Veracity - October 2019 edition

By  Vero Insurance

Message from Anthony

Welcome to the latest edition of Veracity – an issue packed with achievements and initiatives worth celebrating.

Firstly, congratulations to Caitlin Carson of Marsh in Brisbane on winning the 2019 NIBA Young Professional Broker of the Year. Chosen from five state finalists who represented the very best of our industry, Caitlin has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to her professional development, providing leadership to peers and a dedication to high standards and excellence.  We are proud to celebrate 30 years of partnership with NIBA supporting young brokers through sponsorship of the Warren Tickle Memorial Award. Well done to Caitlin and the state finalists! 

We are thrilled to be named ‘Large General Insurer of the Year’ announced at this week’s NIBA awards. It is a great result for our people who work hard to deliver great products and service to our broker partners and their clients. We would like to thank NIBA and its member brokers for this award and their ongoing support.

I’d also like to mention category finalists in the RM Advancer Awards have just been announced. Now in its 14th year, these prestigious awards showcase the risk management achievements of Vero and GIO Workers Compensation, brokers, and clients. Winners will be announced at a gala evening in Sydney later this month. Good luck to our finalists.  

In other news, we’re excited to share the latest Vero Risk Profiler Tool, helping you further demonstrate industry-specific risk management expertise with customers – offering a personalised, value-added service. Read on to register for the free tool.

Caitlin Carson pictured with Eric Harris, NIBA President and Sarah Moltzen, National Manager, Strategic Relationship Intermediaries

Andrew Mair, EGM Intermediaries pictured with Eric Harris, NIBA President


Young Brokers Alumni Program: Red Centre Experience update

To celebrate 30 years of sponsoring the Warren Tickle Memorial Award, Vero has launched the Young Brokers Alumni Program bringing together the next generation of broking leaders across our industry for ongoing development and training opportunities.

As part of the launch, this year’s five state finalists, together with previous Warren Tickle Memorial Award winners and Vero senior executives flew to Alice Springs for the inaugural Vero Red Centre Experience.

The four-day Red Centre Experience aimed to foster strong bonds amongst the group, recognise their achievements and enhance their personal and professional development.

Over the four-day trip, the group put their leadership and teamwork skills to the test in extreme environments, navigating their four-wheel drives through dusty roads and rocky tracks, stopping at iconic Northern Territory locations and racing to make their campsites by sunset - where they slept in swags under the stars in the remote outback.

Each day focused on improving a different skill, each essential to strong leadership: agile leadership, customer understanding, resilience and reflection. Tackling a 4WD roadblock challenge required the group to think on their feet when their cars bogged. There were no showers or running water and long days in 37-degree heat taught the group to persevere and push on in tough times. To further test their resilience, they had to complete a 530km stretch of the Old Gunbarrel Highway head-on. Driving along this isolated road straight as a, well, Gunbarrel, through rough terrain required team members to be smart with their self-supply of food, water and fuel. 

As part of the itinerary, the group was given the opportunity to visit Titijkala, an Indigenous community deep into the western Simpson Desert to meet its residents and hear stories about how this remote outback region has thrived for thousands of years. The resident’s strong sense of community and cultural heritage was insightful, and the young brokers were able to present the local people with essential care items - clothing, books and sporting equipment they had raised as part of a charity drive before the trip. Everyone enjoyed engaging with the community, playing with the children and learning the importance of Uluru to the Indigenous people.

The Red Centre Experience encouraged these young brokers to step outside their comfort zone, rally together in challenging conditions, reflect on their young professional journey, and the skills needed to be a successful leader.

We hope they have come away from the trip knowing how much we value their achievements and contribution to the industry, as well as a strong belief in their potential to continue developing, learning and leading into the future.


How can brokers help their clients with risk management advice?

The Vero ‘SME Insurance Index 2019’ highlighted many opportunities on how brokers can support and share their expertise with their clients within the risk management realm. SMEs have a strong appetite for risk-related information and over half of the surveyed SMEs feel somewhat or very confident that their business is prepared to meet potential risks, however, these confidence levels increase with broker usage.

One of the key insights was that SME owners say they’d welcome risk analysis information from their broker regarding:

  • A risk analysis on their business
  • Information about general business risks, real life examples of businesses with similar risks.

As one of Australia’s largest, most experienced and qualified risk engineering teams, we have produced descriptive context around risk management solutions for each of the ‘causes of loss’ by providing comprehensive checklists for those occupations with the aim to help our broker partners further demonstrate their expertise to their customers.

This risk management initiative provides our end customers an understanding of the top three ‘causes of loss’ associated to their occupancy and the means to mitigate risk by way of ‘self-inspection checklists’. There is also a library which includes additional checklists for management controls, protection and special hazards. Brokers can tailor these checklists to suit the individuality of their client’s risks and hazards. We remain committed to providing ongoing support and insights to our brokers, empowering you to better understand, service and connect with your clients - Welcome to the Vero Risk Profiler Tool.

Register for your free Risk Profiler Tool today!


2019 RM Advancer Awards finalists announced

Category finalists in Australia's premier risk management awards have just been announced.    

The RM Advancer finalists are:

Small and Medium Enterprises (Less than $100 million annual turnover)

  • Lexon Insurance
  • Rapid Plas
  • Royal Agricultural Society of NSW

Commercial (More than $100 million annual turnover)

  • Aurizon
  • Costa Group
  • Scalzo Foods

Workers Compensation and Liability (More than $100 million annual turnover)

Due to an overwhelming number of high quality entries across workers compensation and liability, we have split the category into two making it fairer for each organisation and easier for our independent judging panel to select a winner!

The two areas are (with a winner and a prize in each):

Manufacturing and logistics

  • AKD Softwoods
  • Camco Engineering
  • Coca Cola Amatil
  • DP World
  • Swick Mining

Goods and service providers

  • Airlite Group
  • Baptistcare WA
  • Collins Foods
  • G8 Education
  • Sussan Group

Each winner will receive 200,000 Virgin Velocity points*.

The RM Advancer Award winners will be announced at a gala evening at Ovolo Hotel, Woolloomooloo, Sydney on Thursday 24 October 2019.

Thank you for your support and good luck to the finalists!

*Prize is subject to availability. Terms & conditions apply. Please visit vero.com.au/risk-management/rm-advancer for more details.


Motivating high-performing employees and teams

As a leader, learning how to motivate staff is an important part of your role. It’s about encouraging employees and teams to do their best work consistently, even when they’re faced with challenges.

In this short video Head of Commercial Intermediaries, Anthony Pagano shares his own experience as a leader and how he motivates high-performing employees through leadership and education pathways.


Webinar recordings now available on Suncorp Learning Campus

Over the past few months, we’ve been running a series of popular webinars on a variety of business growth and client engagement  topics. If you happened to miss them, or if you’re interested in revisiting these topics, you can now access the live recordings via the Suncorp Learning Campus.

We are regularly adding new courses and webinar recordings, so make sure you get the most out of your membership.

Webinar video recordings

Log into your account to access the latest video recordings, including:

Grow your people and your business, by Beverley Bradley from Suncorp

Mastering challenging conversations, by Beverley Bradley from Suncorp

Practical ways to build trust and improve your business, by Alex Blackbourne from Phuel

First meetings – turning conversations into customers, by Dean Mannix from Sales iTV

Motivating and building third party referral relationships, by Dean Mannix from Sales iTV

Building sustainable high performance, by Jan McLeod, Coach, Mentor, Speaker, Nutritionist

CDP points 

CPD points will automatically be allocated to your account’s learning record at the completion of viewing the videos.

Don’t have an account yet? 

All you need to do is register your details to gain full access to the over 1,000 online courses and more.

Register now to start your free 30-day trial!

BDM in the Spotlight: Sandra Brown

We’re venturing further west (all the way to Perth, in fact) for our next BDM in the Spotlight series to meet Sandra Brown for a short Q&A session. As they say in Western Australia, let’s dig right in:

Q: What is your name, rank and serial number?
A: Sandra Brown, Business Development Manager.

Q: Why insurance?
A: My first job was at SGIO and whilst at the time it was not my intention to work in this industry, I have really enjoyed it and had many great career opportunities and worked with some amazing people.

Q: What do you enjoy most about being a Business Development Manager?
A: I love engaging with people and making a difference.

Q: Best advice you’ve ever been given?
A: Love your life, live your dream.

Q: What has been the highlight of your career?
A: I have been in this industry over 30 years so there have been many highlights along the way but I honestly can say it’s the relationships forged that are standout.

Q: If you were Prime Minister for one day, what would you do?
A: More focus and financial assistance in aged care for residents, carers and facilities.

Q: What’s your favoured style of coffee?
A: Skinny flat white.

Q: What’s the most interesting thing you’ve read or seen this year?
A: Difficult to answer! I love reading and always have a book on the go and with information so easily available online and through social media I read something new or interesting almost every day.

Q: If you could invite three people to dinner, dead or alive, and excluding family and friends, who would they be and why?
A: Freddie Mercury – who doesn’t love Queen! Robin Williams for the laughs an Judy Dench because she’s a legend.

Q: Complete this sentence: If I wasn’t in insurance, I would be...
A: …retired and living the dream down in Busselton in the South West…my favorite place!

Pictured: Already living the dream in the South West - Sandra and her family enjoy beachside BBQs at Castle Rock Beach in Dunsborough.


Storm season: Are you prepared?

Severe weather events can happen at any time during the year but most natural disasters in Australia occur between October and April.

In preparation for the upcoming event season, we’ve put together a number of useful suggestions, tips and links to assist you and your clients.

We’ve also included some helpful information about our claims process should you need to make a weather event-related claim during this period.

Whether it’s on the ground, answering your call or processing your claim, when disaster strikes, Vero is here to help.


Making windscreen claims clear and transparent

Windscreen repair or replacement claims are among the most common damage claims for cars and light commercial vehicles. That’s why we want to be clear about our car and vehicle insurance and the associated claims process to help manage client expectations and get them back on the road faster. 

Vero Secure Motor Plus Insurance with additional windscreen option

Vero’s Secure Motor Plus Insurance is available as thirdy party insurance or comprehensive car insurance. 

A customer can purchase the additional windscreen excess waiver option, and they will not have to pay an excess for the first windscreen or window glass replacement. If the windscreen is repairable, we will not charge basic excess. When the windscreen needs to be replaced, basic excess applies unless the policy schedule shows the windscreen excess waiver benefit.

Windscreen repair process

Auto glass repairs are carried out by a specialist glass repairer network, O’Brien Glass. For most of our claims, we are able to get customers back on the road quickly.

Contact us first to lodge the claim and O’Brien Glass will take care of the entire process:

  • We will replace windscreen or window glass (including sunroof), when damaged by an insured event. 
  • Glass which may not be produced by the original manufacturer, will meet the Australian Design Rules. 
  • The windscreen comes with a lifetime guarantee on both product and workmanship. 

Advanced driver assistance systems

The majority of new cars are fitted with advanced driver assistance systems to help the driver avoid a collision on the road. This usually means the camera system is  either attached to or look through the windscreen, and thus will need recalibration after windscreen replacement. O’Brien Glass network is equipped with the latest BOSCH technology to perform necessary calibrations on most car makes and models, or it will outsource the calibration work to the car manufacturer’s dealership when required.

Car manufacturer warranty misconceptions

We aim to make lodging claims for windscreen repairs simple and hassle-free. However, a dispute can arise over the car manufacturer warranty cover. Customers can mistakenly believe that using glass not produced by the original manufacturer will void car manufacturer’s warranty. Therefore, they will choose their own repairer, fit a genuine part to the car without obtaining authorisation from their insurer and seek reimbursement for the cost difference.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) 2017 report (i) confirms that car manufacturers implying that only genuine parts could be used to avoid voiding the warranty may be anti-competitive and likely to contravene the Australian Consumer Law. This position has been repeatedly supported by decisions issued by Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA).

Need more information?

References:

i) Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC): New car retailing industry market report – final report. 14 December 2017. Retrieved from https://www.accc.gov.au/publications/new-car-retailing-industry-market-study-final-report


Understanding silicosis and managing exposure to respirable crystalline silica

In recent years, there has been a resurgence of workers developing chronic silicosis, with 260 cases reported across Australia: 166 in Queensland, 61 in Victoria, 23 in NSW, 5 in Tasmania, 3 in Western Australia and 1 each in ACT and South Australia. (i) Silicosis is caused by breathing in particles of crystalline silica, which is a mineral compound found in soil, rock and sand. Respirable crystalline silica (RCS) is generated by the vigorous processing of materials containing crystalline silica in the form of dust so small, that if inhaled can penetrate deep into the lung tissue. (ii)

Legislation – it’s different for each state

There are general duty of care requirements under each Work Health and Safety / Occupational Safety Acts within each state, however the regulations and workplace exposure standards differ significantly across all jurisdictions. For example, Victoria has banned using sand containing more than 1% free silica in abrasive blasting, and Queensland is the only state banning dry cutting of engineered stone. The recently constituted National Dust Diseases Taskforce is seeking to develop a national approach for the prevention, early identification, control and management of dust diseases in Australia. (iii)

Prevention of silicosis

Examples of work activities that may result in an exposure to RCS include construction and demolition work, cutting and working with manufactured stone or tiles, abrasive blasting, mining, concrete cutting, stonework or foundry work. (i) It is important for employers to understand what work tasks may expose their workers to RCS, so that appropriate risk controls can be implemented.

Businesses should also assess potential risks of exposing contractors and/or the public to silica during the process of supplying and installing manufactured stone in commercial and domestic properties. Research shows that workers in the engineered stone benchtop industry can be exposed to levels of respirable crystalline silica (RCS) which are hazardous to their health. (iv)

Health surveillance

In addition to applying occupational risk controls to mitigate against the risk exposure to RCS within the workplace, it is important that employers establish appropriate health surveillance processes to identify changes in workers’ health. Common examples of health surveillance include health advice to workers, establishing their occupational and medical history, examinations and record of exposure. (v)

Health surveillance can also assist organisations to ensure that the implemented control measures are effective. It is important employers understand their duty of care requirements and protocols should their worker be diagnosed with silicosis. More information to assist your clients manage exposure to RCS  can be found here:

Vero can offer Workers Compensation Insurance for businesses in WA, NT, ACT and TAS through our partner 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. AAI Limited trading as Vero insurance.

References:

i) ABC News: Silicosis surge prompts more calls for a ban on engineered stone products. September 2019. Retrieved from https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-09-16/silicosis-surge-prompts-call-for-ban-on-engineered-stone-product/11516138?pfmredir=sm

ii) Safe Work Australia: Crystalline silica and silicosis. 2019. Retrieved from https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/silica

iii) The Department of Health: National dust disease taskforce. September 2019. Retrieved from https://www1.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/ohp-nat-dust-disease-taskforce.htm

iv) Work Cover WA: Silicosis claims in the engineering stone benchtop industry. July 2019. Retrieved from https://www.workcover.wa.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Silicosis-Fact-Sheet-July-2019.pdf

v) Government of Western Australia: Guidance about risk-based approach to health surveillance. Retrieved from https://www.dmp.wa.gov.au/Safety/Guidance-about-risk-based-6833.aspx