurance can cover your business for loss of profits. Your business income may stop after an insured event or catastrophe, but your expenses continue! Often the interruption to your business can be costlier in the claims process than the cost of repairing the physical damage to your business property.

What can business interruption insurance cover?

Business interruption insurance can help to cover costs that will keep your business up and running, such as relocating to temporary premises, paying for overtime incurred in the process, or for the cost of additional/temporary staff, and hiring equipment (i.e. generators) that can help you open your doors for business again.

It can also cover advertising to communicate to your customers that you’ve moved or when you’ll be back in business. The idea of business interruption insurance is that it will help to return your business and its income back to where it was prior to the disruption.

What is indirection business interruption?

Business interruption can also be extended to include things that indirectly impact your business, such as a fire in another part of a shopping centre that prevents your customers from accessing your shop. Things like this could trigger your cover, to cover your loss of profits.

Think it couldn’t happen to you, or an event is unlikely? A Business SA survey of 260 businesses found that after the South Australia electricity blackout in September last year, most businesses did not have business interruption insurance, and of those who did, more than half did not have the right kind of cover for losses from the blackout. Business SA calculated the median loss for individual businesses across the state of $5,000.

Would your business survive a prolonged interruption?

CGU Insurance recently surveyed 500 small businesses and found that one in four would not survive if they had to close their doors for three months. But less than a quarter of those business owners surveyed actually had business interruption insurance.

Want some advice or a quote?

This information doesn’t take your personal or financial situation into account and may only be regarded as general advice. You should speak to us or your insurance broker before taking action. And, of course, always read the fine print (i.e. product disclosure statement) before purchasing any financial product.

A client compliment to warm our hearts

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We loved reading this client compliment about our teammate Kaitlin O’Sullivan‘s brilliant service and work ethic!
 
“I would like to take this opportunity to compliment Kaitlin O’Sullivan on the continued great service that she provides to myself and our family.
 
We have a number of policies with your company ( and previously Rainey’s) and have had for over 25 years. The reason we continue with your company is the personalised service we receive.
 
Kaitlin always goes that extra mile so that I do not have to follow-up on things, she provides comparative quotes when a renewal comes in to see it is the best value. Just recently we had an issue with a computer that we broke and as we were going overseas and my daughter had exams, so we needed to resolve quickly and that day I had an answer back from Kaitlin as to whether the claim was acceptable, we were therefore able to go out and purchase another computer that day. Best outcome.
 
We also purchased a car interstate and again, Kaitlin had it all covered.
 
Please pass this onto her and recognise her efforts and again thanks to all for the continued great service.”
 
– Sharon (client of 25+ years)

Bushfire season set to hit early

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According to the 2017 Australian seasonal bushfire outlook, parts of the country are likely to see earlier and more active incidents of bushfire than other years. This is largely due to a combination of weather conditions this past winter, resulting in vast amounts of dry vegetation. With the increased risk it’s critical that you take necessary precautions in mitigating your bushfire risk and checking that you have the right insurance solution before it’s too late.

Bushfire risk already resulting in insurance claims

We’ve already seen serious bushfires in NSW and QLD, with news alerts that the danger from these fires has not yet subsided. In the Hunter Valley, NSW bushfires, a historic rail museum has been left with an estimated $1 million of damage.

What should you do to prepare for bushfire season?

Managed Insurance Solutions’ Lyn Sickerdick said “During a natural disaster or catastrophic event, under-insurance or no insurance at all are the major factors that impact clients. Ensuring that you have the correct insurances in place for your property or farm, e.g. under insurance can occur when clients have renovated or added extension and buildings to their existing property. While no insurance is usually a financial burden but can be alleviated with monthly payments instead of annual lump sum.”

This article from NIBA’s Insurance & Risk Professional site outlines the risks of bushfire season and the need to start preparing early. The most important thing you can do now is to review your situation and your insurances.  Talk to us if you have any questions.

 

Another day, another cyber attack – how can small businesses protect themselves?

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There are reports that the latest global cyber attack, known as the Petya virus, is the ‘scariest’ and possibly costliest yet.

Protection from cyber attacks

So what can small businesses do to protect themselves from the big, bad ransomware?

Well, according to The Guardian, most major antivirus companies now claim that their software has updated to actively detect and protect against “Petya” infections.

Another important mitigation step is keeping your Windows up to date – for this specific virus there’s a patch that purportedly defends against vulnerability to the virus, and may also help protect against future attacks with different payloads.

Remember the basics

Do not click on links or attachments or download files from suspicious senders. Don’t use public Wi-Fi for business, and be wary of shortened links.

To prevent attacks like Petya in general, employees should have their automatic software updates on, and should avoid using outdated operating systems.

And talk to us, too, about including cyber insurance as part of your insurance solution, so you have a safety net in place should you need it.