Skip to main content
All Posts By

Insurance Mentor

Plan and be prepared this bushfire season

By News No Comments

Australia is renowned for its expansive and diverse landscapes, but unfortunately, it also grapples with extreme weather conditions, including bushfires that wreak havoc in the scorching and dry summer months. Even in this early spring of 2023, several regions of Australia have already confronted ‘catastrophic’ fire conditions, with more ominous forecasts looming.

Given the unpredictable nature of these fires, driven by warm winds emanating from central Australia, homeowners and property custodians across all states must prepare diligently for the looming possibility of a bushfire, regardless of whether they reside in recognised ‘bushfire zones’ or not. We outline practical measures to be ready for what looks to be another hot and dry summer season.

  1. Risk Assessment and Planning.

Start by understanding your property’s bushfire risk. Conduct a thorough assessment of your property, taking into consideration factors like proximity to bushland, vegetation density, and accessibility for firefighting services. If you live in a ‘bushfire zone’, be aware of the Fire Danger Ratings and Total Fire Bans issued by local authorities.

  1. Document and inventory your possessions.

Create a detailed inventory of your possessions, including photographs or videos and most importantly receipts (scanned and kept electronically). Store important documents like insurance policies, identification, and deeds in a fireproof safe or a secure off-site location. This documentation will be invaluable in the event of a claim.

  1. Invest in basic fire equipment.

All state based emergency services advise having an emergency survival kit packed before bushfire season begins. Essentials include:

  • Portable battery-operated radio and waterproof torch with spare batteries
  • Candles and waterproof matches
  • First aid kit and manual
  • Pocket knife and woollen blankets
  • At least three litres of water per person
  • A list of emergency contact numbers
  • Waterproof bags ready for valuables, cash and ATM or credit cards, medications, and toiletries
  • Mobile phone and charger
  • A fire blanket
  • Change of clothes for everyone.[1]

This is also the time to pack any sentimental items so that they can be easily found and taken with you if you have to leave quickly. Put the kit in an accessible location the whole family knows about.

If you are in a bushfire zone, equip your property with firefighting tools such as hoses, pumps, and water tanks. Ensure that you have an independent water source, like a dam or swimming pool, that can be used by firefighters in case of an emergency. Regularly maintain and test this equipment to ensure it is in working order.

  1. Insurance coverage

Securing the right insurance coverage is a critical aspect of bushfire preparedness, particularly for those who live in a bushfire zone. Talk to your insurance adviser for advice about specific policies that cover bushfire damage. Ensure that your policy provides adequate coverage for the replacement or repair of your property and its contents in the event of a bushfire. Consider additional coverage for expenses related to temporary accommodation and loss of income.

  1. Regularly review and update insurance policies

Periodically review your insurance policies to ensure they accurately reflect the current value of your property and possessions. Underinsurance is a serious business risk so it’s important to stay up to date with updates or adjustments that may need to be made to adequately cover changes in property value, renovations, or acquisitions.

  1. Establish open lines of communication with your insurance adviser.

Resilium insurance advisers will regularly stay in touch with their clients anyway, but it’s important to report any new changes to your business or modifications/upgrades to your property as this may affect your insurance coverage.

In Australia, bushfire preparedness is a shared responsibility between homeowners, communities, and insurers. By following these comprehensive steps, you can significantly enhance your preparedness for bushfires while ensuring you have the appropriate insurance coverage in place. Remember, proactive measures coupled with robust insurance coverage will help safeguard your property and provide peace of mind during bushfire season.

The above article was originally created and published by Resilium Insurance Broking and titled: Bushfire season – plan and be prepared.

Sources

Resilium Insurance Broking: Bushfire season – plan and be prepared.

Queensland firefighters warn public to be aware, prepare for catastrophic fire risk this week – ABC News

How to prepare for a bushfire in Australia | QBE AU

BOM declares El Nino, amid ‘catastrophic’ fire risk in NSW (thenewdaily.com.au)

[1] How to prepare for a bushfire in Australia | QBE AU

Running a home business? Are you adequately covered?

By News No Comments

If you’re running a business from home, do not assume that your home insurance will provide you with the coverage you will need for your business. This is because running a business from home carries risks that aren’t necessarily covered under a standard Home and Contents policy.

In fact, most home and contents insurance policies exclude coverage for business assets, equipment, or stock, so it’s important to get professional insurance advice to make sure you have the right coverage for both your home and your business.

Read the full story, from Resilium Insurance Broking, which outlines some of the key things to consider when it comes to insurance and working from home.

How can you protect yourself and your business from Cyber risk?

By News No Comments

In this digital era, more than ever before, we are seeing a rapid increase in Cybercrime that has resulted in devastating consequences. Consider the recent Optus and Medibank cyber-attacks, which saw hundreds of thousands of people’s personal information released to the dark web as part of a sophisticated Cyber ransom.

No one is safe from these anonymous criminals sitting behind their computers and using sophisticated technology that allows them to commit a range of Cyber related crimes including extortion, theft and fraud all via the web and undetectable until it’s too late.

According to the Australian Cyber Security Centre, led by the Australian Government, a cybercrime is now reported every seven minutes and costs the Australian economy up to $29 billion annually in direct costs alone! This is up 50% on the year prior, showing just how much Cybercrime is on the increase.

Businesses can no longer afford to be complacent about their Cyber safety, which is why many are seeing many adding Cyber to their overall insurance risk profile or increasing their existing Cyber insurance cover.

The average time it takes to resolve a Cyber breach can be anywhere between 23 days and never! That’s a minimum of 23 days that a business may be potentially frozen from conducting any operations, or worse, not being able to get access back to their business systems at all!

Of those businesses that are hit with a Cyber breach, more than half of them will have to close their doors permanently within six months as a direct result.

Business owners need to consider the damaging consequences of a Cyber-attack and whether they could actually cope with the ensuing potential revenue loss, lost customers, brand damage, critical data lost and more, all the while still having to paying staff and other bills.

What are some of the most common Cyber-attacks?

  1. If a Cyber-attack is a Malware breach, it can cause damage to an entire computer network via ‘worms’ viruses or trojans… leaving the computer and the whole network inoperable as the hacker controls the system remotely.
  2. If a Cyber-attack is a Ransomware breach, this is a type of malware that encrypts a victim’s files and sees the Cyber attacker demanding a ransom to restore access – usually in payment via untraceable Cryptocurrency.
  3. Phishing is one of the oldest types of cyberattacks and it’s still one of the most destructive. It tricks email recipients into believing that the message is something important and from a real provider like a bank or a notice to update Office 365 for example.
  4. Denial of service is a type of Cyber-attack is an attempt to make an online service unavailable by overwhelming it with traffic, by compromising systems to flood sites causing the website or server to slow down or crash.

Things you can do to protect yourself and be prepared for a Cyber-attack.

  1. Consider using extra security measures like multi-factor ID authentication for portable devices like laptops, iPhones and iPads.
  2. Conduct ‘safe web browsing’ – do not click on things that look legitimate. Always check the URL and whether it is from a trusted sender.
  3. Email security is vital – Do not use your personal email for work purposes, never open attachments on unfamiliar emails, do not click on any suspicious links within emails, and consider the email itself as to whether the links look strange or there are spelling/grammatical errors.
  4. Password protection – Avoid common passwords which include seasons, city names, pet names, and family names. Consider using full-sentence passphrases with numbers or symbols (i.e., WelcomeToSharePoint2018!)
  5. Lock up important business materials – Do not leave papers, computers, or other electronic devices visible in an empty car or house.
  6. Shred sensitive paper records before disposing of them – Cybercriminals have been known to go through people’s bins to find personal data and use it for Cybercrime.
  7. Cyber insurance – Talk to an Insurance Mentor Adviser about your Cyber risk profile and how you can be protected.

How Insurance Mentor can help

Prevention is the best vehicle for defense against cybercrime. Make sure you are up to speed with the latest online fraud techniques, so you don’t become a victim.

Your Insurance Mentor adviser will be able to help assess and outline the risks and vulnerabilities your organisation might face from a cybercrime perspective. Call us on: (07) 5688 0973 to find out how we can help,

The information provided in this article is of a general nature only and has been prepared without considering your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. If you require advice that is tailored to your specific business or individual circumstances, please contact Resilium directly.