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

Avoiding legal landmines with Directors’ & Officers’ cover

Lawsuits against big corporations tend to capture the spotlight, but executives at smaller businesses shouldn’t be complacent about the potential legal landmines they may face.

In such a litigious environment, and with regulators focusing more and more on corporate culture, there are many areas where directors and managers may find themselves exposed if they haven’t taken steps to lock in protection.

Research says directors’ and officers’ insurance policies are often overlooked at the smaller end of the market, particularly among micro-enterprises.

Many SME (Small and Medium-sized Enterprises) decision-makers often lack knowledge about where and how easily management liability might arise and also about the nature of the Directors & Officers’ Liability (also known as D&O) product and what it covers.

Nowadays, SMEs can easily become the target of legal actions, with customers, suppliers and employees just as aware of their rights whether the business is large or small. Australian regulators are also increasingly active across the financial services spectrum.

Often, company directors and managers believe their individual risks are being covered by other parts of the business’s insurance package, however, that is all too often not the case.

Professional indemnity VS Management liability

Professional indemnity insurance, for example, covers activities of a business, whereas management liability policies, which include directors’ and officers’ cover, provide protection where third parties claim for losses due to mismanagement.

The directors and managers of an SME can individually face claims for actions alleging fraud or other breaches, engaging in unfair competition, defamation and accusations of other illegal conduct, however, a typical D&O policy will cover these representation costs, such as when a person must attend an inquiry, legal expenses in defending a claim and compensation paid to resolve an issue.

SMEs often put a strong focus on making sure insurance policies are in place for property, fire and business interruption, however, directors’ and officers’ cover is also a vital area to address.

If you’re a manager or director of a company, review your options with your risk adviser today.

Record Rainfall Sparks Flooding Fears – Be Prepared

One of the hottest November months in history is about to come to an abrupt end with the Bureau of Meteorology warning of flash flooding across Victoria. Preparations are underway for some of the most significant rainfall experienced in more than 20 years.

To help you prepare, our team have put together these 10 handy tips to help protect and minimise the risk of damage to your property when severe weather strikes:

  1. Wherever possible move valuable items to higher ground.
  2. Place furniture on beds and then personal items on the furniture. Electrical equipment should be placed on top.
  3. Remove wooden drawers from built-in wardrobes, cabinets and furniture. Wood has a tendency to swell when wet, causing pressure between the drawers.
  4. Protect valuable machinery and equipment by enclosing them in waterproof covers. Certain machinery may benefit from a coating of grease (please check with the manufacturer prior to applying any substance). Another alternative is to consider is encircling equipment with a wall of sandbags.
  5. If you live in the country you may have to relocate livestock, machinery, pumps and irrigation equipment to higher ground. Prepare by knowing the flood heights that affect your property and being aware of where the higher ground can be found.
  6. Ensure all electrical equipment including computers is switched off at the power outlet and unplugged – reducing the risk of a power surge.
  7. Ensure all your computer and mobile phone data is backed up.
  8. Boating, driving and walking in flood areas should be avoided unless absolutely necessary.
  9. During low-level flooding, you can use sandbags to redirect water away from your property.
  10. It pays to have a basic kit emergency handy at all times. Your kit should comprise of :
  • First-aid supplies 
  • Torches
  • A battery operated portable radio
  • Spare batteries
  • Gloves
  • Rubber boots

While prevention measures are the best way to stop things from going awry this weekend, it’s impossible to predict everything.

With 24-hour support at hand, we offer peace of mind should something go wrong. So if you need assistance or expert advice, contact your local Adroit branch.

Record fundraiser anything but par for the cause

Last week we hosted our 16th Annual Charity Golf Day at 13th Beach Golf Links in Barwon Heads, and we’re thrilled to announce we raised $105,376 for Bethany Community Support.

Not only did we raise a record amount, but the incredible efforts from the day saw total funds raised over the event’s 16-year history reach the amazing milestone figure of $1,000,000!

The inaugural Adroit Golf Day Capital grant in conjunction with the Geelong Community Foundation was originally set at $100,000 but the generosity of local businesses and organisations saw the final total reach an astonishing $105,376. The total funds raised will go to Bethany Community Support to develop a men’s centre.

The men’s centre will be the first of its kind in Victoria, providing a suite of services in the prevention of and response to family violence. The services will include behaviour change programs, counselling, fathering programs and mental health assessment and treatment – filling a gap in the community’s response to such issues.

Adroit Insurance Group Managing Director, Andrew Locke, was delighted with the result, thanking the businesses and organisations who donated in such a generous manner.

“For the Geelong community to have supported this event over the past 16 years, raising more than $1,000,000 to date, is a milestone achievement we can all be very proud of.”

Our thanks to all of our wonderful staff, sponsors and community partners who volunteered their time and resources helping us to reach this fantastic milestone!

Adroit Golf Day

Adroit Annual Charity Golf Day 2017

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It’s been an exciting year for us at Adroit and we’re especially thrilled about next week’s 16th Annual Charity Golf Day!

Held at 13th Beach Golf Links in Barwon Heads on 23rd November, the day promises to be an entertaining and enjoyable outing for everyone involved.

It’s always rewarding to be able to help our local community wherever we can. This year has been particularly gratifying, as along with our community partner the Geelong Community Foundation, who have supported us to distribute funds, we’re proud to give the inaugural Adroit Golf Day Capital Grant of $100,000 to Bethany Community Support.

This grant – funded by the proceeds of the Golf Day – is an important milestone in the evolution of our event.

As part of their family violence program, Bethany Community Support will use the grant to develop a men’s centre – the first of its kind in Victoria. This important project aims to help address the increase in domestic violence.

Providing a comprehensive response, the men’s centre will offer a suite of services that aim to both prevent and respond to family violence issues.

These services will include men’s behaviour change programs, counselling, fathering programs and mental health assessment and treatment, going a long way to filling a gaping hole in the community’s response to family violence.

Having identified a need to stop the destructive cycle of family violence, Bethany’s programs of education and inclusion, which address the underlying issues that lead to such negative behaviour, will no doubt save lives.

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Make a date to stay up-to-date

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It’s no surprise how quickly life can change – the only thing you can be sure of is that occasionally, the unexpected will happen. Whether it’s in your business or your personal life, there’s always something new just around the corner.

With this in mind, it’s important all your insurance needs are being met. Just like an outdated fashion trend, an insurance policy you purchased but have never reviewed is unlikely to still be a good fit. A “set and forget” approach is one that can lead to unpleasant surprises down the track, but thankfully can be easily prevented by regularly reviewing your level of coverage as your circumstances change.

Getting married, having children, a promotion at work, major purchases or downsizing – these are all major life events that mean your insurance needs will change accordingly.

Don’t forget your business insurance either – just as personal circumstances change, businesses change over time too. You might be offering different products or services, your team may grow or shrink, and new opportunities can see your business evolve in directions you never expected. That’s why it’s so important to keep your insurance policies current and relevant to your business activities.

Just like a regular check-up with your doctor is essential for your personal health, a periodic check-up with your insurance broker is absolutely necessary to ensure you have the best level of coverage for your circumstances.

Adroit’s personalised approach ensures you have everything you need (and nothing you don’t) giving you peace of mind that in the event of the unexpected, you’re fully covered.

You should always consult your qualified insurance broker for advice on the best policies available to suit your needs.

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