Mobile Plant Cover Protects Your Construction Business—Here’s How

The “what” and “why” of mobile plant insurance

From huge and heavy cranes to simple elevated work platforms or humble tractors, mobile plant equipment and machinery is a crucial part of the work a construction company or farming business does. If it breaks down, is damaged, or is stolen, operations can grind to a halt. This costs a lot of money beyond just the price of replacing the equipment—which itself is very expensive.

The ability to finish contracts on time and on budget is crucial to any construction company. For those in agriculture, timetables can be at the whim of mother nature and having all hands on deck with equipment ready to go is vital for optimum profit. Being prepared for any eventuality or bump in the road will mean that you can carry on and get the job done.

What is mobile plant insurance?

Mobile plant cover is a type of insurance available to civil construction businesses and other relevant industries like agriculture. The term “mobile plant” refers to any plant (an onsite/transportable piece of equipment) with some form of self-propulsion which is usually controlled by a human operator—and one that is commonly taken off the company’s own property to carry out work on other job sites. This includes earthmoving machinery, cranes, hoists, forklifts, compactors, agricultural equipment, and more.

Policies are tailored specifically to cover mobile plant-related activity in just about any situation. A comprehensive cover will protect you against damage to your plant, as well as legal liabilities to third parties, whilst accounting for the many different activities and risks undertaken by your hardworking equipment.

For smart construction companies, mobile plant insurance is a vital piece of the insurance puzzle that will help ensure your projects and contracts can continue to completion, safeguarding your profit and your reputation. For farmers and growers, mobile plant insurance could mean the difference between getting a crop in on time and missing the window for harvest due to equipment failure.

What can it cover?

Good mobile plant insurance can be tailored to provide protection in a range of situations and for all kinds of machinery. Not only can it cover mobile plant and equipment that the company owns, but also that which has been rented or hired—offering peace of mind in both scenarios. It includes assets ranging from general work vehicles to the most sizable of machinery such as cranes and diggers.

Policies can also be tailored to cover a range of scenarios including breakdown, theft, damage, road incidents, and more. Good mobile plant insurance applies on any job site and also in transit, meaning that owners and renters of equipment are covered no matter where they are.

Many policies will not only protect against costs directly associated with damage to the equipment, but can also be extended to provide loss of use cover whilst repairs are underway.

How to get the best mobile plant cover

It can be tricky to think of all the possible risks associated with mobile plant and equipment. It’s even harder for your typical business owner to discern where to go for the best, most affordable, and most relevant insurance options. As the nation’s housing shortage necessitates quick and quality builds, construction companies are busier than ever and the ability to deliver on schedule is hugely important. The right cover will safeguard your reputation and enable quality, timely work even when something goes wrong with your equipment, wherever it might be.

Insurance brokers are professionals trained in locating and recommending insurance options that best fit the needs of their clients. The team at Runacres Insurance is experienced in risk assessment and knowledgeable about many specialist industries. This allows them to find and tailor the very best mobile plant insurance to safeguard the valuable equipment that drives your business.

As award-winning brokers operating throughout the nation and backed by the power of the NZbrokers body, we can offer expertise that will see contractors and farmers all over New Zealand more secure. One size does not fit all when it comes to insurance cover, so get in touch to find out how you can best protect your productivity.


Why Do I Need Life Insurance For My Business?

How life insurance can help business owners plan for the unexpected

Life insurance is often considered a very personal matter, but it matters in the business arena too. For business owners, particularly those working with partners who also have vested interest in the company, life insurance and other related covers like key person insurance and debt protection are crucial.

Comprehensive and relevant life insurance will also allow you to protect your family financially should something happen to you that will affect the running of your business. Take a look at the following points to discover what the right insurance policies can do for you as a business owner.

Your business partner will be protected

Business partners will often take out life insurance policies on each other. Often, the money in conjunction with a written agreement will ensure that the surviving partner can buy out the other’s shares and keep going. Being in business together makes people financially interdependent—it’s a good idea to carefully plan for the possibility of one partner dying unexpectedly.

A robust policy is a safeguard for your business partner and any employees relying on your company for their income. It will protect the livelihood of those who have helped you build your business.

Your family will get by

If your family depends on the income generated from your business, you will want it to continue running effectively in any circumstance. Having policies in place to facilitate this will ensure they can be taken care of—and if they sell your share in the business, they can get the best price possible.

Debt protection cover is also very important in protecting your family and loved ones in the case of your death, incapacity, or disablement. It ensures that debt can be repaid, removing personal liability from you and your estate. Click here to read – Why do you need Personal Life Insurance

You can guard against the loss of key people

Key person insurance is a helpful product that makes sure your business can run when particular people are out of action. Most companies—particularly small businesses—have those individuals who are crucial to operations. Would it be bad news for the future of your company if you, a partner, or an experienced employee were to suddenly become unable to perform their responsibilities? If the answer to that is yes, you may need to consider key person insurance.

Working with an insurance broker is the best and easiest way to secure the right insurance for your specific circumstances and needs. Working independently from insurance companies, they are the experts in finding policies that fit an individual, saving clients time and often cutting overall costs by helping them to determine which insurances are necessary and most beneficial through careful risk analysis.

The Runacres Insurance team are experienced in business-related insurance. Get a quote or give us a call to discuss how we can help you prepare.


Do I Need Life Insurance? Probably—Here’s Why

Why buy life insurance?

To think about your own death is generally considered a little morbid; it’s a subject that many people—especially young and healthy ones—prefer to avoid. However, planning for all eventualities is important. Life insurance is a key component of good financial management. Even the healthiest of people can run into unexpected circumstances: imagine a man in his forties who eats a plant-based diet and runs every day being handed a cancer diagnosis or being hit by a truck on a pedestrian crossing. It can happen, and it does.

The right life insurance allows things to run smoothly for your loved ones should you pass away. There are many options out there being sold to Kiwis, but each situation is unique: different risks, different goals, and different levels of coverage desired. For this reason, an experienced insurance broker is a huge asset. Click here to read – Why Do you Need Life Insurance For Business

Here’s how life insurance and related insurances can help you plan for all possibilities:

Your dependents will be looked after

Number one on the list of people to consider when planning for an unexpected death are children or other dependents—those who rely on you to provide for them. Most parents and caregivers are motivated to ensure that those in their care are well looked after when they pass on. Life insurance allows you to rest assured that dependents will have enough to live comfortably, and depending on the policy can even set them up very well for future large expenses like tertiary education.

For a lot of clients, making sure their kids will be financially secure with or without them is a primary reason for purchasing life insurance. However, it’s not the only one; this type of cover is also important for those without dependents to consider.

Your spouse will have time to adjust

Losing a husband or wife is traumatic, devastating, and disruptive. Doing it while faced with financial worries due to the loss of their income adds another layer of difficulty to the loss.
Life insurance offers a buffer for the surviving spouse, replacing the income of their deceased partner to reduce financial pressure at a vulnerable time. With the right policy to take up some of your financial responsibility for a while, your spouse or significant other will have time to get used to their new situation without having to worry about living costs.

Your debts will be paid

Losing income is one thing; being saddled with sole responsibility for a large debt is another. Life insurance can pay off shared debts—often this means a mortgage—to reduce living costs for those left behind and take away a financial burden. Paying off any debts for which they are jointly responsible is a fantastic gift that you can leave your loved ones.

Your final expenses will not cost your loved ones

Dying can be a pricey business. Funerals tend to run too many thousands of dollars depending on the type of celebration you or your family would like to hold. Coffins are expensive, burial is expensive, and so are the details like catering and flowers. Although New Zealand has long since done away with “death duties”, there are also things like probate and estate administration costs to think about. A friend or family member’s death is difficult enough to get through without the burden of paying for a funeral and other end-of-life expenses!

Runacres Insurance is a team of New Zealand-based insurance brokers who are dedicated to finding the best cover for Kiwis. Backed by NZBrokers, we offer quality advice and guidance to anyone seeking insurance—from life insurance and other personal covers to business insurance in specialist industries. Proud recipients of many industry awards and supporters of local sports teams and creative organisations, the Runacres team are locals who support other locals. And we pride ourselves on providing a personalised and highly customised insurance and risk service. Let us help you find peace of mind.


Underinsurance: Is Your Sum Insured Up To Date?

Is your sum insured enough for a fresh start?

Imagine that the worst happened to your business: your premises burnt to the ground, were ravaged by an earthquake, or were otherwise severely damaged and in need of replacement. Most companies pay for insurance to safeguard their operations against this very scenario. Understandably, it would be pouring salt on the wound for them to find out that their policy does not nearly cover the cost of construction.

This is underinsurance: when an insured individual or business fails to update its policies to keep them in line with property and/or asset values.

The dangers of underinsurance

Properties are required to be insured up to an agreed amount so that the insurer can calculate an appropriate premium for the amount they would be required to pay in the event of a rebuild. It’s important that the sum insured reflects the actual cost of building a new facility. If it doesn’t, your or your business will be left with the rest of the bill in what will already undoubtedly be a very difficult time.

While insuring your property for less than the amount it would actually cost to rebuild may save a little in premiums, this false economy can have disastrous consequences. The difference in your regular payments will likely be very small. What’s more, you can budget for premiums. It’s much more difficult to prepare for what could be a bill of tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars all at once. New Zealand has shown that it is no stranger to natural disasters in the past decade—from mega earthquakes to volcanic eruptions and tornadoes—so underinsurance is a very real concern.

Even if your building only requires a partial rebuild, underinsurance can sting. “Pro rata condition of average” is something included in many insurance policies, which means the sum paid out—even if only part of the total sum insured, to replace or repair part of the property—will be reduced in proportion to the value of the total sum insured. For example, imagine that your premises were insured for $800,000 but would cost a million dollars to totally rebuild. If you made a claim for a partial rebuild costing $500,000, you would only get $400,000 as you are underinsured by 20 percent. In New Zealand, the Insurance Law Reform Act of 1985 means that insurers must disclose where pro rata condition of average is applied—but it is a technical term that many purchasers may not fully understand.

How do I know if I’m underinsured, and how do I rectify it?

The key thing to remember when deciding on your sum insured is that it should be based on rebuild value and not market value. That means you aren’t insuring for the amount your property would sell for (as this would include the land) but the amount of money it would cost to rebuild the premises entirely. This should take into account structures like retaining walls, pools, fences, and any possible demolition costs.

Understandably, to come up with a sum taking all of that into account is an overwhelming prospect for many business and property owners. Professionals such as quantity surveyors can give the most accurate estimates of rebuild costs, but it is important to check that they are accounting for all the necessary factors and provide as much information as possible. They must be knowledgeable of local labour and supply costs, and be aware of any geographical features and considerations which could impact building budgets. Insurance brokers can help you arrange an accurate valuation from a suitably qualified professional.

Ever-changing construction costs and their impact on insurance

Due to inflation and other cost increases, the sum insured of a property can become outdated reasonably fast. And for busy business owners and employees, updating insurance policies is a tedious task that often gets forgotten.

In New Zealand where housing is in hot demand, building costs can rise sharply. It is important to regularly check your sums insured to make sure that they accurately reflect projected rebuild costs. According to Stats NZ[i], the value of non-residential building consents was up 4.8 percent from 2019, influenced by an increase in non-residential construction prices of 5.4 percent. Those with the highest construction values included education buildings, offices, public transport buildings, shops, restaurants, and bars. Building costs have risen[ii] alongside this, particularly in Auckland. In a report by Deloitte[iii] using statistics collected from 2009 to 2017, a steady increase was shown in the costs of materials, labour, and other contributors.

The advantage of a broker

An insurance broker is not only helpful when it comes to finding the right cover for your business. They can also help you with risk management, valuations, and claims alongside ensuring your policies are up-to-date and represent the best option for you or your business. This includes arranging regular reviews of your insurance programme, to ensure all your risks are covered where possible

Runacres insurance can help you to find and manage insurance for you and your business. Take that task off your to-do list and leave it to the experts! Our team, located in offices across the country, is dedicated to helping people and businesses maximise their insurance dollars. If you’re unsure whether your business premises are fully covered should you need to make a claim, get in touch with Runacres. We’ll help you to assess your cover and make sure you’re prepared for anything that might come your way.

[i] https://www.stats.govt.nz/information-releases/building-consents-issued-january-2020

[ii] https://www.stats.govt.nz/news/construction-costs-rents-and-rates-rise

[iii] https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/nz/Documents/Economics/nz-en-DAE-Fletcher-cost-of-residential-housing-development.pdf


The Benefits of Using an Insurance Broker

Insurance made easier and more convenient.

Finding insurance that works best for your specific set of circumstances and needs can be a tall order. Have you ever shopped around for the best company to go with, the right policies to cover any eventuality, and a way to combine your different covers for the most cost-effective solution? If so, you’ll know how tricky it can be. Navigating this vast industry full of legalities is difficult for anyone who doesn’t work in the field.

Thankfully, no-one needs to undertake the search for insurance without expert help—that’s the role of brokers. A good insurance broker works independently from insurance companies and on behalf of their clients to find the best possible cover. With this comes an array of benefits, making using a broker the best option for any insurance seeker. We’ve laid them out below; read on to get an idea of what you could be missing out on when you go it alone!

The best cover
One of the primary objectives of an insurance broker is to arrange the best possible cover for clients, in order to meet their specific needs and ensure they can claim when needed most. By contrast, finding insurance on your own can easily result in either under or over insurance; neither of which is a desired outcome.

This is why many turn to brokers for guidance. Brokers are the experts in discovering what their clients really need, and accurately assessing risk to determine what’s worth the expense and what may be superfluous. Using a good broker therefore means you are getting both the best value and the right cover for your situation.

Expert advice from the professionals
An experienced broker is a wealth of knowledge and an invaluable asset for anyone in the market for insurance. The insurance industry is far-reaching and complex, presenting many pitfalls to the unsuspecting consumer. A broker can navigate those murky waters and come up with the very best options for each client. It’s no easy task, considering that each person, family, or organisation has unique needs for their insurance coverage. Great brokers will be able to assess risk and advise a client on which insurance types would be relevant and valuable.

Many insurance brokers specialise in a specific sector of the insurance industry or several related sectors. This allows them to provide even more specialised and targeted advice and guidance to clients. Just as you would do for any service provider, it’s important to find a broker that fits your requirements and to check their professional credentials—such as industry awards and affiliations with professional bodies like the Insurance Brokers Association of New Zealand.

An array of options
Most people seeking insurance will compare a few options from the bigger insurance companies—the most diligent may even check out four or five before making a decision. This can, however, be a tedious and confusing task for clients to undertake on their own; and they will not have access the same options as a broker. Brokers also have the knowledge required to sift through the possibilities efficiently, to find the ones that will work best for any situation. Experience and expertise mean that a broker can compare and consider far more possibilities than your average insurance-seeking joe!

While brokers do work with the big insurance companies, they may also have access to policies and insurers that are not well known to the public. This opens up the options beyond the obvious and is especially useful for anyone with unique insurance needs that may be better served by a lesser-known provider.

Time saved
As we mentioned in the previous section, finding the perfect insurance policy or policies is time-consuming and tedious. Using a broker vastly cuts down on hours spent finding and organising your insurance, as their job is to do the hard yards for you. For individuals and businesses alike, time is often money—and taking advantage of a broker saves both.

Convenience
The role of a broker goes beyond just finding the right insurance for a person, family, or business. They will also facilitate and manage the process of signing up for cover, as well as advocating on the clients’ behalf for any claims. Generally, making a claim through a broker is a much faster and easier experience than dealing directly with the insurance provider.

At the heart of it, an insurance broker’s job is to find their clients comprehensive insurance solutions that fit their needs and budget. Their expertise means they can hunt out the best and most affordable options to suit the situation, including those which might be difficult to find for those outside the industry. They also do the legwork, saving time and making the entire process much quicker and more convenient for their clients.

Runacres Insurance is an award-winning team of brokers serving clients across New Zealand. As members of NZbrokers, the country’s largest insurance broking collective, we draw on a huge pool of experience while making the most of local knowledge to find the absolute best insurance solutions for our clients. We also support our communities through sponsorships of various sports teams and arts initiatives—people are important to us, and that’s why we do what we do.

Contact the Runacres team today for advice on business or personal insurance. We’d love to demonstrate the benefits of using an insurance broker with our friendly, professional service!