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Statutory Notices

Privacy Policy

Business Insurance Specialists Pty Ltd is committed to protecting your privacy in accordance with the Privacy Act 1998 (Cth). This Privacy Policy describes our current policies and practices in relation to the handling and use of personal information.

What information do we collect and how do we use it?

When we arrange insurance on your behalf, we ask you for the information we need to advise you about your insurance needs. We provide any information that the insurer who we ask to quote for your insurances and premium funding require to enable them to decide whether to insure you and on what terms. Insurers may in turn pass on this information to their reinsurers.

When you make a claim under your contract of insurance, we assist you by collecting information about your claim. We provide this information to your insurer (or anyone your insurer has appointed to assist it to consider your claim, eg loss adjusters, medical advisers etc) to enable it to consider your claim. Again this information may be passed on to reinsurers.

We also use your information to send you requested product information and promotional material and to enable us to manage your ongoing requirements, eg renewals, and our relationship with you, eg invoicing etc.

We may occasionally notify you about new services and special offers, events or articles we think will be of interest to you. We may send you regular updates by email or by post on insurance matters. If you would rather not receive this information, email or write to us.

We may use your information internally to help us improve our services and help resolve any problems.

What if you don’t provide some information to us?

We can only fully advise you if we have all relevant information. The insurance laws also require you to provide your insurers with all the information they need in order to be able to decide whether to insure you and on what terms.

How do we hold and protect your information? We strive to maintain the reliability, accuracy, completeness and currency of the personal information we hold and to protect its privacy and security. We keep personal information only for as long as is reasonably necessary for the purpose for which it was collected or to comply with any applicable legal or ethical reporting or document retention requirements

We hold the information we collect from you in hard copy files held within our office.

We ensure that your information is safe by having offices locked outside business hours with access severely limited to office outside working hours.

Will we disclose the information we collect to anyone?

We do not sell, trade, or rent your personal information to others.

We may need to provide your information to contractors who supply services to us, eg to handle mailings on our behalf or to other companies in the event of a corporate sale, merger, reorganisation, dissolution or similar event. However, we will do our best to ensure that they protect your information in the same way that we do.

We may provide your information to others if we are required to do so by law or under some unusual other circumstances which the Privacy Act permits.

How can you check, update or change the information we are holding?

Upon receipt of your written request and enough information to allow us to identify the information, we will disclose to you the personal information we hold about you. We will also correct, amend or delete any personal information that we agree is inaccurate.

If you wish to access or correct your personal information please contact our Privacy Complaints officer on 1800 009 190. You may also write your complaint to Privacy Complaints officer, Business Insurance Specialists, GPO Box 2217, Brisbane, Qld , 4001. Your complaint will be handled via our Internal Privacy Complaint Procedures. This procedure assures you of a timely and accurate response to your complaint.

We do not charge for providing access to personal information.

Your consent

By asking us to assist with your insurance needs, you consent to the collection and use of the information you have provided to us for the purposes described above.

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Financial Services Guide

This FSG sets out the services that we can offer you. It is designed to assist you in deciding whether to use any of those services and contains important information about:

  • the services we offer you.
  • how we and others are paid.
  • any potential conflict of interest we may have.
  • our internal and external dispute resolution procedures and how you can access them.
  • arrangements we have in place to compensate clients for losses.

Further information when personal advice is given

We will provide you with further information whenever we provide you with advice which takes into account your objectives, financial situation and needs. This information may include the advice that we have given you, the basis of the advice and other information on our remuneration and any relevant associations or interests. This information may be contained in a statement of advice (SOA).

 

When you ask us to recommend an insurance policy for you, we will usually only consider the policies offered by the insurers or insurance providers that we deal with regularly. In giving you advice about the costs and terms of recommended polices we have not compared those policies to other policies available, other than from those insurers we deal with regularly.

Product Disclosure Statement

If we offer to arrange the issue of an insurance policy to you, we will also provide you with, or pass on to you, a product disclosure statement (PDS), unless you already have an up to date PDS.  The PDS will contain information about the particular policy which will enable you to make an informed decision about purchasing that policy.

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Frequently Asked Questions

From when does this FSG apply? This FSG applies from 1 December 2015 and remains valid unless a further FSG is issued to replace it. We may give you a supplementary FSG.  It will not replace this FSG but will cover services not covered by this FSG.
How can I instruct you? You can contact us to give us instructions by post, phone, fax or email on the contact number or details mentioned on page 1 of this FSG.
Who is responsible for the financial services provided? Business Insurance Specialists Pty Ltd is responsible for the financial services that will be provided to you, or through you to your family members, including the distribution of this FSG.

Business Insurance Specialists Pty Ltd holds a current Australian Financial Services Licensee no: 223 627.   The contact details for Business Insurance Specialists Pty Ltd are on the front of this FSG.

What kinds of financial services are you authorised to provide to me and what kinds of financial product/s do those services relate to? Business Insurance Specialists Pty Ltd is authorised to advise and deal in general insurance products to wholesale and/or retail clients. We will do this for you as your broker unless we tell you otherwise.

Sometimes we will act under a binder or agency from the insurer. When we act under a binder or agency we will be acting as the agent of the insurer.   This means that we represent and act for the insurer, not for you.  We will tell you when we act under a binder or agency to arrange your insurance or advise you about your insurance needs.

Will I receive tailored advice? Not in all cases. However, we may need information about your personal objectives, details of your current financial situation and any relevant information, so that we can arrange insurance policies for you, issue insurance policies to you or to give you advice about your insurance needs. We will ask you for the details that we need to know.

In some cases we will not ask for any of this information. If we do not ask, or if you do not give us all of the information we ask for, any advice you receive may not be appropriate to your needs, objectives and financial situation.

You should read the warnings contained in any SOA, or any other warnings that we give you, carefully before making any decision about an insurance policy.

Where we provide you with advice about your insurance arrangements, that advice is current at the time that we give it. We will review your insurance arrangements when you inform us about changes in your circumstances.

How do Contractual Liability effect your insurance cover? Many commercial or business contracts contain clauses dealing with your liability (including indemnities or hold harmless clauses). Such clauses may entitle your insurers to reduce cover, or in some cases, refuse to indemnify you at all. You should seek legal advice before signing and accepting contracts. You should inform us of any clauses of this nature before you enter into them.
What information do you maintain in my file and can I examine my file?  We maintain a record of your personal profile, including details of insurance policies that we arrange or issue for you. We may also maintain records of any recommendations or advice given to you. We will retain this FSG and any other FSG given to you as well as any SOA or PDS that we give or pass on to you for the period required by law.

We are committed to implementing and promoting a privacy policy, which will ensure the privacy and security of your personal information. A copy of our privacy policy is available on request. A copy is also available on our website, www.insurancespecialists.com.au.

If you wish to look at your file please ask us. We will make arrangements for you to do so.

How will I pay for the services provided? For each insurance product the insurer will charge a premium that includes any relevant taxes, charges and levies. We receive a payment based on a percentage of this premium (excluding relevant taxes, charges and levies) called commission, which is paid to us by the insurers. We also charge a fee. These will all be shown on the invoice that we send you. You can choose to pay by any of the payment methods set out in the invoice. You are required to pay us within the time set out on the invoice.

If there is a refund or reduction of your premium as a result of a cancellation or alteration to a policy, or based on a term of your policy (such as a premium adjustment provision), we will retain any fee we have charged you. We will also retain commission depending on our arrangements with the insurer, or charge you a cancellation fee equal to the reduction in our commission.

When you pay us your premium it will be banked into our trust account. We retain the commission from the premium you pay us and remit the balance to the insurer in accordance with our arrangements with the insurer. We will earn interest on the premium while it is in our trust account or we may invest the premium and earn a return. We will retain any interest or return on investment earned on the premium.

What type of advice and documentations do I receive? A retail client is an individual or small business who receives advice or service in relation to Motor Vehicle; Home Building & Contents; Sickness and Accident; Consumer Credit; Travel; Personal and Domestic Property; or Medical Indemnity Insurance products.  These products are also referred to as Prescribed Products.

General Advice 

Our advice for Retail Clients is general advice other than where Personal Advice is provided. We will refer you to the relevant Product Disclosure Statement for you to decide if it is right for you. When you ask us to recommend an insurance policy for you we will usually only consider the policies offered by the insurers that we deal with regularly.  In giving you advice about the costs and terms of recommended polices we have not compared those policies to other policies available other than those insurers we deal with regularly.

Where we provide you with advice about your insurance arrangements, that advice is current at the time that we give it. We will review your insurance arrangements when you inform us about changes in your circumstances.

Personal Advice 

We will give you personal advice tailored to your needs after we have taken into account your individual objectives, financial situation and/or needs. We will advise you when our advice is Personal Advice.

Product Disclosure Statement

If you are a retail client and we arrange one of the above Prescribed Products for you, or if we recommend you buy a particular prescribed insurance policy, we will give you a PDS, unless you already have an up to date PDS from the insurer. The PDS is prepared by the insurer and is designed to give you important information regarding the insurer and the policy.

Statement of Advice

If you are a Retail client purchasing a Personal Accident and Illness policy you will receive a Statement of Advice (SOA) whenever we provide you with personal advice regarding this product. The SOA will contain our advice, the basis of our advice, and information on any remuneration, associations or other interests, which might reasonably have influenced us in giving our advice. The SOA will assist you to make an informed decision about your insurance needs.

Record of Further Details

If you are a Retail client purchasing a Prescribed Product and you have not already been provided with a copy of our advice, you may request a record of details regarding our advice.  To do so, please contact our office by telephone, email or fax.  We will keep these details on file for 7 years.

Cooling Off Period

If you purchased a Prescribed Product as a Retail Client you may be entitled to a minimum 14 day cooling off period during which time you can return the policy and receive a premium refund.  If you choose to return a product within the cooling off period we will return the commission to the Insurer, however we reserve the right to retain our fees.  The cooling off period is subject to legal requirements and terms and conditions of the policy.  You should check the relevant PDS for full details.

How are any commissions, fees or other benefits calculated for providing the financial services? We are paid a commission from the Insurer when we arrange a policy on your behalf.  This commission is calculated as a percentage of the base premium amount, before GST, Stamp Duty and other Government charges.  Our commission will be calculated based on the formula X=Y% x P.  X=our commission; Y%=the percentage commission paid to us by the insurer and which varies between 5 and 25%; P=the amount you pay for any insurance policy (less any government fees or charges included in that amount).

Any fees that we charge you will be calculated dependent upon factors such as time and costs associated with the particular administration performed and/or service provided.  We may also charge you a fee for any special advisory or additional claims-related services.

On occasions, another person or company introduces prospective clients to us.  Sometimes we share our commission or fees with them or pay them an agreed referral fee.  If we give you personal advice, we will let you know of any fees, commission or other payments we, our associates or anyone referring you to us will receive in relation to the policies that are the subject of the advice.

Our employees that will assist you with your insurance needs will be paid a market salary.

They may also receive an incentive bonus based on performance criteria e.g. level of quality service, retained renewals, or new business income.  An employee may be paid a share of our remuneration in the range of 2-10%.  For example, if our remuneration was 10% of the premium of $1,000.00 (i.e. $100.00), the employee may receive up to $10.00 from that transaction.

If we give you personal advice, we will inform you of any fees, commission or other payments we, our associates or anyone referring you to us (or us to any insurer) will receive in relation to the policies that are the subject of the advice.

See below for information on the Steadfast association and commission.

Do you have any relationships or associations with the insurers who issue the insurance policies or any other material relationships? Business Insurance Specialists Pty Ltd is a Steadfast Group Limited (Steadfast) Network Broker. Steadfast has exclusive arrangements with some insurers and premium funders Partners under which Steadfast will receive between 0.5 – 2% commission for each product arranged by us with those Partners. Steadfast is also a shareholder of some Partners.

Depending on the operating costs of Steadfast (including the costs of member services provided by Steadfast to us and other Steadfast shareholders) and the amount of total business we place in any financial year, we may receive a proportion of that commission at the end of each financial year.

As a Steadfast Network Broker we have access to member services including model operating and compliance tools, procedures, manuals and training, legal, technical, banking and recruitment advice and assistance, group insurance arrangements, product comparison and placement support, claims support and group purchasing arrangements. These member services are either funded by Steadfast, subsidised by Steadfast or available exclusively to Steadfast Network Brokers for a fee.

You can obtain a copy of Steadfast’s FSG at www.steadfast.com.au

If we arrange premium funding for you we may be paid a commission by the premium funder. The commission that we are paid by the premium funder is usually calculated as a percentage of your insurance premium (including government fees or changes). If you instruct us to arrange or issue a product, this is when we become entitled to the commission.

The commission that is paid by the premium funder is usually calculated as a percentage of your insurance premium (including government fees or charges).  Our commission rates for premium funding are in the range of 0 to 2%. Please contact us if you would like more information.

Steadfast has a shareholding in Macquarie Premium Funding.  If we arrange premium funding with Macquarie Premium Funding for you, we will be paid a commission by Macquarie Premium Funding. Under the agreement with Macquarie Premium Funding, Steadfast will receive 0.5% of your insurance premium (including government fees or charges – funded premium)

Also, as an equity shareholder of Macquarie Premium Funding, Steadfast may also receive dividends from profits of Macquarie Premium Funding.  The amount of the Steadfast dividend is based on the share of profit attributable to funding arranged by Steadfast shareholders.

Steadfast is also a shareholder in Miramar Underwriting Agency Pty Ltd (Miramar).  As a shareholder, Steadfast may receive dividends from Miramar.  These amounts will indirectly contribute towards the benefits we receive from Steadfast.

What should I do if I have a complaint? Contact one of our advisers in writing, by phone or email and advise us about your complaint. We will try and resolve your complaint quickly and fairly.

Your complaint will be acknowledged within 2 working days of receipt.

We will keep you informed of the progress towards resolving your complaint.

We will endeavour to resolve the matter within 10 business days of receipt.

If your complaint is not satisfactorily resolved within 10 days please contact our Complaints Manager and put your complaint in writing and send it to the email or postal address noted at the beginning of this FSG. We will try and resolve your complaint quickly and fairly.

Business Insurance Specialists Pty Ltd is a member of the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).  If your complaint cannot be resolved to your satisfaction by us you have the right to refer the matter to the FOS. The FOS can be contacted at:

Location:      Level 12, 717 Bourke Street, Docklands 3008

Postal:          GPO Box 3, Melbourne, VIC 3001

Phone:         1300 780 808

Fax:              03 9613 6399

Email:           info@fos.org.au

Website:       www.fos.org.au

What arrangements do you have in place to compensate clients for losses? Business Insurance Specialists Pty Ltd has a professional indemnity insurance policy in place.

The professional indemnity insurance policy covers us and our employees for claims made against us and our employees by clients as a result of the conduct of us or our employees in the provision of financial services.

Any other questions? If you have any further questions about the financial services Business Insurance Specialists Pty Ltd provides, please contact us.

Please retain this document for your reference and any future dealings with Business Insurance Specialists Pty Ltd.

Version: 1215

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Insurance Contracts Act (1984)

By virtue of this legislation, we are obliged to advise you of certain duties and limitations as they apply to your policies.  The following statements pertaining to disclosure and non-disclosure are in the form prescribed in the Regulations insofar as they concern contracts of general insurance.  The other advices are in compliance with the Act.

If you are in any doubt regarding how the following applies to your insurances, please contact us immediately.

The words “before you enter into a contract of insurance” hereunder include:

  1. The initial contract.
  2. An interim contract such as a placing slip or cover note.
  3. The making of an agreement by the parties to a contract of insurance to renew, extend or vary that contract.
  4. The re-instating of a previous contract of insurance.

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Duty of Disclosure

Your Duty of Disclosure – Contracts of General Insurance

Before you enter into a contract of general insurance with an insurer, you have a duty, under the Insurance Contracts Act 1984, to disclose to the Insurer every matter that you know, or could reasonably be expected to know, is relevant to the insurer’s decision whether to accept the risk of the insurance and, if so, on what terms.

YOU HAVE THE SAME DUTY TO DISCLOSE THOSE MATTERS TO THE INSURER BEFORE YOU RENEW, EXTEND, VARY OR REINSTATE A CONTRACT OF GENERAL INSURANCE.

Your duty however does not require disclosure of a matter:

  • That diminishes the risk to be undertaken by the insurer.
  • That is of common knowledge.
  • That your insurer knows or, in the ordinary course of his business, ought to know.
  • As to which compliance with your duty is waived by the insurer.

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Non-Disclosure

If you fail to comply with your duty of disclosure, the insurer may be entitled to reduce it’s liability under the contract in respect of a claim or may cancel the contract.

If your non-disclosure is fraudulent, the insurer may also have the option of avoiding the contract from its beginning.

PLEASE NOTE THAT YOUR DUTY APPLIES ALSO WHEN YOU SEEK TO AMEND, ALTER, VARY OR ENDORSE A POLICY.

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Utmost Good Faith

Every insurance contract is subject to the doctrine of utmost good faith which requires that parties to the contract should act toward each other with the utmost good faith.  Failure to do so on your part may prejudice any claim or the continuation of the cover provided by insurers.

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Important Notices

Change of Risk or Circumstances

It is vital that you should advise Business Insurance Specialists Pty Ltd of any departure from your “normal” form of business (i.e. that which has already been conveyed to your insurers).  For example, acquisitions, changes in occupation or location, new products, or new overseas activities.

In order to ensure proper protection, please consult with Business Insurance Specialists Pty Ltd if you are in any doubt as to whether an insurer should or should not be told of certain changes.  We would rather give you the extra service by answering these queries than allow you to take the risk of losing the opportunity for indemnity under your insurance policies.

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Average and/or Co-Insurance

Material Damage Insurances

These policies contain an average/co-insurance clause which means that you must insure for the full value of the property insured.  If you under-insure, your claim may be reduced in proportion to the amount of the under-insurance.

A simple example, illustrating the basic principle, application and effect of the average/co-insurance clause is as follows:

  • Full value – $1,000,000.   Sum insured – $500,000.
  • Therefore you would be self-insured for 50% of the full value.
  • Amount of Claim – say $100,000.
  • Amount payable by an insurer as a result of the application of average/ co-insurance-$50,000 (being 50% of $100,000).

As regards replacement costs for Plant and Machinery, we recommend that you take current and future inflationary trends into consideration when reviewing values for the contents as well as duties and technological changes.

We remind you of the need to declare full values either on a replacement (Contents) or indemnity (Stock) basis, in accordance with the basis of settlement clause in your policy, to ensure that “Average” is not applied in the event of a major loss.

Business Interruption Insurances

Business Interruption policies contain average/co-insurance clauses which are fully set out in the “basis of cover” or “policy specification” of the policy.  Factors include in determining the sum insured include “trend”.

If you are in any doubt regarding this clause insofar as it applies to your policy, please contact Business Insurance Specialists Pty Ltd for assistance.

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Subrogation

You may prejudice your rights with regard to a claim if, without prior agreement from your insurers, you make any agreement with a third party that will prevent the insurer from recovering the loss from that, or another party.

Many of your policies have provisions which allow the insurer to recover his liability from the responsible party.  Any agreement you enter into that excludes or limits your rights to recover damages from another party in relation to any loss, damage or destruction is contravening these provisions.

If you have such agreements, we may be able to negotiate with the insurer to permit them and therefore we request you to advise Business Insurance Specialists Pty Ltd of their existence.