Honan Insurance Group announces proposed acquisition of NGA Benefits, a Singapore based Employee Benefits business.

Employee Benefits

Honan Insurance Group is excited to announce the proposed acquisition of NGA Benefits; a leading employee benefits consulting, insurance intermediary and benefits administration company operating throughout Singapore and Malaysia.

NGA Benefits is a subsidiary of NGA Human Resources, a global payroll and human resources outsourcing company based in the United Kingdom. NGA Benefits clients’ include Fortune 500 multinationals and large local companies in the Asia Pacific region.

The move is part of Honan’s continuing investment in South East Asia. It follows the purchase of Singapore based general insurance and employee benefits brokers MACS Insurance Brokers in 2015.

Damien Honan, CEO of Honan Insurance Group, said:  “NGA Benefits Singapore is a broker with a well-earned reputation in Employee Benefits expertise. Their professionalism and dedication to providing exceptional service is strongly aligned to Honan’s approach.”

“NGA Benefits will enhance our capabilities across the region and provide an excellent proposition in Asia for our international broking network partners.”

Rachel Wee, CEO of NGA Benefits Singapore, said: “Joining Honan is an important step for NGA Benefits Singapore as we build our value proposition to all our existing and new clients across the region. It supports the expansion of our service offering to include the full range of General Insurance products and services. My team and I look forward to being part of an entrepreneurial and forward looking business.

The acquisition is subject to regulatory approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

Is your property compliant? What you need to know about cladding.

Industry

Following the devastating Grenfell Tower fire in London, there has been increased public concern and media exposure on the use of cladding in buildings, specifically in the use of Expanded Polystyrene Sandwich panels (EPS).

What does this mean for the insurance industry?

Honan has started seeing a shift in approach from Insurers: they have started requesting additional information in relation to cladding and EPS. Longitude Strata Insurance has taken a formal stance and advised all their stakeholders that they will no longer quote properties with more than 25% EPS construction. Furthermore any properties that they are insuring which fall within this category will be declined upon renewal.

Although disclosure of information and declines are nothing new to our industry, the strong stance taken by the Insurers demonstrates their aversion toward such materials.

According to InsuranceNews, the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has put forward a suggestion for a nationwide audit on cladding as they are doubtful Insurers will be willing to pay out claims on non-compliant buildings. Allianz has moved towards this and has started to put exclusions on their Professional Indemnity products for Strata Managers, stating that they will no longer indemnify for claims arising directly or indirectly out of any building cladding that is not compliant. At Honan we do not believe this is an isolated incident, we believe the market is likely follow.

Are you concerned your property is non-compliant? 

We suggest taking the following steps:

  • Inspect your property, strata plans, council records, certificate of occupancy and any relevant documents available for any possible aluminium cladding and EPS
  • Advise concerns to any immediate interested parties such as Building Managers, Real Estate Agent, Strata Managers or your Executive Committee
  • Obtain a report from qualified experts which highlights the amount of cladding and their fire resistance properties
  • Update the relevant parties of the findings e.g. Real Estate Agents, Strata Managers, Building Managers and most importantly your Insurer
  • If your property has been recently built, you will need to notify the builder’s home warranty Insurer and possibly the developer
  • Obtain legal advice and expert opinion on the topics of liability, sustainability of materials and who is liable for the cost of repair and replacement of your property
  • Arrange quotes and scope of works for the repair and/or replacement of these materials
  • Raise levies, complete works and update your Insurers

 

NSW Emergency Services Levy Update

Strata News

Information

The Emergency Services Levy (ESL) is a charge that has previously been added to the cost of your property insurance to fund fire and emergency services agencies in New South Wales.

On 30 May 2017, the NSW Government announced that it had deferred its policy of funding fire and emergency services through a property levy collected by councils. The Government has instead decided to continue funding these services by collecting an ESL on property insurance premiums.

The legislation reintroducing the obligation on insurance companies to collect the ESL became effective on 1 July 2017. You may now notice an ESL charge on your insurance premium.

 

The Insurance Monitor

The Insurance Monitor was established in June 2016 as an independent body. One of its functions is to monitor the prices for the issue of regulated contracts of insurance. Professor Allan Fels AO and Professor David Cousins AM have been appointed by the NSW Government as the Emergency Services Levy Insurance Monitor and Deputy Monitor, respectively.

 

If you would like further information

Any questions or concerns should be directed to the ESL Insurance Monitor’s Office on  1300 607 723  or at  enquiries@eslinsurancemonitor.nsw.gov.au.

Additional information can also be found on the ESL Insurance Monitor Website  www.eslinsurancemonitor.nsw.gov.au

Alternatively, please contact us or speak with your Honan Account Manager.

Changes to New Zealand Fire Service

On 1 July 2017, the New Zealand Fire Service will become the Fire and Emergency New Zealand.

Consequently, the levy rate is changing in New Zealand and this will impact our clients with interests in New Zealand.

 

Changes to levy

The levy provisions of The Fire Service Act 1975 will largely remain in force until at least 1 January 2019, meaning the calculation of levy will remain the same until this time. The following changes should be noted in the interim:

  • Fire Service Levy will be known as Fire Emergency Levy (“FEL”) from 1 July 2017; and
  • The current forms will remain the same, except they will be rebranded from 1 July 2017.

 

Changes to levy rates

For all insurance contracts dealing with assets insured for fire perils in New Zealand, the rate of levy payable will change for all contracts incepted or renewed on or after 1 July 2017.

The new rates will be:
  • 10.6c per $100 insured with a maximum levy payable of $106 for each residential building;
  • 10.6c per $100 insured to a maximum levy payable of $21.20 for each residential contents;
  • $8.45 per motor vehicle under 3.5T; and
  • 10.6c per $100 insured for all other property.

For example: For a Property Insurance contract with a sum insured of $1,000,000 renewed after 1 July 2017, FEL payable will be $1,060.00+GST.

 

If you are unclear about these changes or would like more information, please contact James Baxter on   Jamesb@honan.com.au   or on  +64 21 307 376

Terrorism Insurance Levy Update

Industry

In light of the continuing  risk of terrorist attacks and the fact most insurers do not cover any loss or damage as a result of a terrorist act, to protect the commercial property sector, the Australian Government set up the Terrorism Insurance Scheme (“TIS”) which is administered by the Australian Reinsurance Pool Corporation (“ARPC”).  Through this arrangement, the ARPC protects insurance policyholders through premium payments to provide cover in the event of a declared terrorist incident (“DTI”).

 

Amendments to the TIS

Changes to Australia’s TIS have been approved and will:

  • broaden the definition to include buildings with a floor space of at least 20% used for commercial; or
  • apply if the building sum insured of $50 million AUD or greater, whether used for commercial or other purposes. 

 

What this means for you

If your insurable property falls within the new definition, you will notice a new terrorism levy on your policy to adequately reflect the terrorism levy charges.

It means that residential buildings over $50 million will now be subject to a Terrorism levy where previously they were not required to contribute to the premium pool.

The shift in commercial floor space from 50% to now 20% means there will now be a number of mixed use buildings, which will now need to contribute a premium.

 

When does the change take effect?

These changes will take effect from 1 July 2017 and Honan will issue all renewals due on or after 1 July according to the new definition.

 

How is the terrorism levy calculated?

The applicable levy is set in line with a tier allocation as determined by the ARPC.

Tier Allocation and % levy

The premium is charged by postcode and split into three tiers according to population density.

The ARPC levy is currently calculated as follows:

  • Tier A: up to 20% – are those cities with a population of more than 1 million covering the CBD areas.
  • Tier B: up to 6% – are those covering the urban areas of all state capital cities, and cities with a population over 100,000.
  • Tier C: up to 3% – Postcodes allocated to Tier C are those geographic postcodes not allocated to either A or B.

 

If you are unclear about these changes or would like more information please contact us or speak with your Account Manager.

Further details are also available at the ARPC website www.arpc.gov.au

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