Challenge, Community & Opportunity: Could Covid be the reset we needed?

Medical & Health

I recently read a fascinating article by McKinsey about how prioritising health could rebuild the economy post-pandemic. Like any disaster, the rebuild brings opportunity alongside hardship. How we learn from such times of challenge not only builds our resilience, but also knowledge. Whilst Covid-19 has undoubtedly wreaked havoc on individuals and businesses across the globe, it has equally provoked exceptional developments. At breakneck speed, we’ve reshaped ourselves. Personally and professionally, we’ve become enlightened on how to do things differently, and better, in the future.

The past few months have taught us a lot. As a country, we are stronger for the experience and will be stronger in future. We’re focusing more on community; protecting our individual health, but also being mindful of the health of those around us. 

More than ever, we know a collective approach isn’t just better, but the only way forward. Businesses have zoned in on resilience-building capabilities; understanding healthy people and teams must come before profit. With a market-wide approach to prioritising the employee, economies now have the potential to reshape and recover stronger than ever. 

This virus has also challenged our approach to care, particularly for those most vulnerable, or typically marginalised. As the data continues to highlight, high-risk groups like the elderly, those with pre-existing conditions such as obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes, or within low-income households, are disproportionately impacted by Covid-19. The #BlackLivesMatter movement has further exposed deeply rooted social disparities which continue to exist the world over – glaring gaps inherent in ‘developed’ nations who should, by now, be far further evolved.  

How we learn and grow from here is critical. While we all face uncertain futures, and we know this is even more apparent for minorities. A greater focus on the health of people regardless of race, religion or economic standing will provide greater tolerances in the future. With younger generations watching how we lead through this – here’s hoping we’ll gift them a future marked by a truly people, community and health-focused way of life.  

As we rally for the second half of 2020, let’s not let this virus infect our spirit. Instead, let’s take heart from the exponential learnings, progress and innovations already achieved. In the local health sector we’re already reaping the rewards of a rapid TeleHealth and digital prescriptions rollout, and patient management systems have been transformed by the integration of data analytics. Hospital workforces are now better equipped to cope through peak periods than ever before. Open access to live data and case tracing has been a huge advantage for us here in Australia, helping us to isolate cases as quickly as possible. Longer term, the surge in research and med-tech funding across 2020 is set to deliver incredible returns.

As a nation, I’m looking forward to seeing how we seize the many opportunities brought about by this wild virus. If we’re truly prepared to work together, to care for all members of society through a community-wide approach, our health, wellbeing and economy will enjoy worthy returns for years to come.

 

Trent Woodward – Head of Health & Medical

Corporate Insurance & Risk Solutions

trent.woodward@honan.com.au

Exclusive Global Partnership to Supercharge Honan’s Tech Insurance Offering

Biotech & Life Science

In a world where robust technology and cyber security are more essential than ever, we’re pleased to announce a powerful new partnership with TechAssure. A global leader in its field, TechAssure is an invitation-only international network of independent insurance brokers specialising in technology. Already live, Honan’s Dan McCallum shares how this critical partnership came about, and what benefits are in store for clients.

 

The ideation of Honan’s partnership with TechAssure commenced when?

Across the last 12 months, a number of technology insurance carriers and overseas brokers have recommended Honan to the TechAssure network.

 

What’s the core value proposition of this new partnership? 

The TechAssure network aims to have a presence in each technology hub around the world, giving clients access to the largest network of specialist technology brokers in the insurance industry.

 

What makes TechAssure so special?

To ensure each member of the global TechAssure network contributes valuable expertise to the greater group, they must meet a strict set of criteria (e.g. a minimum level of technology premiums, capability statements and service reports are also vetted). We’re in good company!

 

What benefits can Honan clients expect to enjoy from this new partnership? 

Our clients gain immediate access to market-leading industry insights and tools, including comparative data (e.g. insurance limits purchased by competitors), claims scenarios and claims trends. TechAsssure Brokers also gain access to pre-agreed policy endorsements, which provide their clients with enhanced levels of cover. Honan clients will also have tools on hand to support cyber loss calculations, pre-loss coaching, post-loss coaching and regulatory requirements for other countries (e.g. the General Data Protection Regulation in Europe).

Thanks to timely, industry-leading intel from TechAssure experts across the globe, Honan clients expanding overseas will be equipped with sharper insights than ever before.

 

What kinds of businesses are currently turning to Honan for their tech, cyber &/or digital risk protection needs?

Tech companies across the globe are now turning their attention to Australia as a stable environment to launch new ventures. We’re working with a number of companies in the technology space who are either raising capital through either an ASX listing or seed investment. Honan is being called on by such tech leaders to ensure their assets, people, investors and operations are protected through these exciting new chapters.

 

Where can we go to learn more about TechAssure?

Check out the TechAssure website.

 

Your #1 go-to resource for the latest on all things cyber & tech?

For excellent tech insights and resources across a broad range of industries, check out Kroll.

 

We’re With You All The Way

Please feel free to contact Dan at any time on dan.mccallum@honan.com.au , +61 499 799 131 or connect with him on LinkedIn.

The Right Advice for the Road to Recovery: Indemnity Insurance Advice for Medical Physicians

Medical & Health

Recent months have brought relentless uncertainty and change to our lives, and the world of medicine has been far from immune. With the gradual resumption of elective surgeries, some promising winds of (more) change have surfaced, but for the majority of physicians, the question of “When will my business return to pre-pandemic levels?” remains. With surgical admissions sitting at record-breaking lows, and FY21 looming, the need for sound advice on individual medical indemnity policies has never been more critical.

 

I’m a medical practitioner…

How does indemnity insurance advice work?

Medical defence organisations within Australia (MDO) Avant, NDA National, MIPS, MIGA are only permitted to provide general advice. The onus of responsibility is on the practitioner to ensure they have the correct billings, and they declare their activities correctly. If such details are incorrect, the practitioner’s policy may not respond.

 

My revenue has plummeted – how should my insurance respond?

In recent months of lockdown, many specialist practitioners have experienced major reductions in revenue, with no clear sign of when this might abate. Accordingly, now is the time for practitioners to review their indemnity insurance cover and revisit the market to secure a policy truly tailored to their ‘new norm’ needs.

 

Should I go direct to insurers? 

Liaising directly with insurers can be problematic for practitioners in the following ways:

  • Missing out on policy features or incentives from other providers which might be better suited to their operations
  • Failure to update their underwriting information, which may result in gaps in cover due to the following:
    • Increased or decreased billings are often unaccounted for on renewal policies and simply ‘rolled over’ on expiring terms
    • The practitioner’s billings in the Public and Private sector not being correctly allocated
    • A practitioner’s ‘retroactive’ date may be incorrectly recorded or amended over the years without them knowing
    • The practitioner’s work/category of practice may have changed over the insured period
    • An inadequate appraisal of key considerations such as whether the doctor is performing tasks outside of categories stated on the policy, or whether they have plans to move into a new category over the coming months. 

 

Cashflow management

Healthy cashflow is critical to any successful business, so it’s important to understand the options available to support your financial viability through this phase. A robust cashflow management plan will provide the critical foundations from which your business can function, survive and potentially even thrive through COVID-19 and beyond. As businesses continue to face challenging financial circumstances, efforts should be made to avoid paying large insurance premiums upfront. We recommend exploring all options with your broker to secure the best solution for your business through 2020 and beyond.

 

I’ve been with my insurer for a while – won’t they reward me for this?

Unfortunately loyalty does not always equal enhancements. We often see little to no flexibility on premiums, or hidden clauses within policies which don’t favour the practitioner.

 

Won’t changing providers be a headache? 

Many practitioners fear switching providers due to potential penalty, but this is one of many myths around the process which deserve debunking.

 

What are my options? 

Medical indemnity products in Australia offer fantastic coverage for doctors. Whilst the coverage options are quite similar, slight nuances in policy wordings can make a huge difference. How MDOs handle claims is an equally critical consideration; without adequate discretion, detail and care, a practitioner’s reputation and / or future earning potential can be quickly compromised.

 

General vs specialist insurance advice…

As with medical advice, the quality of advice available to support practitioners with their insurance options varies greatly. Working with a trusted, specialised broker can not only deliver a sharper, truly tailored policy for your business, but peace of mind. General advice is general, and if doctors are looking for more certainty in uncertain times, a medical indemnity specialist means you have a powerful asset at the ready.

 

Honan – Specialist advice 

At no additional cost to practitioners for the individual medical indemnity, Honan is proud to offer a range of services to support medical physicians with their insurance. From individual medical indemnity insurance to life and salary protection, we also offer medical providers unlimited access to our private client division for assistance with general insurance as well. A one-stop shop means our clients receive top advice, certainty, and it saves you time and money.

Our appraisal of your business will include a detailed report of our recommendations, including a forensic analysis of wordings and claims management for each provider. We’re a completely independent, objective broker committed to serving the best interests of the medical physician at all times.

 

With you all the way

From understanding the challenges faced by medical physicians, and advising on how to prepare for the future, we are only a call or email away.

Our Honan team is ready to support you with a comprehensive review of your individual medical indemnity policy, to mitigate your risk and secure the cover you need to operate with confidence through the months and years ahead.

We look forward to working with you.

 

 

Trent Woodward – Head of Client Service (SA) – Corporate Insurance & Risk Solutions

Industry Leader – Health & Medical

trent.woodward@honan.com.au

Powering Up & Switching Off: 4 Tips for #ISO Survival

Medical & Health

Imagine this: you wake up in the morning, you shower, get dressed and promptly head out the door for work.

Now this: you wake up in the morning, you reach for your phone, open your inbox and so begins the working day …

 

With #isolife now in full swing, the former may now seem like a distant memory. Between new competing demands, new environments, and new office comrades (ahem, family), the lines between ‘work-work’, ‘home-work’, and genuine downtime have never been more blurry. At times you may even feel the lines between morning, afternoon and evening barely exist. So how on earth do we maintain productivity? 

At Honan, we have a few tricks up our sleeve. Here are our top 4 tips for powering up, and switching off through this wild and weird world of #iso.

 

1. Start with space

The first few #iso weeks were a major adjustment period for most of us, with fundamentals of mere survival occupying most of our thinking. “Do I have what I need?”, “Am I feeling ok?”, “Is my wifi working?” “Have I been hygienic enough?” 

Because we are context-based creatures, our physical space is core to our ability to function well. For this reason, we have encouraged our team to find a designated workspace within their home. While not all of us have the luxury of a discreet ‘home office’, setting a specific space on the kitchen or dining table offers a structured place to ‘set up station’. If you shift to working from the couch or bed, you’ll quickly associate those spots with work. Our Workplace Risk team recently hosted a webinar on workspace safety and working ergonomically, complete with a ‘working from home’ checklist. Give it a shot.

 

2. Write a daily routine

Working in an office means you benefit from a tacit structure or sequence to the day. In psychology, this is called an ‘initiation’ sequence – it gets the brain ready to focus. Having a simple start-up routine, such as sitting in the same spot, checking your emails, saying ‘hi’ to your team over chat, signals the beginning of your day. 

Similarly, we have kept our usual company check-ins and meetings consistent in the calendar, yet fluid in their delivery. Just as they would in the office, our team meetings and briefings are attended with rigour and respect. We are also encouraging our people to take regular breaks, ‘rise and recharge’, and even join us for a weekly virtual HIIT session.

 

3. Staying accountable and connected

It’s only human to struggle with accountability when working remotely. It can be difficult to demonstrate our output, or even convey our emotional state when not in the physical presence of others. At times, isolation can hit us in ways we don’t expect. Grief might kick us in the guts one day, and nothing but smiles the next. That’s why checking in with your colleagues is so important. Just because your workmate was great today, it may not be the case tomorrow. At Honan, we’ve implemented a Buddy Program to ensure all staff have someone to reach out to with the good, the bad or the ugly – day in, day out.

Recognition is equally important when working remotely. At Honan, we’re fortunate to have a leadership team with a well-oiled practise of congratulating, and thanking colleagues for great work. The simple act of celebrating the wins and recognising the accomplishments of your subordinates goes a long way. It can turn their day around, galvanise their faith in the business, and mobilise energies for future efforts.  

 

4. Time for tools down 

Social connection is extra welcome through times like these. We’ve been using the lightness of laughter to wrap up each week with a company-wide Zoom meeting. This ‘tools down’ ritual has quickly become a weekly highlight, and brought us closer together than ever. Whether it’s a ‘power up’ or ‘tools down’ initiative, brand rituals are a simple but powerful way to maintain motivation and connectedness amongst your people. Our Friday afternoon sessions are also our time to announce the winners of our weekly working from home contests; which have ranged from creative rounds of charades, to promoting each other’s wellness activities.  

 

We’re with you all the way

As always, we’re here to listen, advise and support you through this time. To further support you and your people through #iso, here’s a few of our recommended resources:

 

Australian Psychological Society – Tips for Coping with Coronavirus Anxiety

Gallup – How to Keep Remote Worker Wellbeing High

Gartner – 9 Tips for Managing Remote Employees

 

Navigating a New ‘BAU’: Key Impacts & Opportunities for Australia’s Healthcare Industry

Medical & Health

These are unprecedented times for almost every industry, and perhaps none more than healthcare. For this critical community backbone, the ‘return to normal’ is unknown – we’re not clear on when it will arrive, or what it will look like. 

Private hospitals and day surgeries have been impacted by COVID-19 in many and varied ways, and while the resumption of elective procedures from April 28 is a positive step, this next phase will also bring new challenges. 

In the following article, we’ll share 4 key tactics to support healthcare providers and practitioners in their return to a different kind of ‘BAU’, together with some new opportunities on the horizon.  

 

Review Procedures & Risk Management 

With constantly changing external conditions (economic, health, legislative and more), now is the time to review risk management procedures. Whilst the world has taken a social-distancing ‘step back’, business risks remain, and may even increase. In cyber crime, for instance, we’re seeing unprecedented activity across all sectors, and the medical industry is no exception. To support providers in reviewing their online systems and processes, we’ve assembled some tips and resources to mitigate cyber risk exposure

Alongside digital platforms, healthcare providers should review further areas of the business such as workplace risks, together with Director and officer or management liability exposures. Following these reviews, healthcare providers should action amendments or upgrades to relevant systems accordingly.

 

Staff Wellbeing

Your people are undoubtedly your biggest asset, which from a risk perspective means they can also be your greatest liabilities. With a daunting list of unknowns and uncontrollables to navigate, anxiety and stress is sky high across the community. Businesses must be mindful of such pressures and ready to support their people through them. Regularly checking on your team’s wellbeing can make a significant difference in their capacity to cope through challenge and change. Read more about how Telehealth and Employee Assistance Programs can help to support your people.

 

Cashflow Management

Healthy cashflow is critical to any successful business, so it’s important to understand the options available to support your financial viability through this phase. A robust cashflow management plan will provide the critical foundations from which your business can function, survive and potentially even thrive through COVID-19 and beyond. As businesses continue to face challenging financial circumstances, efforts should be made to avoid paying large insurance premiums upfront. We recommend exploring all options with your broker to secure the best solution for your business through 2020 and beyond.

 

Build Strong, Sustainable Relationships

Through this time, the relationships you hold are more powerful than ever. As the saying goes, ‘your network is your net-worth’, and in times of crisis, this rings truer than true. When it comes to tackling unchartered waters, be sure to review your network of current providers, collaborators and brand allies alike. Which ones are qualified, ready and willing to support you through this chapter? Which ones will deliver you the greatest return, and which ones truly know your business, your people and pressures? Maintaining regular contact with your network, and establishing clear, consistent lines of communication will offer invaluable counsel and confidence to both sides through COVID-19. If you’re not comfortable calling on your network at such a time, then a solid relationship audit and / or ‘connection cleanse’ is likely in order. It might even be time to rebuild your list of brand buddies. 

 

New Opportunities

There’s nothing quite like a global crisis to ignite rapid innovation. The significant challenge and change faced by the medical industry in recent months will also pave way for exciting opportunities. The fast tracking of Telehealth is a powerful initial example of this, with a further extension of the platform – electronic prescribing – set to come next. This new Federal Government initiative works by generating a QR code which is sent directly to a patient’s device for use. In response to the current COVID-19 outbreak, the Department of Health has expedited the launch of electronic prescribing, with an anticipated ‘in practice’ rollout by May 2020. This digital innovation will bring valuable operational efficiencies to sectors such as Aged Care and Pharmacy

In recent months we’ve also seen incredible investment in the global medi-tech industry. Such funding – particularly toward digital therapeutics – is tipped to bring a renaissance to the sector, with exponential returns for sufferers of common conditions like Type 2 diabetes, autism, addiction, and musculoskeletal injuries to name a few. 

 

With you all the way

From understanding the challenges faced by your business, and advising on how to prepare for the future, we’re only a call away. Our Honan team is ready to support you with a comprehensive review of your business, to mitigate your risk and secure the cover you need to operate with confidence through the months and years ahead. 

 

Please reach out – we’d love to hear from you. 

 

 

Trent Woodward – Head of Client Service (SA) – Corporate Insurance & Risk Solutions

Industry Leader – Health & Medical

trent.woodward@honan.com.au

COVID-19: Tips for Remote Working, Cyber Security and Avoiding Email Scams

Technology
By Dominic Brettell
Head of Client Service (NSW) – Corporate Insurance & Risk Solutions

When a crisis hits, it can bring out the best in humanity. This was evident during Australia’s recent bushfire crisis, where people from around the nation (and the world) came together to support communities.  Unfortunately, crises can also bring out the worst, where people see opportunities to exploit people’s anxiety, fear and panic.

The COVID-19 pandemic has countries and governments scrambling to respond. The healthcare system is being pushed and our economy is suffering. There are significant changes to how and where we work. It’s predicted many businesses will face solvency issues, which may lead to closures, especially to the most vulnerable small to medium business sector, the lifeblood of Australian communities.

A growing number of employers are implementing social distancing and/or remote working policies. Moving at short notice from a trusted office environment to working remotely can create security risks. Our experience tells us that employees are typically the weakest link in the network security chain. In these times of anxiety and uncertainty, they are even more vulnerable than usual to cyber threats. At Honan, we have already witnessed increased activity from cyber criminals looking to exploit the crisis. We have seen a rise in email scams, phishing emails, malware and social engineering fraud.In response, we’d like to share with you some guidance on enhancing your cyber security.

 

Eight ideas for improved cyber security for remote workers:

  1. Implement the latest version of your security software and anti-virus protection. Regularly check for patches as these often fix entry points for cyber criminals
  2. Ensure your WiFi connection is secure
  3. Back up regularly – if you are a target of an attack, a back up means you won’t lose everything
  4. Install encryption tools
  5. Change your password regularly
  6. If working in a shared space, ensure you lock your screen when stepping away
  7. What’s the plan? – If there is a cyber security incident what are the procedures to follow? Educate staff on these procedures
  8. Cyber Insurance – review your Cyber insurance policy or consider purchasing one.

 

We have gathered some additional resources to help you protect against cyber risks in the current climate:

  • The Australian Cyber Security Centre has provided a list of proactive strategies businesses can take in preparation for COVID-19.
  • Mailguard, a leading cloud email security provider, has produced an eBook detailing the          5 Types of Email Scams Exploiting COVID-19
  • Small Business Cyber Security Guide from The Australian Cyber Security Centre

 

 

For any further queries or concerns, please contact: 

Dominic Brettell

Head of Client Service (NSW) – Corporate Insurance & Risk Solutions.

dominic.brettell@honan.com.au

COVID-19: Business Interruption, Contingency and Workplace Risk

Agriculture

On 30 January 2020, the World Health Organisation declared the Coronavirus outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. We sympathise with everyone who has been impacted by the virus and Honan Insurance Group have implemented additional resources and contingency planning to ensure that we remain able to provide advice, insurance and support to our clients as the situation develops.

 

As the impact of COVID-19 on local and international economies continues to evolve, we highlight to all clients the need for management to consider financial, strategic and business risks to operations. In this article, we examine the key areas we have received the most queries about: Property and Business Interruption, Business Contingency and Workplace Risk.

 

Industrial Special Risks* (Property and Business Interruption) Insurance & COVID-19 

(Potential Policy Response under ISR Mark IV Policy)

It is expected that many businesses will suffer disruption as a result of the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).   With the situation changing rapidly and restrictions on the movement and gathering of people (both at local level and internationally), there is no doubt many companies will suffer from loss of revenue and/or additional expense.

 

Property Damage

Generally, property policies (including office risks) cover physical loss, destruction or damage to insured property resulting from a covered peril (all risks).  In the case of the Coronavirus, the ISR (Mark IV) policy exclusion 4(a) excludes physical loss destruction or damage occasioned by or happening through disease.  Office-related risks also have very similar exclusions. The ISR policy can include a myriad of endorsements with some coverage writebacks for costs to clean-up a site (where required by order of a public authority), however, this would need to be reviewed on a case by case basis.

 

Business Interruption

An ISR insurance policy extends to include under Section 2 coverage for business interruption.  This cover traditionally applies only to interruption caused by an insured material damage event such as fire, storm, impact or accidental damage.

In addition, cover is extended to include closure of the business by public authority for several risks including human infectious or contagious diseases.   This coverage was designed to cover events such as an outbreak of Legionnaires disease or measles which could affect one or two buildings and a small number of businesses.  Some ISR policies can extend to provide coverage for outbreaks in a 20-50km radius from the insured location.

Specifically, in relation to the COVID-19 outbreak, the ISR policy contains a specific exclusion for loss resulting from interruption of or interference directly or indirectly arising from or in connection with Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in Humans or any other diseases declared to be quarantinable diseases under the Quarantine Act 1908 and subsequent amendments.

Following the H5N1 virus (avian influenza) outbreak in 2006 and the H1N1 virus (swine influenza) outbreak in 2009, insurers adopted this exclusion as a market standard position in Australia.

The Australian Quarantine Act 1908 was replaced by the Biosecurity (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Act in 2015.  COVID-19 was added to the Act as a listed (quarantinable) human disease on 21 January 2020, under Biosecurity (Listed Human Diseases) Amendment Determination 2020 (Cth) F2020L00037.

 

Listed Human Diseases under the Act are thus now:

  • Human influenza with pandemic potential
  • Plague
  • Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)
  • Middle East respiratory syndrome
  • Smallpox
  • Viral haemorrhagic fevers
  • Yellow Fever
  • Human Coronavirus with pandemic potential

As a result of the above, the business interruption section of your insurance will not provide cover for COVID-19 disruptions. As with any other threat it is important to consider what risk management measures you can introduce to mitigate the risk to your staff, customers and business.

 

Risk Management Tips: How to avoid infection

Here is a short list of ways to minimise the spread of Coronavirus

  • Practice good personal hygiene.
  • Avoid contact with anyone with or suspected of having Coronavirus.
  • Boost your immune system by eating well, exercising, having enough sleep, and keeping your stress levels under control.
  • Cancel or delay any travel until the crisis is over.

 

Recommended Actions for your organisation:

  • Implement a home quarantine regime for anyone that has travelled to an infected country or is likely to have been in contact with someone infected with Coronavirus.
  • Review and update if necessary human resource (‘HR’) policies on fitness for work including possible quarantining of employees and formalising the requirement for employees to remain off work if affected.
  • Consider or extending flexible working arrangements to reduce the likelihood of the spread of the virus in the workplace or the community.
  • Update travel rules and arrangements limiting non-essential business travel.
  • If not already in place, provide sanitized hand washing stations for use by staff and visitors.
  • Review arrangements for workplace hygiene and cleaning protocols including “cough and sneeze” etiquette.
  • Protect the mental wellbeing of employees concerned about the Coronavirus.
  • Ensure clear and honest communication to employees on their welfare.

 

Keep Informed

Everyone should remain alert for updates and advice from the relevant authorities on additional steps to manage the spread of the disease. The health department in each state is providing excellent resources and advice and regular updates. Before travelling, check for and take the advice of any travel warnings on smartraveller.gov.au.

 

Business Continuity Management Planning

A pandemic is just one risk facing modern organisations.   Having a fully documented and exercised business continuity management plan is important for every business.  Honan has resources to assist you in developing a business continuity plan and please speak to your Client Manager for further information.

*Property/Office/Business Interruption

 

Business Contingency

The Coronavirus may impact revenue for businesses through:

  • Production slowdown & disruption to workforce (sick or quarantined employees)
  • Disruption to Supply chains and supplier services
  • Decrease (or increase) in demand for stock
  • Large scale closures of consumer markets and public spaces due to quarantine
  • Delays in customers paying outstanding invoices within normal trading terms
  • Economic slowdown on global and local scale

 

Whilst there is coverage available under Corporate and Business Travel insurance policies in certain circumstances, there is limited cover available under most standard General Insurance policies for loss of trade and interruption to business operations.

As a general rule, it is not viable for most insurance markets and products to cover “global pandemics” as an insurable event. This is because the financial impacts of a pandemic are not quantifiable, meaning risk cannot be priced accurately or sustainably by insurers. If you do suffer a loss, please contact our team to discuss the specific circumstances and how your policy may respond.

Whilst insurance cover availability may be limited, businesses can prepare.  We would strongly recommend formation of a working committee to evaluate the impact to business as conditions continue to evolve, with accountability to the board or executive team.

 

Considerations for a COVID-19 working group should include:

  • Review of policies, procedures and protocols in place to protect the safety and wellbeing of employees and prevent further risk of spread of COVID-19 within the workforce and community.
  • Assess venerability of IT Infrastructure (including stress-testing) for an organisation’s ‘Work from Home’ capabilities in the event of premises closure/staff quarantine
  • Consider the impact on supplier and customer contracts to meet delivery/service obligations from both parties (how Contractual Penalties & Force Majeure clauses may be applied)
  • Evaluation of possible supply chain disruptions and how these can be mitigated or bypassed through appropriate work arounds and contingency planning
  • Evaluation and stress testing of stock levels and planning for inventory shortage as supply from China recommences operations
  • Review ability to support alternative revenue streams that are not as severely impacted by COVID-19
  • Review communications with key customers and other stakeholders to maintain relationships and manage challenges in a sensible, commercial & collaborative manner
  • Review credit and debt facilities to ensure that cash is available in the short term to manage financial impacts and support increased business restart
  • Communicate with creditors if a reduction in revenue has the potential to impact on cash flow and financial obligations.

 

 

Workplace Risk: Workers’ Compensation and Coronavirus (COVID-19)

There has been much discussion around the exposure and potential liability under Workers’ Compensation should an employee or contractor contract Coronavirus.

As outlined by Safe Work Australia (2020), Workers’ Compensation arrangements differ across schemes, however there are common threshold requirements that would apply in the case of COVID-19:

  • that the worker is covered by the scheme, either as an employee or a deemed worker
  • that they have an injury, illness or disease of a kind covered by the scheme, and
  • that their injury, illness or disease arose out of, or in the course of, their employment.

Compared to work-related injuries, it is difficult to prove that a disease was contracted in, or caused by particular employment. In the case of a virus such as COVID-19, establishing the time and place of contraction may become increasingly hard. We have sought clarity from our legal partners and obtained publications from the governing state regulators. Their view is it will be challenging to prove workplace exposure to Coronavirus as questions will arise as to the exact time and place of contraction.

For coverage to exist, a determining authority would need to be satisfied that the employment significantly contributed to the employee contracting the virus. For viruses, it can be difficult to accurately determine the exact time and place of transmission. As a result, it may be difficult to determine that employment significantly contributed to the virus.

However, where an employee’s employment puts them at greater risk of contracting the virus the significant contribution test may be easier to meet. For example, if the employment involves:

  • travel to an area with a known viral outbreak
  • activities that include engagement or interaction with people who have contracted the virus
  • activities that contravene Department of Health recommendations.

Each workplace illness would need to be considered on its individual merits, having regard to the individual circumstances and evidence in relation to the claim. More information is available here: Comcare Australia.

Deeming an illness or disease as work related and unique to the workplace may require court intervention to distinguish medical opinion from legal facts. There is no liability determination available to declare an illness or disease compensable or non-compensable; each case is determined on its own merits and circumstances.

Although you may not be able to eliminate the potential risk of employees contracting Coronavirus while carrying out work, you must do what is reasonably practicable to minimise the risk of employees contracting Coronavirus.

 

Coverage while travelling overseas for work

Any liability or workplace contribution applies to both employees working overseas and those working within Australia. Each case will be determined on its own merits and circumstances.

Note: For international employees engaged locally, state or country specific legislative conditions will apply. Queries should be directed to Honan. Depending on the state of urgency, travel restrictions and periods of self-isolation may need to be considered and communicated to all employees and contractors.

 

Employer Support

It is important that employers refer to internal policies and procedures to ensure measures for employee safety are in place. Honan has resources to actively advise on Workplace Risk exposure, as well as Legal and Work Health and Safety partners who can assist with ongoing management of this changing environment.

 

All companies will need to keep up to date in what is evolving environment.  Please see below some resources to do so:

Australian Government Department of Health

Safe Work Australia

Smartraveller

McKinsey & Company have released a briefing paper (9th March 2020) which provides some insight into possible global economic impact as well as some common steps that can/need to be taken in preparation for businesses being affected and the formation of a working group: link here.

For any additional queries or concerns, please contact your Honan client manager.

 

*Property/Office/Business Interruption

The advice in this paper is general in nature. While the utmost care has been taken in the preparation of this preliminary advice or opinion, you use it at your own risk.

If you have difficulty reading and/or understanding the cover provided in the policy(ies) that you have please contact your Client Manager.

Cybercrime: Is Your Business Aware, Prepared & Protected?

Technology
By Henry Clark
Head of Professional & Executive Risks

With cybercrime an ever-growing threat both in Australia and across the world, knowing what to look out for and how to mitigate business risks has never been more critical.

In the following article, we’ll look at three key areas: a) the latest trends, b) common threats and c) some simple steps businesses can take to protect themselves.

 

BE AWARE: Cybercrime in Australia – The Latest Trends

With Australia’s high and growing reliance on technology, our economy is an increasingly popular target for astute cyber criminals located across the globe.

In 2019, 1,209 data breaches were registered by Australian businesses to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC). This marked an increase of 712% since February 2018 when the Notifiable Data Breach (NDB) scheme came into effect.* The top source of these data breaches was Malicious Attacks (61%), followed by Human Error (35%) and System Faults (4%).

Thanks to their commonly unsophisticated security systems and anti-virus/ anti-ransomware software, small and midsize businesses are major targets to cybercriminals, while industries particularly vulnerable to malicious attacks include Healthcare, Finance, Legal, Accounting and Education. Such sectors hold significant volumes of sensitive data, and lucrative financial prospects to organised crime syndicates as a result.

And the cost of all this to the Australian economy? The Cyber Security Review** found that up to $1 billion in direct costs are racking up each year. In addition to financial costs, however, even a single cyber attack has the potential to inflict considerable damage to your brand’s reputation if the incident is not managed swiftly, and thoroughly.

Furthermore, following major changes to the Privacy Act, all Australian businesses are now at risk of large penalties from the OAIC in the event of a cyber attack.

*References from Cyber Market Update – Clyde & Co
** Reference from ACIC (Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission)

 

BE PREPARED: Recognising Cyber Threats

As businesses become savvier to cybercrime, cyber criminals are innovating with equal pace and are now more creative than ever when it comes to hacking sensitive data. Equipping your team with the smarts to identify common scams as they go about their daily work, is now a fundamental business imperative.

Common threats to your business include;

  • Phishing: when someone uses a fake message or email to coax you into disclosing private, personal, commercial or financial details. These messages or emails will often look genuine by way of branding, logos, similar or deceptive domain names or links to authentic looking websites.
  • Malware: malicious software used by criminals to steal confidential information, hold your system ransom or instal damaging programs without your knowledge. Malware can get into your system and spread viruses through email, infected files, pop-ups or false websites.
  • Ransomware: a type of malware which is often spread through phishing emails and locks your computer’s content/operating system. This allows cyber criminals to demand a ransom in return for unlocking your computer. Ransomware will often prevent you from using your devices and/or encrypt your files so you cannot access them.

Rule: never respond to unknown messages requesting personal information, or click on links from unknown sources.

 

BE PROTECTED: Simple Steps Toward Safety

Preventing a cyber-attack doesn’t always require a cybercrime expert or an excessive new software investment. To mitigate financial and reputational risks to your business, some simple steps toward a more ‘cyber safe’ organisation can include:

  • Be aware of cyber threats and how to manage them – educate ALL your employees
  • Develop a set of clear cyber policies and procedures for your business
  • Have advanced security operating defaults and systems in place – instal and regularly update anti-virus/ anti-ransomware software and firewalls to stop traffic from untrustworthy sources
  • Back up data regularly
  • Implement the use of strong passwords and safe behaviour when using emails and the web
  • Have an Incident Response Plan (IRP) in place for your business which has been pre-approved by a third party insurer. A robust IRP will work in tandem with a comprehensive cyber insurance policy and guarantee your business has specialist vendors mobilised ASAP in the event of an attack. An IRP will reduce potential damage and impact to your business exponentially, and triage you back to BAU as quickly as possible thereafter. 

 

How can we help?

Honan has an industry-leading team of cyber advisors and specialist partner vendors with deep expertise in cybercrime prevention, management and recovery. To discuss your needs, and how we can assist with an Incident Response Plan and/or tailored insurance policy, please contact us at any time.

Henry Clark, Head of Professional & Executive Risks    henry.clark@honan.com.au

Health care industry hit by more cyber breaches than any other sector in Australia

Medical & Health

Unbelievably only 33% of the health care industry protect themselves from a cyber breach and the outcomes of this can be devastating.

 

Health Service Providers experience more Cyber breaches than any other sector in Australia. These breaches can cost up to $400 a patient, and yet, only 33 percent of the industry has taken the preventative measure of protecting themselves properly by taking out Cyber Insurance. 

With billions of people across the world entrusting healthcare organizations to protect their identities, and these same organisations relying on their critical infrastructure to secure it all, it becomes crucial to not just have the right cybersecurity solution in place to stop an attack before it has a catastrophic impact, but to ensure they are able to prevent future attacks from ever happening.

Melbourne-based cardiology group The Melbourne Heart Group fell victim to a ransomware attack early this year. 15,000 electronic medical records were hacked and scrambled and held to ransom meaning that no one was able to access any of the patient’s data including The Melbourne Heart Group itself. 

Reports indicated that it was likely a result of someone browsing a malicious website or clicking on a malicious link. It took weeks to repair the breach and the company experienced media scrutiny over the extend of the breach and the IT security it had in place to protect its patient’s details. 

This case is a timely reminder that health care companies cannot afford to rely solely on their IT security software in this era of cybercrime. For complete protection, companies need to look towards their insurance broker for guidance on how to manage their cyber risk  

https://www.oaic.gov.au/resources/privacy-law/privacy-act/notifiable-data-breaches-scheme/quarterly-statistics/notifiable-data-breaches-quarterly-statistics-report-1-january-31-march-2019.pdf

The strength of Australia’s health and medical industry

Medical & Health

The last 10 years has seen the Australian medical and health industry grow exponentially. What can we expect in the next 10 years for this dynamic industry?

 

Over the past decade, Australia’s health and medical industry has grown dramatically in size and reputation for its world leading technology, innovation, high professional skills, advanced research, development and robust health system.

It is characterised by a small number of global multinational companies (approximately 20 per cent of the industry) and a large number of small and medium-sized enterprises (80 per cent of the industry).

The health and medical industry is represented by manufacturers, specialised in niche applications in the fields of cardiovascular, diagnostic, hearing, orthopaedic, respiratory devices, as well as health IT, health infrastructure, services and clinical trials. The industry is also expected to advance rapidly into new fields of science, engineering, and nanotechnology to facilitate new innovations in the biomedical sphere and an increasing convergence of physical and biological technology platforms.

The key growth areas are:

  • Medical and surgical equipment and devices
  • Health IT
  • Health infrastructure and services
  • Clinical trials

Medical and surgical equipment and devices

  • Imaging/monitoring equipment
  • Biomedical devices and implants
  • Surgical equipment, general hospital supplies
  • Diagnostic devices
  • Laboratory equipment
  • Dental equipment
  • Health-related software
  • Drug delivery

Suggested Searches

  • Melbourne Office
  • Financial Service
  • Quote
  • Insurance Services
  • Trade Credit Insurance
  • Strata
  • Claims
  • Real Estate

Contact Us

Contact Information

  • Suite 8.01, Level 8, The Gardens North Tower, Mid Valley City (Lingkaran Syed Putra) 59200 Kuala Lumpur