Insurance + Risk Services

Author Archives: Amanda Gray

  1. Staying on top of cybersecurity

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    Cybercrime shows no signs of slowing down in Australia. And while attacks on big business may hog the headlines, smaller enterprises are squarely in the sights of hackers and cyber criminals.

    The Federal Government’s online cybercrime reporting service, ReportCyber, received close to 94,000 reports in FY2023, according to the Australian Signals Directorate Cyber Threat Report.

    Hackers and cyber criminals are intent on disrupting and defrauding, and their methods are increasingly sophisticated. It’s becoming apparent that artificial intelligence can enable even so called ‘junior hackers’ to create sophisticated social engineering campaigns, featuring fake voice and video.

    Even the smartest and most sceptical of targets are at risk of being taken in

    How? Because it’s easier than ever for perpetrators to home in on potential victims, courtesy of the fact that millions of ordinary Australians have had their personal information – email addresses, mobile numbers and personal identity data – leaked to the dark web.

    The cybercrime supply chain

    It’s because of this that businesses are now at increased risk of ‘supply chain attacks’. This kind of attack affords perpetrators access to the systems and data of the original victim’s partners and customers. More hackers are starting
    to focus on this section of the ‘market’ – to the point that supply chain attacks may soon be offered as a service on the dark web.

    Top three threats to business

    According to the Annual Cyber Threat Report 2022–23, developed by the Australian Signals Directorate


    Email compromise


    Business email compromise fraud


    Online banking fraud

    Don’t make yourself and your business an easy target

    Cybercrime is also becoming increasingly common among smaller businesses because they present a much easier target for criminals. According to Accenture’s Cost of Cybercrime Study, 43 per cent of cyber attacks are aimed at small businesses…with just 14 per cent of those prepared to defend themselves.

    Cyber criminals also view Australian small to medium businesses as easy prey. Not only do they lack the resources of big business to defend themselves, but also because they simply don’t expect to be attacked.

    Strengthening your defences

    A major attack can be disruptive and expensive, and while cyber insurance can help defray the costs, prevention is always better than cure. There are several ways businesses can strengthen their defences to help reduce the likelihood of their falling victim.

    First among these for small to medium enterprises is adopting the ‘Essential Eight’ – a series of straightforward mitigation strategies developed by the Australian Signals Directorate.

    The Essential Eight

    While these strategies aren’t fool proof, any small business that implements them will make themselves a much harder target for cyber criminals. Hackers will be more inclined to look for easier victims whose systems make them a softer target.

    1 Application control

    2 Patch applications

    3 Configure MS Office macro settings

    4 User application settings

    5 Restrict administrative privileges

    6 Patch operating systems

    7 Multi-factor authentication

    8 Regular backups

    Does your business have a ‘cyber owner’?

    While it might not be a full-time role, appointing a cyber owner is an effective way to ensure suitable cybersecurity measures are implemented and reviewed regularly, according to Steadfast’s Chief Information Security Officer, Alexander Moskvin.

    “Unless someone is accountable for taking the actions…it’s easy for it to be everyone’s business but nobody’s task.”

    Alexander Moskvin, Chief Information Secturity Officer, Steadfast

    Keeping an eye on the security posture of your information and communication technology suppliers and partners is also a smart move, Moskvin says.

    “Unfortunately, there are plenty of insecure systems on the market, so it pays to do your homework.”

    Cover to help your business recover

    A major cyber attack or data breach can be disruptive and expensive. Traditional insurance policies don’t cover losses to your business as a result of a cyber attack; should the worst occur cyber insurance is there to help your business bounce back and rebuild.

    Key benefits of cyber insurance

    • Financial compensation to recoup costs that result from a security breach – including business interruption, IT recovery costs and regulatory fines
    • Compensation for clients and customers who suffer financially or emotionally as a result of stolen data
    • Extends to include expenses for legal representation and costs that incorporate forensic and legal counsel
    • Covers the cost of professional consultants to assist in repairing damage to your company’s brand and reputation

    There are a wide range of suitable covers available for small and medium enterprises, and larger organisations. You can click here to learn more, or contact us to find a policy that’s right for your risk profile.

    EngInsure are here to support you with important insurance advice and solutions to reach the best possible outcome for your business. For assistance, please get in touch with one of our specialists:

    T: 1300 854 251

    The contained information is general advice only. It is not intended to take the place of professional advice. Before acting on this information you should consider the appropriateness of this advice to your particular objectives, needs and financial objectives. Please contact Whitbread Associates Pty Ltd | ABN 69 005 490 228 | License Number 229092 trading as EngInsure Insurance & Risk Services for further information or refer to our website.

  2. Essential insurance for entrepreneurial engineers: A comprehensive guide

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    There’s a lot to like about starting and running your own engineering business, including freedom and flexibility.

    As your own boss, you have the freedom to set your own schedule, giving you control over your working hours…and your income. You can strategically book clients to increase your earnings, or prioritise downtime by accepting fewer jobs.

    It’s not without its rewards, but it also comes with its own set of business risks. Things can and do go wrong, and your income and personal assets could be jeopardised without the right insurance cover. In a worst-case scenario, you could be forced to sell your home or other assets you’ve worked hard to accumulate over a lifetime.

    If you’re an independent or self-employed engineer, you know you need professional indemnity cover, but did you know there are a range of other insurances that could provide additional protection if things go wrong?

    While each engineering discipline has different risks and insurance requirements – and it’s important to speak with an insurance broker to tailor your insurance program to your field – there are some common insurance policies engineers typically take out, so let’s take a closer look at what they are.

    Professional indemnity insurance

    If a client believes they’ve suffered financial loss due to advice or services you’ve provided – or failed to provide – they may decide to seek compensation from you. Professional Indemnity (PI) insurance is there to help protect you if this occurs. It can cover the cost of your legal defence and any settlements you may have to pay to the other party, up to your policy limit.

    “Regardless of the validity of the claim, if a client takes legal action against you it is time-consuming and stressful,” notes EngInsure Broking Operations Manager Maria Vidic. “It’s also expensive. PI cover serves as a safeguard for your assets and reputation, and provides peace of mind into your retirement.”

    Maria Vidic, EngInsure Broking Operations Manager

    Public and products liability insurance

    Public and products liability insurance is also an essential cover for all businesses. As an engineer, you have a duty of care to uphold to your clients and your employees, as well as the general public. Legal costs and court ordered compensation payments to claimants can be substantial and potentially damaging to the financial position of your business if you are deemed negligent – even without intent.

    “If you engage in face-to-face interactions with clients – whether it’s in your office, your client’s premises or in public spaces; or if you undertake physical works such as installation or supply products; having this coverage is crucial,” Vidic emphasises. “Public liability claims can drag on and incur significant expenses. For a sole trader, the financial burden of having to pay someone out could spell disaster.”

    Maria Vidic, EngInsure Broking Operations Manager

    Management liability insurance

    Running an engineering business – big or small – carries substantial risk exposures and legal responsibilities. That’s why, in today’s litigious climate, management liability insurance can be indispensable. It’s important when it comes to defending, settling or paying compensation claims arising from errors or intentional actions by the company, its directors, officers, or employees – past or present. It’s tailored to shield you, your business, and your personal assets from substantial financial risks and legal costs should you encounter any of the following scenarios:

    • Alleged wrongful acts by owners, directors or senior management
    • Facing statutory fines and penalties
    • Tax audit costs
    • Dishonest acts by employees such as embezzlement of money or products
    • Claims made by employees resulting from employment practices such as allegations of harassment, bullying or wrongful dismissal

    Cyber insurance

    Every business has a cyber exposure. Do you have a computer network, a website, or use email? Then your business could be significantly impacted by cybercrime; and a data breach not only affects your business, it can negatively impact your clients and customers. A network security breach can lead to:

    • Financial losses
    • Reputational damage
    • Loss of intellectual property
    • Disruption to business
    • Statutory fines and penalties

    It’s well worth checking in with an insurance broker to see if you’re covered, as many traditional business insurance policies do not include cyber liability insurance cover.

    Securing the best cover for yourself

    When you’re working for yourself, safeguarding your operations, income and assets is vital. And because there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, it pays to seek expert assistance to ensure you secure the right cover. A broker can help you to evaluate your requirements and source insurance policies that are the right fit for your risk profile.

    To get started, reach out to one of EngInsure’s insurance specialists today.

    EngInsure are here to support you with important insurance advice and solutions to reach the best possible outcome for your business. For assistance, please get in touch with one of our specialists:

    T: 1300 854 251

    This article is not intended to be personal advice and you should not rely on it as a substitute for any form of personal advice. Please contact Whitbread Associates Pty Ltd | ABN 69 005 490 228 | License Number 229092 trading as EngInsure Insurance & Risk Services for further information or refer to our website.

  3. Excess layer insurance equals complete peace of mind for engineers

    Comments Off on Excess layer insurance equals complete peace of mind for engineers

    Engineering is a highly specialised and complex industry, more so than ever in today’s increasingly regulated environment

    Any company or individual providing professional advice or services that can significantly impact clients’ lives and businesses – including engineers, consultants, builders and designers – are at risk of claims related to breaches of professional duty. This means you can be held liable for financial losses occurring as a result of error, omission or professional negligence when carrying out your work…along with the legal liabilities incurred throughout the process.

    Unfortunately, in Australia’s increasingly litigious society, such claims are becoming common place.

    Professional indemnity insurance

    Professional indemnity (PI) insurance helps cover legal expenses, damages and other costs associated with defending against these types of claims. It is designed to insulate you and your business against financial exposure, even if a claim against you fails in court.

    However, insurance providers have a maximum threshold for coverage (often called a ‘limit of liability’ or ‘limit of indemnity’) – this represents the maximum amount your insurer will disburse across a single or multiple claims…

    What if you need more cover?

    Sometimes you may need to insure for higher levels of cover than your PI insurance provides.

    This might be due to taking on a large or high-risk contract, or a client requires a specific amount of cover to ensure they will not be overexposed and underinsured.

    Whatever your reasons for needing additional care and cover, excess layer insurance is your solution.

    Excess layer insurance

    Known as ‘excess of loss insurance’, excess layer insurance provides additional cover beyond and in addition to your primary PI insurance policy.

    That is, in the event a claim is made against you, the primary policy covers costs up to its limit. Should your claim surpass this limit, the excess layer insurance policy takes effect, offering coverage for the remaining amount up to its limit, and so on.

    The excess layer only comes into play if a claim exceeds the coverage limit of the primary policy, and you have the option of acquiring as many additional ‘layers’ of cover as required to achieve the required limit.

    Sizable professional services firms might easily have multiple insurance policies providing support as required, spreading the risk and safeguarding and reinforcing their overall protection position.

    For example

    Insurer A provides you with a primary PI insurance policy for claims of up to $10 million.

    However, you have a large client who requires that you carry PI insurance of $20 million.

    Your insurance broker can provide a separate excess layer policy for the additional $10 million cover with a different insurance company.

    The excess layer policy will follow the Primary policy terms and conditions of cover to ensure consistency of coverage across the total combined limit.

    The two policies combined are now providing you with the required $20 million coverage.

    Engineer protected. Client reassured.

    How much does excess layer insurance cost?

    The cost of excess layer insurance is typically less than the cost of the primary PI policy.

    Why? Because the level of risk is diminished based on the Primary PI policy limit needing to be fully eroded before the excess layer policy is called upon to respond to any claims.

    The bottom line is that excess liability coverage is not just an option for industries susceptible to particular types of claims; it’s a necessity for engineering firms to achieve the higher limits of cover which may required due to risk exposure and contractual requirements.

    And while a standard PI policy empowers you with greater control and security over the future of your business, additional excess coverage provides you with absolute assurance when providing advice and services to your clients.

    Click here for more information about professional indemnity insurance for engineers , or if you would like personalised advice regarding excess layer insurance relating to your specific circumstances, feel free to reach out to one of the professionals at EngInsure.

    EngInsure are here to support you with important PI Insurance advice and solutions to reach the best possible outcome for your business. For assistance, please get in touch with one of our specialists:

    T: 1300 854 251

    This article is not intended to be personal advice and you should not rely on it as a substitute for any form of personal advice. Please contact Whitbread Associates Pty Ltd | ABN 69 005 490 228 | License Number 229092 trading as EngInsure Insurance & Risk Services for further information or refer to our website.