5 simple ways to protect you and your customers from cyber attacks

LARK Insurance Cyber Insurance

5 simple ways to protect you and your customers from cyber attacks

Throughout the pandemic, the world became a lot more reliant on virtual meetings, contactless payments, working remotely and all the rest. It meant a lot of businesses could still operate in a safe and responsible way, but it drastically increased everyone’s cyber presence. Criminals were very quick to capitalise on this shift and the rate of cyber attacks sky rocketed. During the 2020-21 financial year, the ACSC recorded there was 67,500 recorded cyber attacks, resulting in losses of more than $33 billion. These numbers only include what has been self reported, so the number is likely to be much higher.

cyber insurance LARK Insurance

There are a number of things you can do that are really simple to help reduce the chance of a cyber attack on your business. Just like locking the front door when you leave home or wearing a lifejacket in open waters, its important to put some protection in place to help deter or prevent attacks on you and your clients’ data. We have put together the following 5 simple things you can do now to bolster your cyber security:

Keep software up to date

Keeping software and applications up to date and configured correctly will help to reduce cyber attacks as often the developers are bolstering their security for you and making these changes via updates. Make a habit of checking for updates and patches regularly on all apps, software and cloud services.

Least Privilege Access

Applying least privilege access principles such as ‘just in time’ (JIT) and ‘just enough access (JEA) systems to help limit a potential attackers spread across your network. These systems work by only giving users the access rights they need to perform specific tasks and only for the amount of time they need them during their normal day. This helps to reduce an attacker’s ability to gain unlimited access through a user’s account.

Multi-factor Authentication

Multi-Factor Authentication has become a lot more common recently on things like government and banking websites. The added authenticating factor is usually something like a text message or email with a code that needs to be inputted. Without this, attackers are unable to access accounts or protected resources. By enabling this on all accounts (that support this function) you are adding a really strong level of security to your network.

Use anti-virus software

It seems very obvious, but installing and enabling an anti-virus software on your computer and devices will help to reduce malware attacks from executing. Use cloud-connected anti-virus services for the most current and accurate detection capabilities.

Protect your data

Be mindful of where your sensitive data is stored and who has the ability to access it. If you are subject to a cyber-attack, its important that security teams know where the most sensitive data is stored and how it is accessed. Understand the importance of sensitive data and be sure to store it safely, where it is yours or your clients.

Even if you have implemented these 5 steps to reducing cyber attacks, it doesn’t mean they can’t happen. In the event of an attack, it is important to have a comprehensive cyber insurance policy in place to reduce your financial exposure and have someone in your corner to help mitigate your loss. Some cyber insurance providers offer free anti-virus software with each policy to help protect you from malware attacks and give you peace of mind around your data.

Get in touch with us today for a cyber insurance quote.

3 ways to make sure your small business is covered in 2022

3 ways to make sure your small business is covered in 2022

And just like that we have a brand new year upon us. 2022 is sure to be full of its own challenges (hopefully a few less than the last couple of years) and opportunities.

You likely have big plans for your small business this year. They may include revenue in growth, accessing new markets, streamlining operations, or even stepping back from day to day operations to spend more time with family. Whatever your 2022 plans include, you should have a catch up with your insurance adviser to ensure that your protection plans can allow for the changes your business may experience throughout the year. Exciting new changes in your business such as purchases of machinery/vehicles, changes in business activities or selling new products all come with additional risks and its important to understand and mitigate these risks.

Business Insurance 2022

Here are three things you should be doing this month to make sure you get 2022 started the right way:

Business risk assessment:

A business risk assessment involves laying out the potential risks and hazards that your business faces and the impact they may have. LARK Insurance includes a risk assessment as part of our complimentary first meeting. During this risk assessment we take an in-depth look at what risks your business may face, what options are available to mitigate those risks through both insurance and changes to procedures (because its always better to spend less on insurances than you have to). You can learn more about business risk assessments here.

Review your current insurances:

Has it been a while since you sat down and really looked at what you are covered for? Has your business changed since then? Things like changes in turnover, staff and business activities can have a big impact on your policy and if your insurer doesn’t know about changes like this it can mean major gaps in cover for your business. Its important to sit down to review these things at least once a year with your insurance adviser. LARK Insurance can do an insurance review with you free of charge. This will help you have the peace of mind that your insurances are right for you and your business.

Keep your insurance broker up to date:

You should keep your broker up to date with the changes that are occurring in your business. They can then make the necessary changes to your insurance program to keep your business running if an insurable event was to occur. Keeping your insurance broker up to date also means that you have someone to bounce ideas off around how to best self insure where possible.

Get in touch with us to kick your 2022 off the right way. We offer complimentary meetings where we can cover off all of the points above and ensure that you have the right business insurance in place for what you’re doing.

What small business insurance policies do you really need?

LARK Insurance Small Business Insurance

For those who are brave enough to step out on their own and start their own small business, it can be daunting. There are is plenty of things to worry about that you may not have had to deal with before, including small business insurance. Most people know about public liability insurance and workers compensation, but only considering the bare essentials can put your business at serious financial risk before it has even started. If you’re looking to give your small business the best start, here is the guide you need:

Firstly, engage a local insurance broker near you

The first thing you should be considering is talking to your local insurance broker (click here to speak to us today). You probably wouldn’t do your own tax return, or set up your own wills or powers of attorney would you? The insurance requirements of every business, big or small are complex and almost always require a specialist.

Just about every new small business is working with a pretty tight budget. Insurance specialists not only can source cost effective cover specific to the industry you are entering, but they can also provide you with quality cover that you can have confidence in at claim time. As insurance specialists, LARK Insurance also helps manage any claims that may arise so that you can get back to business as soon as possible. An insurance broker is there to act as your advocate in the insurance market, working to ensure you get the best cover at the best price. Check out Deloitte’s study on the value of insurance brokers and how we can help you.

LARK Insurance Small Business Insurance

The small business insurance policies you need

So, what covers do you really need to start your small business? Here are some of the basic covers you should probably consider:

Public Liability Insurance

Public & Product Liability insurance is a legal requirement in Australia for just about every business. It provides protection in the event of a claim of injury to someone or damage to something in connection to your business activity or the products your business provides. Claims on these policies can be into the many millions, so its crucial you obtain advice around your public liability insurance needs. To arrange a public liability insurance quote, click here.

Workers’ Compensation

Does your small business employ any staff? If the answer is yes, then you definitely need to consider getting a Workers’ Compensation policy. If one of your staff members gets injured at work or falls ill due to their work, a Workers’ Compensation policy is there to assist with the associated expenses. This is another legal requirement for most businesses so be sure to consider this one carefully.

Commercial Motor Vehicle Insurance

Is your business mobile? Meaning you need a vehicle to get from job to job? If you were to have an accident and your car was written off, would you have the funds to replace it? For just about every new business, the answer to this question is a definite no. You need to have a comprehensive insurance policy in place to ensure that any incidents that happen to your car or someone else’s while you are driving are covered.

There are plenty of policies which have nasty fine print, so its important to get a quality policy which will be there when you need it. Be sure not to just Google “cheap car insurance” and take the first option you see. LARK Insurance can organise Commercial Motor Vehicle Insurance for a wide range of vehicle types including cars, trucks, heavy plant & equipment and more.

Equipment/Tools Insurance

Just about every business uses equipment or tools of some way, shape or form. Whether its tradies’ tools or an accountant’s laptop, they all play a crucial role in your business. Its important to protect the important assets in your business because if they are stolen or perish in a fire, it could cost you thousands in downtime and replacement costs.

We can assist with cover for equipment that stays at a workshop or office as well as portable items that might be on the back of your ute every day.

Complimentary Small Business Insurance Review

If you are starting a small business and need help with your insurance, get in touch with us today. We can arrange quotes quickly and easily via email, phone or face to face to help get you the cover you need to start your business.

Important Information

This communication including any weblinks or attachments is for information purposes only, it is not a summary of a particular insurance product’s terms or conditions or a Policy Disclosure Statement (PDS). It is also not personal advice and your individual objectives, financial situation or needs have not been taken into account. This communication is not intended to constitute personal advice.   

We strongly recommend that you consider the suitability of this information, in respect of your own personal objectives, financial situation and needs and if you are interested in discussing or finding out more about this communication, you should contact your insurance adviser. We also strongly recommend that you obtain and carefully consider any relevant PDS or policy wording before deciding whether to purchase any insurance product.

The type of insurance product in this communication is designed for both small and large businesses, who want both the directors and managers, as well as the business to be covered against financial loss, including personal financial loss, from environmental harm related to owning, operating, and managing a business.

Landlord Insurance: What is it and why is it important?

LARK Insurance Landlord Insurance

Landlord Insurance: The things you need to know:

Many Australians have investment properties. In fact, according to the ATO, in 2018 about 2 million Australians owned investment properties. From the average Mum & Dad investor who are looking to get ahead, to the super-rich property magnates who seem to own half the town, almost every Australian finds comfort in property investment.

Whether this is because people find these investments easy to understand, or whether its because of the potential tax benefits (such as negative gearing), the demand for property investment is enormous. So is the market for Landlord Insurance.

If you are interested in a complimentary review of your Landlord Insurance or other business insurances, get in touch using the button below.

What is Landlord Insurance?

Put simply, Landlord Insurance is home and contents insurance for your investment property. It provides similar covers including Public Liability, storm damage, theft, fire, etc. but also includes other options such as loss of rental income and damage from tenants. Its important to note these aren’t standard on every policy and you will probably have to add them as extras.

Why do I need insurance when my tenants have paid a rental bond?

Some people opt to rely on the bond paid by their tenants instead of having a insurance policy. And, while the bond can act as a form of insurance, it is extremely limited in nature. If the house is to be damaged and the bill to fix it is into the tens of thousands of dollars, do you have the cash reserves to pay the additional amount on top of the bond? For most people, the answer is no. With your investment property being such a significant asset, its crucial to have the proper protection in place.

Does Landlord Insurance cover me for my Airbnb property?

In most cases, this won’t be an issue as long as this is disclosed to the insurer first.

In most cases, properties that are rented on a short-term basis carry more chance of a claim. This usually means that your premium will be higher as your property carries more risk, but it is still crucial that you have cover in place. If your insurer excludes short-term accommodation or won’t cover Airbnb, we are able to assist as we have access to a wide range of insurers who will provide cover.

Can insurance advisers help with Landlord Insurance?

We have helped a lot of clients with their Landlord Insurance policies. In most cases they have had policies direct with insurers before coming to us. We have been able to assist by pointing out some of the limitations in their policy, reviewing their overall situation and providing recommendations for policies that better suit their needs. In most cases, we have been able to save our clients money as well as increase their coverage.

If you are looking to get a better deal on your Landlord Insurance or are concerned you may not be properly protected, speak to us today.

3 tips for reviewing your business insurance

LARK Insurance Business Insurance

When the renewal documents for the business insurance policies arrives in the inbox, a lot of business owners only give the renewal notice a brief glance, not paying attention to what items are insured and whether the cover remains suitable for them. The problem with this approach is you probably are over paying, potentially have the wrong amount of insurance or won’t have provided the insurer with the correct details – leaving any potential claim being paid in jeopardy. Here are 3 tips to help you get the most out of your business insurance renewal:

LARK Insurance Business Insurance

Talk to your Business Insurance Adviser

If you are receiving your business insurance renewal in the mail or via email with no communication from your Adviser about the policy, then you need to talk to us at LARK Insurance. That is a huge red flag that you probably aren’t being looked after like you deserve to be. Its important that you talk to your insurance adviser regularly, to discuss changes to your situation that may impact your insurances, potential claims that may have arisen and other areas which you may need some guidance through. Keeping this close relationship helps to ensure that your business insurance adviser has a stronger understanding of your business and insurance needs when it comes to renewing your policies. They will then be able to advise you through changes that need to be made to your insurances and ensure your policies remain cost effective and comprehensive to your business’ needs.

Review your policies early

Renewal discussions should commence 4-6 weeks before your business insurance policies are due for renewal. This allows your insurance adviser plenty of time to discuss changes to your situation. Have you bought new machinery or equipment in the past 12 months? Have you taken on new staff or has the business gone in a different direction and had a change of business activities? All of these can have an impact on your insurance policy, provider, sums insured, etc. and needs to be discussed with your insurance adviser to ensure that your business has the proper protection. If you start the renewal process a few days before it is due, a lot of these considerations will likely be overlooked, leaving you inadequate cover or under-insured which could have significant financial implications to your business.

Compare policies and providers

When we are reviewing your situation at renewal time, we will compare insurers and policy coverage, which can vary a lot from company to company. Something else that we take very seriously when comparing insurers is how they handle claims. As we handle claims for our clients, we want to ensure that we are recommending an insurance provider that will pay claims to our clients in a fast and efficient manner. Its important that you are back in action as soon as possible after a claim, otherwise it can have even more devastating financial impact on you and your business. We, of course, review the overall premiums that insurance providers are charging to make sure that the covers are cost effective for you, without sacrificing the overall level of coverage. Balancing all of these considerations can be complex and time consuming, its important that appropriate care and time is taken to ensure it is done correctly.

For help with your business insurance renewal, talk to LARK Insurance today.

How you can take control of your business insurances during lockdown

Insurance Review

Here’s why now is the perfect time to review your business insurances

Has it been a while since you have sat down and had a look at your insurances?

Are you looking to cut some costs through these strange and difficult times?

Now is the time to review your insurances for cost and appropriateness. We look at some of the benefits of a business insurance review below:

LARK Insurance Business Insurance Review

Benefits of a business insurance review

Save money on premiums

Insurance advisers have access to a wide range of insurance providers, many do not deal directly with customers. We can help you find cost effective insurance policies to give you the coverage you need to run your business while saving you money during these uncertain times.

Changes To Your Situation

Often times, we see clients who haven’t reviewed their insurances for a while have outdated details such as addresses, annual turnovers, staff numbers, etc. These details may seem minor, but can have a big implications when it comes to claim time so it is important to keep insurers up to date with changes to your situation. Insurance advisers will perform reviews regularly with you to keep these details current and avoid any unnecessary delays or declines at claim time.

Insurance Broker On Your Side

Insurances can be complex and time-consuming and not having an expert in your corner can be a large financial exposure. Insurance advisers can help identify risks to your business, necessary and unnecessary insurance policies, assist with claims and give you the overall peace of mind that your covers are giving you the protection you and your business needs.

Get in touch

With much of NSW in lockdown, now is the perfect time to use some of the extra time we all have and review your business insurances. Reach out to LARK Insurance, we can perform reviews over phone, email or Zoom to help keep everyone safe.

4 reasons why your small business needs an insurance adviser

LARK Insurance small business

Why your small business should use an insurance adviser

Often times small business owners (especially new ones!) are optimistic about the future and neglect to think about some of the risks they may be facing. That’s why its crucial to have an insurance adviser on your side. We can help work through some of the risks you may not be aware of and how to protect against them.

LARK Insurance small business

Benefits of using an insurance adviser

Save you time

Have you ever tried to compare your car, home or health insurance policies? Then you would know how time-consuming the process can be. Business insurance is even more complex because often you won’t even know which covers your business really needs.

As insurance advisers, we can save you time by finding the right policy for you as well as assisting with any claims that arise, so you can focus on getting back to work.

Take advantage of the expertise on offer

Small business owners are great at what they do. Whether that’s carpentry or cleaning, that is their expertise. As insurance advisers, we are experts at understanding the risks your business faces and how to protect you from them.

We will work with you to help you understand the risks your business faces and match an insurance package that mitigate you from them. While an off-the-shelf policy may provide cover for some of the risks your business faces, it is a real gamble hoping the policy will provide for you during an insurable event.

Better policies, better prices

Insurance advisers have access to a large range of insurance providers and can help to secure cover that is specific to your industry. Insurance advisers also look to secure policies that are competitively priced. When your renewal comes up, we will go to the insurance market again to ensure that you are always getting the right policy at the right price.

Help in your corner at claim time

As insurance advisers, we work in your best interests, not for an insurance provider. Part of the service offer is to assist with any claims that you make. We have a good understanding of your business and the policies you have in place and can work for you to get claims paid in a fast and efficient manner.

Every small business owner is busy, booking a free review your insurances with LARK Insurance can help save you a lot of time and money over the course of the year. Talk to us today.

Your guide to understanding tradies insurances

LARK Insurance Tradie Insurance

What insurances do you need as a tradie?

Are you unsure about tradie insurances? Or are you thinking about going out on your own? Or perhaps you have been in business for a couple of years but haven’t really looked at the insurances since you started? If so, then this is the guide for you – Have a read of some of the things tradies should consider about their insurances.

LARK Insurance Tradie Insurances

Most self-employed tradies manage their own businesses. And, who could blame them? If they wanted to be managed, they would have worked for someone else.

But not having someone there to assist with things like making sure you have the right insurances at the right price can be really detrimental over the long term. The vast majority of tradies we deal with have either not updated the insurer with current details for a few years or are massively underinsured (sometimes both!).

The covers you will probably need for your tradie business

Public & Product Liability Insurance

No matter how careful you are or how skilled you are, mistakes will always happen. Whether this be because of some faulty product or someone hurting themselves on-site.

Have a think about some of the potential costs involved if a fault developed in some of your work. Or if someone was to fall over and seriously hurt themselves, even if you had made an effort to ensure the site was safe. Costs could climb into the millions.

Public & Product Liability Insurance exists for these very scenarios and can mean the difference between bankruptcy and survival.

Equipment Insurance

Have you ever wondered how much your tools would be worth if you added them all up? What would you do if they were stolen or damaged by a storm or fire? Besides the lost asset value, you could be missing out on a large amount of income too.

Equipment insurance can provide cover for your tools (both specified and unspecified items) so if something is to happen, you can get back to work as quickly as possible and minimise the impact the unfortunate event has on your business.

Motor Vehicle Insurance

We all know how important coverage for a car, van, ute or truck is. But a lot of tradies we speak to often have inappropriate cover for their vehicle now that it is a work vehicle. Ensuring the policy covers for things such as toolboxes and roof racks added to the vehicle can save a lot of money in the event of a claim.

We can also look to add multiple vehicles to your business insurance policy to save you money and keep things simple.

Contact us

If you aren’t sure if your tradie insurances are right for you, we are here to help. We offer complimentary reviews for our new clients and can help give your business the protection it needs.

Talk to us today.

Insurance cover for growing businesses – what do you actually need?

LARK Insurance Business Insurance Needs

Insurances to consider to protect your growing business

LARK Insurance growing business insurance needs

When people first start their business, its fair to say just about everyone is looking to continually grow it. But as your business grows, your risk exposures become increasingly complex and the financial and physical risk becomes more prevalent.

Insurances that were fine when you were just starting out in business may no longer be sufficient to reduce or manage your risks. In fact, not having the correct insurance, or indeed being underinsured, can leave your business open to litigation or worse, being financially crippled.

what type of insurance do you need for your growing business?

Professional Indemnity Insurance

As your business has grown, is it providing more advice to clients? People usually associate Professional Indemnity Insurance with lawyers, accountants, engineers, etc. But if your business is providing casual advice around your products or services you could be leaving yourself open to litigation and legal costs. As your business grows, you may not be aware of the risks associated with providing advice to clients and the additional insurance needs this may raise.

Management Liability Insurance

With most growing businesses, there becomes a need to employ staff to help with the work load. This brings about it a lot of regulations and requirements you will need to meet as an employer. If you were to be sued by a disgruntled employee, This can include unfair dismissals, harrassment, etc. Management liability insurance can protect both your business and personal assets from litigation as well as cover potential legal costs.

Cyber Insurance

Technology has never been more prevalent in our businesses. As your business grows your reliance on emails, databases and websites will continue to grow as well. Unfortunately, this reliance plays into the hands of cyber criminals who target businesses using viruses, ransomware and other cyber attacks. Cyber attackers are often one step ahead of any internal measures put in place to help reduce this risk. Losses associated with cyber attacks and any associated fines can be in the hundreds of thousands. Cyber insurance can help you recover from these attacks, including rebuilding databases and removing infected software, as well as replacing lost income and paying fines associated with attacks.

Property Insurance

You might purchase additional assets for your company as your business grows. This could include machinery, plant & equipment or even an office or warehouse. This can be a way of really spring-boarding your business growth. However, when you become a property owner you need to ensure you have the right types of insurances to meet the requirements of your bank and reduce your financial risks. Property insurance can help to ensure any disaster does not financially devastate your business.

We love seeing businesses grow and want to help your business continue to grow. Speak to us today to ensure that your protection plan continues to evolve with your business.