Veracity February 2020 edition

By  Vero Insurance

Message from Anthony Pagano and Sam Sanfilippo


Welcome to the first edition of Veracity for 2020. It has been a challenging start to the year for our industry and many of us personally. We have experienced an unprecedented number of natural hazard events with some of the worst bushfires ever recorded in Australia, followed by severe hail storms and flooding along the East Coast. We’ve even had cyclones amongst the mix. Our teams have been moving at pace to help impacted customers and communities throughout the recovery process, and our focus remains on making our claims process as simple and efficient as possible for you and your customers. We encourage all brokers to lodge claims electronically and where it makes sense, to utilise the bulk lodgement spreadsheet.  For any customer that you identify as being vulnerable or in need of priority assistance, please let us know so we can assess their claim accordingly.

Townsville recovery following the 2019 floods

One year on Vero is close to finalising the large number of claims from the devastating Townsville floods. Our focus throughout the flood recovery and rebuild process has been to place our customers back in their homes, as well as get businesses back up and running, as soon as possible. While the majority of claims have been finalised and we are proud of the work undertaken to date, we appreciate we are not done yet. Our claims teams and repairers continue to work with customers whose claims are still in progress to ensure repairs are completed as quickly as possible.

2020 SME Insurance Index webinar

We are proud to bring you the 9th annual edition of the SME Insurance Index. Since 2012, the SME Insurance Index has provided you with invaluable insights into the insurance environment by identifying broker usage and purchase behaviour trends, and actionable insights and tools designed to help grow your business. This year, we look at the importance of helping SMEs understand the role of the broker and insurer and the need for both parties to work together to demonstrate the value of the partnership and its benefits to deliver good customer outcomes. Read on to register for the free 2020 SME Insurance Index webinar.

NIBA Young Professional Broker of the Year

Nominations are open for the Vero-sponsored NIBA Young Professional Broker of the Year and Warren Tickle Memorial Award. Do you know a colleague or peer who should be recognised for their efforts and contribution to the broking industry? The Warren Tickle Memorial Award winner receives up to $10,000 to put towards their personal and/or business development experience, and access to the Vero Young Brokers Alumni Program. We encourage you to nominate the everyday achievers in your business for this prestigious award. Read on to find out how to nominate your choice for the 2020 NIBA Young Professional Broker of the Year Award.

As the NIBA Large General Insurer of the Year, we remain committed on finding more ways to support you and your customers in 2020, and we will continue to deliver new learning and development initiatives to make sure you have the right tools, resources and skills to lead the competition. 


Update on Townsville recovery following the 2019 floods

One year on since the devastating floods in Townsville, we are pleased to report that Suncorp Group, including Vero, is close to finalising its large number of claims.

Across the Group, we received close to 9,000 home, motor and commercial property claims and our response required a heavily resourced, co-ordinated and efficient operation. Our focus throughout the flood recovery and rebuild process has been to place our customers back in their homes, as well as get businesses back up and running, as soon as possible.

Progress to date

At the 12-month mark, we have made significant progress on our response:

  • We have finalised 83% of commercial property claims received.
  • We have completed 100% of vehicle repairs for commercial motor claims.
  • We have finalised 83% of Vero home and contents claims.
  • 95% of flood affected home insurance customers are back in their homes.
  • We have made payments of more than $325 million for home and contents claims to date, either directly to customers or for services rendered as part of the rebuilding and repairing process.

There are a range of reasons for ongoing work required for commercial property claims, but primarily it relates to severity and size of damage being repaired. We remain committed to resolving these claims as soon as possible.

Supporting local tradespeople and suppliers

One of the successes of our response effort has been the support of more than 500 local trades, companies and suppliers, who have worked alongside our existing repairers to help complete repairs quickly and have provided a significant boost to Townsville’s broader economy over the past year.

As a demonstration of our ongoing commitment to the region, we hope to shortly appoint two Townsville-based repairers to our building panel. These builders will help support future claims and event responses in the north, as well as contribute to the ongoing economic recovery of Townsville in the years ahead.

Working together to deliver good customer outcomes

We have been clear since day one that we’re here for the long-haul and will see our response through to the very end.

While the majority of claims have been finalised, our claims teams and repairers continue to work with customers whose claims are still in progress to ensure repairs are completed as quickly as possible.

Our response to the Townsville floods saw us trial a series of forums for brokers and customers early in our response to directly engage with those impacted to explain our processes, answer questions, and address any concerns held. We received excellent feedback from this initiative, which we will undertake again for future catastrophe responses as necessary.

We are here to help every step of the way

North Queensland will continue to be an important market for our business. If at any stage you have any questions or concerns about our response to the Townsville floods, please contact us at broker_communications@vero.com.au.


Who will be the 2020 NIBA Young Professional Broker of the Year?

Nominations are open for the Vero-sponsored NIBA Young Professional Broker of the Year and Warren Tickle Memorial Award.

Since the award’s inception over three decades ago, Vero has been committed to the success of young brokers’ careers and their professional development. Last year, Vero launched the Young Brokers Alumni Program to bring together the next generation of broking leaders across the industry for ongoing development and training opportunities.

This year’s state finalists will participate in a professional development experience designed to equip them with tools and strategies based on the programs core themes: Leadership, Customer Understanding, The Art of Storytelling, Resilience and the importance of Self-Reflection, to help drive their careers and general wellbeing.

In addition to gaining access to the Young Brokers Alumni Program, the Warren Tickle Memorial Award winner receives up to $10,000 to put towards a personal and/or business development experience in Australia or anywhere else in the world.

2019 winner, Caitlin Carson will be travelling to the US this month to attend a Women’s Leadership Program at Yale School of Management. Caitlin has chosen this world-class learning experience to inspire new ideas, skills, and fresh perspectives needed for a successful transition to senior leadership. We wish Caitlin the best of luck!

Nominate today!

Please focus on the everyday achievers in your business and nominate them for this prestigious award. Nominations close Friday, 28 February 2020.

Click here to nominate your choice for the 2020 NIBA Young Professional Broker of the Year Award.

Only a couple of weeks to go! Have you registered for the Vero SME Insurance Index webinar yet? With limited places available, don’t miss out on your chance to be amongst the first brokers in Australia to benefit from important information on your clients’ insurance behaviours, plus actionable insights designed to help you create a clear vision for success in 2020.

Discover:

  • What confuses SMEs about insurance
  • The key to building transparency and trust for long-lasting broker–client partnerships
  • Proactive services to help increase client satisfaction

Join our panel of industry experts on Wednesday, 11 March at 3pm AEDT and receive one CPD point when you complete the free, interactive webinar.

Register now


How to deepen client relationships between renewal windows

A broker who only speaks to their clients at renewal time is working at a surface level that will be felt by clients to be purely transactional. So how do you find ways to communicate at different times of the year to build both your client relationship and loyalty?

When you shift focus from being a service provider towards being someone who helps your clients to understand and manage their risks and opportunities, it’s easy to find reasons to communicate more regularly. Click here to read the full article. 


SRM in the Spotlight: Kathy Platakis

For our latest SRM in the Spotlight series we caught up with Resilium Strategic Relationship Manager, Kathy Platakis. In this short video Kathy shares some of her career highlights, and why she would invite Karl Lagerfeld to dinner.


RM Insight: Fire protection system impairments

Upgrades, building works and maintenance of commercial properties often require impairment of fire protection systems while the work is being carried out. In this article, we examine how completing a risk assessment before impairing the function of a fire system can help address hazards that could result in significant losses.


How to be heat vigilant this month

Employers and workers are being urged by authorities to be extra vigilant when guarding against the effects of extreme summer heat. The warning, issued by WorkSafe Western Australia, came after the Bureau of Meteorology forecast above average daytime temperatures across the country until February 2020. WorkSafe WA Commissioner, Darren Kavanagh said the warning “goes out not only to outdoor workers, but also to employees that may be exposed to constant high temperatures that can result in heat stress or even heat stroke in indoor workplaces like foundries”.

In Australia over the last 10 years there has been 1,360 workers’ compensation claims resulting from working in heat. This includes both working in the sun as well as in hot indoor conditions (i).

Importance of risk controls

Managing the risk of heat is also required in offices, shops, factories, and when travelling. Workers in extremely hot environments can lose up to a litre of fluid every hour and it is vital they replace it, WorkSafe WA said.

It is important for businesses to have clear risk control plans in place (ii) SafeWork Australia: Know the hazards of working in heat. To assist in managing the risks of working in heat, Safe Work Australia has developed guidance material which includes how to identify & assess heat hazards and controls that can be applied. You can review the guide here.

Heat-related risk management

Some heat-related risk factors to consider are (iii): Safe Work Australia: Identify, assess and control hazards.

Risk factors

Recommended actions to take

Hot surroundings or working in the sun

Look for potential incidents of heat-related condition (fainting, heat stroke) or burns. Where possible, consider workers do the work elsewhere. 

Days and nights hotter than usual

Consider that workers might be fatigued due to lack of sleep. Modify required dress code or uniforms to allow more breathable clothing.

High humidity

High humidity makes it hard for body to cool itself, ensure access to drinking water. Consider the use of air conditioning or fans to create air movement.

Timing of the work

Defer tasks to cooler times of the day and schedule regular work breaks.

Those suspected of having heat stroke must be treated immediately: being cooled down as quickly as possible by methods such as soaking clothing in cold water and increasing air movement with fanning until medical help is available. “Apart from the serious medical concerns arising from heat stroke, the effects of extreme or sustained heat can seriously affect a worker’s concentration levels, and the consequences of this can also be very serious,” Kavanagh said. “Guarding against heat stress and heat stroke is part of providing a safe and healthy workplace, and I urge employers to ensure that preventative measures are in place.”

Vero can offer Workers Compensation Insurance for businesses in WA, NT, ACT and TAS through GIO. Our risk team can provide support and guidance for workplaces with exposure to RCS. For more information please speak to your local Vero representative or email the Workers Compensation Risk Team at riskservices@gio.com.au.

Disclaimer: This newsletter is for information purposes only and is not legal or financial advice. The information is intended to be of a general nature only. We do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss incurred as a result of reliance upon it – please make your own inquiries. This newsletter has been prepared by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as Vero Insurance.

Originally published by NSCA Foundation in the December 2019 issue of National Safety magazine. NSCA Foundation is a member based, not for profit organisation working together with members to improve workplace health and safety throughout Australia. For more information visit www.nscafoundation.org.au or email membership@nsca.org.au.

References:

i) SafeWork Australia: Know the hazards of working in heat. 2020. Retrieved from https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/media-centre/news/know-hazards-working-heat

ii) Safe Work Australia: Identify, assess and control hazards. 2019. Retrieved from https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/risk

iii) Safe Work Australia: Checklist for risk-managing heat in the workplace. 2017. Retrieved from https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/doc/checklist-risk-managing-heat-workplace