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Monthly Archives

August 2020

Unfair Dismissal – Employment Practices Liability Insurance

By Business ownersNo Comments

As many business owners still struggle to see the value in a Management Liability policy, we wanted to share a recent Employment Practices Liability claim which should bring to light why this particular area of such a policy is important in this ever litigious society we live in.

Recently, a decision was made by the Federal Court to award an unfairly dismissed employee $614,000 in compensation. The Court found that their employer deemed them to be a “difficult employee” and subsequently terminated her for that reason.

An employee, who was described in an internal email as being a “difficult individual” and “poisonous to the team environment”, has recently been awarded $614,000 by the Federal Circuit Court of Australia.

The case, like others before it, highlights the significant – but commonly unseen – risk associated with taking an adverse action against an employee because they make a ‘complaint’.
The employee alleges that they had been selected for the redundancy because they had been identified as being a difficult individual.

The Court accepted that the employer was motivated by the desire to remove the employee from the workplace because of her previous complaints.

Employers exposed with complaint cases:

These cases show how easy it can be for an employer to be exposed to an adverse action claim. Employees who are seen as uncooperative, complaining or not fitting-in with the culture of an organisation can often find themselves on the receiving end of disciplinary action or termination. Their employers are often not even aware of the risk they are taking in moving against the ‘difficult employee’.

Seemingly there is a very broad interpretation to the meaning of “complaint” in the adverse action provisions of the Fair Work Act. This particular case demonstrates that an employer is likely to contravene the adverse action provisions of the Act if the employee’s history of complaining forms part of the reason for termination – even when an employer is acting for legitimate reasons, like a restructure.

Cases do not always start and end at the Fair Work Commission and this is where an Employment Practices Liability (EPL) or Management Liability (ML) Insurance can be such an important part to an Insurance program.

Other risks that come to mind under an EPL loss cover include; claims of Harassment, Bullying, Racial or Sexual Discrimination.

40% of FWC claims are for unfair dismissal.

Please contact us if you would like to understand more about the type of protection a Management Liability policy can provide or to discuss your current levels of cover.

Insurance Broker Ringwood Contract

Why Insurance Forms Matter – What’s the Point?

By Business ownersNo Comments

Forms are an essential part of our understanding on how your business is performing at a particular point in time.

Forms commonly known as Declarations or Proposals provide us with vital updated information that can include;

    • Changes to your core Business activities
    • Size of Business (sales turnover, number of employees, etc.)
    • Any incidents which potentially could give rise to a Claim that you have not told us about or simply has been to trivial or minor too mention. – We want it all!
    • Customer or Supplier Contracts you may have entered into that you have not advised us about previously for which can be onerous (eg;Hold Harmless clauses, Limitations of Liability) and lead to an uninsured risk Exposure
    • Use of Sub Contractors or Labour Hire where to an insurer, can alter a risk substantially as Injury claims not fully covered for these parties (eg;Workcover) are then matters that could effect your Liability policy and how that policy may respond

Invariably, if we are not provided with requested information well ahead of Insurance Expiry date, can make it more difficult to negotiate and achieve a competitive deal in the market on your behalf.

Most underwriters will not consider Broker quote requests within 14 days of expiry and some even 30 days.

Here is a guide on completing forms that are not always friendly to arrange online;

  • Subscribe to a reputable Document Reader program (eg; Adobe Acrobat Pro DC) which will allow you to Edit a form with typed “Answers”, making it much clearer to read
  • Digital Signature- having a digital signature can save time over printing a form, completing, scanning and then sending it to us
  • Ensure the form can be saved to your device before sending by Email
  • Carefully review the document you are about to send!
  • Where in cases of a “Claim” we do provide a Link to access an insurers Claim Form, always “Save as you go” or ensure that you take note of a Receipt or Claim number upon completion. This allows us to follow up on matters with insurers shortly after lodgement.

Cyber Crime affecting us all

By Business ownersNo Comments

Cyber criminals are exploiting the global focus on Covid-19 and the massive increase in working from home to infiltrate networks and extort money.

Covid-19 and cyber viruses has a cure, but with access to market powering Cyber Event Protection policies, Coverit are able to service the emerging and evolving threat landscape.

Physical distancing to avoid contracting Covid-19 is the equivalent to the “zero trust” attitude according to our friends at Emergence Underwriting Agency, who are a dedicated Cyber Insurance specialist.  For all intents and purposes all our clients should “Assume everyone is a threat”

Head of Emergence Underwriting Mr Jeff Gonlin remarks “Masks are like firewalls, neither are fully reliable in preventing bugs from spreading. Anti-virus software is like a vaccine but, just as old vaccines don’t work against Covid-19, anti-virus software is ineffective against novel cyber viruses.”

Whilst our pillars of broking support are always there to consider market Cyber Insurance products,  Emergence stands out as a reputable and reliable underwriting source, dedicated to this prevalent area of Risk with under 5% of Australia’s Businesses are the only ones realizing the value in Cyber Insurance protection being the backstop to what your IT providers cannot stop or accept as their fault if the proverbial….. “hits the fan”.

Average claims costs including Business Interruption now exceed $150,000 and with our finger firmly on the mouse button can arrange a policy with premiums for an SME business usually between $1,500-$5,000.

Cyber Insurance can include;

  • Preventive shutdown cover to enable you to take preventive measures before cyber events hit.
  • A preventive shutdown allowance to compensate for lost earnings and increased costs (Business Interruption) and provide independent security audits to assess threats.
  • System failure cover is added to contingent business interruption to protect against failure of your’ IT infrastructure or IT infrastructure managed by external contractors.
  • Expanded cyber extortion cover includes threats against data held in your systems or exfiltrated.
  • Privacy error protection to counter human errors that can cause unauthorised disclosure of personally identifiable information, including non-electronic data.
  • Identity-theft response costs to expand victim support from notification and monitoring to helping them re-establish their identities and records.
  • The ID theft cover compensates individuals, including employees, from direct financial losses from ID theft.

Please don’t hesitate to contact Damian Petruccelli to discuss this very important aspect of an Insurance program for business owners, or we would be prepared to engage with you and your IT Managed Services provider via an online meeting to discuss the risks at hand. 

Coffee & the Meetings apparent

By Leisure2 Comments

As many have adjusted their daily work routines in recent times one thing is almost certain, having a barista made coffee at your local café each morning is a routine and luxury we can’t live without.

Arguably that early morning occasion sets us up well for a hectic day ahead.

Whether you have a favourite place on your travels each day or, just like to spread the love and try the many cafes about town, Cafes are an important fabric to our society that knits our wellbeing and brings people closer together wherever we may go.

Insurance Fact check:-Lloyd’s of London was founded by Edward Lloyd at his coffee house on Tower Street in 1600’s. It was popular with sailors, merchants, and ship owners, and Lloyd catered to them with reliable shipping news and Risk information over the seas which was the genesis of Insurance and what it stands for today.  Pirates, Jettison, or ships just disappearing off the face of the earth way back when were the type of risks discussed.

Similar to Mr Lloyd, face to face meetings with our clients are a ways we much prefer to do business however, with social distancing becoming the new normal for a while yet, we have had to adjust our ways and adapt accordingly.

As we have had some really good experiences connecting with our clients via Zoom, Microsoft Teams and the like in recent times, wherever we can make our meetings more engaging and enjoyable, we invite you to connect with us online over a coffee and welcome you to also connect with us via our Facebook or Linkedin pages to receive important updates, news and information from us in future.

Please let us know the name of your favorite café as we would also like to support these businesses doing it rather tough during this time as well as forward you our complimentary Coverit Coffee mug for our next occasion.  

*We would also like to thank our friends at Fingers Crossed Ringwood for an amazing Pistachio, Raspberry Croissant they have waiting every Friday.

 Warm Regards, Damian

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