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Business Construction Insurance Insurance

Boost Your Civil Engineering Game

The field of civil engineering is challenging and requires hard work, dedication, and adaptability as technology continues to advance. And if you’re looking to improve your chances of success as a civil engineer, here are some practical tips that can help you stand out:

Keep up with trends and new technology

Civil engineering is constantly evolving and adapting to new technologies and methodologies. Stay ahead by expanding your knowledge. Focus on enhancing your abilities by mastering software programs like AutoCAD or gaining expertise in structural analysis. Seek diverse projects that challenge your skills and ask experienced professionals for guidance. You can also try the following:

  • Attend workshops and trainings
  • Explore online programs and resources
  • Subscribe to industry newsletters or set up alerts to receive news directly to your email

These will help you keep up with the latest industry trends and make you more valuable to employers and clients.

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Make sure your platforms are compatible

Learning and mastering new technologies can be exciting, especially in civil engineering, where new technologies are developed daily. However, keep in mind that while using new technologies may impress your clients or team, it’s essential to ensure that all the platforms you use are compatible to avoid any future issues. It would be frustrating to spend a lot of time working on a project on one platform only to find that you cannot access it on another.

So before you jump into working on any project and introducing a new software or tool, ask the following questions:

  • What are your clients or team currently using? 
  • Are there available demos and instructional resources? 
  • Do they have a list of integrations? 
  • What are users saying in their reviews? 

Considering these factors can help ensure that the technology you use will be compatible with what your clients or team needs.

Civil Engineering is a competitive field that requires constant growth and learning for success.

Listen to the community goals

Construction projects, from transportation to residential, must be adaptable to changing conditions and community goals. These could be weather or seasonal changes, economic conditions, and other environmental shifts. You need to be flexible yourself and consider potential changes with your design. But to do that, you must listen to the community

Learn about them

If you’re going to work on a project targeting a specific area and community, you need to be aware of any local routines, practices, or restrictions. What are the weather conditions or seasonal changes? How can the project affect them during and after construction?

Survey and evaluate

You should conduct extensive surveys to evaluate community goals and needs, and identify potential changes that may occur. You can use various tools and techniques such as cost-benefit analysis, multi-criteria analysis, social impact assessment, or environmental impact assessment to quantify and compare the benefits and costs of your project. These tools can also help identify and mitigate potential negative impacts on the social and natural environment.

You can also use different methods to identify and prioritise community goals, such as surveys, interviews, focus groups, workshops, or participatory mapping. Aim to gather as much information possible so you can be better prepared to present it to the stakeholders of the project.

Apply their feedback

Balancing the goals of a construction project with the community’s needs can be challenging. However, gathering feedback from diverse stakeholders, including residents, businesses, organisations, and agencies, can help improve project design, implementation, and management.

The key is to engage both in communication to ensure that their voices are heard and their concerns are addressed.

Learn how to communicate with non-civil engineers

The field of civil engineering requires you to work alongside other professionals who may possess a different level of knowledge or expertise in civil engineering than you do. You are responsible for providing them with the guidance and understanding required for the project. Clear and effective communication of your expertise is crucial to ensure the project’s success. 

Step up your communication skills with practice, from giving a presentation with infographics and videos to hosting a webinar. The goal is to make everyone understand the potential issues that may arise during the project and prepare them for emergencies or delays. By doing so, you can also enhance your performance since everyone is well-informed and on the same page.

Building a professional network is a great way to advance in whatever career you choose.

Build a professional network

Networking is essential in any profession, and civil engineering is no exception. It’s not enough to be technically proficient in your field, you must also have excellent communication and leadership skills. This means you need to hone your ability to express yourself verbally and in writing, work well with others and lead teams effectively.

  • Attend conferences, meetings, or industry events
  • Join professional organisations or groups such as NGOs or academic teams
  • Connect with other experts and industry professionals on LinkedIn

Joining a supportive community of like-minded professionals can provide valuable guidance and support throughout your career. Staying connected also informs you about job openings or industry trends that can further your career as a civil engineer.

Get insurance and stay protected

Working in construction involves many risks, especially when leaving the office environment and working on site.

It is important to prepare yourself for any workplace dangers in consultation with the principal contractor or designated persons responsible for WHS duties, wear appropriate protective clothing, and strictly follow all site safety advice.  Additionally, it is crucial that you have relevant Workers Compensation policy in place for you and your staff to protect them in the event of injury in the workplace.

Insurance is generally required to tender for contracts and often includes a requirement for a minimum limit of Professional indemnity or Design and Construct Professional Indemnity; Public and Product Liability; Workers Compensation, proof of Plant and Machinery insurance and other covers where circumstances are required. Due to the complexities of these contracts, it is highly recommended to consult with insurance professionals to understand specific risks civil engineers face and obtain appropriate coverage. 

East West Insurance Brokerscan assist you in identifying sufficient coverage for your business to ensure this meets your budget and needs. You can reach our brokers by clicking here

Improve your chances of success

Becoming a successful civil engineer is no easy feat, but with dedication and the right mindset, you can set yourself up for a rewarding and fulfilling career. By constantly expanding your knowledge, honing your technical and communication skills, building professional networks, and learning how to communicate outside your profession, you’re well on your way to improving your chances of success in this ever-evolving field.

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Business Construction Insurance Insurance

Keeping your equipment and investment protected

Imagine this – you’ve just started your dream business and invested a significant amount of money in top-of-the-line equipment. Suddenly, one of your machines experiences equipment failure or gets damaged due to an accident. Without proper insurance coverage, you could end up with a hefty bill to repair or replace the equipment. It could also lead to a delay in your business and further drain on your finances.

Avoid unnecessary costs from equipment failure by implementing safety guidelines to prevent accidents and performing regular maintenance to keep your equipment in good condition. For greater security for both you and your business, get Plant & Equipment Insurance. 

In this article, we’ll discuss the following questions: 

What is Plant & Equipment insurance?

Plant & Equipment Insurance is designed to cover physical assets used in the operation of a business, such as vehicles and heavy machinery like cranes and forklifts. Although commonly associated with the construction industry, it can be helpful for different types of businesses and equipment. 

Think about these risks and make a list of any others you think are relevant to your business. This is an important step in making sure your risks as a venue are managed and will help inform the kind of insurance you need. Sitting down with an experienced Insurance Advisor can make this process more efficient and effective.

What do you need from your insurance provider?

How to get started?

To insure your equipment, you must have all the necessary documents ready to present. Remember to provide accurate details to the insurance provider so they can give you an accurate quote. This information may include, but is not limited to: 

  • Type of equipment 
  • Price or value 
  • Age (when it was first used and when it was purchased) 
  • Repairs and modifications 
  • History of claims 

When considering equipment insurance, prioritise which assets you want to insure based on their importance and value to your operations, then set up a budget accordingly. Expect heavy machinery to take the bulk of your budget. It’s also important to consider any specialised maintenance required to keep your equipment running smoothly. 

What needs to be covered?

The next step is to assess the risks associated with your equipment and evaluate the likelihood of these risks occurring. Then check with insurance providers if their policy covers these potential risks: 

  1. Accidental Damage – This covers your equipment’s repair or replacement costs in case of accidental damage caused by exposure to elements like fire, flood, and natural disasters. Damages due to human error could also be included. If you’re unsure, it’s best to confirm with your insurer. 
  1. Theft and Vandalism – Unfortunately, theft and vandalism are real business risks. Surveillance cameras and alarm systems are good preventative measures, but they can’t guarantee absolute protection. In an emergency, Plant & Equipment Insurance can step in to cover the loss or damage caused by malicious acts. 
  1. Equipment breakdown – Even the most reliable and well-oiled machinery can have a bad day. Equipment breakdown coverage can provide financial support for repairs or replacement for unexpected equipment failure, which is crucial during peak production periods. 
Plant & Equipment Insurance can cover costs of equipment failure and loss.

How do you choose the right insurance provider?

Once you have a clear idea of your insurance needs, you can start researching which insurance provider would be a good fit. Each insurance provider has their own sets of policies and coverage. Compare them and take note of the following: 

  • Do they cover repairs or replacements? 
  • Do they cover both? 
  • Are there coverage limits or exclusions? 
  • Are there premiums or policy deductibles? 
  • Additional coverage options? 
  • What is their usual claims process and timeline? 
  • What is the general feedback from customer reviews? 
  • Is the insurance provider in good standing financially or reputation-wise? 

When shopping for services, especially one as important as insurance, request quotes from multiple providers. Don’t be shy about sending emails, and as long as you have questions, keep asking them. Carefully view the fine print and take time to weigh your options so you can make an informed decision. 

You can learn more about how to properly review your insurance here.

Do you need help with insurance?

Accidents can happen no matter how many precautions you take, and equipment failure due to age or constant use is inevitable. Plant & Equipment Insurance acts as a safety net that keeps you protected from unexpected costs that can be incurred. It ultimately helps minimise negative financial impact, allowing you to recover and resume operations swiftly. 

Yes, going through different providers and policies to find the right one is hardly exciting. You’ll have to read tons of paperwork and put in the hours to ensure everything is covered. But there’s no need to stress because you don’t have to shop alone. We’re here to help. At East West Insurance Brokers, we’ll connect you to the top insurance providers in Australia and help you identify what best suits your business needs. Let’s work together to get you covered. Request a free consultation today! 

1800 809 132  | hello@ewib.com.au | www.ewib.com.au

Categories
Business

Top business risks you should look out for in 2022

Whilst many businesses do their best to survive in a Covid world, business interruption, caused by a multitude of factors, seems to be the underlying theme for 2022. Allianz has released a 2022 Risk Barometer Report which incorporates the views of customers, brokers, and industry trade organisations from around the world regarding the tops risks they believe to be most important. Let’s dive into the top 5 global business risks as anticipated by the survey’s respondents.

1. Cybercrimes

In Australia, cyber risks sit at the number one spot of the country’s top concerns alongside Japan, Italy and the UK. Cyberattacks are becoming more advance and frequent, especially with remote working arrangements being the new norm. The growing dependency on digital infrastructure across various industries has allowed hackers to become more creative in their attempts to exploit new vulnerabilities. Businesses need to take proactive measures to ensure they reduce their cyber risk and increase their organisation’s resilience against modern ransomware technology.

2. Business Interruption

Since the pandemic hit, businesses have experienced an on-again, off-again relationship with their operations, causing significant disruptions to cash flow and the viability of the business. Unfortunately, the past 18 months have shown us that business interruption and its risks are likely to remain a trending issue for the foreseeable future. If anything, the pandemic has revealed how fragile and complex modern supply chains are and how multiple events can cause a domino effect of problems, as what we’ve seen with retail supermarkets in terms of supply and labour shortages.

However, despite the hard hit of Covid-19 on supply chains, the report by Allianz shows the most worrisome cause of business interruption is cyberattacks, particularly with the rise of new ransomware, dependency on digital tools, and remote working arrangements.

3. Natural Catastrophes

Natural disasters have jumped up three spots since last year’s Risk Barometer. Around the world, the frequency and severity of catastrophic weather events are rising due to the effects of global warming. They have led to over $100 billion losses – the fourth-highest year on record. Insurers have paid out a whopping sum of over $8.9 billion in natural disaster claims in Australia alone.

4. Pandemic Outbreak

The outbreak of Covid-19 was an eye-opener for everyone as to how vulnerable and unprepared businesses were in response to a pandemic event. Two years on and with the world opening again, we still can’t rule out the possibility of a more serious variant emerging, causing further disruptions and imposed government restrictions. While most survey respondents believe they are better prepared in their contingency plans, the heavy reliance on digitalisation opens up vulnerabilities that businesses may not be aware of yet and should seek measures in the event of a digital compromise.

5. Fire

This event alone is devastating enough, but it’s not just damage to property and stock that are classified as losses. For over five years until the end of 2018, fire/explosion was the largest single cause of loss for businesses worldwide, as recorded in Allianz’s Risk Barometer. Beyond material losses, fire can prevent businesses from managing their daily operations and reaching their customers for an extended period. The risk of fire is hard to eradicate, but businesses can take action by reviewing their fire mitigation strategies. An effective post-disaster contingency plan can decrease the risk of loss from an incident.

At East West Insurance Brokers, our team of brokers are able to provide your business with a free risk assessment and develop a unique risk profile just for you. This will help you identify the areas within your business to mitigate potential risks and threats. We’ll work with you to implement a suitable insurance plan designed for your industry. Get in touch with the team today, and let’s see how we can help!

1800 809 132  | hello@ewib.com.au | www.ewib.com.au

Important Note: All insurance policies have exclusions. Please refer to the Product Disclosure Statement or Policy Wording to decide whether an insurance policy meets your needs.

Categories
Business

Make your claim a less stressful experience

If you’ve had to make a claim on your own, it can feel like a daunting process from start to finish. It doesn’t help that insurers are constantly being painted in a negative light, depicting them as difficult and uncommunicative. While some might experience a less than favourable outcome, it isn’t always the case for everyone else. The good news is that you can have an uncomplicated claims journey, considering all necessary documents are in order and you’ve engaged yourself with a trusted broker who can be your advocate throughout the process. We’re here to shed some light with hopes of putting your mind at ease in the event you find yourself having to lodge a claim.

It is without a doubt that brokers have extensive experience with the claims process, and it is their job to make it as simple as possible for their clients. As we mentioned before, insurance claims can be complex, but with a broker’s knowledge and familiarity working with insurers, they know how to manage claims and disputes that may occur.

Deloitte Access Economics released a report in September 2020 outlining how the support of insurance brokers throughout the claims process can have a better outcome on their client’s case, particularly in:

1. Saving time

The report noted that over 40% of SME clients found that their claims process was easier with a broker’s support. From managing communications throughout the repair stage and arranging for quotes, the broker handles every aspect of the claim while the client focuses on getting back to trading as efficiently as possible.

2. Being your advocate

Your broker’s main role is to help and support you through the insurance process. They’re there to ensure you’re covered according to what you need and provide advice while keeping your best interests in mind. Brokers bridge the gap between you and the insurer but their M.O. is to ensure that you receive the best solution possible. Their positive relationship with insurers allows them leverage when managing tricky and unusual cases. Plus, it’s always good to have someone you can turn to for emotional support while going through the claims process.

3. More favourable claims payout

Deloitte’s report also found that those who engage a broker are more than twice as likely to be fully covered for their claims and had a higher amount of loss covered. Almost 90% of broker clients were covered for more than half of their claim, as compared to direct buyers at 75%. This tells us that an experienced broker would know how to tailor a product package for their client so that in the event of a claim, they are well covered to receive a higher payout.

Client relationship is an important aspect of a broker’s role. When you engage a broker, it is usually for the long term. A broker isn’t someone who’s there only when you need insurance. They’re proactive professionals who check in on you periodically to ensure that your needs are met and that your insurance reflects your business’ goals. They’re also up to date with the latest industry news that could impact your policy so you can prepare ahead of time.

With that in mind, if you’re in the market for a skilled and experienced broker to assist with your insurance needs, our doors are open to you. We offer a wide range of products and services for SMEs in various industries. Our team will work with you to implement a suitable insurance plan designed for your business. Get in touch with the team today, and let’s see how we can help!

1800 809 132  | hello@ewib.com.au | www.ewib.com.au

Important Note: All insurance policies have exclusions. Please refer to the Product Disclosure Statement or Policy Wording to decide whether an insurance policy meets your needs.

Categories
Business

6 Common Questions About Commercial Property Insurance

The first step in getting your commercial property insurance sorted is knowing whether you need it or not. The good news is, this is an easy one.

  1. Why do you need commercial property insurance?
  2. What does commercial property insurance cover?
  3. How much does commercial property insurance cost?
  4. What should I consider when buying commercial property insurance?
  5. What should I watch out for with commercial property insurance?
  6. Where should I go from here?

If you own commercial property of any size or type, then you should consider commercial property insurance. We’re talking anything from an office building to an industrial warehouse, from a cold storage facility to a retail space, and beyond.

If you have financed the purchase, renovation, or fitout of your property then you may actually be required to have property insurance to secure your loan. This can also extend to finance for your contents, stock, or machinery.

Likewise, other contracts you have relating to your property or contents will often contain conditions regarding property insurance, so make sure you have a good look over all of your paperwork. Fortunately, this is something an experienced broker can help you with.

Why do you need commercial property insurance?

You may have just found out that you need to consider property cover, let’s look at why it is a critical part of a sound risk management strategy for any commercial property owner.

You obviously purchased (or are purchasing) this property for a reason, and at the end of the day that reason is to generate future income.

Ask yourself the question – if your property is damaged beyond use, could you afford to repair or replace it without insurance? Or even, would you be able to continue to produce income from your business if the worst did happen?

If you answered no, then you need commercial property insurance to protect your business from these situations.

Commercial property insurance is designed to cover you as an owner, and protect you against exposure to the risks of owning property. That said, not every property policy will suit your unique needs, a qualified broker can assist you in finding the best insurance that covers your needs.

What does commercial property insurance cover?

In general, commercial property insurance covers your property and income for damage arising from tangible events. These can include storms, fire, floods, theft, vandalism and more. There are often optional sections of cover you may wish to add on, such as machinery breakdown, electronic equipment, and general property/tools of trade.

There are two main types of commercial property policies: business pack insurance and industrial special risk (ISR). The most notable difference between the two is that an ISR policy covers your property against damage unless an exclusion is specifically made, whereas a business pack only covers defined events, for example, fire or theft.

An ISR policy may sound preferable, however they are usually only available for property with a combined asset value of over $10 million (some insurers will occasionally consider $5 million).

A broker can help you determine which kind of policy is appropriate for your assets and risks and even tailor cover to fit your situation more effectively.

How much does commercial property insurance cost?

As with all insurance, there are a number of factors that will affect the price of your premium. The average cost of commercial property insurance changes based numerous risk factors considered by insurers. These are all worth keeping in mind when purchasing or making changes to your premises.

  • The location of your property
  • The construction of your buildings
  • The security of your premises
  • The fitout of your property
  • The stock held on your property
  • The equipment held on your property
  • The size of your property
  • The age of your buildings
  • The business activities undertaken at your premises

For more information on how these considerations affect your premiums, and what you can do to avoid higher costs, speak to an experienced broker.

Why do you need commercial property insurance?

What should I consider when buying commercial property insurance?

Any insurance policy will only work effectively when it is suited to the specific circumstances it covers. The most important things to consider are: your property’s unique risks and whether the policy covers those, and whether the limit of the policy would be enough to rebuild the premises and your business if you suffered a total loss.

An off-the-shelf commercial property policy is likely to have exclusions that may make it inadequate for your needs, it may also be missing important additions relevant to your unique situation. A full-coverage policy is another option, but it will cost you more.

Price is obviously an important consideration for any business, though be warned that the cheapest policy rarely provides the best coverage. The excess you set will also impact your premiums, but it should be a realistic amount you can afford if the worst does occur.

On that note, underinsurance is becoming a prevalent concern in today’s market. Having a replacement cost valuation completed will help you determine the amount you need to insure your property for. Also, stay vigilant with property market changes and keep your policy up to date if you make any alterations or additions to your premises or if tenancies change.

At the end of the day, the best insurance for commercial property and how much it costs will come down to your individual space and your business’s specific needs. Fortunately, a qualified insurance broker can assist you in determining those.

What should I watch out for with commercial property insurance?

Make sure you gather as much detail about your property and its construction as possible, as insurers will expect full disclosure of anything that is a concern. This could be something common like asbestos, or something less obvious like a specific brand of cladding or machinery that has a higher risk factor.

Remember that commercial property insurance is separate to liability insurance, while there may be some overlap, it is good practice to have both types of cover to protect your business.

A solid piece of general advice is to review all documents as soon as you get them, you should also be provided a certificate of currency that stipulates your cover limits. Continue to revisit them regularly, particularly if you make a change to the building or tenants.

Finally, revisiting the issue of underinsurance, if you are found to have failed to insure your property for a reasonable value you could be held accountable for a percentage of the repair or replacement costs in the event of a loss. Using a qualified insurance valuation expert to make sure your property is insured for an appropriate amount can protect you against this risk.

Where should I go from here?

If you have determined that you may need commercial property insurance, having a broker do the heavy lifting can be a good assurance, and help make the process easier and more efficient. There are a lot of policy wordings to read after all.

At East West Insurance Brokers our team has several decades of combined experience in commercial property insurance, and we are here to assist you through the process of getting your business appropriately covered, and keeping it that way.

From the initial identification of your unique risks, to customising a policy to suit you and your business, you can trust our friendly and knowledgeable insurance advisors to aid you on your journey.

Get in touch today for a commercial property insurance quote tailored to suit you.