Australian Education at Risk: How Cybercrime Insurance can Help

Technology

Around the world, Australia is recognised for its excellence in education and training. Contributing over $32 billion to our economy, this critical industry represents Australia’s third largest export. Unfortunately however, this sector is one of the most vulnerable to cyber threats, due to a high dependency on digital infrastructures and web-based learning. In 2017, the education sector alone accounted for 26% of cyber-attacks in Australia, and 57% of cybercrime across the Asia-Pacific region.

 

The Impacts: How it Hurts

At present, the Government estimates that cyber incidents involving Australian businesses cost up to $29 billion a year. The financial implications of cybercrime are overwhelming, but they extend beyond the balance sheet. Significant damage to an organisation’s reputation is also common, as demonstrated in the recent attacks on The Australian Catholic University, Australian National University and Toll Group.

The vast number of digital libraries storing sensitive personal data also makes the education sector highly attractive to cyber criminals. Personally Identifiable Information (PII), such as student records, make cyber breaches particularly damaging. Furthermore, high-risk technology systems, hardware and infrastructures such as laptops, tablets, interactive whiteboards, mobile phones and video conferencing are commonplace in the education industry. Designed and utilised by multiple parties across the sector, e-learning platforms also house data relating to students, teachers, curriculums and learning outcomes, all of which may be at risk.

 

How Hackers Work

Hackers are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their approach to hacking anti-virus/anti-ransomware software. Readily available through the dark web, hackers now use scanning tools to identify particularly vulnerable organisations, and to further isolate the weak points in their systems and networks.

Once a hacker gains access to a device, systems like malware and ransomware can be used to extract confidential information or shut down computer systems/networks, demanding a ransom in return for access.

 

Cyber Insurance: Protection Through Policy

Cyber Insurance can represent a low-cost way to help protect your business from the risks of cybercrime. Given most organisations are not able to resolve cyber attacks in-house, a robust Cyber Insurance Policy will include an Incident Response Team (IRT). Equipped to respond immediately, the client’s IRT can:

  • minimise further loss to the business (e.g. financial, reputational)
  • regain critical system access ASAP with a view to protecting systems and data
  • limit business downtime, minimising income loss as a result.

 

Cybercrime Case Study: How Honan Helped

Honan recently supported a client (Sydney-based driver training school) through a cybercrime event.

The cybercrime (insurable event)

A ransomware attack causing the booking and payment processing system to be down for five days, resulting in a $25,000 loss in revenue, plus IT vendor fees.

The resolution

Having a Cyber Security Insurance Policy in place with Honan meant the total costs incurred by the client were covered by their insurance premium. Beyond potential financial loss, the IRT provided valuable insights into the type of attack and the resulting damage. The IRT conducted analysis of the client’s systems to limit the risk of further attacks.

 

 

Honan – we’re with you all the way

For more information on how to protect your business from cyber threats and other emerging exposures, please contact us at any time:

 

Chris Prowse

Senior Client Executive ‑ Corporate Insurance & Risk Solutions

chris.prowse@honan.com.au

0491 696 380

 

Construction in Decline: Insurance Implications for Industry

Construction

For the first time since 2017, the global construction industry outlook has shifted into decline in the wake of COVID-19.  National construction activity is following a similar trajectory, after a 3% decline in December 2019, and a drop of 0.7% in the June 2020 quarter. Fortunately, the Federal Government’s Jobkeeper and Jobseeker programs have assisted many employers in retaining workers and sustaining business operations, as has the classification of construction as an essential service.

 

As we enter Q2 of FY21, we’ve summarised how the present conditions are impacting the insurance market for members of the construction industry.

 

Contract Works – Material Damage
  • Many local insurers have been reviewing their rating models, with knock-on effects to premiums and deductibles. In addition, many have reduced capacity to insure – i.e. where we would normally expect an insurer to insure a risk / builder / project to the value of $100,000,000, we’re now seeing many revert back to a multi-insurer approach, whereby several companies share the risk.
  • Insurers are also closely reviewing the Limits of Liability and sub-limits due to meaningful absences of local capacity.

We believe the above has been brought about by last summer’s unprecedented bushfire season, and the North QLD floods of 2019. Both events have resulted in depleted pools of reinsurance, often making insurance unprofitable for carriers. This is commonly referred to as insurers’ realisation of losses.

  • Previously available coverage enhancements such as Design Exclusion write-backs (LEG3 or DE5) are either seeing a minimum of 30-40% rating increases or scaled back to DE4 reduced coverage, or not offered at all. Following this, we are seeing a large adjustment in DE5 deductibles where insurers would previously have offered coverage and deductibles at a minimum of $100,000. This has been lifted to $150,000-$250,000 due to the breadth of coverage it provides and the complex nature of attritional losses.
  • Contractors with poor loss history and exposure to weather events are experiencing imposed revised deductibles for separate major perils and water damage excesses.

The Lloyd’s of London market has continued to experience change following the Lloyd’s Review
(DECILE 10) and the exit of many construction insurers – where previously they were also providing support to Australian underwriting agencies. Those which remain are increasing minimum rates, securing policy limits and offering higher deductibles.

 

Early engagement is key to insurance success

Insurers, brokers and contractors must work together in the short to medium term, with early engagement critical to help protect each contractor’s capital position/s and future plans for growth. Working together in a tripartite partnership capacity is essential to avoiding bill shock.

 

Construction Liability & Completed Operations

The current situation has seen insurers continue to closely scrutinise their underwriting results across all classes of casualty programs. Insurers have set their sights on underwriting profitability (vs gross written premium) and the investment income is being treated as a ‘nice to have’ and relegated as a priority. We have observed similar responses from insurers based in Singapore as well as Lloyd’s of London. Consequently, we are seeing sharp increases in policy excesses and renewal rates on prior years.

Greater insurer scrutiny and changes to the classification of business that should be written has influenced the costs and restrictions imposed by reinsurance arrangements, meaning:

  • Insurers are seeking to increase rates where claims have been poor or where currently underpriced, or looking to scale back offered policy limits. The increase is between 10-25% on well performing accounts.
  • Insurers are requesting much more information around operations to ensure they fully understand the risks and exposures and price accordingly.  If information cannot be obtained or is ignored by contractors, insurers are likely to restrict coverage or exclude certain parts altogether.

 

Work on bridges, piers, jetties, harbours, defence, civil contractors/earthmoving, and heavy industry are currently considered more susceptible to “long-tail” losses. Insurers are steering away from these risks, which are seen as unprofitable (due to WorkCover recoveries).

Sub-contractor injury or sub-contractor caused property damage deductibles are likely to continue increasing to minimum levels of $50,000 with some seeking up to $250,000 (depending on the industry). Insurers are being selective and treating each risk on their own merits. Options are available for excess buy-down on a standalone product.

An increase to the policy excess can alleviate premium increases. In some events however, the premium reductions are not proportionate to the increase in excess.

 

Worker to Worker claims continue to be the focus of Construction Liability underwriters

Now more than ever, contractor personal injury claims are being brought on by recovery actions from WorkCover and state-based workers compensation insurers (given the long-tail nature and statute of limitations, which can be up to 7 years). As a result, Worker to Worker deductibles offered by insurers and/or cover is being offered at a minimum deductible level of $50,000 and we are seeing insurers requesting claims data for up to 10 years to analyse trends before writing new business.

 

 

We’re With You All The Way

It’s important to be aware of these changes and how they are impacting new and existing insurance policies. As a general rule, it’s best to engage with your broker early to limit bill shock and seek the most appropriate cover for your needs. We encourage you to contact your Honan insurance advisor to discuss your situation and address any questions or concerns.

 

Adam Richardson 

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

adam.richardson@honan.com.au

 

Honan launches New Extended Mechanical Warranty Policy

Agriculture

Working with Plant & Equipment (P&E) partner, Heavy Machinery Warranty, and underwritten by Lloyds of London, the policy is a new introduction to the Australian market.

Unlike alternative P&E warranty options on the market which typically require machinery dealers to offer indemnity and then seek recovery from the insurance product, the new Extended Mechanical Warranty places policy ownership in the hands of the insured party. Bypassing the need for manufacturer and/or supplier assessments, policy holders (machinery owners) can claim directly against their policy, rather than relying on dealerships to facilitate claims on their behalf.

The cover offered under the policy includes the replacement of parts and/or repair costs to the hydraulics and powertrain following sudden and unforeseen loss. The policy is also available for makes and models of the following types of equipment:

 

Construction Equipment

  • Excavators
  • Bull dozers
  • Wheel loaders
  • Motor graders
  • Articulated trucks
  • Rollers

Agricultural Equipment

  • Tractors

Material Handling Equipment

  • Telehandlers
  • Forklifts

 

We’re with you all the way

For further information on the Heavy Machinery Warranty Policy, please contact Scott Cole at any time.

Scott Cole

scott.cole@honan.com.au

+61 447 566 008

The Cost of COVID: A Note on Personal Health – Do Not Delay!

Medical & Health

Whilst COVID-19 continues to command considerable presence in daily media and our everyday lives, the concerning longer term implications of postponed treatment plans (such as radiology and/or chemotherapy) and delays in diagnostics is being flagged by medical specialists across the world. This is especially the case in Victoria, where Stage 4 restrictions have seen patients commencing new or pre-planned treatments decline significantly. 

Delays in surgery and regular check-ups have also become a concern. A recent study by the Institute of Cancer Research (UK) investigated the impact of three and six month delays to cancer surgery on patients’ five-year survival rates.  The results were staggering.  As an example, modelling revealed a three-month delay across all 94,912 patients who would otherwise have had their cancers removed over the year, would result in an additional 4,755 deaths. These findings certainly have the potential to be extrapolated to other populations like ours here in Australia. 

Taking into consideration a 2020 forecast of 145,000 new cancer diagnoses in Australia – the majority of those being breast or prostate – the window between initial diagnosis to treatment is critical to patient remission rates. From 2012-2016, the 5-year relative survival rate for all cancers combined was 69%. Every month a cancer goes undetected not only lowers the rate of host survival, but adds further strain to the health system down the track. Generally speaking, the later the diagnosis, the longer, or more intense, the treatment plan is likely to be.

Understandably, the greatest volume of information around COVID-19 thus far has been about the Virus itself, but as a community, we must also consider the considerable knock-on effects for patients, practitioners and our health system over the years ahead. A wave of delayed treatments now will result in a wave of implications later … and certainly not pleasant ones. 

There has already been some great investigative journalism carried out by the likes of SBS around what needs to change now, and how we can start planning for a smarter future health system. For those keen to dig in, Surviving the Virus: My Brother and Me is well worth a watch. 

In parallel, there is equal concern around the long-term health prospects of COVID-19 survivors. Ongoing symptoms akin to stroke and cardiovascular problems have already been documented. At the time of publication, we’ve had nearly 27,000 diagnosed COVID-19 cases, with over 24,000 ‘recoveries’ in Australia. These are substantial numbers, and ones we’ll need to take seriously as assess our health sector’s capacity to cope. 

Short term thinking is not the answer here. While the economic impacts are perhaps easier to identify and document in the here and now, personal impacts over the years ahead are unclear, and could certainly be much worse. Just as we’re witnessing mental health ailments at unprecedented levels, delayed diagnostics are following suit. And at what cost?

The conversation, I believe, needs to shift to post-pandemic matters. In Australia, we’re in a privileged position. We have some of the world’s best doctors, nurses, hospitals, and medical infrastructure. We must review how our health system has performed, and what we need to change or start doing to ensure we’re truly future-fit. A group of Victorian Doctors are agitating for such consideration; writing an open letter to Daniel Andrews with numerous powerful points. While the true cost of COVID-19 is impossible to calculate right now, the more we can urge each other to avoid delays to personal treatments and act on our health ailments now – lockdown restrictions permitting – the better.          

 

We’re With You All The Way

 

Trent Woodward  

Head of Health & Medical 

trent.woodward@honan.com.au

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

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