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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.

Categories
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
Insurance

How to insure your hospitality business

Not sure where to start getting your business appropriately protected without breaking the bank? We get it. By its nature, hospitality is a diverse and varied sector and so too are the risks you face and the cover you may or may not need. As a result, insurance for hospitality businesses can be quite a jungle to navigate.

No matter what industry your business falls under, it’s crucial to get your insurance right. Throw in the curveballs of working with food and beverage, electrical equipment, and patrons and you could be up to your eyeballs in policies. That’s where an experienced Insurance Advisor can save you time and money. Let’s start by looking at some key risks you might face in the hospitality industry.

What are the most important risks to manage in a hospitality venue?

While the sector has a great deal of variety, and the scope of risks unsurprisingly wide, there are some common ones we come across. Many key risks relate to the likelihood of fires. Do you operate deep fryers in your venue? Do you have an extraction system, and how often is this cleaned and maintained? Does any of your equipment or fitout contain expanded polystyrene?

Another common risk to stay vigilant about is that of trip and fall hazards. Are your floors and thoroughfares kept clear? Is your flooring or stairways likely to contribute to an accident?

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 kind of insurance do you need for a hospitality business?

Once you’ve got a good idea of your risks, you’ll be able to figure out which policies you’ll need to protect your business. The type of insurance your venue needs will vary greatly depending on your business activities. For example, a bar may require less machinery breakdown cover than a restaurant or café but want higher value theft cover. They also might have a harder time finding a competitive public liability insurance than a wholesale bakery, who in turn may require more product liability cover.

An Insurance Advisor will work with you to analyse your unique risks and provide expert insight on the types of cover that suit. That said, it pays to understand the key types of insurance out there for your hospitality business.

1) Public liability

Public liability insurance provides financial protection for situations where someone is injured or has their property damaged as a result of your business activities. For hospitality businesses, it is a critical policy to have as it can cover food-related illnesses as well as safeguarding you from mishaps involving intoxicated patrons.

2) Property 

Property insurance is designed to cover your assets against loss or damage arising from tangible events. These may include fire, storms, floods, vandalism, and more. It can be a critical cover for your hospitality business as many ventures face heightened fire risks and rely on expensive, specialised equipment or unique assets to do business. For those who own their business premises, you’ll be looking specifically at commercial property insurance.

3) Business interruption

Business interruption insurance safeguards you against loss of earnings caused by specified events. Exactly what is covered is up to the individual policy, but it could be anything from a total shutdown due to a severe weather event, or having to run a reduced menu while your equipment is down.

4) Machinery breakdown

Don’t let the name fool you, machinery breakdown insurance can cover all manner of equipment that is critical to your business or costly to repair. This could include fridges and freezers, cooking equipment, and other electrical goods like audio systems or computers. It can even cover loss of stock.

5) Theft and burglary

Theft and burglary insurance provides financial protection against loss and damages resulting from forced entry. This can include stolen equipment, stock, or even the cost of repairs to your premises. As you may have experienced, break-ins can be a real threat to hospitality businesses.

hospitality insurance

How do I find the best insurance for my venue?

With a better understanding of the key cover options available to hospitality businesses, and knowledge of the risks your particular venture faces, you’ll be in a better place to determine the various policies that are right for you. There are business packs out there you can buy that offer a more “one size fits all” approach, although these can be a pitfall if you’re not absolutely across everything you need and don’t need. It’s also a lot of policy wording to read over on your own.

Perhaps the greatest next step you can make to getting well-fitting cover for your café, bar, restaurant, or any manner of other hospitality business, is to talk with a broker from a reputable brokerage. Our job is to save you time and stress by identifying and comparing cover options that suit your individual situation.

At East West Insurance Brokers we have nearly four decades of experience and work with clients on all sides of the hospitality industry, all around Queensland. Our friendly and knowledgeable Insurance Advisors are here to help. Get in touch today.

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

Categories
Insurance News

5 steps you should know when reviewing your insurance for 2024

It’s a new year and a fresh slate for everyone, and nothing beats getting started on the right foot. Business will soon start to pick up and you’ll find yourself back in the swing of things, so why not take this opportunity to comb through your business insurance to ensure that it’s still appropriate to your current business needs?

If it’s been almost 12 months since you signed up for a policy, then you will soon be receiving a renewal notice from your insurer. Unfortunately, a lot of business owners only give the renewal notice a quick glance before signing off, not taking into consideration if the cover still applies to them. By doing this, you’re putting yourself at risk of being underinsured or in a cocktail of policies that are no longer suitable for you because of the changes your business has undergone over the past year. In the current hard market situation where premiums and excesses are high and insurers are tightening their belts, it is especially important to review all your policies to prepare for when you actually need it.

We’re going to cover the steps on how to review and renew your business insurance, so that you’re properly set up for the year ahead.

Work with a qualified broker

A detailed review of your current business needs will take a considerable amount of time especially if you’ve made some changes within the last year. Your broker is not only the middle person between you and the insurer, he or she is also the key to identifying insurable risks so that you can obtain the most optimal cover for your industry at best possible premium costs.It is important that you keep in touch regularly to update them on any changes, plans, or incidents so that they can advise you on the claims process and next steps. If there are any major changes, your insurer will also need to be notified (a little something called Duty of Disclosure). If you’re already working with a broker, they will be able to communicate these changes to your insurer for you. 

Get a head start

No one likes a late notice, and this goes for renewals too. If there are changes to be made, this would involve a number of documents to complete, and your broker would need some time to discuss these changes with the underwriter. Starting the review with only days to spare only allows for surface level skimming where important points are missed, and decisions are made in haste.To ensure you get the best outcome possible, you need to talk to your broker at least four to six weeks before your renewal. The more time they have, the better it will be to thoroughly review your application, submit additional information, and negotiate a better deal for you. 

Document all changes to your business, big or small 

To know the kinds of revisions or updates to implement in your policy, your broker will need to know how your business has changed over the past twelve months. For example, have you purchased or sold major assets or equipment? Have you moved into a new premise? Have you hired more employees? Have you implemented a hybrid working arrangement for your staff? The answers to these questions and many more serve as a good guide as to whether your cover needs updating, or if the premium is likely to increase or decrease. 

Document your risk management processes 

Another important step to help put you in a good light is to provide the insurers with documentation detailing how you mitigate the risks typical of your industry and your own business. Your insurance broker will be able to help you with this once every year or two. Basically, the more you can show the underwriters that you are taking careful considerations about managing your risks, the likelier you are to secure a better deal. Like we said before, the current hard insurance market makes insurers pickier about who they choose to underwrite, so the better the risk management, the less likely there will be claims. 

Know your options

Your broker will come back to you with a list of insurers and policy coverage, which can vary from business to business. Your broker will only present options with good quality coverage and that are appropriate to what your business needs. There can be a fair bit to consider, especially with so many variables to compare, but your broker is there to help you make the best decision for your circumstance.If you’re not already working with a broker, then it’s time we get you connected! We can help simplify a complicated process and work closely with you to find the optimal insurance cover for your business. Get in touch with us today using the contact bar below: 

At East West Insurance Brokers we have nearly four decades of experience and work with clients on all sides of the hospitality industry, all around Queensland. Our friendly and knowledgeable Insurance Advisors are here to help. Get in touch today.

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

Categories
Insurance

How to navigate the hard insurance market

If you’ve been keeping track of current insurance trends, you’ll notice that the market is experiencing a hardening phase, which means premiums are on the rise and insurers are tightening their terms and conditions. With the pandemic still looming over our economy, things are unlikely to change for the remainder of 2021 and continuing well into 2022. We hate to start on a grim note, but not to worry, we’ve prepared a guide on how to get through this hard insurance market.

First, let’s address the elephant in the room.

Why is the insurance market hardening?

The insurance market is cyclical, and it cycles between hard and soft stages. Each cycle typically lasts anywhere between two and ten years, and no two cycles are identical. The current cycle has been undergoing hardening changes over the last few years. This is caused by a number of factors, mainly:

– Falling investment rates / low interest rates
– Increases in frequency or severity of losses
– Reduced underwriting capacity
– Cost of reinsurance
– Regulatory intervention

Australia was already in the middle of a gradual incline towards a hard market. However, 2020 saw an unprecedented profitability blow to the insurance industry unlike anything we’ve ever seen. To give you an idea, the last calendar year saw only $35m in profit and compared to 2019’s reported $3.1bn, that is a 98.9% decrease. While the occurrence of coronavirus did not help cushion the impact, it is also the unpredictable weather demonstrations that have accelerated the hardening of the insurance market. Australia suffered cataclysmic losses from the effects of bushfires, cyclones, and hailstorms which resulted in insurers having to payout numerous claims in large amounts. With that, insurers may be reluctant or hesitant to insure those risks in the future.

Despite the bleak outlook, there are some steps SME owners can take to get themselves through the other side:

1. Partner with a trusted broker

We’re putting this at the top of the list because of the significant role a broker has especially during these turbulent times. Working with a broker who knows how to navigate the industry is a huge benefit to you and how your case is reviewed by insurers.

2. Plan ahead

Don’t wait until it’s time to renew your policy before you take action. Sit down with your broker to review your current plan and your ongoing requirements. Most organisations will allocate three months to thoroughly evaluate their business and complete an in-depth review of their insurance needs.

3. Prepare to provide more information

With underwriters scrutinising every tiny detail, you need to be prepared to provide more documentation, if requested, to better support your case. If you’re not sure what details to provide, speak to your broker who can help.

4. Prepare your risk control procedures

Documenting your risk control procedures is crucial and an imperative step in the renewal process. Insurers wants to see that you are taking the necessary steps to protect your premise and business assets. This may not have been something important to display in the past, but as we are sitting in a tough market, these documentations and their ability to influence insurance coverage should not be underestimated.

We cannot stress enough about the importance of having a trusted broker who can act on your behalf throughout this hard market period. Think of your broker as the person with the inside scoop on the what’s what within the insurance industry. A broker will assess your risks, advise you on the most appropriate covers, and structure your plan in the most cost-effective way. Our brokers at EWIB can negotiate preferential premiums and insurance coverage tailored to your needs.

At East West Insurance Brokers we have nearly four decades of experience and work with clients on all sides of the hospitality industry, all around Queensland. Our friendly and knowledgeable Insurance Advisors are here to help. Get in touch today.

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