Frequently Asked Questions

Business Insurance FAQs

Question:I’m starting a new buisness – what insurance do I need?

Answer

Different types of business require different policies to protect their business assets and to protect against business legal liabilities.
To assist new business owners Donnellys has developed a Small Business Guide to Insurance which shows the majority of business types and the range of policies available to suit each type of business listed.
Refer to our Home page for a link to the Small Business Guide.

Question:What’s the difference between Public Liability or Professional Indemnity?

Answer

It is important to understand the differences between Public Liability insurance and Professional Indemnity insurance.
Public Liability covers claims against you for bodily injury and property damage to  someone that arises from the operation of your business. For example, if a person  is injured on your premises, or if you damage property while visiting a client.
Professional Indemnity insurance covers claims that arise from a breach of the duty that you owe as a professional or an expert for services such as:

  • advice,
  • design,
  • consultancy,
  • analysis services.

Professional Indemnity insurance covers your civil liability that results from the conduct of your professional services.
This includes:

  • contractual liability,
  • liability under the Trade Practices Act,
  • defamation,
  • infringement of intellectual property right,
  • liability for the acts of sub-contractors and consultants, and
  • compensation and claimant’s costs and expenses.

Question:What about Technology Liability Insurance Issues?

Answer

Any organisation that develops, manufactures, licenses, sells, provides, advises, integrates any form of Technology and related services is exposed to litigation. The failure of a product, service or incorrect advice will expose that organisation to claims.

Legal Confusion
There is no consistent legal opinion as to whether software developed for a client is a “product” or a “service”. This is particularly important because most software developers are required to provide evidence of Professional Indemnity insurance under client contract  conditions – but claims in respect of Products liability are excluded so there would be no cover if software is deemed to be a product.
Circuit board manufacturers & other hardware suppliers need Products Liability insurance to protect their legal liability for injury or property damage claims in respect of their products. They also need Professional Indemnity for in-house design activities if applicable.
However, the most likely claim against a circuit board manufacturer or hardware suppliers is for financial compensation as a result of the failure of the product to perform as specified in a contract, rather than an injury or property damage liability claim. Claims for financial loss are not covered by a Products Liability policy which is the domain of Professional Indemnity insurance.

How closely do you look at contract conditions?
Many contracts routinely entered into by companies contain provisions that impose liabilities which can be very onerous and may not be covered by their Liability insurance leaving them unprotected for these assumed liabilities. Insurers exclude any additional liability assumed under contract beyond which would normally apply by law. So you could be your own insurer for additional liabilities you have inadvertently assumed by signing a contract without reference to a legal adviser first, unless your insurer has endorsed your policy to accept particular liabilities.

Technology Liability Insurance is the best solution
Technology Liability Insurance provides protection for organisations against legal liability for economic loss arising from the failure of their products, services and or advice in the conduct of the business in respect of acts, error or omissions and includes alleged breach of contract. It covers both hardware and software businesses.
This Insurance combines Professional Indemnity and Public & Products Liability insurance coverage to respond to the unique exposures of the Technology industry. Technology  Liability insurance eliminates the potential coverage gaps which can occur when these policies are arranged separately due to legal issues. The cover includes defence costs associated with defending legal actions – even if you are found not liable.
This insurance also provides coverage for infringement of copyright, trademark, registered design or any other plagiarism. It also covers breach of confidentiality, privacy or defamation. Contractors can also be insured for their own liability as well as your vicarious liability for their performance.
Donnelly Insurance Brokers, can provide a specific offering for professionals involved in the Technology industry and the policy coverage is superior to other Technology insurance products available in the market through added benefits.

Contract Review Service
A Contract Review Service is available as an extension to the Technology Liability insurance product offered by Donnellys. This service includes up to 4 individual reviews during the policy period for:
Contractual agreements used by your company
Review of a client agreement to engage your services to ensure you are not left unprotected through assumed liabilities
Why take the risk with superseded and outdated policies when you can take advantage of a special arrangement designed specifically for your business?
Check the following examples how software developers can be exposed to financial loss claims from aggrieved clients which might not be covered by your existing insurance!

Claims example 1
A web designer was retained to upgrade/design the webpage for an online bookstore.  The client complained that the web designer did not perform the work according to the specifications provided by the client when it was discovered that there was an error in the payment page which omitted the credit card details for visa cards.
Online purchasers could not pay for their purchasers with visa cards and failed to complete the payment transaction.  It was soon discovered that over $50,000 worth of sales were not processed as a result of this error.  The client issued proceedings against the web designer for lost sales totalling $52,500 together with costs and interest.

Claims example 2
A retailer contracted a software developer to customise and install a software system to enable the process of payments.  The system was tested and was found to be working and problem free.  Shortly after going ‘live’ orders placed utilising the system were lost with payments not being received and delivery of goods not being provided to customers.  The retailer sued the software developer for $750,000 claiming breach of duty, lost of business and loss of reputation.

Claims example 3
A large accountancy firm retained a software developer to design and implement a solution to automate their business activities.  After the system was developed and installed the company’s records were transferred to the system.  Soon after, the system crashed and it was soon discovered that the developer had not properly installed a back up for the data transferred to the system. As a result, the company’s client information, billing records and other account details were lost. The software developer was sued for damages in excess of $300,000 with the client claiming breach of contract, negligence and the cost of installing a replacement system.

Personal & Family Insurance FAQs

Home Insurance

Question: Does your policy cover Contents away from Home?

Answer

We can offer a Gold Star home policy that provides cover worldwide automatically for any personal property temporarily removed from the premises. Refer to our Home section of this website for an explanation of this policy.

Question: Would my home be covered when I am on holidays and it is left unoccupied?

Answer

All home policies contain an “unoccupancy” clause that limits cover to 60-90 days without a person living there. This can be extended if approved in writing by an insurer subject to the payment of an extra premium or higher excess to be applied.

Question: I have some valuable jewellery – do I need to cover these items separately?

Answer

There are certain types of items such as valuable jewellery that need to be specified on a Home Contents policy to provide full cover beyond the standard policy limit. To specify an item on your policy you need to provide a recent certificate of valuation or similar documentary evidence of its value. Check our Home insurance section for details of the cover limitations.

Question: I work from home and have an office with a computer and furniture – is this covered by your Home insurance?

Answer

: Our IBNA Home policies automatically cover Office furniture and equipment on the premises subject to certain value limitations. However you need to arrange Public Liability insurance in connection with your business as your Home policy does not cover legal liability arising out of earning an income (except babysitting).

Question: I’m aged over 50 – do you provide me with a discount?

Answer

Some insurers provide a discount for Over 50s policyholders while others do not. An over 50’s age discount alone from an insurer may not result in the best value option for you.
When we enter your details into our online electronic premium calculation system we include the age of the client and other important rating factors so we obtain the  most competitive price according to the all the factors that affect the premium cost.

Car Insurance

Question: What happens if my car is wrecked in an accident?

Answer

Our IBNA Secure Car policy provides a new replacement vehicle if it written off with the first 3 years of initial registration. For an older car, you would receive what is called the “market value” of the car which is the cost of replacing the vehicle with an equivalent replacement one in the same condition and useage. Alternatively, you can buy an agreed value policy for a slightly higher premium that guarantees the amount you will receive in the event of a write-off. The IBNA Secure Car policy also provides a special benefit which pays an additional amount if your car is under finance and the write-off amount is less than finance amount owed.

Question: My son / daughter has their Learners permit, can they drive my car?

Answer

Yes a young learner can drive your car but in the event of an accident there would be an inexperience &/or under 25 years of age excess applicable in addition to the basic excess payable. Once the learner has a provisional license, he or she must be disclosed on your policy as possible driver, otherwise an “undisclosed driver” additional excess would be payable. It is important that they be listed as a regular driver if so because they can then accumulate their own “no claim bonus” entitlement.

Question: My friend has the same car as me but their premium is much cheaper?

Answer

There are many premium rating factors that affect the amount payable for a car insurance policy so just because someone has the same type of car the premium is not necessarily the same.

Question: Can I choose to have a higher excess for a claim to save money?

Answer

Yes most insurers encourage their policyholders to accept a higher excess in consideration for a reduced premium as a higher excess structure reduces their claims handling expenses. There are usually a range of excess options available with a scale of discounts applicable.

Coverage Queries

Question: Which companies are you agents for?

Answer

Legally we represent our clients as their agent ….. we are not agents for any insurance company. We are obliged to provide you with professionally researched advice so that you can make an informed decision about what policy suits you best. If we were an agent of an insurer we would have a conflict of interest with our duty to you as our client.

Question: I haven’t heard of that company you have recommended?

Answer

Many insurers choose not to advertise heavily in the media as they prefer to deal through brokers to save marketing costs and administrative costs in dealing directly with customers or they may have a particular market niche. Therefore these companies can be relatively unknown to the general public but can be much more substantial than the names we see in the media on a regular basis. Donnellys has a responsibility to ensure that any insurer we recommend to clients is an authorised insurer under Australian prudential regulations and preferrably has an external financial security rating at an approved level.

Question: Can I start my policy now before my current policy expires?

Answer

We normally advise clients not to cancel another policy before expiry because that may incur a penalty charge by their insurer. However, if the existing cover is not adequate or the price difference is large enough it may be worthwhile transferring cover immediately. If clients are paying monthly directly to an insurer it is usually possible to cancel a policy mid-term without penalty providing sufficient notice is provided to the insurer and finance institution.

Question: Can I get a discount for combining both my car and home policies with you?

Answer

Insurers that provide a multi-policy discount as a marketing ploy to get more business often charge more in the first place so receiving a multi-policy discount may be false economy! The quality of their products may be inferior as well which is more important than a possible cheaper premium.
Donnellys focus is on providing clients with the “best value” policy on an individual basis which takes account of the quality of the product and the premium cost. However, we do charge a lesser broker fee for clients with multiple policies arranged through Donnellys as an incentive for clients to do more business with us.

Question: Can I arrange cover over the phone with you?

Answer

Most of the policies we handle can be done electronically with insurers in which case they do not need any paper work signed. Accordingly most policies can be handled over the phone and we allow 14 days credit for clients to pay their premiums or we can arrange pay by the month premium instalments.

Question: My premium has increased but I have not had any claims?

Answer

Australia has a problem with a very small premium pool (2% of the world market) and a high natural disaster claims occurrence such as storms, floods, bushfires (well in excess of 2% of the world market). Accordingly, premiums need to rise across the board to sustain the industry in Australia.
However, you can be assured that we research the insurance market constantly to ensure that we offer you the best value policy available on renewal each year and we will recommend a change of insurer when that is warranted.

Question: What methods of premium payment do you offer?

Answer

We offer two methods of payment: annually or monthly. Our monthly payment system is handled by a financier which pays your premium in advance to your selected insurer so you repay them monthly including a small finance charge.
Some Insurers offer monthly premium payments “at no extra cost” as a marketing edge but often the annual premium is higher and includes a margin for instalment payments so there might not be any saving as expected. Their policy coverage may not be as good either. Refer to the  Easypay section of our Website for further information

Question: How do you choose which insurer to place my policy with?

Answer

Some insurers only deal directly with the public but most deal through brokers and some only deal through brokers to reduce their operating and marketing costs. We deal through a selected number of preferred insurers which provide quality cover, competitive premiums, prompt and fair claims service and are financially stable.
Generally we obtain at least 3 quotations from a range of insurers that we know are competitive for a particular policy &/or market segment and which satisfy our service standards.
Our recommendation to you would be based upon our assessment of which product provides you with the best value protection taking account the quality of the cover to be provided and the premium competitiveness.

Question: I’m late paying my premium – am I still covered?

Answer

Under our agreement terms with your insurer, you need to advise us by the expiry date of your policy if it is your intention to renew your policy. If you need further time we can allow you up to 14 days credit to arrange payment or we can arrange a pay by the month facility for you.

Donnellys Services

Question: Will it cost me more to deal through Donnellys?

Answer

We earn our income from a mixture of commission payable by an insurer for administration services we provide them when we arrange policies and a broker fee payable by our client for services to them.
The commission we receive from an insurer does not increase the premium cost to you. Our broker fee is often more than offset by premium savings we can negotiate for our clients which range up to 20% discount.
Usually the policies we offer contain extra cover benefits which we negotiate on behalf of our clients with our recommended insurers.
Refer to our Value Proposition to Personal Clients on this website.

Question: What happens when I have a claim – do you assist me?

Answer

We are here to advise you about the best way to proceed with your claim in order to achieve a prompt and fair settlement. You may need advice about some technical cover aspects of your claim which are happy to provide to assist you – free of charge.
While we only arrange clients’ insurance coverage with reputable insurance companies which have demonstrated a high level of claims service, there are times when a claim, or part of it, may be rejected by an insurer for various reasons. Sometimes it is due to their staff’s human error, sometimes incorrect or insufficient information supplied or incorrect policy contract wording interpretation.
That’s when it is important to have Donnellys “batting for you” to represent your interests in negotiating the best outcome possible for your claim using our expert technical knowledge of policy contracts and negotiation skills with the insurer’s claim management
We are on your side … not the insurers’!

Question: What are the advantages of dealing through Donnellys?

Answer

Professional Advice
We are obliged to provide you with professionally researched advice so that you can make an informed decision about what policy suits you best.

IBNA Marketing Group Buying Power
We are members of a large national insurance brokers marketing group (IBNA) with combined buying power of over $1Billion premiums so we are able to negotiate quality cover at a lower cost than clients can buy for themselves. The specially tailored IBNA personal and business policies combine the best features of all the policies available in the market into a unique quality package. We consider that the IBNA policies are the best value covers available and mostly recommend them to clients.

Claims Assistance
However, our most important function as our clients’ broker is to represent them in arranging a prompt and fair claim settlement. We provide clients with initial advice about the best way to proceed with their claim and from then the insurer and /or loss adjuster manage the claim unless there is a dispute. In this event , it is our role to step in and negotiate on our client’s behalf to resolve any issues and to achieve the best possible outcome.

Premium Savings
Most insurers discount their premiums for Donnellys because of our premium volume and administrative savings through our electronic trading system. This discount is passed on to you and offsets our broker fee. Best Value Insurance

Professional Advice
We aim to provide you with professionally researched advice about the insurance market so that you can make an informed decision about what product from a reliable and secure insurer provides the Best Value.
Best Value = Quality Cover + Competitive Premium + Secure Insurer

Errors or Omissions Protection
For the added protection of Donnellys clients, we have arranged Professional Indemnity Insurance coverage for a maximum claim of $100 million in case we make a mistake in arranging your insurance which causes you a financial loss.

Professional Association Members
Donnellys is a member of the National Insurance Brokers Association and we commit to the NIBA code of practice. This code is intended to establish standards of good business practice and service for members in dealings with their clients.

Dispute Resolution
We have an Internal Dispute Resolution System within Donnellys to handle any client complaints about our service to them. If a client is not satisfied with our response to a written complaint, they are entitled refer the complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service for resolution of the dispute.

Watercraft Insurance

Question: What types of boat does Club Marine insure?

Answer

Club Marine types of acceptable boats:

Power boats

  • Off beach yacht
  • Trailer sailer
  • Multi hull cruiser
  • Catamaran
  • Fishing
  • Jet skis
  • House boats

Question: What types of personal items are insured by the Club Marine policy?

Answer

Club Marine Personal Effects Coverage
The special IBNA Club Marine policy provides a more comprehensive cover for Personal Effects than their standard policy as follows:
Personal Effects including items owned by professional crew are automatically included up to a maximum of $10,000 subject to a limit of $1,000 for the following unspecified items:

  • Sunglasses
  • Jewellery and watch
  • Camera
  • Computer
  • Electronic devices
  • Mobile phone

Question: What type of equipment is covered by the Club Marine policy?

Answer

Club Marine Equipment Coverage
The special IBNA Club Marine policy provides a more comprehensive cover for Equipment than their standard policy as follows:
Unspecified Fishing gear, waterski and diving equipment, tools up to a maximum of $10,000 subject to a limit of $1,000 per item.

Flood Insurance

Question: What’s the difference between Flood, Storm and Water Damage coverage?

Answer

Flood generally means the complete covering of normally dry land by any water:
escaping or released from the normal borders of any lake or natural watercourse or any reservoir, canal, dam, or stormwater channel or cannot enter such due to water already having escaped or been released
Storm means:

  • cyclone, hurricane, rain, snow, sleet or hail

Water Damage means:

  • water suddenly escaping from a water carrying or holding device due to the bursting, leaking, or discharging or overflowing of the device

Donnellys can arrange Flood coverage subject to underwriting acceptance by insurers.

Financial Protection Insurance

Question:Why should I have Life Insurance cover?

Answer

If you are the family main income earner, Life Insurance upon your death can provide a lump sum to invest to replace your family’s reliance on your income generation. Life Insurance can also cover funeral costs, repay debts and mortgage, and fund longer term needs such as children’s education or spouse retirement.

If you are a business owner, a properly structured Life Insurance program can safeguard the finances of the business to ensure its continuity upon your death or serious disablement.

Question:What are the advantages of arranging my policies through a Life Broker?

Answer

A Life Broker has access to a multitude of Life Insurance companies and has a thorough knowledge of which companies to specialise in different types of policies and which clients are likely to best fit with an insurer’s preferred risk profile to keep the premium cost lower.

A Life Broker will also conduct a thorough review of your personal financial circumstances to ensure that a recommended policy matches your financial risk exposures and is the best value protection.