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

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2018 Federal Budget Summary

This year, the treasurer promised a Budget that delivers a strong economy, more jobs, and essential services, so our team have cut through the cryptic charts and political jargon to find what we all REALLY want to know from the 2018/19 Federal Budget; What’s in it for us?

These changes are proposals only and may or may not be made into law. This information is provided to help assist in understanding the 2018 Federal Budget changes. It does not constitute advice and any questions should be directed to your Financial Adviser.

KEY THEMES

This year’s budget was all about the next election with:

  • Tax relief to encourage and reward working Australians.
  • Support for business to invest and create jobs.
  • Guaranteeing “essential” services.
  • Keeping Australia safe.
  • And the government living within its means.

INCOME TAX

  • A multi-year plan to make personal income tax lower, fairer and simpler.
  • Top tax threshold will increase from $87,000 to $90,000 – meaning 94 per cent of Australians will pay no more than 32.5 cents in the dollar.
  • Those earning $37,000 or less will save up to $200 on tax.
  • Those earning more than $37,000 up to $90,000 will save up to $530 on tax.
  • Little tax relief for those earning over $125,000 until 2024/25 when the 37 percent tax bracket is abolished.
  • Relaxing the Parental Income Tax for access to Youth Allowance by $10,000 per annum per child.
  • Tax changes to cost $13.4 billion.

SUPER AND PENSIONS

  • Banning exit fees on superannuation accounts when people change funds.
  • Those under 25 won’t be forced to pay for life insurance as part of the super fund.
  • Pensions Loan Scheme opened to all older Australians without impact on pension or benefits.
  • Expanded Pension Work Bonus will allow pensioners to earn an extra $1300 a year.
  • Wage subsidies of up to $10,000 for employers who take on older workers.
  • Skills and Training Incentive to allow mature age workers to update their skills.

AGED CARE

  • Increase in the number of home care places by 14,000 over four years at a cost of $1.6 billion.
  • $146 million to improve access to aged care services in rural, regional and remote areas.
  • $83 million for mental health services in residential aged care facilities to help combat depression.
  • Creation of a national online register for enduring powers of attorney.
  • Government to fund targeted programs run by local sporting organisations and community groups to encourage older Australians to remain physically active.

BUSINESS

  • Instant asset write off for business with a turnover up to $10 million extended to purchases up to $20,000.
  • New anti-phoenixing measures to make sure small businesses don’t get ripped off by those trying to avoid paying bills.
  • Extra $250 million for the Skilling Australians Fund.
  • Changing the tax treatment of stapled structures to remove the loophole that gives foreign companies a tax break over Australian companies.
  • Tightening thin cap rules to stop multinationals from fiddling with debt to reduce their tax liabilities.
  • A discussion paper to come that will explore options for taxing digital business in Australia.
  • Black Economy Taskforce recommendations will bring in $5.3 billion over the next four years by targeting sectors that underreport income.

MEDICAL AND HEALTH

  • The new five-year hospital agreement with States and Territories will deliver $30 billion in additional funding.
  • 21st-century medical industry plan to create more jobs in the sector.
  • $500 million over 10 years for the Medical Research Fund.
  • Extra $1.4 billion for listings on the PBS, including treatments for HIV, spinal muscular atrophy, breast cancer, refractory multiple myeloma, and relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.
  • $125 million over 10 years from the Medical Research Future Fund for Lifeline Australia and Mental Health Research.
  • $20.9 million for tests to ensure that debilitating conditions are picked up early.
  • $154 million to promote healthy living, including $83 million for existing community sports facilities and to expand local and school sporting programs.
  • Increased financial support for the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

TECHNOLOGY

  • $2.4 billion to be invested in public technology infrastructure including supercomputers and satellite technology.
  • Refocusing the R&D (research and development) tax incentive to support companies that invest in R&D.
  • Additional funding to protect farmers from pests, disease and weeds.
  • ENERGY
  • National energy guarantee to see annual power bills fall by an average of $400 a year from 2020.
  • Emission reduction target to remain at 26-28 per cent.

INFRASTRUCTURE

  • In addition to the 10-year $75 billion infrastructure projects already announced, the government will create a $1 billion Urban Congestion Fund to improve traffic flow and safety at a state level.
  • And a $3.5 billion for a Roads of Strategic Importance initiative upgrading key freight routes.
  • $550 million will be spent to address remote housing needs in the Northern Territory.
  • EDUCATION
  • Needs-based funding for schools to deliver $24.5 billion more over the next 10 years.
  • Schools to receive $18.7 billion, with a legislated rise to around $30 billion in 2027.
  • National Schools Chaplaincy program extended with a focus on anti-bullying.
  • Universal access to early childhood education extended for a year costing $440 million.

BORDER CONTROL

  • $50 million to upgrade security infrastructure at 64 regional airports.
  • $122 million to enhance screening of inbound air cargo and international mail.
  • $122 million to increase border force capability at nine domestic and international airports.
  • $160 million to help agencies fight crime and prevent terrorism, including $68.6 million to prevent child exploitation and abuse.

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.

It’s important to trust your employees, but equally as important to be prepared for the day that one may let you down.

Employee fraud is big business, and getting bigger all the time. Between April and September 2016, 143 frauds took place in Australia, with a total value of $442 million, according to KPMG’s fraud barometer.

The most common perpetrators are ‘business insiders’, with employees and management accounting for more than half of all reported frauds. Some 22% of frauds were facilitated through the use of technology.

Detection is taking too long – 40% of frauds in Australia take place over a five-year period before being discovered – and if you think it’s just the big firms at risk and SMEs are immune, think again!

For many small and mid-sized businesses (SMEs), the vulnerability to fraud can be compounded due to their often informal nature and the fact that fewer staff members can result in less oversight – and a lack of checks and balances. The impact, however, can be devastating with KPMG reporting the average value of each fraud at $3.1 million.

The good news, however – an insurance solution is available to give you peace of mind should the worst happen. Crime cover, an option available as part of many Management Liability Insurance policies reimburses the insured for a loss directly resulting from dishonest acts of their employees. This solution covers direct financial loss, not a consequential one, in other words, the loss should be of money or goods of the insured.

Purchasing Management Liability Insurance is imperative for business owners, however, it is equally important to ensure systems and processes are in place to reduce the likelihood of fraudulent activity occurring in the first instance.

When the future of your business is at stake, it pays to put aside emotions and think practically.
You should always consult your local Adroit broker for advice on the range of policies available to suit you and your business needs.

Get in touch with your broker today and stay ahead of fraudsters!

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

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