Exciting new partnership
As of September, CGIB has merged with former Authorised Representative Building Industry Solutions (BIS). With this merge come new staff and a long established Building Designers Scheme that caters for over 1300 Designers Australia wide.
BIS has forged strong industry support over the last 17 years, by developing and providing a leading-edge product for building designers, that responds to the needs of the profession. Lance Patison the Managing Director of BIS has a technical background in Building Design, Building Surveying and Construction Management.
The Scheme is also available for Draftspersons, Interior Designers, Energy Raters and Town Planners. There is a separate Scheme for Registered Architects as well. With low cost options available for small and part time practitioners and (pending) retirees, our product has been tailored for everyone.
What this means to you is that we understand your business and talk your language... and we won't baffle you with "Insurance Speak".
Tips to Help Reduce Your Risk
Use a Broker
While you might be tempted to bypass an insurance broker and go directly to the provider, the truth is brokers can save you money, as they can negotiate with insurers to get the best prices. This will save you time, by screening though the potential insurers and deciding who is and isn't fitted for your needs.
Brokers are also experts and will have lots of experience and knowledge on how to explain the complexities to you in a way that will enable you to make the most informed decisions. They can design an insurance package that covers the aspects of your business most important to you, giving you maximum peace of mind.
Check your Policy before you renew
It is not uncommon to just let your in surance policy rollover from one year to the next. But when it comes to making a claim you may find you don't have the cover you need. Before you renew your insurance policy, it is important to take time to check that all the information you originally supplied to the insurer, is correct.
Let us help you review your unique business and assess your insurance needs. Here are some questions to get you started:
- Vehicles - Any additions or losses of vehicles in your business? Has the driver of a vehicle changed? Has the purpose of a vehicle changed?
- Premises - Are your business premises the same, or has the business moved? Do you have a different address in a different suburb?
- Equipment - Have you bought any new equipment lately? Remember any item valued at over $1000 should to be specified on the policy.
- Turnover - Is this still the same or has it changed?
- Employees - Have you hired any new employees or are any employees not working for you anymore?
- Renovations - Have you made any improvements to your property?
- Relationship status - Are you newly married or divorced? Have you changed your relationship status?
Have Company Policies
Company policies and procedures establish the rules of conduct within a business, outlining the responsibilities of both employees and employers. These policies and procedures are in place to protect the rights of workers as well as the business interests of employers.
Policies and procedures are useful documents to rely on when a legal dispute arises between the employer and the employee. In many cases, having documentation of the rights and responsibilities of either, will help to confirm what can and can't be done to the business.
Some employment-related laws include a requirement for a policy to be in place and that policy must fulfil certain specifications. For example, occupational health and safety laws require an employer to put in place a rehabilitation policy outlining the responsibilities of the employer.
A main risk for most small businesses is improper cash flow management. Every month, you should calculate how much money you have on hand and how long it will last if your income dries up. Also evaluate monthly, your total accounts payable and the number of days accounts are outstanding because a slowdown in accounts payable will lead to cash-flow crunches.
Your business should create a contingency plan and set aside three to six months of operating costs in reserves. In this plan, you should ask where your business would be in three to six months if you lost your biggest client. Which expenses would you cut? Which would you keep paying? That number for three to six month is variable because you could have cash-flow problems for various reasons.
By doing this, you are handling your cash transactions properly, meaning you are able to track how your business is going. If an event occurs, where you lose lots of money, whether it is cash or not, from your business, you will be able to track your records.
Insure key people
The purpose of key person insurance is to help the company survive the loss of losing a person who makes the business work.
Key people are individuals whose skills, knowledge, experience or leadership are critical to a business's continued financial success. If something were to happen to one of these key individuals it is likely that their loss will have a detrimental impact on the profitability of the business and will cause financial strain.
This is important in small businesses that are growing, because they may only have a few owners, founders or employees. Whilst a business is growing and expanding, having a key person not be able to do their job, is a big loss.
The company can use the insurance proceeds for expenses until it can find a replacement person, or if necessary, pay off debts, distribute money to investors, pay severance to employees and close business down in an orderly manner. It gives businesses other options other than immediate bankruptcy.
If you need help or further information please do not hesitate to contact CGIB on 1300 764 244.