Natural Perils – learn more about floods, hurricanes, sinkholes, and volcanoes with Disaster Week on SBS

Coinciding with the release of LMI’s Version 2.0 next month, SBS is kindly running a 4 part series of documentaries on Natural Perils.

While Natural Perils are only 1 of 12 categories of risk that ContinuityCoach addresses, it is an important one with not all necessarily covered by insurance.

Sinkholes: Deadly Drops’

Imagine if your backyard just disappeared one day – falling into a hole that opened up in the ground. Or if your house split in two when a sinkhole collapsed underneath where you live. This documentary looks at the destructive force of sinkholes, which can occur suddenly, taking property and lives down into the earth with them. Combining first-hand accounts and geological explanations, this three-part documentary series provides a fuller understanding of the naturally occurring, potentially deadly phenomenon.

Watch Sinkholes: Deadly Drops on Sunday 17 June at 7:30pm (AEST) on SBS.

 ‘Killer Floods’

We’ve seen some devastating floods in Australia and tsunamis hitting our neighbours in the past couple of decades – surges of water that have left hundreds of thousands dead and caused billions of dollars’ worth of damage. Examining the way a number of landscapes have been changed, scientists hypothesise whether cataclysmic deluges could be the cause and not gradual erosion. They also try to determine what the cause of the floods might have been and whether ones of that magnitude could strike again.

Watch Killer Floods on Monday 18 June at 8:30pm (AEST) on SBS.

‘Killer Hurricanes’ (Cyclones Typhoons)

Hurricanes, typhoons, and cyclones kill 10,000 people on average a year, and can cause immense damage to infrastructure and residences. But were these super storms any more or less powerful throughout history? That is the focus of this documentary, which sees scientists looking at evidence of hurricanes from up to 1000 years ago, starting with the Great Hurricane of 1780, which struck throughout the Caribbean and killed an estimated 22,000 people. What do their findings suggest about what we can expect from hurricanes in the future? I think we all know the answer to this one.

Watch Killer Hurricanes on Wednesday 20 June at 8:30pm (AEST) on SBS.

‘Killer Volcanoes’

While many natural disasters have a localised impact, volcanic eruptions can cause mayhem on a global scale. So while Australia may think we avoid this one, do we? With more than 1500 active volcanoes in the world, of which about 50 erupt each year, this is an occurrence we are all too familiar with today. And while some volcanic activity from throughout the centuries is well known (such as the Vesuvius explosion that consumed Pompeii), scientists in this documentary analyse evidence of what might have been the largest eruption in human history.

Watch Killer Volcanoes on Friday 22 June at 8:30pm (AEST) on SBS.


Being in business is all about managing risk. While natural perils are certainly one to consider, another big one to consider is caused by humans. As with all our eServices, a great deal of work has gone into the coaching/training element to assist brokers and their clients identify, evaluate, and treat risk in their business.

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Addressing the lack of understanding about Compulsory Third Party (‘CTP’) insurance often referred to as Green Slip insurance

Steve Manning, an old friend Mike Quinlan and I are concerned at the many reports that have come out recently about the lack of understanding about CTP insurance.

With this in mind, Mike is preparing a guest post and Steve is preparing a short video on the topic for his Insurance Bites YouTube Channel.

I will let everyone know as soon as they are up and ready for viewing.

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Fined for using a mobile phone while in charge of a motorised lawn mower

As regular readers will know I am a very strong advocate against the use of mobile phones, particularly texting while driving. I support the introduction of exclusions in motor vehicle policies as a deterrent against this extremely dangerous practice.

I therefore read with interest that police in the UK pulled over a council employee who was, I gather, driving the motorised industrial ride on lawn mower, between jobs while using his mobile phone.

Not only is he expected to be fined but also disciplined by his employer.

If you are an employer, do you have a procedure in your staff manual about the use of mobile phones while in charge of any motorised vehicle. If not, it may be time for a review. Keep your staff, the public and your brand reputation safe.

Children on the farm. older brother driving a lawn mower, younger brother running after him

While looking for a suitable photo to compliment the article I found this one (see left) that immediately got me thinking about another obvious risk. Children in and around motorised equipment, especially on farms and parks. The dangers here are just too serious to picture but only a fool would ignore them!


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This is one piece of legislation that I would love to see come to Australia

I wish I had this warning on my phone

The UK Government is calling for a change in the legislation to make directors personally liable with fines of up to £500,000 for nuisance calls.

The UK already have legislation that allows fines to be imposed, but directors are avoiding the fines by winding up the companies, declaring them bankrupt only to open up again the next day. This legislation would close this loop hole.

I do not know anyone who is not sick of receiving time wasting calls that seem to come in on your mobile phone at the wrong time or on your home phone just when you finally get to sit down for dinner. This is despite the fact, I am yet to speak to anyone who has changed their telecommunications or electricity supplier after receiving such a call.

As fast as I block the number, the same company rings back on a different number a few days later. The Do Not Call Register is simply not working.

Obviously some people are taking up the offers or they would not be this daily impost on our time. I question just who is. I wonder if they need more protection from these calls than I do.

I would take the legislation one step further and not only make the directors of the telemarketing company that gets the fine(s) but also the directors of the product(s) or services that they are ringing to sell.

Come on government, protect our right to some quiet thinking and leisure time in this 24 hour world. Better still offer some protection to the trusting and vulnerable in our society.

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Lessons from the Tyre Industry for the General Insurance Industry

I recall quite plainly when the then NZI Insurance started advertising insurance on buses, my then state manager, Mr Russel Hay of the General Accident Insurance could not believe that any insurer would discredit the industry by advertising on the side of a bus. As a young man I did not see anything wrong with this but Mr Hay thought that this degraded the great profession of insurance and damaged the image of insurance generally as being a cut above commodities.

Oh how the times have changed!

Now, we see so many advertisements for Insurance in so many different media channels it isn’t funny. But, what message are we portraying to our customers?

I would suggest that first, insurance is easy, second, it doesn’t matter which policy you have, it is all about the price or the free theatre tickets or discount vouchers for an electrical store and lastly that loyalty does not pay and that you get a discount for moving insurers. The reality is that insurers do not make money on the average client in the first year that they have them, it usually takes 3 years with a good claims history before there are real profits to be made from the Insured. To encourage customers to chop and change year after year is not good for insurers, nor do I believe it is good for the Insured.

My advice to any insured is to pick an insurer and develop a long term sustainable relationship with them.

As a young claims officer, we always checked how long the Insured was with us before making a decision on whether or not to deny a claim. With many insurers, the length of time you have been with them makes no difference to whether or not a claim will be denied, and certainly they are being penalised premium wise for staying with them.

To me, the industry has reached a new low with the recent release of the BizCover ad with someone cutting the most disgusting toenails. To me, it is so repulsive that I immediately changed the channel.

Compare that ad with the way that Bridgestone Tyres are advertising. It is creative and sends a powerful and important message. They are NOT advertising that they have the cheapest tyres, they are explaining the benefit of quality tyres when it matters.

Ironically, one of the first claims that I handled on setting up LMI Group was for a tyre retreading company who had a major fire. His belief was that he faced the same dilemma as the insurance industry, everyone buys his product not realising how important that product is until such time as they really need it. In the case of tyres, it is when you have to slam on the brakes and you expect them to safeguard your family, car and whatever it is you are trying to avoid hitting from injury or damage. In effect it is selling their tyres from a risk management perspective.

Insurance is exactly the same, it is all well and good looking for the cheapest and simplest policy until you really need it.

Just like tyres, insurance is about protection. Good insurance is about managing risk.

In now 47 years of my handling claims. In that time, only a handful of customers have ever discussed the premium with me after a claim, and in the few cases that have, in every case, it has been a negative experience not a positive. That is, they say, “I moved from this insurer to that insurer and saved X dollars, tell me again Allan, how much has that just cost me?” The answer is always at tens of thousands of dollars more.

Maybe I am just unlucky, but I have not met a single person who has had a good claims experience with the insurer that offers discounted theatre and other such benefits.

My recommendation to any insurer reading this is look to engage the same agency that put together the Bridgestone ad to advertise your products and brand insurance. The advice to any insured out there is, if you want to buy theatre tickets, buy theatre tickets, if you want to buy protection, speak to a quality insurance broker and or insurer and look at the coverage and claims service, not just the price. Remember, LMI is a free service unique to Australia to help you gauge the claims service you can expect from an insurer.

As for Mr Hay, I am sure he would turn in his grave at the way we now advertise / market insurance protection.

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Product Recalls Australia – 5th June 2018

This week’s product recalls includes the following:

Danish by Design Pty Ltd — Troll Lukas Cot

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Panasonic Australia Pty Ltd — Panasonic Toughbook Laptop

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FCA Australia Pty Ltd — MY 2016 – 2018 Alfa Romeo Giulietta

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Instinct Property Maintenance Pty Ltd — IBF400 Ethanol Burner

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Toyota Motor Corporation Australia Limited — Lexus NX200t, NX300h, RX200t, RX350 & RX450h (expanded recall)

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Toyota Motor Corporation Australia Limited — specific Prius, Corolla Sedan, Fortuner & Hilux vehicles (expanded recall)

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IKEA Pty Limited — SLADDA bicycle

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LASER Corporation Holdings Pty Ltd — Portable DVD Player 240V Mains Power Adapter

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A quick reminder on cyber security

On the one hand as LMI builds our brand in the UK,  I am being inundated by emails regarding the UK Legislation aimed at giving consumers more control over their personal data (General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)) and at the same time I am getting hit daily with emails pro-porting to be from legitimate companies such as Microsoft asking for me to change or confirm my password.

This is despite LMI investing significantly on our already big spend on cyber security.

At the end of the day it really comes down to all of us remaining vigilant and taking 10 seconds thought to double check that the email is legitimate and if in doubt don’t click on the link or open the attachment.

Every business needs to consider the benefits of cyber security insurance. It is a complex area with policies ranging from basic through to great protection.  As always I recommend advice be sought from an experienced broker.

Here is the email that I got this morning that prompted me to post this article.

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Product Recalls Australia – 23 May 2018

This week’s product recalls includes the following:

Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific Pty Ltd — MY 2017 Mercedes-Benz AMG “GTR”, “GTC” and “GTS” Passenger Cars

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Coles Supermarkets Australia Pty Ltd — Coles Mini Classics Vanilla Ice Cream

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Suzuki Australia — Suzuki SX4

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Suzuki Australia — Suzuki Kizashi

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Suzuki Auto Co — Suzuki Kizashi

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Suzuki Auto Co — Suzuki SX4

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Volvo Group Australia — UD Trucks – Quon

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Audi Australia Pty Ltd — Audi Q5 (FY)

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SA Health — Al Mina Mediterranean Patisserie – Assorted Products

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Fraser Coast Free Range Pty Ltd — Sunny Queen Farms Organic Free Range Eggs 550g and 590g

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Scandinavian Tobacco Group Australia Pty Ltd — Djarum Bali Hai Cigarettes

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Clark Rubber Franchising Pty Ltd — Be Safe Portable Pool Fence

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Volvo Group Australia — UD Trucks – Quon

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IVECO Trucks Australia — Metro and Delta Buses

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Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific Pty Ltd — MY06 – MY12 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class, ML-Class and SLK-Class Passenger Cars

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Specialized Australia Pty Ltd — Specialized MY18 Fuse Comp Bicycle Stout Cranks

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Guest Post: Steven Manning – Another New General Insurance Product Class introduced on LMI RiskCoach

Only a week after the launch of Corporate travel the team are back at it again, be it in the background for months, on the launch of yet another class of insurance, Product Recall and Product Contamination insurance. With the addition of these new classes onto the system, users can now research 14 classes of General Insurance through their LMI RiskCoach Subscriptions.

The reasoning behind the addition of this all-important class is to erase the misconception held by many small to medium businesses that believe that Product recall and contamination covers are included as part of their Product Liability insurance which is, of course, not the case with product liability insurance not covering the recall costs but rather just the liabilities arising out of the incident.

The new content touches on a vast number of areas including policy features, coverage and malicious tampering. It also goes into detail around the regulations under the Competition and Consumer Act of 2010 (CCA) that deem any importer of items into Australia to be the manufacturer, this relates to a huge product recall exposure that many of these businesses do not know they are accepting and could easily mean the end of their business.

The system not only points out the risks associated with Recalls and Contamination but provides Risk Management steps which can be easily implemented into any business faced with these exposures. These steps will significantly reduce the chances of an event occurring and assist in managing the process more efficiently and effectively should a recall occur.

With recall costs on the rise it has never been a better time to have this class added to the RiskCoach system and more importantly to have that discussion with the insured.

One last final note, a big thank you to all of those involved who have made this happen. We have a lot of people working away in the background that make these services and improvements possible! Thank you again!


By Steven Manning of LMI Group

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Reduce funding of ASIC when the Royal Commission showed up so many problems and risk from natural disasters continuing to be ignored

When I started this blog I did not have any intention of discussing political issues but wanted to focus on general insurance. I am into politics and do not belong to any political party nor do I vote for the same party at each election. I try and make an informed decision based on the promises of each side.

With this background, decisions by governments do impact on general insurance which in turn is there to protect the Australian economy, our communities right down to individual business and home owners.

Last week I was questioning the huge hidden tax that the Terrorism Levy has become.

This week I join the group of Australians who cannot understand why the Federal Government has reduced funding to the Australian Securities Investment Commission at the same time the Royal Commission has uncovered so many problems. I will let you draw your own conclusion.

The other great disappointment in the budget is that the investment in addressing the increasing risk brought about by climate change, i.e flash flooding, cyclone damage etc has been ignored. As a country we will pay for this big time in the long run. If you compare Australia’s investment in this space to Canada’s you can see the leadership required to address this very real issue in our country is way out of step.

Yes there are some good things in the budget but these two issues are of great concern and really do need to be rethought.

We all deserve better than short term politics. We need some statesmanship with a genuine investment, not only our future, but that of our children and grandchildren.

Enough said, hopefully back to some technical insurance stuff tomorrow!

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