Welcome to Adroitness, the official Adroit Insurance Blog, where our team of insurance experts provide advice and insights into current and emerging trends.

Ballarat Base Hospital Children’s Ward

It was with great pleasure and pride that, yesterday afternoon, we celebrated the opening of the Ballarat Base Hospital Children’s Ward.

Over the past 6 years, Adroit Insurance Group worked side by side with the amazing Cotton On Group bringing Run Ballarat to life and raising funds for the redevelopment of the ward. The event brought together the wider community with over 30,000 participants and raised $1,038,690 towards the project.

I would like to acknowledge the following businesses who contributed sponsorship which underpinned the Run event:

The Cotton On Group, GMHBA, Mars Confectionery, TRG Accountants, W&D Finance, Sovereign Hill Museums, QBE Insurance, Eclipse Ford, The Lake View Hotel, Ballarat Aquatic Centre, The Courier Ballarat, Prime 7 Television, 3BA/Power FM, Selkirk Group of Companies, UFS Dispensaries, Hocking Stuart Ballarat, City of Ballarat, Ballarat Holden, BGT Jobs & Training, Mint Underwriting, Tanya Daniels The Good Guys, Telstra, Athletes Foot Ballarat, Caine Property, Fernwood Women’s Club Ballarat, Dilmac Media & Regent Cinemas Ballarat.

Without their generosity and civil mindedness, the event would not have been possible, so again I say Thank You.

A true testament of the strength and character of the Ballarat community was the fact that the $3.6 million dollar project to redevelop the Children’s Ward was funded entirely by the community, without an ounce of government funding.

To those who provided the balance of the funds, including The Oliver Family Foundation, Ballarat Health Services Foundation, Give Me 5 for Kids, XonA Social Club, Percy Baxter Charitable Fund, Ballarat and District Early Holden Car Club, Humpty Dumpty Foundation; a heartfelt well done and thank you.

I sincerely hope that all who contributed towards the project feel proud of what they have achieved. Together we have helped to create a state-of-the-art facility which will provide a level of security and surety for future generations and their families should they fall ill or be injured.

 

In a risky world, you can’t ‘set and forget’

So you’re insured against the risks that could harm your company. You’re thriving in a competitive market, and all’s well. That’s great, but you’ve forgotten something.

As a business grows, its risk profile changes. You buy new equipment to make your firm more efficient, for example. But when you bought it, did you give us a call to add it to your inventory?

Because as you’re growing, it’s logical that the risks you face are also growing.

So just as it’s essential to have your business insured, it’s equally important to follow up with regular reviews to assess if what you have covered is still adequate.

This aspect of running a business very often receives scant attention, but it’s something business owners and managers shouldn’t allow themselves to ever feel relaxed about. No matter how the day-to-day aspects of the business dominate your thoughts, you must remember a thorough insurance program is the thing that keeps your company safe as you grow.

Don’t put it on the backburner, because after disaster has struck is way too late. By then, your business could be badly out of pocket or under-insured, just when you need all the help that you can get.

The latest SME Insurance Index compiled by insurance company Vero suggests that far too many owners are still not assessing their covers regularly and are therefore exposing their businesses to unnecessary risks.

Only 46% of the 1619 SME companies surveyed said they carry out a regular review of their insurance arrangements. And 22% only do so when prompted by their insurance broker or other risk advisers.

About 37% have re-assessed their covers only because of changes or events, 32% say they do so because of premium changes and 10% linked it to having to make a major claim or other “significant event”.

About 40% do not have any form of standard reviews and 8% admitted they haven’t checked their insurance cover since starting their business.

The index also found that 26% undertake policy reviews only when there are changes to the business such as a huge equipment purchase or installation of a new IT system.

While the results of the index are not all doom and gloom, it’s clear regular housekeeping of existing insurance covers as their businesses grow isn’t the high priority it should be for business owners.

We can help you set up a timetable to regularly review your existing cover.

Making it a habit to check your risks not only ensures your business is adequately insured, but it also keeps the business owner up to date on the latest types of cover available in the market.

Business risks are constantly evolving and insurers are continually developing and updating policies in response. Risks are becoming more complex and even dangerous as digital commerce becomes mainstream.

The lesson is obvious: Never “set and forget”. As your business grows, so do the risks. We would be happy to help you carry out regular reviews to make sure all eventualities are covered – always.

Preparation is key to claims prevention

Taking action to prevent five of the most common small business claims is likely to be time well spent as a busy year lies ahead. Today we will explore these five small business claims and how to prevent the risks associated with them.

Identifying and tackling common issues offers easy opportunities to limit risks and being able to show a pro-active track record will come in handy when purchasing and renewing insurance.

At the top of the claims lodged by SMEs is Theft and burglary. This highlights the importance of installing good security systems – and ensuring they are correctly set up and used by everyone in the business. Lighting that limits the chance for intruders to sneak into properties unseen provides a deterrent, while strong locks on windows and doors also eliminates easy opportunities for thieves.

Storm damage is the second source of claims for businesses, which face varying levels of risks according to their locations in cities and towns across the country.

Where applicable, trimming overhanging trees and clearing drains and gutters can reduce risks from falling branches and debris, while the threat from gale-force winds can also be limited by keeping an eye on weather forecasts and securing outdoor furniture and equipment ahead of storms. Businesses should prepare for the possibility of extended power outages and consider how that may affect the operations and steps they can take. It’s an area where our business interruption cover really comes into play.

Accidental or malicious property damage represents the third most common source of claims, according to a recent review of business pack claims data. As with burglary and theft, it’s important to secure the premises and make sure there are no easy temptations for vandals and that the risk of unexpected damage is reduced.

Machinery and equipment breakdown is the fourth most common type of claim and can have a significant impact on expenses and profits. A schedule for regular checks and maintenance will help keep equipment running smoothly; any minor problems should be attended to while worn parts should be replaced before larger issues emerge.

Employees should be trained so equipment and machinery are used as intended, without operating at over-capacity or in unfavourable environmental conditions. Moreover, machinery that is vital to a business should be stored in ways that minimise the chance of problems.

Rounding out the top five claims areas for small business, Liability risks are often overlooked by SMEs, but this type of claim can be complex and difficult.

Keeping walkways and floors dry and clear of tripping hazards can reduce the risks, while adequate lighting, particularly on stairs, helps prevent accidents. Access should be restricted
to areas where hazardous equipment may be operating, while clear systems can ensure clients’ property is handled with care.

Many of the risks listed above can be averted, and considering steps to prevent common problems pays dividends. It is an effective part of a wider risk-management approach that you can discuss with us. As your insurance adviser, it’s our job to do everything we can to keep you and your business safe.

 

Call us on 1300 MY ADROIT to find out more.

 

6 great money habits for new business owners

Being your own boss takes courage and smarts. A great idea, a different way of doing things, a gap in the market – the catalyst for starting your own business might be driven by financial gain and independence and for those who get it right, the profits can be rewarding.

It’s a big step going out there on your own and unfortunately, many new businesses fail due to ‘inadequate cash flow or high cash use’, as well as ‘poor management’. Here are seven book-balancing tips that can help you manage your finances in the early years of building your business.

1. Set financial goals
Goal setting with near and long-term objectives can direct and motivate your daily, quarterly, and yearly activity, in line with your overall business growth targets. Rank your goals in order of time and priority, and track your progress against your own KPIs to measure success. It doesn’t have to be complicated; a simple spreadsheet will suffice.

2. Get to know your cash flow                                                                                                                                                

In an ideal world, you’d pay your staff, bills, materials and invoices after you’d received payment from your clients – unfortunately, such a perfect balance of money coming in and out rarely happens!
You need to forecast so that at any point in time you have the cash to run your business. Once you’ve done your monthly budget, it may become clear that some months you may make a loss. Account for those period of times in the red by setting aside funds to meet your expenses during months with negative cash flow.

 

3.Invest in yourself, your staff, and your business
Investing in your business is crucial for future success. Equipment, education and courses, attending business events and marketing/advertising for example, all require an up-front investment, but present a greater opportunity for your business overall.

4. Decipher between needs and wants
We’ve all got an idea of our perfect business set up, but the reality is that “needs” have to come before “wants” and compromise is a big part of a business’ early years. This doesn’t mean compromising forever though. Consider the short-term loss with the long-term gain, and weigh up the best course of investment.

5.Pay off loans strategically
Starting and running a business isn’t cheap – it’s likely you’ve taken out a loan or are considering debt finance as a strategy to set yourself up. Having a strategy or plan to reduce debt is important and can place your business in a better financial position.

6. Protect your income
Your business relies on your hard work and presence to be successful. An illness or accident that takes you out of action and stops you from being able to earn an income could have lasting effects on your finances as the bills won’t stop coming in. In the absence of workers’ compensation or sick leave entitlements for the self-employed, income protection insurance can make it possible for you to meet your personal financial obligations.


Managing finances is an inevitable part of business ownership. The team at Adroit can provide risk advice on policies best suited to your needs, as well as help you with the application process.

 

Call us on 1300 MY ADROIT to find out more about Income Protection Insurance today.

 

This blog article does not consider your personal circumstances and is general advice only unless otherwise stated. You should not act on any recommendation without considering your personal needs, circumstances and objectives.  Adroit Financial Group recommends you obtain professional financial advice specific to your circumstances.

And the Award for Best Community Engagement Program goes to…

The inaugural Insurance Business Awards took place on Friday 4th May at The Westin Sydney.  More than 600 of Australia’s top Insurance professionals attended to recognise the industry’s finest.

Awards were presented in 25 categories that recognised the work of authorised representatives, brokers, brokerages, underwriting agencies and insurers who are setting the industry standard.

We were named the winner of Best Community Engagement Program – Broker, ahead of finalists Elliott Insurance Brokers, Insurance Advisernet, JLT, Knightcorp Insurance Brokers, and PSC Connect.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have won the Best Community Engagement Program – Broker,” said Andrew Locke, Adroit Managing Director. “To be recognised among the calibre of businesses that were nominated is truly humbling. A strong community value is at the heart of our organisation and driven by the passion of our people. We are extremely proud of what we have achieved and are thrilled by the recognition this award brings.”

As a business, we have been actively involved in the community, achieving many milestones over the years. In 2014, our team developed a dedicated community investment strategy to provide more structure and focus on how the business wanted to engage in their local communities, a decision based on maximising the contribution and support we could provide and combining the passion of our people to engage in and support where they live and work.

Last year alone, our team dedicated more than 460 hours volunteering to local charities and organisations, raised $300,000 via the hosting and co-organisation of events, contributed $95,000 in sponsorship to local sporting clubs and community organisations, and donated $63,000 to local charities. We were also able to reach the amazing milestone of $2 million raised from Adroit’s own and co-organised events.

Over the years, some of our most notable events include partnering with the Cotton On Foundation to bring Run Ballarat to the community of Ballarat, and via the proceeds raised funding the refurbishment of the Ballarat Base Hospital Children’s Ward. The Adroit Geelong Charity Golf Day in 16 years has raised over $1 million including in excess of $100,000 in the past two years alone, with the proceeds helping to fund many local Geelong charity initiatives such as The Bethany Men’s Centre.

We take pride in partnering with locals in the communities we service and championing the many causes that are out there, none of which would be possible without the engagement and support of the entire Adroit team,” said Andrew Locke. “This award is tremendous recognition for them and for sharing a belief that we are simply doing what we believe is right.”

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