Is it any wonder the public has lost faith in politicians? NSW ESL what a mess!

No news article has caused my phone or email to run to hot as the one announcing the New South Wales back flip on the removal of the State’s Emergency Services Levy earlier this week.

Let us review the facts. The New South Wales government are the last mainland state in Australia to remove the levy. They did not have to reinvent the wheel, all they had to do is copy one of the other states that have gone through the change with little or no drama and pick the one that worked best.

They chose Victoria to model their change on, which to my thinking was the most unfair for the public, but created the greatest windfall for government and made it the most difficult for the insurance industry. (But this was all masked by beating up on the insurance industry).

The NSW government also engaged, with huge fan fare, high profile chest beating Allan Fels  to oversee it all.

Now a few people complain and with just one month to go it all gets put on hold. Like all the people who wrote or phoned me, I cannot believe this has occurred.

My own wife came into me shaking her head as she had paid the rates on our Sydney offices including the new Emergency Services Levy. How many other businesses would have done the same. Do we get this back before we get a new invoice from our insurer asking for it from them for them to comply? Think of all the extra work this will create for local authorities, the insurance industry, and business and home owners.

The irony here is that, within the insurance industry, every one of us should be, with only one month to go, applauding the NSW Government for removing the disincentive for full insurance and grossly unfair hidden tax. Instead we are shaking our heads in complete disbelief! View full post…

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2 words of warning regarding motor vehicle claims

On one of the television channels special report shows they had a segment last week criticising the insurance industry, including a broker, over damage to a vehicle that had been insured for only third party property damage.

This form of cover is risky in itself as there is no cover for damage to the vehicle when the driver themselves is at fault and/or if it is damaged whilst parked and the person that hit the vehicle does not leave an honest note. Further, there is no cover for weather perils or if the car catches fire or is stolen.

Having said this there are fire, theft and third party property damage covers available, but they are still not as good as comprehensive.

I do not know the circumstances of the matter and cannot comment as to why the other vehicles insurer is not coming to the party. There may be an exclusion such as drink driving, unregistered vehicle, or the vehicle may have been un-roadworthy. it is possible that the insurance may have expired. These are all risks you take when you do not have full comprehensive insurance.

In addition, to remind people of this issue I also want to again warn that there are a lot of unscrupulous firms preying on unsuspecting people. They typically focus on people in the lower socioeconomic community. This group of course can least afford to be caught up in the scam financially and often do not have the training or experience to know how to fight the fraud.

What we have seen is such a person, end up with a repair bill of say $10,000, plus a hire car bill of over $25,000, kindly provided by the scammer, when the damaged car has a net value after salvage of say $5,000.

This is becoming a major problem in Australia, along with staged accidents and dodgy repairs. It was great to see arrests reported a little while back on fake injury claims and I know the insurance industry is throwing a lot of resources on building the case against many others as well.

The sooner the better as it sickens that any one is caught by scammers but particularly those who are already victims and can least afford it.

Any journalists out there please be careful of the companies you inadvertently promote in your programs and please go back after a few months and ensure that the whole thing has had a good ending for the innocent party.

 

 

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Australian Product Safety Recalls – 30/05/2017

Some of this week’s product safety recalls includes:

Crestwind Pty Ltd — Modn-3 and Modn-4 Ceiling Fans

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Harley-Davidson Motor Company — MY 2017 Touring Model Motorcycles

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Apotex Pty Ltd — BTC Paracetamol Codeine tablets

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Apotex Pty Ltd — BTC Rosuvastatin 10mg tablets

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Apotex Pty Ltd — Apotex-Pantoprazole 40mg tablets

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For more recalls please visit https://www.productsafety.gov.au/recalls

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Please have your say on claims – it counts towards the Mansfield Awards

The winners of The Mansfield Awards which recognises Claims Excellence will be announced on July 13. To have your say and rate the insurers you deal with on their claim service please go to http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/1639869/Claims-Survey-current.

The Awards are a not for profit initiative of the LMI Group and InsuranceNEWS, after concerns within both organisations that there was no recognition in Australia for claims personnel.

Having been in the claims space for over 45 years, this did not sit well with me as it is the only real test of the insurance promise.

To learn more about the award please visit http://www.mansfieldawards.com.au/

In August 2013, LMI Group launched ClaimsComparison.com as a free service to brokers and the public showing the star rating of the claims services of Australian Insurers. The thought process behind this service was three fold.

1. Move the major criteria for buying insurance away from price to protection. ClaimsComparison.com was a natural adjunct to the already popular PolicyComparison.com which compares the various policies features and benefits.

2. To acknowledge those insurers and their claims staff that do the right thing by the customers.

3. To drive some positive change in claims at a time when more and more people complain about poor claims service including the media, government, insurance brokers and of course Insureds.

This current survey of claims is more important than ever with this round being used as the measure for success or otherwise for The Mansfields.

Therefore, please take a few minutes and complete the survey honestly and to the best of your ability.

Thank you in anticipation.

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Profiting at other people’s expense

The Courier Mail reported on builders massively overcharging victims of Cyclone Debbie and the floods that followed further south. Click here for the article.

This sadly occurs after every natural disaster to some extent and while some as the Insurance Council of Australia state is due to demand surge, some clearly is a giant rip off.

Every trained loss adjuster and claims preparer will be carefully reviewing the scope of works and the costings to ensure they remain fair and reasonable to ensure that insurance remains sustainable in areas likely to be effected by natural disasters. This does take a bit of time but it is necessary for the good of the entire community.

Typically we find that the local builders who wish to remain in the area after the event treat their communities better than the fly by nighters who move in for a quick buck and leave with full wallets and often dodgy work.

The approach LMI is taking wherever we can is to use local builders known to the insured or the brokers. We are finding we are getting better service, better quality and better pricing.

All of us in the insurance industry have a roll to pay in this issue and weed out and black ball the crooks who are preying on people while in a vulnerable state. At the end of the day we will all be paying for it with higher premiums while those in high risk areas may find it difficult to get insurance at all. View full post…

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Product Safety Recalls 23/05/2017

The latest product safety recalls include the following:

22 MAY 2017

For more product recalls visit: https://www.productsafety.gov.au/recalls

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Another Phishing attempt on me

Last year I reported on this blog just how close we came to being caught with a phishing (or whaling) attack on us when someone sent and email to our head of finance purportedly from me asking that a sum of money be transferred to a nominated account.

Following that we took several internal controls including removing the name of all of our finance team off social media, our website etc and we set up two inboxes for all our finance team. One from internal staff emails and the other from people outside team LMI.

This has worked a treat and we have picked up several further attempts while other staff outside of finance have also had emails claiming to be from me.

We got another one today this time from what looks like Montenegro.

To assist the Australian government fight this increasing prevalent crime I reported the incident to the Australian Cyber Security Centre https://acsc.gov.au/ who within a few minutes rang and requested that I also report it to ACORN which stands for the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network https://report.acorn.gov.au/

It was much the same process and why you have to report it twice I am not sure particularly as they are both Federal Government departments and you would think that one form could go to both but it was not a really big deal and I do urge everyone to start reporting the incidents as quickly as possible in the hope we can slow or stop the attacks which are catching so many innocent people out.

While the new mandatory reporting has not come in yet and this event which did not cause any loss of personal data would not fall within this new reporting regime, it is still important that all such attempts are reported even if you feel it will not help your particular circumstance.

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Product Recalls Australia Safety Update

The latest product recalls include the following:

12 MAY 2017

For more product recalls please visit https://www.productsafety.gov.au/recalls 

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Finally something a government has done that actually makes sense!

It was really great to read that the Victorian Government has removed stamp duty from insurance on farm policies. Well done!

This on top of the removal of Fire Services Levy is a great initiative and makes the vital protection provided by insurance affordable by a segment of our economy who can least afford not to have it.

Now if only other governments would show as much leadership and good sense. Three come immediately to mind that should follow suit.

Home and business owners in North Queensland are struggling due to the high cost of insurance yet, after Cyclone Yasi and the Brisbane Foods in 2011 the Queensland State Government increased stamp duty on insurance from 9% to 10% (a full 1% increase at a time when a government with even 1 eye open should have seen the importance of business and home owners to be fully insured.

Thorough research by Federal Government Departments has shown that the pricing of insurance in North Queensland is fairly priced on the risk being transferred to insurers. Thank goodness those advocating for a Mutual did not succeed as Tropical Cyclone Debbie would have probably wiped out the fund, everyone’s investment and left many people uninsured.

Let’s save all the money on enquiries and address the elephant in the room. If the Queensland Government followed the lead of Victoria and removed Stamp Duty followed by the Federal Government reducing the Terrorism Levy for those in North Queensland the cost of insurance would fall by more than 10%!

The decision by the New Zealand Government to drastically increase the cost of insurance due to changes to the Fire Service Levy defy understanding for they, like the Queensland Government, should understand the value to their economy of everyone being well insured.

The third Government in the trio is the Tasmanian government, who currently holds the record of taxing their business owners the most through insurance. This of course is a disincentive to development.

Like people around the world, I have become greatly disillusioned with the lack of statesmanship in our politicians where it is power at all cost with more than just a little bit of ego gone mad to boot. It is in this frame of mind that I see some hope and refuse to believe my inner doubt that the decision was made to buy votes and not protect the State’s economy. The reality is what ever the reason, I am extremely pleased. Well done Victoria.

I witness far too often the heartbreak and financial stress that home and business owners face when they are not fully insured and so I urge Victorian’s benefiting from this change to take this valuable opportunity to review your insurance and make sure you are fully protected to make the most of your Government’s wise change of policy.

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Product Safety Update

The latest updates from Product Safety Australia includes:

Kadac Pty Ltd — Hylands Baby Teething Tablets and Nighttime Teething Tablets

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Hino Motor Sales Australia — Hino 300 Series

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Ateco Automotive Pty Ltd — Maserati Quattroporte (M156) and Ghibli (M157) MY 2014 and 2015 models

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Aspen Pharmacare Australia Pty Ltd — Span-K (potassium chloride) 600mg tablets

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Floridia Cheese Pty Ltd — Floridia Grated Parmesan Cheese

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Funtastic Limited — Razor Ripstik Electric

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You can see all recalls at https://www.productsafety.gov.au/recalls 

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