New EQC Natural Disaster Response Model: What You Should Know

Important information for insurance customers.

If you own property in Canterbury, Wellington, or another part of New Zealand prone to seismic activity, you’ll be interested to know about the changes to EQC policy that have come into effect recently.

The Earthquake Commission is a Crown entity that exists to provide natural disaster insurance, administer the Natural Disaster Fund, and support research and education on natural disasters and how to reduce their impact. Their new Natural Disaster Response Model is intended to improve the experience of insurance customers in the event of another disaster. It uses a collaborative approach for a simple and efficient process.

Here’s what you will need to know as an insurance customer.

From the 30th of June 2021, insurers are the single point of contact for insurance recovery should your home or land be damaged in a natural disaster. All claims will be handled directly by the insurer on behalf of EQC, so there is no confusion about who you need to contact or communicate with.

This new model has been created to address the dual insurance system that was a source of confusion during the aftermath of the last major Canterbury earthquakes. That system saw customers making two claims, to an insurer and EQC. Under the new model, private insurers will manage a claim in its entirety.

What does that mean for clients of insurance brokers?

Simply that your broker will make the process even easier for you by lodging a claim on your behalf. From there, you will be contacted by the insurer to assess, progress, and finalise the claim.

At Runacres, we can review the process for you on various online insurer portals, providing assistance where necessary. If your claim exceeds its cap, we will activate our normal claims advocacy piece as per our usual practice and advocate for you in any way possible.

As is the case with just about any type of insurance, using a broker makes the natural disaster claims process much simpler. The new arrangement contributes to that to ensure that the experience is even smoother for all involved.

EQC Chief Executive Sid Miller said of the updated Natural Disaster Response Model:

“We know that EQC cannot respond to a large natural hazard event alone, and this new partnership will streamline the insurance process and ensure we make best use of existing sector capability and expertise to meet the needs of New Zealanders when the next natural disaster occurs. Once set up, it will double our capacity to manage claims from a natural disaster.”

There are far too many New Zealanders who will be familiar with the pitfalls of the previous system, due to the devastating earthquakes that took place in Canterbury in 2010 and 2011. We hope that no one will have to make claims for natural disaster-related damage in the near future, but it is always a possibility. Should disaster of any kind strike in New Zealand, this model should streamline the response and have as many Kiwis as possible back in fully functioning homes within a shorter time frame.

If you would like to find out more or want to find out whether your home and land are properly insured for any eventuality, get in touch with the Runacres team. We love to help Kiwis assess risk and find the insurance cover that provides peace of mind.


Types of Life Insurance for Business

Safeguard the future of your business

A good and resilient business will have plans in place for many eventualities. The death or incapacitation of an owner, business partner, or key person is something that nobody can control—but you can have arrangements that will give your company the best chance at surviving such a tragic event.

Life insurance is relevant and important not only in a personal setting but also in a business context. There are different policy types available that offer peace of mind to business owners in varied situations. Finding the right cover to suit your nuanced situation can be tricky but there is something available to suit nearly every company—it’s just a matter of finding the right combination.

Being informed about the life insurance options available to your business and business owners, along with expert advice from an insurance broker, is the first step.

Here’s a rundown of the policies and benefits to look for when protecting your business.

Shareholder Protection Insurance

This cover is intended to allow shareholders and business partners to continue operations should one of them pass away or become incapacitated. In conjunction with a written agreement, it can allow the remaining partners and shareholders to buy out the shares and keep things running as they intended, while ensuring that the deceased partner or shareholder’s family or heirs receive a fair price.

Keeping a business running efficiently and effectively is a desired outcome that can protect jobs and the livelihoods of those who have invested time and money into the company. This insurance is a crucial aspect of planning for the future. It should be put in place alongside a legal arrangement that sets out the intentions of the partners for what should happen in the unfortunate event of a death or serious illness or injury.

Key Person Insurance

Intended for medium-sized or larger businesses, this type of policy recognises that there are often people that are crucial to the wellbeing of a company due to their unique expertise, knowledge, or experience. If you’re a business owner, partner, or shareholder, you may be able to think of one or two key people who are almost irreplaceable. There may be more than one and may include you as the owner, and that’s OK—you can take out policies for multiple key people.

Key person insurance has the business as a beneficiary and will pay out a lump sum or monthly installments after the loss of the key person. This can keep the business afloat by covering recruitment, training, loss of profit, contract penalties, and anything else necessary.

Income Protection Insurance

This one’s a great option for any working person, not just business owners. It protects your personal income should you become incapacitated and unable to earn. Not quite life insurance, but it falls under this umbrella.

Income protection is an important consideration, particularly if you are the primary income earner in your household. Each policy will state monetary amounts and time periods for which you would be covered.

Debt Protection and Business Expenses Insurance

Many owners and partners want to ensure that their business can continue to operate if they die or become incapacitated—their family may be dependent on the income. These two types of cover for businesses are another way to safeguard the future of a company when somebody dies, is injured, or falls ill.

Debt protection cover does exactly what the name indicates: it will pay off business loans if an owner dies, is diagnosed with a terminal illness, or is otherwise incapacitated. Business expenses cover will pay specified fixed business expenses for a set period if a small business owner, sole trader, or partner is unable to work more or their capacity is greatly reduced.

Employee benefits

Some companies offer their employees benefit packages. These often include insurance policies. Health insurance is a common employee benefit, but life, trauma and income protection insurance can also be included—something for a business to consider.

Which insurance policies would work best to safeguard the future of your business? It’s a great question, and the answer will depend on the individual operations and circumstances of the company. The best way to make sure you have what you need life insurance-wise is to consult a broker.

Insurance brokers, particularly those specialising in business insurance products, can ensure that you are getting the cover you need at the best price. Not only are they familiar with the varied insurance providers and the details of their policies and benefits, but they are experts in risk assessment and can help you to accurately determine the right “Goldilocks” level of cover—not too much, not too little.

If you’re looking to protect your business with life insurance, get a quote from Runacres. As local insurance professionals operating in Christchurch, Greymouth, West Coast, and Auckland, we are well-versed in helping Kiwi businesses get the coverage they need.


Insuring your House and Contents in New Zealand

Get the best cover for your home.

For many Kiwis, their home is their most financial asset. When they tally up the value of all the things contained within said home, the contents may come in second on the list. For business owners, it may be a different story—but a home is valuable in more ways than just money.

It goes without saying that insuring your home and/or contents is hugely important! Knowing that you can replace, rebuild, and redecorate in case of fire, burglary, natural disaster, or other misadventure provides peace of mind and security for any household.

Obtaining cover for your house and all within it is an easy decision. Knowing how and where to get the best insurance for your individual needs, however, is where it becomes tricky. There are many home and contents policies on the market in New Zealand, and most Kiwis don’t have time to compare every possibility. To help out, we have put together a few points to consider when searching for cover that suits you. Use these tips when choosing a policy or reviewing the ones that you already have.

What does it cover, exactly?

To make the best decision around your house and contents policies, you need to be properly informed. That starts with an understanding of what house and contents insurance is—what it protects against and what it does not.

The “house” portion refers to the physical structures on your property. As well as your home, it will generally include any garages and permanent sheds, outhouses, or cabins. It will also usually include anything inside the buildings which is fixed—carpets, for example. It will often specify a maximum sum that can be claimed. Those renting out their property will need specific policies that will cover damage by tenants.

The “contents” portion refers to all that’s insurable inside the house or building: personal effects, furniture, bicycles, jewellery, artwork, furnishings, electronics, and more. It usually excludes vehicles, which require their own policy. It also may exclude the belongings of anyone not living in the house, and some items may need to be specified, such as valuable jewellery items.

It’s important to check exactly what your policies cover, particularly contents insurance policies as these can vary significantly. Finding out after a disaster has struck that key assets are not covered is not a good position to be in! An insurance broker has the experience and technical knowledge to read and compare policies effectively and recommend the best option for your unique needs.

Location considerations

What are the risks for the specific region or city in which your home is located? New Zealand has areas prone to earthquakes, flooding, storm damage, and more. If you live in one of these areas you need to make sure you are covered for all eventualities, and it may require additional paperwork and documentation.

Look into any extra risks that may apply to your home, and make sure your insurance takes these into account. Many homeowners in Canterbury, for example, had troubles claiming on their policies post-earthquake to the extent that the Canterbury Earthquake Tribunal Act was made law in 2019. A damaged home is stressful enough without uncertainty surrounding insurance coverage. It’s crucial to check all of those boxes right from the start.

Seek expert assistance

Using an insurance broker to help you choose and buy house and contents insurance makes the entire process smoother, ensuring that you get the cover you need and the best value for your money. Deciphering the wording of multiple policies is a tiresome task for the uninitiated, but it’s all in a day’s work for a broker.

Additionally, brokers often have agreed policy wordings with various insurers. This gives their clients access to extra benefits such as higher limits for alternative accommodation should you have to move out temporarily. They can negotiate things that most individual buyers can’t.

Understanding all the implications of any insurance policy is not easy for your average buyer, and house and contents insurance can be especially difficult, as it is multi-faceted and includes an array of assets and scenarios. Working with a broker makes the process much easier. They serve as an advocate and a go-between, using their extensive knowledge of insurance companies and policies to secure the best possible cover.

Are you looking to insure your house and contents, or reviewing and assessing your current policies? Get in touch with the team at Runacres. We’d love to discuss your insurance requirements and answer any questions you might have!


Insurance Implications of Remote Work

If your work practices have changed, your insurance might also need to.

Working remotely and from home has become exponentially more commonplace in the past year or two. And while the COVID-19 pandemic has contributed significantly to this (raise your hand if you worked at home during Alert Levels 3 and 4!), it is far from the only impetus driving a trend towards remote work. This trend started well before 2020.

Flexibility in work schedules and locations has benefits for both parties involved (employer and employee), and many companies are beginning to realise that. It widens the hiring pool so they can seek out top-quality people no matter where they are located, contributes to a positive workplace culture, and can also cut office-related costs. Even post-pandemic, many Kiwi employers are offering more flexibility and even fully remote work options.

So, it seems that remote working is here to stay. The benefits are many, but there are a few other implications of this that most people probably have not considered. One of these is insurance. Businesses and individuals may need to adjust their insurance coverage to address added or altered risks that come with a remote workforce.

If you are making the move to allow remote work in your business, here are a few things to think about.

Coverage for your equipment

Most business contents insurance policies will cover contents at a specific location noted on the policy, i.e your office or premises. When your employees are operating outside of that location and taking equipment such as computers, tablets, and phones with them, this can become an issue.

It’s not a big problem to solve. A broker specialising in business insurance will be able to help you ensure you have all of your company’s property covered in all locations, whether at your home or the homes of employees.

Personal house and contents insurance

On the flip side of the point above, many personal policies such as your own home and contents insurance won’t cover business equipment that’s being used or stored there. This means you can’t rely on your personal cover to pick up the slack, so it’s definitely something you should check with your insurance broker. They will be able to tell you exactly what is insured and where. Working from home with a laptop? That’s probably covered. Using specialist equipment? It may not be.

If you as a business owner or employee are conducting any kind of business activities in your home, this may affect your insurances intended for residential use. Again, check this out with your broker to ensure you aren’t voiding any of your policies. It may even affect your natural disaster coverage which can be residential-specific,

Cyber insurance

More people working from home on a variety of devices, which may be multi-use (personal and business), can open up a company to cyber attack. With specialist tools and good training on cyber safety for all employees, you can reduce this risk—but it will always exist.

To fill the gaps and avoid the potentially devastating consequences of a cyber attack, cyber insurance should be a priority for any business. It greatly reduces the risk that comes with online activity, and for companies with multiple remote workers this brings huge peace of mind. If you already have cyber insurance, take this as a sign to review your policies with your broker. The digital world moves fast, and you need to keep up to be covered.

Get expert advice

Every business is unique and will have individual needs, risks, and goals. Working from home can mean many different things to different people, too, and while the shift towards remote work is a fantastic development for many companies and people it does have insurance implications.

A business insurance broker can tell owners and managers all they need to know about remote work and how it might affect their individual practices. If you’re working from home as an employee, you may also like to review your personal policies to find out what will be covered at home—particularly if you are using expensive specialist equipment owned by your employer.

Insurance brokers have the experience and knowledge to let you know exactly what you are covered for and what you should be covered for to mitigate risk. They can then help you to find the best way to fill that gap! Runacres specialises in both business and personal insurance and risk management. Our fantastic team of expert brokers can help Kiwis and Kiwi businesses all over the country to protect themselves against financial losses and create a more secure future.

 

 

 

 


Do you need Business Interruption Insurance?

Protect your profits and your people.

Reward and risk often come hand in hand, and this concept rings extremely true for business owners. Owning and running a successful company brings many benefits: income, flexibility, community, investment, and the chance to create something that reflects your values, skills, and passions. Any founder or owner of a business can tell you, however, that there are responsibilities and liabilities that come part and parcel with the positive aspects.  

Continuity is what Business Interruption insurance can offer you. It can mean the difference between keeping and letting go of staff after disaster hits, or even between surviving the event and shutting up shop. It allows you to retain customers, continue to meet your obligations, and recover for long-term success. 

What is business interruption insurance? 

Rather than covering a company for physical loss such as damage to premises, equipment, or people, business interruption insurance covers the insured entity for financial loss due to unforeseen events like natural disasters. It must be used in conjunction with material damage insurance, each one covering a different aspect of the losses following an event. The Business Interruption cover is “triggered” by a claim for material damage loss—i.e. damage to insured property or other assets—and the claimant must be able to demonstrate the financial loss that occurs.  

Who needs it? 

Because a Business Interruption policy is linked to and triggered by material damage, it is only applicable to certain types of businesses. It is ideal for the many companies that rely on their premises in order to carry out their work. These can include: 

  • Panel beaters, mechanics, and other auto trades. 
  • Retail stores. 
  • Hospitality and food service or production businesses. 
  • Manufacturing businesses. 
  • Estheticians and hairdressers. 

There are many other businesses that can and do use Business Interruption cover—that is not an exhaustive list! If you can foresee major financial losses being caused by a natural disaster or similar unforeseen event at your insured premises, you should consider a Business Interruption policy. The best way to know, of course, is to consult the experts! A qualified and experienced insurance broker will be able to assess your risks and tell you whether this cover is right for you.  

Business interruption insurance is also beneficial to property owners as it can cover loss of rent caused by damages. As an example: a company owns commercial premises and rents them out to various tenants, but after an earthquake they can no longer be used for a period of time. This is where the policy comes into play; they can recoup the loss of income. 

Features to note 

There are a few aspects of standard business interruption insurance which it pays to know about! First is the indemnity period, which will be specified in any individual policy. This is the length of time after the event during which cover will respond, and can range from a year to two years and even beyond that timeframe. Your policy needs to allow a sufficient amount of time should the worst occur, such as a building needing to be completely rebuilt following an earthquake, and that’s what the indemnity period allows. This can take longer than you might think by the time consents are issued and plans are drawn up, for example, and the claim will also take time to work through. A great insurance broker is invaluable here not only in helping you determine an appropriate indemnity period at the outset but also guiding you through the claims process.   

Business interruption insurance can also cover “Additional Increased Cost of Working” (AICOW), which are costs incurred in an effort to minimise loss. This might include rent for temporary premises, advertising and marketing costs, temporary stock relocation, and new signage. Another policy addition that you should include is cover for claims preparation costs, which are exactly what they sound like: costs incurred while substantiating, preparing, and validating a claim. Often, this includes hiring specialists to prove and estimate your loss: consultants, lawyers, investigators, accountants, and other professionals. 

Business interruption insurance is critical to many businesses, protecting them against the long-term effects of events that cannot be planned for or expected. It provides a huge amount of peace of mind to business owners—and also for financial partners or investors.  

The team of experienced insurance brokers at Runacres can guide businesses through the murky waters of various insurance policies. Finding the right combination of these to protect a company against risk while keeping premiums affordable is a refined skill. BI policies are not one-size-fits-all; navigating the ins and outs, the unique things offered by each provider, and the various additional covers is tricky. Having an expert in your corner is crucial to achieving the right balance. 

If you are interested in purchasing business interruption insurance or would like to review the policies you already have in place, get in touch with the Runacres team. We specialise in business insurance and love to help our clients assess their risk and attain the perfect mix of cover for their unique operations. 

 

 

 

 

 


Commercial Motor Insurance: What You Need and How Your Broker Can Help

Get cover for your company vehicles.

Any motor vehicle used for business purposes should be insured commercially. Specialist policies for business-use vehicles ensure that all parties are covered: the driver, the company, the vehicle, and any other vehicles or people involved with an accident. For most business owners, having their vehicles and drivers on the road is crucial to operations. Quality commercial motor insurance should therefore be a priority.

As with any insurance, it’s important to get the best. And what “the best” is can change from company to company. Each business has unique needs and risk factors specific to their services and their sector, so will need different policies. The following will help clarify what you need from a commercial motor policy and how your broker can help arrange the best solution for your circumstances.

Features of a commercial motor policy

One of the primary risks covered by this type of insurance is, of course, damage to a vehicle if it gets in an accident. In many cases, having wheels on the road is very important to the running of a business. Depending on the field, cars, vans, trucks, and other vehicles can be indispensable. Accidents happen even with the most trusted drivers, and the ability to get your vehicles back up and running as soon as possible is an asset. Good commercial motor insurance will enable that to happen.

Another aspect of this cover is liability for damage to third party property. This alleviates the stress that comes with the possibility of a company-owned vehicle coming into contact with someone’s Ferrari.

The other main purpose of commercial motor insurance is to protect against loss from theft. Being able to replace a stolen vehicle quickly and with minimal fuss makes life easier for any company.

Some policy aspects may not be standard across all insurance companies. This makes it worthwhile having an experienced broker who can assist with clarifying options and the best solutions.

Excess-free windscreen cover is a great benefit and it’s a good idea to ensure this is included under your policy. Automatic cover for newly purchased vehicles is another important part of a policy which will ensure you are fully covered until you get a chance to inform your broker of the purchase. Adding loss of use cover (which pays for a rental vehicle) serves many companies well too, particularly couriers and other businesses highly reliant on their vehicles. Some insurers also allow you to insure your vehicles as a fleet, which is a beneficial option for large organisations with many vehicles.

Something else to consider is having your unregistered vehicles, like forklifts, insured under a commercial motor policy. If you must drive such a vehicle on public roads between insured locations, and/or to load other vehicles for example, having it insured under your motor policy will cover your liability for damage to third parties whilst it’s on the road.

Broker benefits

Discussing your requirements with an experienced insurance broker is the best way to find the right commercial motor insurance. Here’s why!

Firstly, a broker will be able to tell you exactly what each policy covers. They will know where you can get the extras mentioned above, and can also advise you on which are most necessary for your operations. This advice is invaluable. It prevents you from overspending on policies that include cover superfluous to your needs, or from finding yourself in a tough situation due to gaps in your insurance. Brokers like those that make up the Runacres team are experts in risk analysis, enabling them to offer informed advice. They can guide you in deciding what level of cover is appropriate for your business, balanced against the cost of premiums.

Using a broker makes the entire process smoother. They will explain the details of a particular policy in ways that are simple to understand and help you through purchasing and setting up your insurance. When it comes to insuring a varied-vehicle fleet, the task can be overwhelming. Brokers have the experience and knowledge to make it easy.

One of the most helpful and stress-reducing benefits that comes with using a broker for your commercial motor insurance is the assistance provided when it is time to make a claim. A vehicle being involved in an accident is stressful for everyone. There may be an injured driver or passenger to be concerned about, a tow truck to be arranged, and work to be postponed. If a vehicle is stolen, there are police reports to be made and alternatives to be found so jobs can continue. In either of these situations, you don’t want the added task of sorting out an insurance claim.

A broker will handle the lodgement of a claim with your insurer, taking that job almost entirely off your to-do list. Additionally, they will act as your advocate to ensure that you get everything to which you are entitled. If you are not an insurance expert, it can be difficult to interpret and navigate a policy which may put you at a disadvantage. Brokers ensure that you receive everything available to you.

No commercial vehicle should be on the road without insurance. If you are navigating the murky waters of commercial motor insurance and need some help deciding what you need and who to get it from, get in touch with the Runacres team. We can help businesses around New Zealand assess and mitigate risk with the right insurance policies.


Senior Broking Manager discusses insurance for the Civil Construction sector

Senior Broking Manager and Director Dennis Sanders was recently interviewed for the Cranes and Lifting Magazine, where he discussed his experience with arranging insurance solutions for the construction sector; including civil construction, construction equipment operators, mining, quarrying and crane hire

Dennis advises “a number of these clients are faced with specialised scenarios and unique insurance challenges, with different terms and issues in contracts that are out of the norm” and outlines how an experienced broker can assist.

Read the full article here:

Dennis Sanders – Cranes and Lifting

Click here to access the latest edition of the Cranes and Lifting Magazine.


Liability Insurance: Protecting Your Business 

Why liability insurance is important for all businesses 

Liability insurance provides businesses with protection against various risks which can occur over the course of their operations. Even with the best policies and procedures in place things can—and do—go wrong. Without liability insurance, businesses would have to face these risks on their own, potentially being met with large bills and lasting damage to their reputation.  

With appropriate policies in place, a business owner can have peace of mind that they are properly protected. Liability cover is relevant for all industries and is something that any business owner should be thinking about. It can, however, be complicated to understand the various types of cover a particular industry might need. A great broker can therefore add real value in this area.  

 Here’s what you need to know about various types of liability insurance, straight from the experts at Runacres. 

Why is liability insurance so important? 

No company goes out into the world intending to cause any harm or damage. Morals and ethics aside, that would be very bad for business. Accidents do happen, however, and employees can also be careless or act in ways that the owner or manager could not foresee. If you have any dealings at all with third parties and/or their property, there are likely to be situations in which you could be held financially responsible for damages to your customers or clients. 

Even if your business operations are 100% compliant with all regulations, in line with the leading industry practices, and managed by experienced, qualified, and conscientious people, there is room for the unexpected. No business is exempt from that possibility.  

Let’s look at an example: a tree felling company accidentally fells a tree in the wrong direction and it causes major damage to someone’s roof. Without the right insurance cover, the company could be liable for all repairs—and if it’s a multimillion-dollar mansion they dropped a tree on, they might find themselves in a very sticky financial situation. While tree felling is a fairly obvious high-risk activity, there are risks everywhere.  

Any company which subcontracts work to other businesses or tradespeople should also be aware that they can be held “vicariously liable” for actions of a subcontractor. This is another reason why it is imperative to have liability insurance, as even if work is subcontracted out the business will ultimately be the one liable to their client.   

All of the above considerations aside, one very good reason for many businesses to have liability insurance is that a certain type and level of cover will often be required by governing bodies, local council, or other authorities in order to operate. In many industries, including various trades, specific levels of cover may also be mandatory in order to step on site or win a particular contract. 

What types of liability cover should I know about? 

There are a large number of liability covers available. The exact cover you need will depend on your business and industry. Here is a rundown of the most common policies: 

Public liability: This is the most common and essential liability insurance for businesses. It covers legal liability for damage or injury to third parties or their property. Whether mandatory in your industry or not, it is crucial. Without it, potential costs of damage or repair could easily cripple a company.  

Statutory liability: This specific type of liability insurance protects your business against potential breaches of many Acts of Parliament in New Zealand such as the Health and Safety Act or Consumer Guarantees Act. It is not possible to insure against fines, but statutory liability can include cover for reparations and defence costs. Having cover for defence costs is important should you need to defend your business against a claim by another party—as these costs can quickly escalate. 

Employers liability: This policy provides cover for your legal liability if one of your employees is injured in circumstances not covered by ACC. Examples of this may include a repetitive strain injury, mental health, or other illness. A good employers liability policy should also include defence costs (as outlined in more detail above). 

 Directors and Officers Liability: This insurance is intended for directors and other senior officers of a company, who can be held personally liable for the actions (or inaction) of the business in the course of their duties. It can protect them against personal financial loss and is therefore an important consideration. 

Cyber liability: Any business that uses a computer will have cyber exposure. Some of the risks include hacking by malicious parties, transmission of a virus to a third party, or privacy breaches resulting in reparations to be paid. A comprehensive cyber policy can help protect your business against these exposures. 

Other employment-related insurances: Employers often need insurance to cover other employment-related liabilities. This might include employment disputes cover, which comes into play if someone raises a personal grievance, or fidelity cover, which deals with theft by employees. 

If you’re an owner of an SME or larger business, chances are you need to consider a range of liability covers. With various options available as outlined above, deciding on the right insurance company and the right policies can be a tricky task to navigate. 

That’s where an experienced insurance broker can help. Insurance experts like those in the Runacres team can accurately assess your risks, recommend the types of insurance you need, and find policies that offer the required cover as well as value for money. The service of a broker doesn’t end there, either. Should you need to make a claim on any liability insurance, they offer assistance to make the process as smooth as possible. 

 If you are without liability cover for your business or are not sure that what you have is adequate or the best option, get in touch with the Runacres team. We operate New Zealand-wide and would be happy to discuss what you need. 

 

 

 

 


Stay Safe and Cover Yourself for the Unexpected These Holidays

Read our tips for keeping yourself safe and your property secure during the holiday season.

In New Zealand, the festive season is a double whammy. Not only do we have the festivities of Christmas, but immediately afterwards, almost the entire country considers itself on holiday. Summer is in full swing, many people head to the beach, and brains are switched from work mode to relax mode.

It’s a wonderful time of the year! But with holiday travel, elaborate cooking and BBQ usage, celebrations, and outdoor activities all on the agenda, there are concerns for the safety and security of people and property. As insurance brokers, it’s our job to ensure that our clients are covered for when the worst happens. While insurance is a great safety net, smooth and trouble-free holidays are always the goal.

To help you have a fantastic holiday period after a difficult year, we have compiled a list of tips for staying safe during Christmas and the summer months.

Secure your home

If you’re heading out on holiday, make sure that your home will be in good shape when you get back. Lock all doors, and your windows too if possible. Try not to make it obvious that you are away. If you have a trusted neighbour you could ask them to get your mail in and take your bins in and out, and maybe offer to let them park cars at your place. Fit security lights and an alarm. To make things easier if you do have to claim, log the serial numbers of all your electronics with SNAP, a free online tool by the NZ Police.

In case your home is burgled during your holiday, ensure that your home and contents policies are up to date and sufficient. Additionally, some people are not aware that they should notify their broker if they are planning to be away from home for more than 90 days as this can affect your insurance cover. We recommend contacting us before your trip if you have any concerns about the length of time you will be away and how your insurance might be impacted.

Drive safe

The primary concern on the road, of course, is the safety of yourself and the other occupants of the vehicle. That said, even small fender benders that result in no injury can really ruin a summer road trip by putting your vehicle out of action for a while—not to mention requiring that you try to arrange repairs away from home!

To avoid any undesirable scenarios, take all the common precautions. Have your car serviced before the Christmas rush, and check the tyre pressure immediately before departure. Don’t drive after drinking or when tired. Avoid the rush hour if possible, and take extra care on wet roads.

If something unexpected does happen on the road make sure to contact us as soon as possible, so that we can help guide you through the claims process and get you back on the road.

Be water wise

In New Zealand we are never far from the coast and many people head there for their summer getaway. While swimming or boating in the ocean, lakes, and rivers is a wonderful and treasured activity, it can be a dangerous one too. Make sure to check your insurance details for boats, jet skis and other vessels before heading out on the water; and contact us if you have any questions.

If possible, swim where lifeguards are patrolling. If there are none in the area, then only enter the water where it is calm. Never allow small children to go near the water unsupervised, and nobody—child or adult—should go out of their depth unless they are very confident. Always wear lifejackets when aboard a vessel of any kind, and do not head out in adverse conditions. You should always tell someone of your boating plans and be contactable. We recommend keeping your cell phone inside something waterproof and preferably buoyant.

Cook with care

BBQs are a Kiwi summer staple, and we love a good brazier or campfire too. Cooking with fire requires some extra thought and care, particularly in the summer season when the fire risk is higher due to dry foliage.

It’s common sense, but start with ensuring that your BBQ or brazier is a good distance from any trees, buildings, furniture, or any other objects. Always extinguish any flames before heading to bed. If you are considering a campfire or any kind of open fire, you must first check the regulations and laws. These exist at national and local levels. This is a good tool that will help you to check when and where a fire is permitted. You should also check your insurance policies for your home and holiday home to make sure that you have sufficient cover in case of a fire.

Whatever you do this holiday period, we hope that you have a wonderful time and make amazing memories. We also hope that you stay safe and your property comes out of summer unscathed! These tips should help—but in case the undesirable scenarios do happen, make sure to contact your broker in order to get those summer plans back on track.

The Runacres team can review your risks, assess your insurance needs, and make sure that you can sail through the holiday season with peace of mind. Happy holidays!


Your Insurance Broker Makes Claiming Easy

An insurance broker can make the claims process easier and quicker, as well as ensure a good result. 

Deciding on and buying insurance policies is no easy task. Insurance brokers are well known for providing guidance with their expertise and connections in the industry, and they have helped many people to get the right cover for their unique needs and risk factors. 

There is another insurance-related task that brokers can help with. Making a claim can be confusing, paperwork-heavy, and time-consuming. Some people are not aware that part of the service that insurance brokers provide is helping their insured clients, be they businesses or individuals, with navigating the claims process. Whatever your industry or insurance type, having a broker to help you through the claims process saves a lot of time and energy. 

So if you are claiming on any of your policies, check in with your broker first.  

Advocates in your corner 

At Runacres Insurance, we consider it our job to be your advocate—and this includes not only when you are buying insurance, but when you are using it. Handling claims for our clients is a major part of a broker’s job. In fact, we have an entire team dedicated to this particular task. 

Importantly, a broker is an independent advocate. Brokers do not work for the insurance companies and therefore everything they do is on your behalf, with your interests at the forefront. They will stand in for you and champion your cause with the insurance company. Not only that, but they may well do a better job than you would yourself, for reasons outlined below… 

Specialist knowledge 

Perhaps the primary reason that using a broker makes the claims process much simpler and smoother is the fact that an insurance broker has intimate and in-depth knowledge of not only the industry but the details of specific providers and policies. This is their job, and they know what’s what. 

As “laypeople” when it comes to insurance, it can be difficult for claimants to accurately interpret the language used in policies and determine what they are entitled to. A broker makes the process easier right from the start. They will be able to tell you what your policy includes and what you can claim in a given situation. 

The specialist knowledge and experience of brokers also mean that they can ensure you get the very best result. If you are not aware of the intricacies of your policies, it is possible to be shortchanged in the confusion of a claim. A broker serves to ensure you get what is on offer.  

Efficiency and ease 

A broker’s skill in negotiating and navigating insurance claims is not only effective in getting the settlement you want and are entitled to, but in getting it quickly and efficiently. Brokers like those at Runacres have agreed service standards with many insurers which can expedite the process. This helps to ensure that they prioritise and respond to our brokers’ communication, avoiding delays and difficulties. 

Knowing their way around making a claim means that there is much less back-and-forth, and the entire experience is quicker and less arduous. When an insurance delay prevents a business from continuing as normal or has other profound effects on the life or livelihood of a client, it’s crucial that the claim is processed and sorted as quickly as possible. Management by a broker can greatly reduce the impact of a lengthy settlement. 

As an individual who makes insurance claims only very occasionally, the process can be difficult. For someone well-versed in the procedure and language involved, possessing a working relationship with many insurance companies, and who manages claims on a day-to-day basis, it’s much simpler. A broker will know exactly what the company requires of you and can communicate it clearly, working with you to make sure that your claim has the best chance of being settled quickly.  

There are very few people out there who like to spend their spare time calling or emailing back and forth with their insurance company. It’s not a fun task. It can be a frustrating one. Using your broker to facilitate the claim not only makes it faster and easier but it also eliminates a huge amount of work for the client. 

The claims management service provided by Runacres Insurance makes life easier. Our expertise is your advantage. What’s more, there are no fees or costs at all to the client—the service is free on their end.  

Our hands-on approach to managing your claims means minimal disruption to life or business, quicker insurance settlements, and the best results. Interested in finding out more about how the Runacres team of brokers can help when the unexpected happens and you need to use your insurance? Get in touch. We have offices in Auckland, Christchurch, and the West Coast which allow us to serve clients all across New Zealand.  


Have You Reviewed Your Insurance Lately?

Your insurance should change along with you.

Imagine this: you arrange insurance for your personal contents, at an amount which will allow you to replace everything should the worst occur. Once the policy is in place, you forget about it because you are now covered and go about your life, happily paying your premiums. Over the next few years, you progress in your career and slowly upgrade things in your home and life: the leather couches you always wanted, a bigger TV for family movie nights, and some renovations here and there. At some point, an unfortunate event  such as a fire or flood occurs, and you are faced with replacing all or most of what’s in your home. That’s OK, because you have contents insurance for this very reason! 

Unfortunately, however, if your policy has not been reviewed regularly you may be caught short  in this type of scenario. Here’s why and how you should keep your personal insurance policies updated at all times. 

Why insurance reviews matter 

As highlighted in the example above, people and households can quickly “outgrow” their insurance. Contents, car, life, and other policies are often based on  a particular sum which will be paid out, and as life moves on this amount can become too small; resulting in underinsurance. Conversely, in the case of vehicles  the value noted may become too high as the vehicle depreciates, resulting in over-insurance and more being paid on premiums than needed. 

Balancing premiums and  Sum Insured values can be tricky. Situations change, whether due to life events or just through the passage of time. Insurance reviews are therefore essential—and with the help of an experienced broker, this can be a relatively simple task. 

How to keep on top of it 

As almost any adult will know, life administration is constant and tedious. Insurance can definitely fall under this category! Regular reviews will pay off down the track, however,  by ensuring  you are only paying for the amount of cover you need  but will still be fully covered should the worst happen. Here are a few tips for staying organised and ahead of your insurance policies.  

  • Set an annual reminder in your calendar  so that you know when your insurance will be due for renewal or reviewEven if nothing specific happens to prompt  any changes in cover it is beneficial to review your policies at least once a year. Some changes to circumstance will creep up on you, such as an increase in the value of your home contents. Catching these requires regular reviews. 
  • When you make a big purchase, think about reviewing your insurance. Buying a new car makes this a necessity, but something like a renovation to your home should also prompt you to think about your cover. 
  • Having children, getting married, or getting a divorce are life events that should prompt a review of life insurances and other policies. 
  • Health insurance can be subject to change too; if you start or stop smoking, for example, your policy might need some attention. 

Help from the experts 

Just as arranging insurance should not be a “set it and forget it” situation, insurance broking services are not designed to be a one-off experience. Alongside helping clients to find the best policies to fit their needs and advising how much cover they need, weighed up against their unique risk factors, a great broker  will also help with regular reviews.   

Knowing how to adjust your policies when circumstances change is no simple thing. An insurance broker can guide you through a review, make the necessary adjustments, and suggest additional cover—or even suggest dropping cover when it is no longer necessary. Your interactions with your insurance broker should therefore not be over once your policies are set up. I Instead, it should be a relationship that will see you covered through life’s ups, downs, and lateral movements. 

Experienced insurance brokers walk alongside you for all insurance-related matters. If you would like professional help to decide what cover you need, determine which insurance providers work best for you, and keep your insurance up to date and relevant, get in touch with the award-winning Runacres team. We provide broking services to Kiwis across the country, and specialise in an array of both personal and business insurances. We are also experts in risk assessments, and can help you to figure out what you need from your insurance policies both at the initial consult and further down the road.  


Help in a tight spot

For many of us, insurance acts as a safety net – we agree on the cover we need with our insurer, pay our premium and hope that nothing bad happens. But, if something does go wrong, we’ve got cover in place to help us get back on track, right? As insurance brokers, we know that handling a claim is often the hardest part though, and it’s an experience that can leave insurance buyers feeling let-down when they’re in a tough spot.

Take as an example one of Runacres clients. She was leaving a car park and on her way out had an issue with the car park exit ticket. She opened her car door to ask for help, but in doing so accidentally knocked the vehicle into reverse, causing the car to start moving backwards. Fortunately, the open car door caught on the ticketing machine, and she was able to shut off the engine and wasn’t significantly injured, but of course, her car was not driveable and she was, understandably, shaken up.

She called her insurance broker and was explaining her situation to one of the teams in the Christchurch office. The team member could tell by the client’s voice and demeanour that she was shaken by the incident so they called in Ryan Jones, the Runaces claims team manager to assist.

Ryan jumped in his car and went to the scene of the accident to help her. He sat with the client, assisted with the entire claim process and stayed with her until the tow-truck arrived a few hours later. Ryan then drove her home much to the client’s relief.

“We’re dealing with claims on a daily basis, and we know just how stressful it can be. Especially when you’re literally stuck! Helping our clients when they need their insurance the most is something that we take pride in, but really I was just doing my job,” said Ryan when asked for comment.

At Runacres we are committed to making the claims process as stress-free and easy as possible. That’s why we’re always looking at ways we can improve our client’s experience when it comes to making a claim. From our newly released interactive claim forms that are fillable on any device, to our dedicated claims support team, we are genuinely here to help when you need that cover the most.