COVID-19 KEEPING YOU COVERED – Remote working environment now in effect

If you have been keeping across our updates, you will note that we have been maintaining a close eye on the developments around the Covid-19 pandemic.

The safety and wellbeing of our people, our valued clients and the broader community is our absolute priority and we are taking this responsibility very seriously.

To support our community and government efforts to contain the virus our leadership team have made the decision for our office to go to a remote working environment, this will take effect 26/03/2020.

We would like to reassure you that we envision very little disruption in our service capability as we move to a work from home model.

Our email addresses & mobile numbers are noted below, please feel free to contact us at any time. If by chance you reach a team members voicemail, please leave a message including your return number and you will receive a call back in a timely manner. Alternatively, please send an email.

Don’t forget we can also look to arrange ‘’virtual meetings’’ if feasible.

Just a reminder, if you find yourself in financial stress with insurance premiums due, or ongoing monthly payments untenable as result of the current situation, please contact us to discuss and we will work together to try and find a solution.

Nadine O’Hanlon
Business Manager
0436 413 331 or nadine@piranhainsurance.com.au

Elise Safstrom
Account Executive
0408 865 163 or elise@piranhainsurance.com.au

Astrid West
Account Executive
0419 656 682 or astrid@piranhainsurance.com.au

Ross Hudson
Senior Insurance Broker
0417 700 074 or ross@piranhainsurance.com.au

Tracey Cook
Senior Insurance Broker
0448 836 944 or tracey@piranhainsurance.com.au

Nathan Peirano
Real Deal Insurance Broker
Senior Account Executive
0418 457 745 or nathan@piranhainsurance.com.au

 

Thank you for all your on going support, I look forward to continuing to work with you within our new environment.

Kind Regards,

Heather Peirano
Principal
0418 794 466

management liabilty

PROTECTING YOUR BUSINESS – CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATE

Important information for business clients

Like many businesses, I am sure you are concerned about the impact the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and related emergency measures will have on your business.

At Piranha Insurance Brokers we are closely monitoring the situation as it evolves. We understand that the cancellation of events, self-isolation requirements and restrictions on travel will have an immediate and prolonged impact on many of our businesses and clients.

Here’s what we are doing in response;

  1. We are continuing to work with our clients to respond in a timely manner to answer queries, claims and insurance cover requests.
  2. On March 11, the Insurance Council of Australia declared the situation an insurance catastrophe which means claims arising from COVID-19 will be processed with urgency.
  3. We will endeavour to provide you with insurance updates in a timely manner and urge you to contact us via email or phone if you have any questions.

Like many organisations, we are following government directives closely, limiting travel and client contact. Our staff have remote access and, in the event of an office closure, we will be able to continue business as usual.

We urge you to take similar precautions in your business and suggest you refer to the following government sources of information for updates and advice;

The Insurance Council of Australia has also recently provided some important information and updates for business cover clients that we would like to share with you;

Will business interruption insurance cover business costs resulting from Coronavirus?

Most BI policies typically cover disruption to a business as a result of physical damage to assets that the business relies upon.

Some BI policies respond to the closure of a business by an authority for a number of risks, including infectious disease, for example Legionnaires. In 2005/6 the global insurance industry began to introduce general exclusions for losses relating to quarantinable diseases.

Whilst some specific policies may differ, in Australia the majority of business policies are likely to contain exclusions relating to losses caused by any disease notifiable under the Quarantine Act or in some cases the Biosecurity Act.

A small number of businesses may have specialist cover, specifically written for them. Cover may be taken for disruptions to critical supplies from overseas, or a sudden drop-off in trade due to specific border closures. If you do not understand how your policy may respond to COVID-19 triggered losses, speak to your broker or your insurer for more information.

Will business travel insurance cover cancelled travel plans?

 

Where the government issues a ‘do not travel’ advice as a result of a pandemic, travel insurance may cover a traveller for trip cancellation costs, depending on when the policy was purchased and what general exclusions the policy contains relating to claims for pandemic or epidemic.

If an Australian who is already travelling falls ill as a result of a pandemic, their travel insurance may cover medical treatment overseas and a medical evacuation to Australia if covered by their policy. Many travel insurance policies do explicitly exclude any claims related to pandemics. Once a traveller returns to Australia, or if symptoms only present on home soil, the traveller is covered by Medicare.

Travel insurance policies purchased after COVID-19 became a known event are unlikely to cover travellers who are overseas or who are yet to travel for coronavirus-related expenses.

For more information about travel insurance please CLICK HERE

Please start following us on LinkedIn and Facebook as we continue to monitor and update our communication as the situation evolves and changes.

All correspondence will continue to be sent via email, published on our website and updated on our social media.

For further advice please contact your broker directly or call our office on 07 4927 8400.

IMPORTANT UPDATE – Your Travel Insurance & COVID 19

ARE YOU COVERED?
COVID-19 TRAVEL INSURANCE UPDATE

An important update for travel clients

The effects of the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) (Coronavirus) are escalating worldwide and the World Health Organisation (WHO) has recently declared the Coronavirus a pandemic. Many governments, including the Australian Government, have now introduced strict travel restrictions and travel advice.

We have had a number of queries regarding travel insurance cover following the outbreak of the virus.

There are several types of travel insurance policies in the Australian market and, like many classes of insurance, they vary considerably.

Does travel insurance cover Coronavirus?

Most travel insurance policies have exclusions for outbreaks of infectious diseases, pandemics, epidemics and/or known events that could lead to a claim.

Many policies will also have restrictions that can be triggered when the government enacts a ‘Do not travel’ warning for certain locations. Each travel insurer’s product is different.

Policies purchased prior to coronavirus (COVID-19) becoming a known event may cover travellers who are overseas for coronavirus-related expenses. This will depend on the travel insurance product purchased. Travel insurance policies purchased after COVID-19 became a known event are unlikely to cover travellers who are overseas or who are yet to travel for coronavirus-related expenses.

Coronavirus became a known event for most travel insurers between January 20-31, 2020. Insurers who have adopted known event status for COVID-19 have advice for policyholders on their websites.

Travellers whose plans have been disrupted should contact their travel agent, airline or accommodation provider to seek refunds or make alternative arrangements.

Clients who are still planning to travel are urged to contact IAGB so we can liaise with your Travel Insurer before travelling, or you may voluntarily assume the risk associated with contracting COVID-19.

The global situation continues to change regularly, DFAT and WHO continue to update their travel warnings for affected countries and specific regions within countries. Given the recent escalation, we encourage you to visit official sources for further information on COVID-19 and Advice Levels including;

•    Smart Traveller: https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/news-and-updates/novel-coronavirus-outbreak
•    World Health Organisation (WHO): https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

Please start following us on LinkedIn and Facebook as we continue to monitor and update our communication as the situation evolves and changes.

All correspondence will continue to be sent via email, published on our website and updated on our social media.

For further advice please contact your broker directly or call our office on 07 4927 8400.

holiday warning

Intruder Proof It

We all love a surprise at Christmas time and the excitement of imagining what’s under the tree. What we don’t want is the surprise and upset of storms and other nasty happenings at this time of year. There are a few simple things you can do to limit the potential of a spoiled Christmas at your place. Having the correct cover and insurance for the right price is a crucial element to your financial well-being.

 

Whether you own or rent your home (or multiple homes), you will want insurance to protect you against accidental damage, potential losses such as fire, theft or flood.

 

If you own a home, you may need additional coverage to compensate for increased replacement costs since you purchased. We always advise to take into consideration CPI (Consumer Price Index).

 

If you have renovated your home this should be a consideration in your sum insured.

 

A few ways to cut your homeowners or landlord insurance costs and reduce risks is to:

 

Intruder proof it

Remove all those burglar-friendly aids lying about around your yard and garden – a chair gives them a leg up, the ladder easy access to your highest windows. Put away those tools – the edge of a spade makes an effective jimmy.

Intruder protection basics like installing deadlocks and window locks on all external doors and windows were done at your place years ago, right? How about these tried and tested burglar deterrents:

  • Installation of motion sensor lighting – very cost effective.
  • Installation of a monitored alarm system – even better.
  • Consider the installation of a closed-circuit TV camera –gives a good chance of catching the perpetrators and getting your stuff back if you do get burgled, as does…
  • Security marking of valuables… and pho­tographs of them kept in a secure place.
  • Up-to-date valuations of valuables to determine insurance cover required.

 

Storm proof it

Christmas in our part of the world means the risk of damage delivered by storms is at its peak. Preparation is everything. Clean out the gutters, trim back your trees and ask your neighbour to do the same. Put away those potential flying object items sitting in your yard, on your deck or veranda.

Finally, if all your precautions come to nothing and you are hit by weather events or visits from unsavoury individuals, at least your home and contents insurance will put things right financially. If you’re not sure you have enough cover, contact your insurance broker account manager without delay.

be prepared for storms.

Cyclone and storm season has started – are you prepared?

Summer months bring hot weather and an increase in storm activity in Central Queensland, and while  severe thunderstorms are very localised events, not usually affecting wide areas as tropical cyclones and floods do, so their devastating impact is often underestimated.

Thunderstorms can occur anywhere and do so more frequently than any other major natural hazard. Each year severe thunderstorms are responsible, on average, for more damage (as measured by insurance costs) than tropical cyclones, earthquakes, bushfires and floods.

However, while insurance is always going to be your best risk management strategy for severe weather events,  a little bit of preparation can also go a long way to reducing the amount of damage to your property and business.

Below you’ll find some tips from Vero for staying storm prepared.

Preparing for storm season

Weather events can happen at any time of the year, but most natural catastrophes occur between October and April.

We encourage you to follow the tips below to keep your home, car, business and loved ones safe.

  • Keep valuables, medications, important documents and spare clothing in plastic bags with your emergency kit
  • Remove fire hazards from the property and secure outdoor furniture and loose items
  • Rake bark, leaves, twigs and trim trees and overhanging branches
  • Remove all debris from around your property
  • Ensure your roof and windows are in good condition
  • Make sure to back up all business computer files
  • Use a camera to document the condition of your business and stock. This will help you make a claim in the event of a loss. Update these records at least once a year
  • Use a safe-deposit box or a safe to store your insurance policies and photographic documentation
  • Check the condition of the roof and repair loose tiles, eaves and roof screws
  • Clean gutters and downpipes so water can drain quickly
  • Identify how to turn off mains for water, power and gas
  • Store all poisons above ground in case of flash flooding
  • Make sure your property has clear access for emergency services
  • Keep your vehicle well-maintained including wipers, lights and spare tyre
  • Keep your vehicle’s fuel tank full if there is a weather warning current to your district
  • Be aware of the process if you need to make a claim

Making a claim after a natural disaster

Contact your broker to lodge your claim.

Information you may be asked for

  • Policy number
  •  Full name and contact details (as per policy)
  • ABN if you are registered for GST
  • BSB and Account details to enable fast settlement of your claim (where applicable)
  • Detailed description of the loss or damage
  •  Location of the loss or damage

Tell us anything else that may assist us in helping you

Specific to motor claims:

  • Make, model and registration of the vehicle
  • Driver’s name and date of birth

Event claim process

1. Lodge

  •  Lodge claim with your broker
  • Your broker will advise initial steps and requirements
  • Confirm damage
  • Arrange make-safe repairs
  • Issue emergency payment
  • Arrange temporary accommodation if needed

2. Assess

  • Make an assessment (if needed)
  • Get quotes for repair/replacement

3. End

  • Repairs or replacement complete
  • Cash settlements issued
  • Claim closed

Tips to progress the claim

  • Contact your broker who will be able to assist you and advise what information we may require
  • Read your PDS so you are familiar with your policy. Are you covered for fire, storm damage or for loss of business income resulting from these events?
  • Provide proof of ownership or loss documents as soon as possible (photos, owner’s manual and item packaging or bank statements)
  • Where possible, provide photos of the damage
  • If you’re providing a builders report or quote, make sure it specifies the cause of damage
  • Remove wet contents from inside and keep the premises ventilated to avoid mould
  • List items you’ve thrown away with clear descriptions and supporting photos. Include the brand, make and model number of electrical items
  • Remove all damaged carpet and take photographs of damage in each room. Keep a metre squared sample or photograph the back where the make and brand is stamped so we can attempt to replace with similar carpet
  • Dispose of contaminated food as soon as possible keeping a list and/or photos of what perished
  • Keep receipts for emergency repairs (car lights, wiper blades, glass windows

 

Related articles from the team at IAGB

Cyclone Season is here; are you prepared? 

Tropical Cyclone Debbie Update

Piranha Chambers open for business – Professional office spaces for rent or hire

Piranha Insurance has opened up its premises to provide casual and permanent office space for small businesses in Rockhampton.

The new, high-quality co-working business space is located at the rear of the Piranha Insurance offices and can be hired casually or on a permanent basis.

Piranha Chambers also includes boardroom and conference facilities and is centrally located at 168A Denison St, Rockhampton, Qld 4700.

The complex has 24-hour access, 7 days a week, off-street parking and flexible, competitive rates.

For more information email sales@piranhainsurance.com.au, phone 49278400 or  DOWNLOAD OUR BROCHURE

All you need to know about Premium Funding

What is Premium Funding

Almost all of the major insurance companies offer their retail clients monthly payment options. Whether it’s your car or your home, or even your life insurance, paying by the month is easy. But when it comes to business and commercial insurance, you will find that most insurance companies do not have a monthly option.

Premium Funding

There is still a way to pay monthly however, and it is commonly known as premium funding, or premium financing.

Premium funding enables you to pay for virtually any insurance policy monthly, even if the insurance company does not offer a monthly option.

Essentially the premium funding company pays the full premium on your behalf, and you then repay the funding company with monthly payments over the course of the year.

Some of the main benefits of premium funding are as follows:

  • Spread your insurance costs over a longer period
  • Pay for multiple insurance policies with one monthly payment
  • Smooth out your monthly business cashflow
  • Obtain a tax deduction on interest paid for business policies

How Does It Work?

We, your insurance broker, will put your policy in place as normal, but instead of giving the invoice to you to pay, they will setup a contract with a premium funding company (‘the funder’).

The funder will then pay the full premium to the insurance company, and it will be your responsibility to repay the funder over a period of up to twelve months.

Ultimately this is a form of financing, hence why the product is sometimes referred to premium financing.

As with all types of financing there will be an interest rate which applies to the contract. The interest rate is almost always a fixed rate and will be confirmed at the time of taking out the policy.

The most common term for a premium funding contract is ten months. This means that you must repay the funded amount within ten months.

It is also possible to repay the amount over twelve months, which is great from a cashflow perspective however the fees and charges can be higher in some cases when compared to a ten month contract.

How Are Monthly Payments Calculated?

Although the specific method can differ from one premium funding company to the next, the basic method is generally quite consistent.

Interest applied to a premium funding contract is generally calculated as ‘simple interest’ which means that it does not compound. This makes the repayment calculation very straightforward.

Important Factors to Consider

The most important factor to keep in mind is that paying your insurance monthly via premium funding will be more expensive than paying the full amount upfront. It’s also important to know that if you cancel your insurance, your monthly repayments will not necessarily stop immediately.

What will happen is that the funder will receive any refund from your insurance company after the cancellation, and will then calculate whether or not any money is still outstanding.

There are a few factors which will impact upon how much is still owing, but generally speaking you could expect to pay at least one more monthly payment after cancelling your insurance.

When you enter into a premium funding arrangement, you are entering into a formal contract.

You won’t always be required to sign a copy of the contract, but the contract is certainly enforceable if you choose to stop making repayments for any reason.

Should I Use Premium Funding?

If you prefer the idea of spreading your insurance costs over the year rather than paying upfront, premium funding could be a great option for your business.

Even if you do have enough cash set aside for your insurance, by utilising premium funding you may be able to invest that money to make improvements in other areas of your business.

For any business which has cashflow concerns, especially small businesses, premium funding can be a great way to smooth out your costs and improve your cash flow.

Insurance issues arising in the gig economy

What is the gig economy?

‘Gig’ is a slang term referring to a ‘job for a specified period of time’ and harks back to when musicians were engaged for a performance or a ‘gig’. The gig economy refers to the growing trend towards freelance or contract workers, as well as the share economy of resources such as property and equipment. In the US, almost 30 per cent of the workforce now participate in the gig economy. That is expected to grow to 50 per cent by 2027.

Some highly recognisable examples of the gig economy at work are:

  • Uber and Lyft – ride sharing
  • Airbnb – accommodation sharing
  • Airtasker – task sharing
  • Dozr – construction equipment sharing

The gig economy is clearly the way of the future. This poses both challenges and opportunities in the corporate and insurance worlds in terms of how best to classify, assign and transfer risk in these ‘non traditional’ employment and commercial relationships.

What are some of the risks emerging from the gig economy?

The risks that have already emerged with some prevalence from the gig economy include:

1. Who insures the workers?

It remains unclear who insures gig workers in various scenarios. For instance, if an Uber driver is involved in an accident, who insures that driver for compensation and damages arising from any personal injuries sustained? There have been different judicial approaches to this issue in various jurisdictions and situations. This gives rise to great uncertainty for both the drivers and the corporation.

In another example, who insures an Airtasker worker who suffers injury when attending a domestic home to perform a contracted task? Airtasker eschews responsibility. The homeowner’s public liability cover (an extension to home and contents insurance) excludes claims by workers. The homeowner may have direct liability to the Airtasker worker, unless another insurance solution can be found.

2. Who insures the work performed?

A similar issue arises for consideration about who insures for the negligence of gig workers. If you are engaging with a freelancer who does not hold appropriate insurance cover, you may not have recourse against an insurer (and its deep pockets) in the event the gig worker causes loss and damage.

3. Who insures the property?

A standard insurance policy wording may not cover property that is ‘hired out’ via a platform such as Airbnb or Dozr.

Again, the platforms Airbnb and Dozr see their purpose as ‘connecting supply with demand’ and exclude liability. This creates a few issues for the property owner namely:

  • Are they covered if the hirer causes damage to their property?
  • Are they covered if the hirer suffers property damage, personal injury, loss or other damage arising from the hire of the property?

How can insurance help?

In some instances, the new and emerging risks arising from the gig economy can be assigned through properly drafted contracts and agreements that clearly spell out where the liability (and the obligation to insure) falls.

However, some of the risks identified above will not be covered by standard or traditional insurance policies.

New products providing coverage directed at the gig economy are constantly being developed. This may otherwise be achieved by amending or endorsing existing policies. However, insurance arrangements should be carefully reviewed to ensure that you are covered for risks arising from the gig economy.

What should you do to protect yourself?

The gig economy offers much in the way of flexibility and free market engagement – but review your insurance to make sure you are covered in the event something goes wrong.

If you are a member of the gig economy, or you engage with members of the gig economy, talk to your broker about your insurance needs.

40 Years | Commitment equals success for Piranha Insurance

On November 30, the Piranha Insurance family officially celebrated 40 years at a special Christmas function hosted at Korte’s Resort at Parkhurst, North Rockhampton. Peter and Heather were surrounded by family, friends and employees.

As Peter Peirano reflected on forty years in business, he admitted the feeling to be bittersweet.

In an ever-changing world, Mr Peirano and his wife, Heather have been committed to their clientele which has proven to be a major factor in the business’ success.

“It’s a huge milestone for any business to survive…purely we’re doing something right,” Mr Peirano said.

And as loyalty runs deep within the culture of Piranha Insurance, it has earnt them the respect of their clients.

“I’ve always told our staff look after the client and the money will come…you’ve got to look after your customers,” Mr Peirano said.

“We’re very much face-to-face, they can have a cup of coffee…we need to get to the bottom of their insurance problem.”

And despite opportunities which have arisen to expand the outreach of the organisation, Mr Peirano said he remains committed to helping Central Queenslanders.

“We’ve always resisted going outside of Rockhampton, we just believe in this area,” Mr Peirano said.

And after four decades in the industry, Peter’s love of people has remained the same.

Looking back to the beginning of his business journey, Mr Peirano said a chance meeting with an industry professional helped him establish a career.

Mr Peirano owned a slot car track, and one day he had been ten pin bowling when a man by the name Revel Henry from the Colonial Mutual Life Insurance had found him to be an effective communicator.

“I did an apprenticeship with Colonial Mutual Life Insurance and then I eventually moved to Mercantile Mutual Life Insurance and I virtually stayed with them through a number of life changes,” Mr Peirano said.

Mr Peirano stayed with Mercantile Mutual Life Insurance for 39 years.

With many years of experience behind him, Mr Peirano purchased the current Piranha Insurance premises at 168 Denison St in Rockhampton 29 years ago.

Peter and Heather have since created a warm working environment for his staff which has helped their organisation prosper over the decades.

“They’re all my family, I’ve watched them grow up,” Mr Peirano said. “It’s tremendous to see young kids grow into great young adults.”

Born in March 1953, Mr Peirano hailed from Duaringa where his father had owned the local butcher shop from 1952 – 1979.

While the Piranha Insurance owner said the thought of his business’ milestone brought him joy, he felt sad to think he no longer worked from the office to do what he does best – communicating with people.

The business is now in the capable hands of principal Broker, Heather Peirano, Senior Brokers, Ross Hudson, Nathan Peirano and Tracey Cook and our efficient support crew Lorraine Tree, Astrid West, Morgan Matthews, Elise Safstrom, Hannah Balgowan and Lara Thackeray.

For all of your insurance needs, visit the team at Piranha Insurance today at 168 Denison Street, Rockhampton or phone 07 4927 8400 for any enquiries.

Break in

Holiday break or break-in?

Christmas holidays are almost here, and many of us will take this opportunity to have an extended holiday to celebrate with friends and family.

But before you go, we urge you to do a quick review of your security and do some “risk management” for your private and business assets.

You might be travelling near or far to celebrate Christmas, but regardless of distance, it is extremely important to maintain the image of an occupied home or office to the outside world.

Many signs can show unwanted guests that your property is unattended. Below is a list of evidence that can make you a target for a break-in.

  • A build-up of mail
  • Little to no lighting surrounding the premises
  • No signs of activity
  • Lack of lawn & garden maintenance
  • Signage & social media posts displaying business/office closures

 

Before leaving, try to arrange:

  • Someone to collect or redirect your mail
  • Someone to be on call to check security devices are operational
  • Someone to maintain gardens and lawn
  • Have an extra security patrol check of premises

 

Christmas is a time to be stress-free and take a break from the rat race; nobody wants to return from a well-deserved break to find their premises has been vandalised and/or broken into.

It might take you an extra 10mins or a half an hour to organise but making an effort to maintain appearances can save you time and money.

Don’t forget that you should also notify your insurer if you intend to leave your property vacant for any period of time

For more information about when you should notify your insurer about extended periods of vacancy, read this article from our parent company IAGB. CLICK HERE

Let’s make this a holiday break, and not a break-in!

And remember, if you are worried your business is a target, insurance is the best risk management strategy you can have. Call our friendly team today and we can review your insurance needs to give you peace of mind.

Then if the worst should happen, the team at Piranha Insurance will be here to get you back on your feet.