The Risk Business…
Welcome to our to our January 2019 newsletter & to update you all on the developments from 2018 & what I see as some forthcoming issues facing us all as we get back to working mode & into 2019.
As the world changes & businesses continue to adapt & respond, so do the insurance needs of both New Zealand companies & their people. We are seeing more technology advances, natural disasters, plus health & safety regulation continues at pace. What was once the precedent is no longer, & insurance providers must evolve to meet the demands of these developments today.
Vehicle technology is developing is developing at a rapid rate & with it the increasing cost to repair damaged vehicles & new smart parts. Cyber-crime is also a key issue facing businesses. A recent Norton New Zealand small business security survey found one in five small businesses have been targeted by a cyber-attack. Despite this I understand only 6% of SMEs in New Zealand have cyber insurance.
There is a real need for business owners to be aware of the serious implications of this, & take the time to educate their staff of best practices to prevent an attack from occurring. Consideration should be given to insuring your company from the financial costs incurred in dealing with a cyber threat to enable them to get back up & running, as well as manage any reputational damage.
Climate change is not only set to transform our environment, it is also likely to change the way we may need to, or even able to obtain some forms of insurance cover. There is a big focus on the impacts of climate change-related sea levels. A number of low-lying area in New Zealand are at risk & there is still a lot of work to be done to understand what all this means.
Over the last three years, the number of storm & flood related insurance claims have increased by +56% in New Zealand. Data from the World Meteorological Organisation predicts the pace of weather disasters to continue for the next four decades. The increase in severe weather events will certainly have an impact on insurance as well.
On top of these global changes, business & individuals are now facing greater exposure under the health & safety reforms brought in three years ago. Under the changes, anyone in a position to exercise significant influence on management of a business is now more likely to be personally liable. Fines under the Act increased up to $600,000 for an individual & $3 million for an entity, about six times higher than previously.
Since the changes, we have seen insurers having to top up ACC shortfalls for their employees. In one instance I am aware of, one insurer covered the cost of around $200,000 of the top-up under the Statutory Liability policy for the insured. The implications of the Sentencing Act … are beginning to have some effect.
The Commerce Commission has also been much more active investigating breaches of the Fair Trading Act & much more aggressive with enforcing penalties. It is now more important than ever for businesses to consider having Statutory Liability insurance to assist if you or one of your employees is investigated.
In our office, we are continually seeking to understand how we can best provide insurance solutions which take into account environment, economic & societal factors. It is with this intention we continue to challenge ourselves as to how we can better help a growing New Zealand& support business to continue & thrive.
Being there to assist in any recovery in a time of need is a main reason why I am still in the business.
Finally, we wish to take this opportunity of wishing everyone a splendid 2019 & our very best warm wishes for the New Year. We look forward to speaking with you all in 2019.
With my best wishes,