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.

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

Growth by Acquisition – how insurance brokers can help

In todays current Economic Climate many business’ are electing to increase their growth by way of acquisition.

Whilst this strategy remains sound there are many considerations that need to be undertaken prior to purchasing an existing business, particularly if that business is in the same industry and/or profession you’re currently trading in.

The main key to any successful acquisition is undertaking the appropriate ‘Due Diligence’ prior to any contracts being arranged. Initially, “Commercial in Confidence” Agreements are prudent to be agreed and executed as this provides protection to both the buyer and sellers.

It’s been stated on many previous occasions however if the ‘culture’ of both business’ aren’t similar that it can make the combining of the two entities difficult.

Whilst there are many dollar savings that are able to be achieved as a result of business “synergies” the largest is always the savings made from duplication of staffing. Any successful unification of business’ places a great deal of emphasis on the ‘coming together’ of multiple business’.

Some of the other cost savings that are able to be achieved are -: Lease & Rental duplication, Office Leases, Computer & IT Savings, Motor Vehicle duplication, Professional Fees etc.

As with all business acquisitions and purchases ensuring that the appropriate Sale Contract is in place is critical. It’s very important that matters relating to previous and ongoing taxation and other financial matters are succinctly dealt with so that neither of the parties is disadvantaged post settlement. The early involvement of Solicitors and Accountants, together with any other Business advisors such as Insurance Brokers, will assist in the smooth transition of combining entities.

Social Media Scams

Social media – there is no escaping it. Over time, it has become a way of life, from humble beginnings as a platform
for friends and family to keep in touch, social media is now a complex system that allows all to interact on a personal level from consumers and companies to groups and governments.

It is estimated that there will be around 2.77 billion social media users around the globe by 2019. With that many users it’s no surprise that social media is a hotbed for cyber criminals.

Here are five of the most common social media scams that you could possibly fall prey to.

1. Chain Letters
Just like the dreaded chain letter you used to receive in the mail, the chain letter has returned in the form of social sharing.
“Share this post and Bill Gates will donate $5 million to charity” or “Every like and $5 will be donated to charity”. These are typically ‘like farmers’ or a spammer looking for ‘friends’ to hit up later. Many well-meaning people continue to share their posts and pass these fake claims onto others. Break the chain and leave it.

2. Cash Grabs
Social media allow us to stay in touch with friends and family, but occasionally you may receive an email or direct message from a friend who ‘lost their wallet on holidays and needs some cash to get home’ – you drop everything to help as per their instructions, when in fact your friend never sent this request and is a bulk-email sent from their malware-infected computer. The easiest solution is to ring your friend directly, inform them of the request, then ensure your computer isn’t infected as well.

3. Hidden Charges
The quizzes that pop up on your feed asking “What type of friend are you?” or
“Personality tracker” – all your friends are taking the quiz, all you need to do is enter your information including your email and/or phone number. You may have unwittingly subscribed to a service that charges or spams you.

4. Phishing Requests
“Check out this video I found of you online” Click the link and check it out – you follow the link and your asked to login to your social media. Now the cyber criminal has your password and total control of your account. How did this happen? Both the email and landing page were fake. That link you clicked took you to a page that only looked like your intended social site. It’s called phishing, and you’ve just been had. To prevent this, make sure your Internet security includes antiphishing defenses. Many freeware programs don’t include this essential protection.

5. Hidden URLs
Shortened URLs, particularly on Twitter are common place, and while many times clicking on a shortened link will take you to the website you wish to go, it could be a link that installs all sorts of malware on your computer.
URL shorteners can be quite useful. Just be aware of their potential pitfalls and make sure you have real-time protection against spyware and viruses. Bottom line: Sites that attract a significant number of visitors are going to lure in a criminal element, too. If you take security precautions ahead of time, such as using antivirus and anti-spyware protection, you can defend yourself against these dangers and surf with confidence.

 

To respond to the increasing threat that social media scams can present to businesses and sensitive data, the insurance industry has created cyber insurance products. To find out more about cyber insurance and how it can help your business call Piranha Insurance Brokers.,

Reputations in the Financial Services Industry have been savaged!

The royal commission into Australia’s financial services sector continues to reveal how customers’ lives have been ruined by financial advice at the big banks, but those in the finance space are predicting the investigation will also change the game for smaller operators and independent financial advisers.

Recent hearings into the nation’s banking sector uncovered shocking tales of customers being charges by AMP for financial advice they never actually saw, and customers losing their family home after taking advice from Westpac.

The inquiry has also revealed cases where customers did not fully understand the financial services they were paying for, or weren’t informed about what they were paying for in the first place.
However, as the CEO of the National Insurance Brokers Association (NIBA), Mr Dallas Booth, highlighted in a recent address to members of the Council of Queensland Insurance Brokers, not all sectors of the Financial Services Industry are performing poorly.

The NIBA Board of Directors recently met with the Lead General Insurance Ombudsman, John Price. John Price provided the following data for insurance broking disputes as at the end of April 2018, which showed disputes against insurance brokers were well down compared to the same period in 2017. Only around 13% of disputes reach a formal determination by the Financial Ombudsman Service, and of those, around 75% are being decided in favour of the broker.

During the same period, the number of general insurance disputes continued to increase substantially. Disputes against general insurers increased from 11,500 to over 13,000 during the same period. General Insurance disputes were around 5,000 a few years ago. NIBA expects the Royal Commission will try to examine the causes of such large numbers of disputes involving general insurance companies in the September hearings.

Unfair contract laws to be extended to insurance

Many of you would be unaware that existing legislation dealing with unfair contracts, does not apply to insurance.

Given the generally held distrust of insurers who “use the small print” to escape from paying genuine claims, some people would say that is a position which shouldn’t continue…and the Government agrees.

Following an announcement that a proposals paper has been prepared to extend unfair contract provisions for consumers and SMEs to insurance policies, the relevant Minister, Kelly O’Dwyer, believes that better protection is long overdue.

She said “Consumers and small businesses who enter into standard form insurance contracts should have confidence that the contract accurately reflects the cover agreed with the insurer”. “They should also have appropriate remedies when they suffer detriment as a result of terms in the contract which are unfair.” The lobby group for the insurance companies… the Insurance Council of Australia…have stated that they have “serious concerns” about the proposal, but many people would argue that the same protections from unfair contracts which exist for other financial products and services, should apply to insurance.

“While the ICA will work carefully through the proposed model with members… on an initial reading, the Governments proposal has profound implications for insurance contracts, the scope of cover offered and the pricing of insurance,” the group CEO said. “If implemented, it would cause insurers to fundamentally review their contracts and reassess their pricing”.

While it’s true that the introduction of the law to other providers of financial services, caused a substantial review of their fundamental contractual terms, the recent Financial Services Royal commission has shone the light on some appalling actions by the Banks, and while previous reviews of the insurance industry has not found any compelling evidence that introduction of these laws into the industry would significantly benefit consumers and SMEs, in the increasing age of transparency, it is hard to argue against its extension to insurance.

Fire

Make sure you’re insured for fire this Winter

Winter has arrived and with it, an increased risk of house fire.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services have issued a warning and reminder to residents to re-check their heating devices and keep flammable items well clear of fires and/or electric heaters.

QFES Manager Community Safety Operations Gavin Holden said between 1 June 2017 and 31 August 2017, firefighters in the Northern Queensland region attended almost one house fire every three days.

TOP TIPS:

  • Check appliances (like electric blankets and heaters) for fraying or exposed cords or rust, or overheating.
  • Make sure flammable items are kept away from heaters and fireplaces
  • Turn off battery chargers when not in use
  • Install photoelectric smoke alarms and regularly check that they are working.
  • Check your insurance cover is paid and sums insured are accurate.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services department said the key triggers for house fires in winter were heaters, electric blankets and fireplaces and flues.

Common causes of fire include frayed cords or exposed wires on electrical appliances, clothing and other items being left on or too close to heaters, embers rolling or sitting from fireplaces, flues becoming blocked and causing heat to build up, and battery chargers overheating.

“It’s understandable that residents are looking for ways to stay warm during the cooler months, but it’s imperative it’s done safely,” Mr Holden said.

“There are a lot of simple steps residents can take to limit the chance of a house fire, including turning off electrical appliances when they’re not in use.”

QFES also recommends thinking about fire preparation including:

  • In a fire, get out immediately. You only have a few minutes before the fire and smoke becomes life threatening.
  • Prepare and draw your escape plan. Have two ways out of every room and pick a meeting place outside of the home.
  • Turn out the lights and practise your escape plan.

QFES also warned that outdoor heating equipment is designed specifically for use outside, in open, aired spaces and should never be brought inside to warm your home.

To get a home and contents insurance quote or to review your cover, call Piranha Insurance 4927 8400

 

What is a data breach?

Did you know you can face fines of $360,000, to $1.8 million for not reporting privacy breaches in your business?

 

On 22 February 2017 the Australian Senate passed the Privacy Amendment (Notifiable Data Breaches) Act 2017, requiring that data breaches, specifically the unauthorised access or disclosure of personal information about one or more individuals, are reported to the Privacy Commissioner, other relevant regulators (such as APRA) and affected individuals within 30days.

 

We consulted our cyber insurance experts “Emergence Insurance Australia” for an update on who is impacted by the new law and what it means to you.

 

What is a data breach?

Emergence Insurance Australia says data breaches occur where there is:

  • unauthorised access to, or unauthorised disclosure of, personal information about one or more individuals (affected individuals), or
  • where personal information of affected individuals is lost in circumstances that may give rise to unauthorised access or unauthorised disclosure.

Data breaches may be caused by malicious intentional actions, such as a serious cyber security incident, accidental loss, loss from negligence or loss from improper disclosure.

 

“The mandatory reporting provisions apply where a reasonable person would conclude that there is a likely risk of serious harm to any affected individual as a result of the data breach,” Emergence Insurance says.

 

Is my business covered under the new reporting legislation?

Under the act, State government organisations, local councils and organisations with an annual turnover of less than $3 million are exempt from the Privacy Act. However, mandatory reporting applies to:

  • Australian government agencies
  • businesses and not-for-profit organisations with an annual turnover of more than $3 million
  • private sector health services providers (including alternative medicine practices, gyms and weight loss clinics, which fall under this category)
  • child care centres, private schools and private tertiary education institutions
  • businesses that sell or purchase personal information along with credit reporting bodies
  • some smaller organisations, such as those that handle health data, and
  • individuals who handle personal information for a living, including those who handle credit reporting information, tax file numbers and health records.

In summary

If your business requires customers to provide personal data including tax file numbers, personal health or government indentification (CRN numbers), it is highly likely that you will be required under the act to report any misuses or breaches of your computer security.

Reporting means notifying your customers and the Privacy Commissioner and other relevant authorities.

For more information and how to report a breach go to

https://www.oaic.gov.au/privacy-law/privacy-act/notifiable-data-breaches-scheme#how-to-notify

 

To make sure you are covered for cyber attacks on your business contact the Piranha team today.

Travel smart and travel safe

Passport – check. Clothes – check. Medications – check. Smartphone – check. You’ve got all of the above, but what about travel insurance?

Travelling overseas can be a fantastic adventure – but you shouldn’t do it without first having a travel insurance policy in place.

Not all travel policies are the same with many policy limitations that sometimes aren’t as obvious until it’s too late. It’s vitally important to ensure that you’re purchasing a policy that is adequate for where you are going together with coverage for activities that will be undertaken.

Many activities are not included in the “standard” policies for example heli-skiing or caving or certain underwater activities may be excluded or have policy

limitations imposed. Be careful to ensure that any activities you intend to undertake are covered prior to your departure.

Further, you should also make a point of looking up the Government’s smart traveller website to check the “safety status” of the country you intend visiting. This official site classifies countries according to travel safety and, of course, in many parts of the world this is volatile and subject to constant change.
The highest warning the Government issues is its “Do Not Travel”, which advises against travel to certain destinations. Some current “Do Not Travel” warnings include Syria,
Afghanistan, Iraq, South Sudan and Yemen. Be aware that if you travel to countries against advice, your travel insurance will most likely be voided. A number of countries are on a “Reconsider your need to Travel” list. While your travel insurance will usually provide coverage in this case violence, political unrest and terrorist activities can escalate quickly, and may force the Australian Government to upgrade its warning to “Do not Travel”.

To ensure that you have the appropriate travel insurance its prudent to discuss your requirements with us, so we can tailor a policy accordingly and arrange well prior to your departure date.