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Cyber Risk – the Numbers

By CyberNo Comments

Cyber risk is the fastest growing exposure to small businesses in Australia. Cyber-crime now costs Australia around $1 billion per year1. Cyber criminals and hackers are increasingly targeting Australian SME businesses of all kinds, as they lack the security sophistication of large corporations and therefore are a more attractive target.

  • 25% of Australian businesses were hit by cybercrime in 2017, up from 20% in 2016. The worst impact was ranked as ‘downtime’ by 39% of businesses, and ‘time and expense spent on recovery’ by 27%2.
  • 60% of SMEs who suffered a significant cyber-attack in 2017 closed within 6 months3.
  • Ransomware activity increased by 2500% between 2016-20183. Ransomware is malicious software designed to enter a computer system when you accept a file or click an email link. It then irreversibly encrypts all files in the system, unless a ransom is paid by a deadline – usually in untraceable Bitcoin.
  • Under the Privacy Act, companies can now be fined up to $2.1m, and individuals up to $420,000, for “serious or repeated interference with privacy” following a data breach4.
  • Information Commissioner data breach notifications have increased by 612% since the Notifiable Data Breach scheme was introduced in 2018. 68% of breaches involved cyber incidents such as phishing, malware or ransomware attacks, and compromised or stolen credentials5.
  • Employee error is responsible for 33% of all data breaches.

Your Business is in Danger

Your files and records are the lifeblood of your business. If your business uses computer systems or email, it is vulnerable to cyber-attack – regardless of whether you have a website. Cyber events are incredibly costly and can leave you with the costs of ransoms to unlock your data, or IT forensic costs to repair your systems and restore data. If you hold private information on employees, customers, suppliers or other parties, you could also be liable for the costs of reporting a data breach, informing your customers, and paying damages to your customers or clients, as well as fines for breach of the Privacy Act.

A cyber-attack or data breach may cost your business more than just money. It could threaten your intellectual property, put your customers’ personal information at risk and cause crippling damage to your company’s reputation.

Cyber Insurance Protects You

Cyber insurance protects your business from financial loss due to hacking, malicious viruses, ransomware, human error and data theft. This may include the costs of:

  • Recovering or replacing your records or data
  • Lost revenue due to business interruption
  • Hiring specialist negotiators and paying ransoms to save your data
  • Crisis management and public relations consultants to manage your response to the incident and protect your company brand
  • Reporting data breaches to the Information Commissioner and affected individuals
  • Regulatory fines and costs of complying with an investigation
  • Defending legal claims by third parties whose information has been exposed
  • Liability for loss of third party data

What does Cyber insurance cost?

Premiums start from as little as $600 inc GST for $1m basic cover for a small business. Premiums depend on the size of your business, industry, and other factors.

Your account manager can confirm a Cyber insurance quote for you in as little as a few hours, with minimal additional information needed from you. A number of insurers now offer Cyber cover, and we will recommend the best policy for you, and explain exclusions, limits and excesses that apply. Please contact us today to request a quote.


1Commonwealth Government – Stay Smart Online, 2018

22017 Norton SME cyber security survey

3Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, 2017

4Organisations regulated under the Privacy Act 1988 are required to notify affected individuals and the Information Commissioner, if a data breach is likely to result in serious harm to individuals whose personal information is exposed.

5Notifiable Data Breaches Quarterly Statistics Report, 31 Dec 2018



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

Covid 19 Support Guide

By Covid 19No Comments

Here are some suggestions you can consider as far as making changes to your covers to reduce expenses.

  • Increasing the standard policy excess. Consider $250 to $500 or $500 to $1,000, or maybe higher
  • We do not recommend that you reduce sums insured on key policy sections, particularly Fire and Business Interruption. These classes of cover are subject to under insurance/co-insurance clauses, which could cost you dearly in the event of a loss
  • Do not remove statute covers such as; Public Liability, Professional Indemnity or Workers Compensation
  • Consider premium funding on renewal – to further assist with cash flow
  • Consider dropping some covers you may have which, whilst important and convenient, in the event of a loss, will not largely impact your business in the long term.

For example,

  • Glass replacement-  if you have a lease Agreement, potentially your Insurance premium have doubled in this regard
  • Money – this typically covers cash; how many still deal in cash?
  • Machinery/Electronic breakdown – this can be an expensive cover. It may be cheaper to have a good maintenance agreement to avoid breakdown

It is said that ‘desperate times call for desperate measures’, and this can be the case when the economy goes into a downturn. When unemployment rises, insurers typically see an increase in crime related claims.

As a result, we recommend you also consider:

      • Premises security – alarms and locks. Is the level of you burglary cover adequate?
      • Cyber security – who has access to computer systems?
      • Employee fraud – it might be time to double check the systems you have in place in these uncertain times.


If there is anything we can do to help you during this uncertain period, please reach out either via email at or call us on 03 9847 0863.