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.