• What’s the Value in General Insurance Comparison Websites?

    Posted on 18 July, 2017

    There is a proliferation of Insurance Comparison websites available online. To the average consumer, they appear to be a good source of information to select insurance cover – but beware!

    beware of dodgy comparison websites

    Mostly these Comparators only compare a fraction of the market and some sites are actually owned by the insurance companies they’re supposedly comparing which creates an obvious conflict of interest.

    Australia’s leading consumer advocacy group, CHOICE has recently published an article, “Comparing the Comparers”. Author Jodi Bird states “Compare the Market is owned by Budget Holdings Limited (BHL). BHL, in turn, owns insurance Auto and General, the parent company of brand names like car insurer Budget Direct. Seven out of the 10 car insurers listed on the site are owned by Auto and General so it’s no surprise that in a mystery shop of car insurance quotes, five out of the seven brands were Auto and General Insurance brands.”

    Most large insurers are reluctant to participate in online Comparator sites because they focus on price and not coverage or security through claims paying capacity. So Comparator websites can give smaller competitors a foot in the door to the market through large commissions paid to the comparator owners.

    Donnellys has access to an extensive policy comparison online tool which compares up to 200 policy features, conditions and exclusions and includes a great majority of the market players. We can provide this report obligation-free to people wanting comprehensive information about the products available from the whole range of insurers or if they want a second opinion about their existing cover’s quality.

    We also provide an easy to follow a report on our website: http://www.donnellys.com.au/documents/ so you can see for yourself how the likes of Budget Direct’s policies compare with others available and what coverage you might be missing out on insuring with them.

    But comparing individual policies is sometimes like comparing an apple and an orange and also you don’t know if the apple is rotten inside until it is too late!

    The most important factor to consider when buying a policy is Claims. Only a licensed insurance broker can legally provide claims assistance to their clients as their agent. A broker can represent clients in negotiations with an insurer over fine print technicalities to achieve a prompt and fair settlement.

    Check Donnellys’ online testimonials about what many clients have appreciated about our claims service for them.

  • Does Your Cyber Insurance Cover Events Like the WannaCrypt Ransomware Attack?

    Posted on 30 May, 2017

    In the wake of the global WannaCrypt Ransomware attack, businesses are scrambling to assess their vulnerability to cyber threats and to make sure staff are aware of the risks posed by suspicious emails.

    The virus that crippled businesses from across the globe from mid-to-late May locked up more than 200,000 computers in more than 150 countries.

    Purchase cyber insurance from donnellys

    *Countries affected by WannaCrypt Ransomware

    Companies in Australia, Europe and Asia were particularly vulnerable to the cyber attack, and it’s estimated the recuperation costs could be in the billions of dollars.

    While a number of large, international companies fell victim to the ransomware, the biggest at-risk group was small-to-medium businesses with out-dated equipment.

    global cyber attack sparks debate over cyber insurance policies

    *A screen shot of the message received once a network had been infected

    It’s since been revealed that this particular virus was created using leaked NSA data. Thankfully, a 22-year-old researcher from the UK was able to strike down the first spread of attacks with one simple trick.

    One of the web domains used by the hackers wasn’t registered, so by simply paying a $10.69 registration fee for the site, he was able to take control of the domain and track how the ransomware was spreading.

    However, this malware or similar malware could still pop up, so it’s essential you take all of the necessary steps to protect your business.

    How Can You Tell If Your Business is at Risk of an Attack?

    1. Is your Microsoft Windows fully up to date, with all the recent patches loaded and installed?
    2. Is your anti-virus and anti-malware software operating properly and fully up to date?
    3. Do you have sufficient Cyber Insurance to respond if something does get through and affect your computer? This is particularly important, as you’ll need help unravelling the impact of the virus, and you may also need help if your business is closed while this happens.
    4. Ensure everything is up to date and that you are fully protected – and fully backed up!

    Vicious malware is becoming more prevalent in our online-based world, so make sure you’re properly protected with cyber insurance from Donnellys.

  • How Can an Insurance Broker Improve the Claim Process?

    Posted on 18 May, 2017

    Have you ever had to make an insurance claim before? If you have, you probably know that it’s a daunting process, which is often approached with trepidation by the majority of policy holders.

    An insurance claim is often made in a moment of stress (you might have just crashed your car, or you might have been robbed or had hailstones damage your home), and if you don’t know your rights, and the ins and outs of your insurance policy, how do you know the insurance company is looking out for your best interests?

    Sadly, you don’t.

    A lot of insurance policies have shades of grey and can be interpreted in more than one way, which is why having a qualified middle man involved in the claim process is a smart move.

    What are the Benefits of Having an Insurance broker Lodge Your Claim?

    Working with an experienced insurance broker comes with a number of benefits, especially when it comes to getting the best possible results from your insurance claim.

    • Your broker has priority access and can lodge the claim on your behalf.
    • Your broker knows the policy and the benefits and will ensure that you are getting the maximum from your policy.
    • Your broker deals with claims every day. They understand policy wording and that there are many shades of grey. Claims officers interpret the wording to make their claims decisions. A broker is often able to offer another interpretation of the policy wording resulting in a completely different outcome.
    • Your broker has access to a vast network of people within a number of insurance companies, so we have the contacts required to have decisions reviewed if required.
    • Your broker is available to meet with you face to face to lodge or discuss a claim.
    • In the event of a claim not being accepted, your broker can take the time to explain and help you understand why a policy will not respond in certain circumstances.
    • Unlike Insurers, your broker does not have Average Handling Times for each of their phone calls. They have all of the time that you need to guide you through the claims process.

    Case Studies Where Donnelly Insurance Brokers Improved the Claim Process/Outcome

    When a professional insurance broker handles your insurance claim, they’ll be better equipped to achieve the desired results, which is illustrated below.

    Scenario One

    A Donnelly’s client was involved in a motor vehicle accident where the insurer deemed them at fault for third party damages. Once advised of this outcome, a member of our team contacted the claims department to discuss why their liability determination was incorrect.

    We supported our argument by referring to the relevant sections of the Australian Road Rules and were able to get the insurance company’s original decision overturned. The claim was re-recorded as a Not at Fault Claim with no impact on our client’s No Claim Bonus, plus the excess that our client had already paid was refunded.

    Scenario Two

    A client who had been told by their insurance company they would need to contribute to the cost of repairs after their roof was damaged by hail in a storm approached us to assist with their claim. The insurer claimed that that the roof in question was more than 50 years old and had suffered wear and tear. However, upon review of the builder’s report, we argued that while the roof had been subject to normal wear and tear, it was perfectly sound prior to the storm.

    The insurer then overturned their decision and covered the full costs of the roof repair.

    Scenario Three

    A Car that was less than three years old was written off in an accident. Under their insurance policy, our client should have been entitled to a new replacement vehicle. However, since the vehicle model had been discontinued, the insurer advised that the settlement would be based on a Market Value Settlement.

    Our client was understandably upset with this decision, as it would have seen them suffering a sizeable loss. We negotiated on our client’s behalf and were, fortunately, able to get the decision reviewed. Our client ended up with a new replacement vehicle of the same make and a comparable model.

    Scenario Four

    An insurer denied a claim for a damaged laptop under a home insurance policy that covers contents worldwide because the total length of our client’s journey exceeded the 180 days’ time limit under their policy. However, we sought a review of this because the damage occurred within the 180-days period.

    The claim denial was overturned and the client received a new laptop.

    If you want to make sure your insurance claim process is as smooth as possible, talk to Donnelly Insurance Brokers today!

  • Do You Need Renters Insurance?

    Posted on 19 April, 2017

    Did you know that two out of three Australians who are renting their home don’t have contents insurance and even less people have cover for their rent?

    insurance for renters

    Without adequate insurance, could you afford to replace your belongings if there was a fire at your home, or if someone broke in? Could you afford to replace your laptop, TV, furniture, clothing, gaming consoles, jewellery, appliances/white goods, and everything else you own all in one go?

    Even if you could afford it, would you want to fork out that much cash?

    What would happen if your house burnt down and that fire spread to the house next door? Would you be able to cover the cost of their damage, and personal liabilities if people got injured in the fire if it is due to your fault?

    If you’re forking out a large chunk of your pay cheque each week to pay your rent, what would you do if you got sick, or were injured and couldn’t work? Would you be able to pay your rent?

    These questions are confronting, but they’re also incredibly important. While many of us watch the news each night and hear about house fires, robberies and accidents, most of us adopt the ‘it will never happen to me’ attitude – but what if it did?

    Even if your landlord covers the building insurance, they don’t cover you for any of the cases listed above. This is why every renter needs to think about taking out a rental insurance policy. Keep in mind, however, that a comprehensive package protects more than just your physical belongings; it should also include legal liability cover, and sick leave coverage.

    Introducing Donnelly Insurance Brokers 3-way Cover Package for Renters

    We understand how important it is for renters to protect their assets, and to be prepared for if something bad does happen, which is why we’ve put together a comprehensive Home Renters’ 3-way Protection cover with our authorised distributors. This policy includes:

     

    1. Rental protection: to ensure you can keep a roof over your head if you can’t work due to an accident or sickness. Plus, you can add cover for your other regular living expenses to protect your family’s lifestyle.
    2. Home contents comprehensive cover: either at the insured place of residence, or away from home
    3. Legal liability cover: will protect you financially from injury to someone else, or damage to other people’s property should something be your fault. For example, if your BBQ cooking starts a fire which spreads to your neighbours’ property, you’ll be covered for damages to their property and if they get injured in the fire.

    If you want to protect your way of life with pay-by-the-month insurance, visit www.donnellys.com.au, or talk to one of our insurance brokers today on

    (08) 8236 7777.

  • How Does Your Insurance Compare?

    Posted on 30 March, 2017

    Have you ever wondered how your car and home insurance policy compares to other providers? If you’ve ever gone out and got quotes from multiple insurance companies and compared their prices and overall coverage you’ll probably already know that insurance policies are very complex documents to read and they vary greatly between providers.

     

     

    This is why knowing your options, and understanding exactly what it is you’re purchasing when it comes to your home and contents, and car insurance is so important. But, purchasing insurance isn’t exactly fun, and finding the time to compare all of the products on the market is incredibly time consuming; that’s where we come in.

    And the icing on the cake is that your broker will be able to represent you at claim time to assist with advice to obtain a hassle-free, prompt and importantly a fair payment settlement – instead of battling through this process on your own at the mercy of a corporate claims department.

    How Do Brokers’ Policies Compare?

    Brokers that specialise in personal insurance can often negotiate additional coverage benefits with leading insurers because of the broker’s high volume buying power on behalf of their clients. For example, Donnellys who have been specialising in personal insurance broking for over 40 years in SA can offer a comprehensive car insurance policy which includes cover for non-standard accessories automatically, Replacement of car as New if written off in first 3 years ( 4 years for luxury cars ), finance interest debt coverage, loan vehicle cover and much more that is often not available directly from the same insurer.

    The same goes for your home policy with a choice of standard cover or executive style which is much more comprehensive in its coverage. Not all insurers offer the executive style of policy and those that do often offer restrict cover to avoid claims. One special benefit that Donnellys can offer clients mechanical and electrical breakdown of machines that are up to 15 years old, which is not available from insurance providers directly.

    It’s not uncommon for insurance suppliers to provide the bare minimum coverage in order to keep their price competitive and offer one-time incentive offers which disappear on expiry of the first year term. Insurers selling direct have no legal obligation to consider your protection needs and also legally they cannot compare other polices in the market – so it is buyer beware!

    To get a better idea of how policies compare to others on the market, you can view Donnellys Comprehensive Car Insurance Market Guide here, and their Accidental Damage Home and Contents Insurance Market Guide here which is available free of charge.

    What does it cost to use a broker’s services?

    The idea that it must cost more to buy insurance through a middleman does not apply to insurance brokers. Insurers include an administration expense into their premium calculation for their staff to perform the service to customers or alternatively pay a commission to brokers to handle the transaction electronically on their behalf.

    Not all brokers handle personal insurance as they often prefer larger business accounts but Donnellys welcome all personal insurance enquiries. Donnellys charge a small fee for their service but in most cases this is offset by special discounts negotiated for their clients.

    When you consider that you can get professional broking advice to make sure you get the right policy at the right price and claims assistance to make sure your claim is paid correctly and efficiently, why would you try to be your own broker without any training or knowledge of insurance contract law?

    As a result of the recent hail storm in Adelaide, a client sustained major roof damage with an estimated claim cost of $35,000 to replace the half damaged part of the roof. Donnellys claims expert noticed that there was in fact damage to two-thirds of the roof so we argued that the whole roof should be claimable.

    As a result of our intervention, our client will have a new roof constructed at no expense to them for a total replacement cost of $70,000!

    Donnellys will welcome your enquiry about any personal insurance policy.

    Refer to our website: www.Donnellys.com.au.

  • Aussie Mum’s Tragedy Serves as Insurance Reminder

    Posted on 01 February, 2017

    53-year-old Nurse from NSW, Dawn Weldon-Schupp, has tragically learned the hard way the importance of having a complete and thorough understanding of your insurance policy.

    Travel Insurance Disaster

    For those unfamiliar with Ms Weldon-Schupp’s heart-breaking situation:

    Ms Weldon-Schupp and her 14-year-old son were involved in a tragic moped accident on January 25th, colliding head-on with a truck whilst holidaying in the Thailand.

    While Ms Weldon-Schupp’s son thankfully walked away with no major injuries, Dawn has tragically suffered a fractured skull, punctured lung and numerous broken bones.

    Ms Weldon-Schupp currently resides in Bangkok Hospital in Phuket in a critical condition.

    Having comprehensive travel insurance, Ms Weldon-Schupp and her family were shocked to discover that her terrible accident was not covered by insurance, with News.com.au published these clarifying quotes from the insurance company:

    “The engine size of the bike you rented was 110cc and is therefore considered a motorbike as per policy wording.”

     “Motorcycle under the policy means any two-wheeled or three-wheeled motor vehicle with an engine displacement greater than 50cc.”

     “We have confirmed you do not hold a current motorbike license.”

    Tragically, Ms Weldon-Schupp’s hospital bills have already exceeded $56,000 … and are increasing by about $2,500 per day… imposing obvious financial catastrophe on her already distressed family and friends.

    travel insurance tragedy

    Furthermore, repatriation costs to fly back to Australia are probably going to be around $30,000, as she will need to fly business class (for medical reasons) and requires a medical escort.

    Ms Weldon-Schupp’s best friend Donna Saafeld explained the situation in an emotional social media post… and in a sort-of silver lining to the tragic story, has managed to raise over $84,000 to help cover medical expenses via a Go Fund Me page.

    At Donnellys Insurance, we wish Mrs. Weldon-Schupp a speedy and successful recovery from her unfortunate accident. Many people choose to buy their insurance direct from an insurance company because of advertised premium cost savings but they are not aware of “fine print” policy exclusions – like Mrs. Weldon-Schupp. While it is up to policyholders to read their policy document thoroughly to understand what they are buying, an insurance broker can assist insurance buyers by providing policy coverage and premium cost comparisons so buyers can make an informed decision about which policy suits them best.  

  • Our top tips for Christmas

    Posted on 16 December, 2016

    ‘tis the season to be jolly…so make sure your home is safe, secure and you are adequately covered over the festive season by following Donnellys Christmas season top tips!

    Christmas Season Top Tips

    Travelling Overseas with Christmas presents

    It is vital to ensure you are aware of the limitations within your travel insurance policy, particularly if you are taking presents abroad. Most insurers will cover presents under your personal baggage cover, providing the item you are claiming for falls within the policy limits/guidelines. Many policies have restrictions so it is very important to read your policy documents before you travel with gifts to ensure you are adequately covered.

    Cover Yourself While Travelling

    8% of Australians travelled without Travel Insurance on their last overseas trip, according to a survey commissioned by the Australian Government and the ICA 2016. That’s 850,000 visits by Australians overseas without Insurance! Do not expose yourself to such risks and get yourself covered.

    Leaving Your Home Unattended Over the Holidays

    Most policies would cover an unoccupied home for at least 30 days without the need to notify the insurer – but normal precautions would need to be taken as there is a duty of care on the policy holder to safeguard the premises. For example, if you have a security system, it must be activated when a home is vacant for a period of time, otherwise the policy cover may be prejudiced if contents are stolen when the alarm is inactive. If you have a bicycle you need to be aware that many policies have a limit on the value you can claim if it is stolen at home. And there may be no cover under a standard home policy if the bicycle is stolen and damaged in an accident or in competition away from home, unless you pay extra for a policy extension.

    Security Measures

    You’re out and about at Christmas parties and events, not forgetting all that shopping that needs doing. If your home is left empty during the festive season, it could be an easy target for burglars. Making sure your home is extra secure should be on your priority list. Ensure the exterior of your home is well-lit. Making sure your windows and doors are secure is essential all year round, not just during the festive season. Ask your neighbours and friends to keep an eye on your property and arrange for mail and newspapers to be collected while you’re away. Try not to share photos on Social Media while you’re away, wait until you return.

    Out of Sight, Out of Mind

    The best way to keep presents already bought for Christmas is to keep them out of sight. The safest option is to keep them hidden away until closer to Christmas. Also, be sure to properly dispose of any packaging for new items in the house. You don’t want to advertise your valuables to any potential thieves. So break it down and bag it up, don’t just leave it for collection.

    Avoid a Christmas Inferno

    Make sure you turn off your Christmas lights, when you’re out of the house, and when you go to bed. Avoid overloading plug points as this can be a fire risk and remember Christmas trees and decorations can catch fire easily.

    The New Year is a Good Time to Update Your Home and Contents Insurance

    If you are planning a quiet summer break at home, this may be a good time to catch up on important things like checking you are fully covered by your home insurance policy. The best way is to use the ‘Valuation Guides’ for home and contents replacement costs, which are found on leading insurer or broker websites. You need to know the size of your house and under-cover areas, half the value of fences, landscaping and paths. Once the festive season is over, it is important you update your policy with the valuable gifts you receive. Take an inventory of all non-fixed contents items, and take photographs of major items to be able to prove ownership in the event of a claim, should the worst happen.

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  • Landlord Insurance, by Mike Donnelly

    Posted on 20 July, 2016

    I recently had the experience of offering a residential property for rent and, for an insurance broker, it was an instructive experience. Chatting to my letting agent, I learned a great deal about the hazards of rental property ownership, and was surprised to discover that many landlords using standard insurance packages simply don’t attempt to cover risks that I would have thought were eminently insurable.

    It was clear to me that a Landlord Insurance Package would be a Very Good Thing! So we set about creating one, to serve as an extension of a standard residential insurance policy, with options targeted at the concerns of owners of investment rental properties. Here are some of the gaps plugged by our package:

    • Malicious damage by the tenant.
    • Theft by the tenant of fixtures, fittings or other property on the rented premises. These sorts of things do happen, but standard cover tends to treat losses occasioned by the occupant of the property as “self-inflicted”.
    • Rent default. Often this happens when a tenant gets injured or falls sick. Even if the tenant is eventually evicted, the defaulted rent is often unrecoverable. And in any case, who wants to throw out a tenant who in all other respects may be ideal? There’s an inevitable cost in replacing a defaulting tenant – far better to build in to the rent a provision for insurance.
    • Loss or damage to contents provided by you for your tenant’s use. These include furniture, furnishings, curtains and blinds as well as fixtures and fittings.

    One policy being aggressively marketed direct to landlords purports to cover these gaps left by the standard insurance products. Technically, that’s true, but that’s all it covers! Many policyholders have been left unaware that they still need to buy base cover for their property.

    Our landlord insurance provides all the standard and mandatory insurance protection, with all the optional extras the investment property owner needs to have peace of mind.

  • Why Use an Insurance Broker?

    Posted on 20 June, 2016

    We live in an online world, where many of the 20th century’s ways of doing business have been disrupted – not least the way we buy insurance. These days, a thriving direct insurer market has developed including online marketers offering lots of incentives to buy from them and promising cheaper premiums. Yet some insurance brokers continue to thrive. I caught up with Mike Donnelly of Adelaide’s Donnelly Insurance Brokers, to find out more about what keeps his clients coming back.

    TFP – Mike, every day in the media and online there’s an increasingly vigorous push by insurance marketers to promote their products to consumers – why shouldn’t we just use them because they seem to offer lower cost insurance?

    MD – People also need to be aware that many special offers that are made to purchase direct only apply to the first year so many people get a rude shock when they receive their renewal bill with possibly up to a 50% increase in the premium above the first year’s.

    Reading and understanding an insurance policy is a difficult task for most people so how do they know what cover has been deleted to keep the cost down without professional advice? Only brokers have the skill and legal capacity to provide policy comparisons about market options – others can only discuss their particular product.

    TFP – Can you give some examples?

    MD –  The 4 highest profile insurance marketers have by far the worst coverage for the standard Home and Contents policy, e.g. no cover for Fusion of electric motors; jewellery limited to $1,000 or Nil; temporary accommodation at substitute residence limited to 12 months or Nil; extra costs cover for rebuilding regulations only 1 out of 4 include this benefit.

    And for car insurance, 3 out of 4 don’t cover damage to the car if the wrong fuel is used by mistake; and 1 does not cover theft if the car left unattended with keys in it.

    For business owners, not all insurers offer the full range of covers needed such as: Management Liability and Cyber Attack. Most importantly, the direct insurers do not have the resources to review and update their policyholders’ insurance coverage each year for renewal, which is the brokers’ core function along with re-marketing the policies from time to time to maintain their clients’ best value coverage.

    And there are plenty of other wrinkles like fine print traps that a broker can avoid for their client as the broker represents the them and no the insurer.

    TFP – So what about customers who do fit the direct / online majors’ template – should they just buy online?

    MD – Good question. But of course insurance isn’t just about the premium, and the cover it buys.

    TFP – How so?

    MD – When a claim arises, it’s obviously in the insurer’s interests to minimise the payout. That’s often when an experienced broker comes to the fore. Recent research shows that negotiations on claimants’ behalf by registered brokers yield on average a 15-25% greater payout compared to settlements negotiated directly. So a good broker adds value at both ends of the process.

    TFP – So even if it costs a little more, it’s worth it when it comes to the crunch?

    MD – Actually, the idea that insurance costs more through a broker is a bit of a furphy. Sure, there are “headline” premiums that look very attractive. But when you look behind the headline, and particularly at the limits and exclusions, you quickly see that you’re comparing apples with pears. Compare apples with apples, and the premiums you pay a broker are certainly no higher, and quite often lower.

    TFP – Plus, you know you have the right cover?

    MD – Right.

    TFP – So how do you manage it?

    MD – One key weapon in our armoury is our membership of the AIMS Insurance Broking Network. It’s a network of about 120 independent brokers who have collaborated to create a range of personal and business insurance products that cover the staple categories of risk, but with the addition of cover enhancements not available directly from a direct insurer. The size of the network gives us the buying power to obtain the best value coverage for our clients and top claims service standards form the market leading insurers.

    TFP – Anything more?

    MD – Yes; an uncompromising attitude towards service. We make our customers feel valued, because we really do value them! And one more thing – 40 years’ experience in the business certainly helps and proves our value to clients.

    TFP – Mike, thanks for your time.

  • Prestige Cars need Prestige Insurance

    Posted on 20 June, 2016

    In an age of online insurance buying, there remain many areas of risk that only a traditional insurance brokerage can adequately service. Prominent among these is the insurance of prestige cars. The idiosyncratic nature of the prestige car market makes it impossible for the online giants to offer the sort of service that owners of high-end vehicles need. Donnellys has created a specialist prestige car insurance package.

    This article looks at two features of our package which deserve some explanation:

    Agreed Value

    Typical comprehensive car insurance provides for reimbursement of the “book” value of the car at the time of loss. Many prestige cars will depreciate significantly in the course of a year’s insurance. The trade value can therefore be far less than the cost of replacing the car. It is sometimes possible, for an additional premium, to cover the car for an agreed value, but the major online insurers are not well placed to provide tailored solutions. Our package includes an agreed value for the car, which remains fixed for the duration of the policy.

    Automatic Replacement

    This enhanced cover gives prestige car owners peace of mind. It provides for vehicles written off under four years old to be replaced with the current model of the same vehicle, including accessories and on-road costs. The difference between this and the payout from conventional insurance cover can be very significant.

    Other Benefits

    Elephant SUV

    Where a car is repairable, our package allows insurers to choose their own repairer – an important benefit for prestige car owners. And the Donnellys package covers owners whose cars are being repaired for up to $100 per day in hire car costs, up to a maximum of $1500.

    If you think your prestige car is under-covered, give us a call today, and talk to a Donnellys prestige car insurance expert.

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