• Christmas tips and opening hours

    Posted on 22 December, 2018

    ‘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!

    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. For example, don’t leave your luggage unattended at airports particularly, as many travel policies will not cover theft of unattended luggage.

    Cover Yourself while travelling

    Medical costs in some countries such as USA, Canada, Japan, and Europe are extremely high, so you need to have the right cover for your travel destination. Not all hospitals are like the ones at home. Imagine being in hospital where appropriate medical facilities are not available. Medical staff that don’t speak English and equipment is limited to a stethoscope and a bandage.

    That’s when it’s important that you have the best Travel GP available through your insurer who can give you calm and clear advice, as well as a guidance with medicine or a medical referral over the phone and connect you to an Australian based GP, if appropriate.

    Donnellys will be announcing in the new year the choice of two market leading  Travel policies offering special benefits for our clients – watch out for our next newsletter.

    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 notified your insurer that 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 away from home or in competition, unless you have the right policy.

    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.

    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 Donnellys website home page www.Donnellys.com.au. 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 or other purchases.. 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.

    We wish you a safe and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

    We will be open every business day over the Christmas/New year period (excluding public holidays). We will have a reduced staff who will be in the office between 9 and 3pm.

    We will be available to assist you with covering all your insurance needs including new purchases and assist with any claims you may have.

    Emergency Service

    As a Donnellys client you also have access to a 24/7 FREE Emergency Home Service if you require it. Call Johns Lyng Group, our Emergency Home Service provider on 1300 218 992 and advise them that you are a Donnellys client. Also let them know who your insurance company is for your policy, if you know it from your insurance policy certificate from us. This is for emergency work to prevent further loss or damage to your property. (eg emergency plumbing or electrical, glass replacement, protective tarping, tree removal, locksmith services). This service is available to you throughout the year.

    Car purchases

    If you purchase a new vehicle (up to a value of $150,000) which will replace your traded in vehicle  you will have automatic cover for the new vehicle for 21 days to provide us with its details and any premium adjustment to be paid.

    Buying a house

    Get your real estate agent to email a copy of your contract to us at insure@donnellys.com.au and we will have cover for you from the fall of the auction hammer or the end of your cooling off period.

  • Human Error Remains a Key Cause of Data Breaches

    Posted on 27 November, 2018

    If criminals in balaclavas and clichéd Hollywood computer hackers are among your greatest concerns for the cyber safety of your business, then you may want to start looking elsewhere for the cause of a large proportion of Australia’s data breaches.

    According to Smart company, who reported on the latest Notifiable Data Breach reports, covering all breaches from April 1 to June 30th 2018, 36 % of all reported data breaches were put down to human error.

    Smart Company’s Dominic Powell went on to state; “Australia’s mandatory Notifiable Data Breach legislation was introduced last year and enacted earlier in 2018. Companies with more than $3 million in annual revenue are now required to report any and all data breaches to the Privacy Commissioner and their customers, or face penalties of up to $1.7 million.”

    While malicious or criminal attacks are still the largest source of notifiable data breaches (NDBs), accounting for 57%, human error is second with cyber incidents exploiting human vulnerabilities, for example, encouraging people to click on phishing emails or disclose passwords.

    Gerry Power, Head of Sales at Emergence, stated that: “The continued propensity for human error to cause NDBs is a disturbing insight because it shows businesses are not educating staff enough on how to identify phishing emails or handle personal information appropriately.”

    Gerry went on to state that the healthcare industry continued to be the worst-performing sector, recording 18% of data breaches and human error was responsible for more than half those. “That gives an insight into why some cyber insurers will not write the healthcare industry for data breaches,”.

    The finance sector was the second-worst performing industry for the second consecutive quarter, with 14% of breaches.

     

    —  A cyber policy is part of every successful business’s risk management framework. Cyber insurance is not the first line of defence; it is designed to protect a business when its IT security, policies, and procedures fail to stop an attack.  —


    How to protect yourself against cyber-crime-

    Protection methods include:

    • Strong passwords, long enough to prevent brute force attacks
    • Two-factor authentication
    • Not sharing passwords across multiple devices
    • Regular testing and auditing of company policies and procedures.

     

    Underreporting of Cyber-Crimes-

    Organisations which don’t report that they’ve been the victim of cybercrime are putting others at risk of further attacks and are hampering the authorities’ ability to fight against hackers, the OAIC has warned.

     

    From early 2018, all small businesses in Australia will be required to report all instances of personal data breaches to affected stakeholders and government authorities.

     

    In a statement by the information commissioner, Timothy Pilgrim, it was said that the Notifiable Data Breaches (NDB) scheme ‘enshrines an expectation from individuals to be informed if they’re at serious risk of harm’. It won’t always know what to do for as longa s you are there it won’t always be there for as long as you are there for as long as

    Emergence’s Gerry Power said OAIC’s latest report found the human error was responsible for 37% of NDBs. “As humans, we keep finding new ways to make mistakes,” he said. “But, with sound risk management in place, many breaches can be prevented. Employees are the last line of defence, they must be educated to identify such things as dodgy emails and suspicious invoices.”

     

    Donnellys can protect you from…

    Cyber Insurance Cover can PROTECT YOU in the following ways:

    • Losses to your business
    • Loss to others
    • Cyber event response costs
    • Contingent business interruption
    • Point of Sale intrusions
    • Web app attacks
    • Insider and privilege misuse
    • Physical theft and loss
    • Payment card skimmers
    • Crimeware
    • Denial of service
    • Cyber espionage
    • Miscellaneous errors – Human error
    • Cyber extortion

     

    When you are hit with a cyber attack you need immediate expert support to help you assess, manage and respond to the threats to your business, customers and other parties. Cyber cover can give you this support and protection.

    Gaps in traditional policies:

    Traditional insurance Potential shortfall
    General liability covers Unlikely that policies will provide cover for data breaches
    Property Covers Typically require physical loss or damage and may specifically exclude electronic data
    Directors and officers/management liability Would usually only respond to actions brought against D&O’s for a wrongful act
    Professional indemnity/Errors & Omissions Cover is not usually afforded for information/data breaches (unless part of professional services
    Cyber Extensions Most cyber extensions are only as effective as the underlying policy cover.

     

    To find out more about the market-leading and competitively priced Cyber event cover for SME businesses call one of Donnellys Business insurance broking consultants on (08) 8236 7789

     

  • Restaurant Insurance & Operational Hazards

    Posted on 15 November, 2018

    From typical property damage and liability risks like slip-and-fall and equipment breakdown to less common ones like food-borne illnesses, restaurants face a variety of unique risk exposures.

     

    “Given the range of exposures a restaurant has in their daily operations and their complexity, consulting with a professional insurance broker is very important to a business owner to make sure they receive the right advice for their business risk protection,” so says Mike Donnelly, principal of Donnelly Insurance Brokers located in Adelaide, South Australia.

     

    Current hazards

     

    For example, Donnelly says “a business interruption resulting from one of many possible causes could result in a trading disruption, which could be very costly to a restaurant.”

     

    “On top of this, there might be a potential business income loss as a result of a key supplier’s business disruption” Donnelly adds. “Many restaurant owners might be dependent on a linen service, a supplier or a wholesaler in order to run their business.”

     

    Donnelly also notes that most restaurants may not realise they have a pollution liability exposure. “If they accidentally spill the old grease taken out of the deep fryers and that starts seeping into the sewer system so they may be sued by the EPA,” Donnelly explains.

     

    The same goes for cyber, Donnelly adds: “Cyber-crime is a huge exposure with all the credit card information restaurants receive exposing them to potential customer privacy breaches. In this cyber world today, everyone needs cyber liability cover.”

     

    Donnellys says: “Management Liability cover, previously only available to Corporations is now available to Sole-traders and Partnerships. This policy covers the business owners from many exposures relating to its management, such as a wrongful act, employment practices breach, sexual harassment or litigation from a State or Federal regulatory body. No business can afford not to have this protection!”

     

    Finally, “restaurants need to pay close attention to their approach to liquor sales. Recently in USA, even BYOB restaurants have been found liable for overserving patrons who were later involved in a drunk driving incident,” Donnelly comments.

     

    To find out more about the types of cover offered to the hospitality industry, click here!

     

    Emerging Risk Exposures

     

    Donnelly notes that farm-to-table restaurants can shorten the supply chain for many restaurant businesses. “That might mean the food at the restaurant is fresher, but it might also mean there’s more of an onus on the small business owner to take on some of those quality control measures themselves,” he explains.

     

    Food Van pop-ups are another emerging trend as more restaurants seek “to expand their brand and their reach,” Donnellys says. “A food van is part vehicle, its part plant and machinery, its part public and products liability and changed employees’ work injury risk as well!”

     

    Donnelly adds that while ride-sharing services like Uber have been around for quite a long time, related delivery services like Uber Eats and its local variations are newer developments that are giving restaurant owners more options to consider. “It doesn’t matter if you’re a big restaurant or you’ve just opened up—using a sharing economy-type delivery service allows a restaurant to broaden their scope of influence and touch more customers,” he explains.

     

    But that convenience has consequences: When a restaurant elects to use a delivery service, “it loses some of the element of control in that interaction with the customer,” Donnelly points out. “Should that customer have a bad experience with a delivery person, even though it’s a different party, the customer won’t necessarily associate that bad experience with the delivery service and may wrongly develop negative thoughts about the restaurant’s service.”

     

    As a result, certain segments of the industry in the USA are “starting to try to think of ways to deal with that issue,” says Donnelly, who notes that some larger restaurants are moving away from sharing economy delivery services and toward solutions like online ordering or curbside pickup. “Some of smaller restaurants are still likely to use out-sourced delivery service because they get a lot of bang for their buck.”

     

    Every restaurant has one more major risk management consideration to take into account:    slip and fall injuries. Keep an eye out for our next blog about 7 Steps for Reducing Slip-and-Fall Claims.

  • Landlords Insurance: What You Need To Know

    Posted on 15 November, 2018

    Generally, when you own your own home, taking out insurance on your property is something that is done without a second thought. However, many who purchase an investment property may not think about taking out landlords insurance – and may not necessarily see its value until too late.

    Most Home insurance policies will cover the owner against Loss of Rent by a tenant should the premises be rendered Uninhabitable resulting from the occurrence of an insured event, such as a Fire. But there are generally two notable exclusions which make a standard Home policy not suitable for Rented Properties:

    • Standard Home policies do not cover Malicious Damage by Tenants; and
    • The standard policy does not cover Rent Default or Theft by a Tenant.

     

    BE AWARE that one insurance policy being marketed strongly to Landlords only covers the gaps in the standard Home policy cover for rental properties but you still need a standard Home policy to cover the major risks to the building such as (Fire, Explosion, Water Damage, Storm, Earthquake etc.) Some people might not realise they need both policies to be properly insured and maybe face ruin if the worst happens and the building is uninsured. Donnellys take the hassle and the risk away by providing Landlords with one comprehensive cover so you won’t be caught out.

     

    The first thing you should know is that the majority of insurance policies will cover in case of a destructive storm, fire, or other natural disasters, in case of theft, and it will also cover fittings and fixtures and the building.

     

    However, you may want to keep in mind that insurance will not cover for thoughtless tenants who don’t really care about your property or preserving it the way you would like.

     

    One Comprehensive Polic Tailor-Made For Landlords

     

    We can offer you Landlord insurance options that can be selected to tailor different levels of cover required for residential property investors including:

     

    • Building cover;
    • Contents cover;
    • Optional Rent Default
    • Optional Theft by Tenants

     

    Policy Key Features:

    • Comprehensive Accidental Loss or Damage cover including malicious acts by tenants.
    • Contents provided by the Landlord for Tenant’s use cover up to $12,500 for the repair or replacement of furniture & furnishings; fixtures or fittings; carpets, curtains & internal blinds
    • Property Owner Legal Liability cover up to $20 million is included automatically
    • Rental replacement cover after an insured event up to 12 months is included automatically
    • Removal of Debris after an insured event is covered up to 10% in addition to the building sum insured
    • Loss of Rent due to Prevention of Access cover up to 12 months is included automatically
    • Fusion of electric motors repair or replacement cover for appliances up to 15 years old

    What’s Covered?

     

    Let’s look at what landlord’s insurance does cover:

    • Damage caused by tenants, such as broken walls or ceilings
    • Damage caused by pets
    • Replacement of locks if they are damaged beyond repair or you believe they may have been duplicated
    • Water damage, perhaps from leaks or burst pipes
    • Rental default, such as when a tenant is late on rent for a significant amount of time or simply doesn’t pay
    • Legal liability. This would be useful if someone was injured or died, on your property. This could also cover damage caused to another person’s d public liability covers.
    • Clean up costs in case of major damage, such as significant rubbish pile-ups or graffiti.
    • Theft or burglary committed by tenants, or any guests of the tenants
    • Legal costs due to eviction notices

    Protect From Unseen Risks

    Landlord’s insurance protects you and your property from potentially unseen risks from tenancy and is a must for any landlord looking for peace of mind for their investment property.

     

    Now, it’s true that this insurance is going to cost you extra money every month – money you may not necessarily be willing to shell out of pocket – but you also have to keep in mind the fact that disagreements and problems between landlords and tenants are costly situations too, and can have costly consequences-

     

    While there are plenty of lovely people who make excellent tenants, there are also disrespectful people who will cause problems, and you want to give yourself a safety net in case something does go wrong.

     

    In addition to this, it is a distinct possibility that your insurance premium is tax deductible, so you may be able to get your money back. If you are diligent about keeping receipts and handing them over to your accountant, you will be able to get a bigger tax return.

     

    Landlord Insurance differs significantly to regular building insurance- the main difference being that, as a landlord, you are able to claim loss of rent. Loss of rent coverage includes situations such as where a property is un-tenantable if the tenants have absconded if there is a default in rental payments, no vacant possession, the death of a sole tenant, malicious damage, and the list goes on.

     

    There are many landlords insurance providers in the market, so it pays well to shop around and do all the research that you can.

     

    If you do decide to take out landlord’s insurance, remember that not all policies are the same, so you have to pay attention to the details and the differences between them. Some will cover everything, while others may require you to take out a separate home & contents insurance package.

     

    If you would like more information about any of the above articles, Donnellys would welcome your enquiry on (08) 8236 7789.

     

    Note:   This information is provided as general advice only to readers as a guide to Australian insurance policies. You should not rely solely on this information for your own situation and need to read the policy and PDS for any insurance that you are considering buying to ensure it suits your circumstances.

  • Car Insurance “Fine Print” Trips and Traps! (Part 4)

    Posted on 27 June, 2018

    This month, the Donnellys team delve deeper into our Car Insurance series, and detailing in greater detail exactly what may lie in the fine print of your car insurance policy.

     

    Car left unlocked

    When you fill your car up with petrol, do you ever leave your car unlocked or keys left in it while you go to pay the bill? What happens if someone steals your car while you are paying the bill. You would expect your Comprehensive Car policy would cover that eventuality – most do. However one high profile insurance agency has a special exclusion in their little red car branded policy to avoid claims like this.

     

    Incorrect Fuel

    Several high profile insurers or agencies have a special exclusion to avoid claims in case you accidentally use the wrong fuel at a petrol station so you need to be very careful as it is an expensive repair job to fix this mistake.

     

    At Fault policy definition

    Most Car policy insurers will not penalise your renewal premium for a claim made when you are not “at fault” and you can identify the other party involved in an accident so that they can recover your claims costs from them.

    However, most policies do not define not “at fault “so therefore it is up to the insurer to decide whether they will penalise your premium or not. Usually the only time you are “not at fault” in a road accident is if another driver collides with the rear of your car. Intersection accidents are usually considered 75/25% blame between the parties so in that situation you would have some fault at least so your renewal premium may be penalised according to the policy wording.

    A few insurers do define not “at fault” which means as long as you are not mainly to blame in an accident your renewal premium will not be penalised for that type of claim.

     

    Passenger Liability cover

    Bodily injury caused to another person through the use of a registered vehicle is covered by individual states’ compulsory third party injury legislation. However the legislation in some states excludes injury caused by a passenger alighting from a vehicle when unsafe to do so.

    Some comprehensive car insurance policies have been extended to cover this gap in cover while others still exclude any bodily injury cover from any cause. It’s best to check your state’s legislation in this regard and your comprehensive policy conditions to ensure your passenger’s liability for injury to passers-by when opening a car door is covered one way or another.

     

    Fine Print Exclusions

    So it’s good to read the cover features of a policy but equally important is the need to be aware of cover exclusions or features missing when comparing policies so you know if you have the right policy for your circumstances.

    Check the table below, which compares certain features of prominent direct insurers’ policies.

     

    If you would like more information about any of the above articles, Donnellys would welcome your enquiry on (08) 8236 7789.

    Note:   This information is provided as general advice only to readers as a guide to Australian insurance policies. You should not rely solely on this information for your own situation and need to read the policy and PDS for any insurance that you are considering buying to ensure it suits your circumstances.

  • Home & Contents insurance “fine print” trips and traps (Part Two)

    Posted on 18 May, 2018

    In last month’s Part 1. Of our Home & contents insurance trips and traps series, we took aim at a few different types of cover, including accidental damage and holiday-home cover, and where to look for some standard industry trappings, laying out what some insurers may include in the fine print of a contract, and as well some areas where you may get tripped-up if you’re not diligently reading your insurance agreements.

    This month, we take a look at the finer details of what insurance companies define as ‘Flood Cover’, terms and definitions to look out for and the variety of cover options for you to choose from. As well, we investigate the nature of home-business and home-sharing cover, and what It can mean for your personal liability and contents safety.

     

    Flood cover

    Traditionally, if Flood cover was not covered by a Home & Contents policy, it was the insurer’s legal obligation to clearly inform a policyholder of that fact – otherwise, cover was deemed to be effective.

    As a majority of people are not exposed to a Flood risk it was unfair to charge everyone a levy to cover those who opted to build or buy a property in a flood-prone area, so Flood cover was not readily available from insurers.

    However, with the regular traumatic flood damage to properties in far north Queensland the Federal government decided that Flood cover should be more accessible from insurers and urged insurers to provide the cover. However, without extensive mitigation of flood risk areas by local councils, it is impossible for insurers to provide cover at a reasonable cost in high exposure areas.

    So instead of insurers providing automatic cover for Flood, we now have a mix of cover options for policyholders to be aware of as follows:

    1. The insurer provides automatic cover and spreads the cost of providing the cover over their whole portfolio of policies – cover cannot be deleted if the price is too high;
    2. The insurer provides cover with the option for the policyholder to opt out of the cover if the price is too high so it is clear they have made that decision in the event of a claim;
    3. The cover is optional and often very expensive in high-risk areas – policyholder has to make a decision at the commencement of the cover;
    4. The cover is not available at any cost which is highlighted in the policy.

    So what does Flood mean in terms of an insurance policy jargon?

    Generally, a flood is defined as the escape of water from any type of formal waterway such as a river, creek, reservoir, channel or dam as examples.

    The Flood definition does not exclude water overflowing from a gutter, leaking from a pipe or tank or water run-off if it has not escaped from a waterway, as examples which are covered as a standard insured event.

    Bottom Line

    So historically, it was an insurer’s responsibility to clearly inform a policyholder if Flood cover was not included. However, it is now almost a “buyer be aware” situation about Flood cover for a policyholder buying cover if they are not careful and be aware of the different policy covers offered. 

    Home Business    

    One high profile insurer excludes any Business activity from a home. However, most insurers provide some limited coverage for such contents as office plant and equipment, stock and trade tools at the premises only.

    The problem is that there is no cover for the business against its possible legal liability for injury or property damage to customers visiting the premises or others away from the premises. Also, there is no cover for the business’s legal liability in respect of any goods sold or manufactured. The reason for this is that it is difficult to underwrite the legal liability risk for the variety of business types that can be undertaken at home whereas contents cover is not so difficult to underwrite.

    The result is that business owners need to have a separate Public / Products liability policy to cover their legal liability which many small home businesses would not understand.

    The good news is that in the next few months a new Business Package policy will be available which includes all the required covers including legal liability and business interruption loss of income and extra expenses for many types of non-hazardous business.

    Home-sharing

    If you have a spare room at home and are following a worldwide trend like Airbnb rentals to earn some extra money from short-term tenants, you need to be aware that all home policies have a legal liability exclusion for most business activities causing injury or property damage (as mentioned above).

    Also, most policies will not cover tenant caused damage to your home or contents when letting out to others. Some insurers will insist you buy a Landlord policy which fixes some problems but creates others resulting in less cover than the normal home type of policy. Some others will insist you buy a Business package policy to get full coverage. And some insurers have a specific policy tailored for bed and breakfast businesses.

    One good solution is to buy a separate Tenants’ risks policy which just covers the gaps mentioned above in a conventional home policy which occur as result of having rent-paying tenants in your home. This solution then does not prejudice the cover of your home policy like having a Landlord policy instead.

     

    If you would like more information about any of the above articles, Donnellys would welcome your enquiry on (08) 8236 7789.

     

    Note:   This information is provided as general advice only to readers as a guide to Australian insurance policies. You should not rely solely on this information for your own situation and need to read the policy and PDS for any insurance that you are considering buying to ensure it suits your circumstances.

  • Home and Contents Insurance “Fine Print” Tricks and Traps (Part One)

    Posted on 02 May, 2018

    home, insuran

    If you’ve ever been caught out by the fine print in your home and contents insurance policy conditions, you’ll know all too well how important it is to make a careful and informed decision when choosing the policy that’s right for you.

    In the first instalment of ‘Home and Contents Insurance “Fine Print” Tricks and Traps’, we take you through some of the more common fine print items that you should be wary of.

    Unoccupied Houses

    All policies contain a clause that reduces insurance coverage to ‘basics’ after a specified period of time if the house is left “uninhabited”. What this means is that if you are way from the premises for an extended period you may not be covered for certain events unless someone lives in the house for a minimum stay(s) while you are away; or unless you obtain approval in writing from your insurance company and pay an extra premium and / or carry a higher excess for claims.

    Accidental Damage vs Defined Events Coverage

    Defined Events cover means that you are only insured for the events listed in the policy document, subject to policy conditions, limitations and exclusions. For example, the only purely accidental damage event covered is breakage of glass. Otherwise, the event must be due to another listed cause, such as water leakage etc.

    An Accidental Damage type of policy works the other way – it covers all accidental events claims unless it’s specifically excluded in the policy, so the coverage is more comprehensive. Another advantage (under many insurers’ policies) is the automatic cover for contents temporarily moved away from the home, which requires extra cover extension under a Defined Events policy.

    Holiday House Cover

    A holiday house that is let to short or long term renters should be insured under a Landlords policy. This is because a standard Home policy does not cover renter caused event claims, while a Landlord policy is designed to cover the different risks associated with renting a property out.

    If your holiday house is leased out for short terms, instead of yearly contracts, you will need to advise your insurer as not all insurers accept short term rentals cover due to the higher risk involved for damage to the premises.

    If you don’t let out your holiday house as it’s kept solely for the enjoyment of you and your family, you need to make sure that you know what the maximum period of time allowed in your policy is if it is uninhabited for long periods. Otherwise, the cover may be reduced. It’s not sufficient to have a neighbour check up on the property from time to time when it is vacant.

     

    When choosing your home and contents insurance policy, it’s important that you ask the right questions, and make sure your policy is actually covering your specific needs. This is where the team at Donnellys Insurance Brokers come in. We’ll gather all of the relevant information from you so we can recommend options for you to choose the policy that best suits your needs, without you having to do the legwork yourself. Contact us today!

    Note: This information is provided as a general advice guide only to Australian insurance purchasers. You should always read the Product Disclosure Statement cover summary and the detailed Policy document wording for full coverage details for any insurance that you are considering to ensure it meets your needs.

  • Car Insurance Tips and Traps (Part Three)

    Posted on 02 April, 2018

    In the final instalment of our ‘Car Insurance Tips and Traps’ series, we’re going to take a look at the fine print exclusions that could apply to your car insurance policy. We’ll also look at what happens when you use your car as an Uber vehicle, or if you need a rental vehicle after an accident.

    common car insurance traps

    Rental Car Cover After an Accident

    Most Comprehensive Car insurance policies will cover you for the cost of hiring a substitute car for up to 14 days usually if yours is stolen but not if you are involved in an At Fault accident while your car is being repaired.

     

    You may be able to find a repairer which can provide you with a loan car but you need to check your position regarding your liability for damage to the loaned car.

     

    For convenience to attend to your normal routines using your car, it is best to arrange optional cover with many insurers for a rental car while your car is off the road.

     

    Uber-Style Use of Your Car

    A standard Comprehensive Car insurance policy allows you to share your car use with passengers providing it is not for reward. Therefore Uber-style use of your vehicle charging passengers for transporting them will technically invalidate your policy. Some insurers have reacted to this new society sharing economy development for Car insurance by providing cover for this activity but limited to a nominated maximum number of hours use per week for this purpose.

    If this affects you, it is best to check with your insurer whether they provide this extra cover and what are the limitations of cover. However, don’t assume you have the cover without notifying your insurer in writing to gain their acceptance of this activity as you are responsible to inform them of any risk change to your previously disclosed circumstances.

     

    Fine Print Exclusions

    It is good to read the cover features of a policy but equally important is the need to be aware of cover exclusions or features missing when comparing policies so you know if you have the right policy for your circumstances.

    Check the table below, which compares certain features of prominent direct insurers’, policies to see why you need a broker to find the right policy for you.

    car insurance

    Disclaimer:

    The above coverage comparisons were compiled by Donnellys from the Product Disclosure Statements (PDS) / Policy Documents viewed on the individual insurance providers’ website as at January 2017. This information is provided as General Advice only and a Guide to the right policy for you. You should check the full details of coverage, cover limitations and exclusions before making a buying decision.

  • Comprehensive Car insurance Tips and Traps (Part Two)

    Posted on 05 March, 2018

    In part one of our Car Insurance Tips and Traps series, we looked at total loss claims, new for old car replacement and loan interest gaps. This month, we’re delving into everything from passenger liability for injury to car insurance claim penalties.

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    Passenger Liability for Injury

    In many comprehensive car insurance policies, injury to others caused by a passenger opening a car door when unsafe to do so is not covered. But, Compulsory Third Party Liability (CTP) insurance for injury caused in an accident also excludes this risk in some states. So, it’s best to check whether you have this cover, so you can protect your passengers in the event of this type of accident.

    Loan Car Cover

    What happens if you are loaned a car by a repairer while your car is being fixed or when your car is being serviced and you have an at-fault accident in that car? Your comprehensive car policy will cover your liability for damage as a substitute car if yours is not being used at the same time, but not damage to the loaned vehicle.

    You will need to sign a document when taking delivery of the loan car which probably makes you responsible for accident damage either for the owner’s policy excess payable for a claim or maybe even the full damage cost or their loss of no claim bonus.

    So, it’s best to read any loan car agreement to check your damage responsibility and whether you have this cover in your comprehensive car policy in the event of this type of accident.

    Car Insurance Claim Penalties

    Having a car accident and dealing with the stress that comes with it is bad enough, especially when you have to arrange repairs and pay your claim excess. When you receive your renewal notice and your premium has skyrocketed due to your at fault accident penalty, it almost feels like too much to handle.

    Most policies don’t penalise your renewal premium in the following circumstances:

    • Your car is damaged while parked and you can identify the person at fault;
    • Whilst travelling your car is hit from behind by another driver’s car and you can identify the driver.

    This is because your insurer can recover your damage costs in these instances from the person at fault, including your excess payable for your claim.

    Most other types of accident involve some fault by the parties involved. Many insurance policies will apply an excess to your claim and penalise your renewal premium if you are at fault. So it’s best to have a policy that clearly defines what degree of fault will penalise you in an accident, e.g. greater than 50 per cent fault.

    The best way to avoid a hefty increase in your renewal premium in the event of an at-fault accident like a collision is to buy a Protected No Claim Bonus policy option, which is available from many insurers but it would pay you to check if you have this extra cover now or not.

    Donnelly Insurance Brokers can look after you in all the above-mentioned circumstances to ensure you get the right cover at the right premium for the best value coverage and assist you with claims for better insurance. Contact us today for more information!

  • Car insurance Tips and Traps (Part One)

    Posted on 05 February, 2018

    Ever wondered what you should look out for when purchasing a car insurance policy, or when making a claim? Check out the first part of our three-part series on common car insurance tips and traps.

    car insurance tips and traps

    Total Loss Claims

    When you insure your car comprehensively, there are two options to consider when looking at what claim settlement you will receive in the event of total loss damage or theft, namely:

    – Market Value or Agreed Value Claims.

    Market Value policies cover the cash purchase price of a car of the same age, type, model and condition in your local area but excluding other costs. In determining the market value, the internet, newspapers and dealer guides may be used for reference purposes. Sometimes a car can depreciate in value more rapidly than usual due to lower popularity, resulting in the claimant’s disappointment with their settlement. The problem with market value policies is the uncertainty about the claim payout value.

    Agreed value policies cover you for a fixed amount for which your car is insured for each period of insurance, regardless of any price change for your car during that period, guaranteeing your settlement payout. It includes the value of insured accessories and equipment. Agreed value is a better option because of its claim payout certainty but it often costs a little more in premium. Some insurers cover Agreed value automatically in their policy coverage.

    New for Old Car Replacement

    All Comprehensive car insurance policies these days cover the cost of replacing your car with an equivalent brand new one if it is a total loss, provided the car has not travelled more than a specified number of kilometres in the guarantee period. The replacement guarantee period varies from one to a maximum of four years, depending upon the insurers’ policy coverage conditions.

    Clearly, this is an important consideration when choosing a policy if you have a recent model to insure because this benefit offers you a new for old cover instead of a depreciated total loss settlement.

    Loan Interest Gap

    If you arrange finance for the purchase of your car, the interest payable is calculated on the initial amount borrowed on a fixed repayment for the term of the loan. Sometimes there is more money owed to the financier for the outstanding loan amount than is claimable from the insurer; in the event of a Total loss of the car due to its rapid value depreciation.

    To view policy comparisons for high profile insurance companies of the above-mentioned policy benefits, check out our guide to the insurance market!

    *This is General Advice only – you should read and understand the Product Disclosure Statements and Policies for insurers that you are considering for the purchase of insurance to ensure it is right for you.

  • Australia to Face Higher Than Usual Bushfire Risk This Summer

    Posted on 01 January, 2018

    In 2017, Australia experienced a particularly dry winter – the ninth driest on record, to be exact – as such, a senior climatologist with the Bureau of Meteorology has warned that there will be an increased risk of bushfires for the 2017/18 summer season.

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    Agata Imielska says that the below average soil moisture in the eastern and central parts of Australia, as well as forecasted heatwaves, will see parts of the country falling into a higher risk category this bushfire season.

    Rob Rogers, the deputy commissioner of the NSW Rural Fire Service and Gary Cook, Victoria’s Fire Authority deputy chief officer, both said that although local communities and families are given plenty of education and resources to assist them with fire preparedness, very little of this advice is being actioned.

    “It’s getting the community to take responsibility for the environment that they live in,” Cook said. “The fire agency is only one piece of the puzzle in managing fire…We continue to emphasise the need to have survival plans, to listen to fire danger ratings, so that [the community’s] behaviours start to reflect the information that is put before them, and they know what to do with that information.”

    So, exactly what is that advice?

    Tips for Preparing for Bushfire Season

    Every business and household, especially those with property within a bushfire zone or a high-risk area should have a bushfire plan in place well before summer hits. This should include an action plan that includes the whole family on what should be done, during, before, and after bushfire season, as well as what will happen in the event of an evacuation. This plan should include things like:

    • Keeping gutters clean
    • Keeping equipment, like hoses, rakes, and buckets in easily accessible places
    • Keep track of fire warnings and fire ratings
    • Don’t burn off
    • Ensure any fire hydrants are full and in working order, and that everyone knows where fire safety equipment is stored
    • If a fire is approaching, fill your gutters with water, hose down your garden and the exterior of your home, surround your home inside and out with as many full containers of water as possible
    • If an evacuation warning is issued and you have children, animals or elderly family members with you, get them to safety
    • Review your insurance policies and premiums to make sure you have the financial protection you need if your property is damaged in a fire

    Don’t wait until it’s too late to update your insurance policy.Many insurers now provide an extra cover feature which protects against a declared catastrophic event such as a bushfire. This extra cover is provided to meet the increased cost of repairing or rebuilding homes due to a labour and materials shortage resulting from high demand with a large number of claims. If you live in a high-risk bushfire area check your policy to ensure you have this extra cover feature.

    To find out what coverage is included in your home and contents insurance policy, or your business premises insurance, talk to your experienced insurance broker at Donnellys today.

    For extra guidance on what to do to prepare your property and family this summer, make sure you visit your state’s fire authority for guidance and put their suggestions into action.

    New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, Australian Capital Territory, and Tasmania.

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