drought, multi-peril income protection, farm insurance, crop insurance, NSW

Why Farm Insurance and Risk Management Still Matter During a Drought

We’re all aware of the severe drought conditions across our great state, and none of us more than our farmers that are weathering the storm (or the lacktherof).

Although many areas enjoyed lovely rain (and some not so lovely hail!) in the past few days, we all know that the effects of the drought will not diminish overnight.

Managing Your Risks Through Mitigation, Farm Insurance & Multiperil Income Protection

As a farmer, you understand risk management and how to throw thousands of dollars out in the paddock and get it back. However, one bad year tests your risk management and decides if you’ll get by or give up.

It’s unhelpful to say that you should ‘make hay while the sun shines’ and invest in drought mitigation during good years. Instead, there are some farmers that are looking at smart ways to invest even when cash flow is low. This is a good article that looks at a farm family that is taking action, doing things like building drought lots, speak to a livestock nutritionist, instal grain silos and bury plastic wrapped grain.

There is also some drought relief funding available, according to the publications on the DroughtHub.

But many farmers find it too difficult to accept handouts or charity and are instead holding out for rain.

We would encourage you to take advantage of available drought assistance, and also take advantage of this time to be putting a plan in place for the short term and also the long term (ahead of the inevitable next drought).

That plan should include your insurance strategy.

Contact GS Insurance to discuss a strategy where you can protect your assets and your livelihood while mitigating the cost where possible.

Defying the drought and thriving in difficult times

The number one important thing to do during this drought is to look after you and your family’s health and wellbeing.

Droughts often increase mental health issues like depression and anxiety in our communities and households.

We need to reach out and check in on each other, and if you are struggling do not hesitate to get support. The NSW Government recently announced that farmers will have access to farmgate counsellors – here is the website to get more information.

Get a farm insurance or crop insurance quote

In addition to multi-peril crop insurance, did you know that we specialise in farm insurance that will protect your machinery, buildings, public liability, fences and stock? Most importantly, your family and your livelihood. Contact us online or call (02) 6892 1050 to talk about your specific situation and get a free, no obligation quote.

General Advice Warning
Please note: The information provided in this article is only general in nature – before making business decisions you should consider seeking advice specific to your situation.

bushfire-risk

Are you prepared for bushfire season?

Due to the well-publicised dry end of winter and beginning of spring we’ve had, our bushfire season is already well underway. And conditions are expected to continue to be warmer than average and drier than average from now through November, increasing the potential of bushfire risk. See the Bureau of Meteorology video below for more information.

Preparing for Bushfire Season – Climate outlook for September – November 2018

We hope that by now if you’re in an at risk area you’ve done some preparation, but if not, it’s not too late to start!

Here are four steps that you can follow to help you prepare for a bushfire:

  1. Make a plan for what to do if a bushfire is threatening your area, and discuss it with your family.
  2. Prepare your home and property to get ready for fire season (more detail on this in the next section).
  3. Stay aware and watch the bushfire alert levels.
  4. Organise all your bushfire necessities on your smart phone – bushfire information/alert phone numbers, websites and relevant apps, as well as your insurance broker’s contact details and policy numbers.

Prepare your home

Even if you plan to leave early should there be a bushfire in your area, preparing your home can help reduce potential damage to your home and contents. It can also make it easier for the firefighters to defend your property and even reduce the risk of spreading to your neighbours’ properties. Here are a few basic steps you can take to prepare your property:

  • Clean out your gutters and install metal gutter guards
  • Ensure your external walls and your roof are in good nick with no gaps, damage or missing tiles
  • Install metal mesh screens and fit seals around windows and doors
  • Enclose the areas underneath your house
  • Install a fire sprinkler system
  • Maintain your gardens and lawn and keep the grass cut short, as well as trimming back trees and shrubs (especially around buildings)
  • Check that your hoses reach around your house (or buy ones that do)
  • If you have a water source (pool, tank or dam), make sure you put a Static Water Supply sign at your property’s entrance so firefighters are aware
  • Prescribed burning and removal of combustible material can help prevent the outbreak of major fires (permits/permission or proper handling may be required)
  • Annually check that your insurance solution is up to date and adequate to cover your home, contents and property.

Did you know that there’s a bushfire risk management plan for every area of NSW? Click here to find one from your local area.

Check if you’re in a bushfire prone area

The NSW Rural Fire Service has prepared an online mapping tool you can use to identify if your property is designated as ‘bushfire prone.’  Simply click here, accept the terms and then enter the address that you’re checking for (disclaimers and terms apply, of course).

And don’t forget to make sure you’ve got the right insurance in place

Don’t assume that you’ve got the right cover, contact us for a free, no obligation quote to check your cover and make sure you’re getting a competitive deal.

cyber insurance, cyber crime, hackers, denial of service, ransomware

Attention Small Businesses – Think Cyber Risk Doesn’t Apply to You? Think Again.

Many of us have seen some of the world’s BIGGEST brands, Facebook, eBay, Target, Equifax, become victims to cyber attacks over the past few years. But while these attacks garner a lot of media attention, the reality is that most victims of cyber crimes and data breaches are actually small and medium sized businesses.

For small business owners, the idea of being hit by a cyber attack such as ransomware or denial of service is unpleasant and perhaps even daunting but many of us just cross our fingers and tell ourselves ‘it won’t happen to me.’

Unfortunately, that’s not what the numbers tell us.

The Cost of Cyber Crime

Did you know that cybercrime costs the economy over $1 BILLION each year?*

And the statistics are getting worse. According to Norton’s 2017 Cyber Security Snapshot, 1 in 4 Australian small businesses have fallen victim to cyber crime (this is up from 1 in 5 in 2016).

Almost 1 in 5 small businesses back up their data no more than monthly, but more than 1 in 3 businesses don’t think they’d last a week without their critical information!

If a small business experiences a cyber attack, it costs them on average $6,600 each time they’re attacked. We note ‘each time’ because according to a recent FireEye report, more than half of organisations that were targets of a significant cyber attack were targeted again within 18 months (and this trend is increasing).

For Australian businesses that employ 100-500 employees, the cost is upwards of $1.9 million if hit by a cyber attack, according to research released this week by global cyber security firm Webroot.

What Can You Do to Prevent Cyber Risk From Ruining Your Business?

Here are four ways you can help mitigate cyber risk in your business:

  1. Do your research and get both a security software solution and a data back up system.
  2. Keep these systems up to date – one of the biggest reasons that cyber attacks are successful is that your devices, routers, operating system, software or applications weren’t kept up to date with the latest versions and patches which can leave you with security vulnerabilities.
  3. Educate yourself and your team – employees are another large risk opportunity, make sure you and your people use security best practices such as learning how to spot email scams and using strong (and regularly changed) passwords.
  4. Consider adding a cyber insurance policy to help cover your business for financial losses resulting from cyber attacks.

If you want to get a free quote for your cyber risk insurance solution, contact us today.

*Australian Government Cyber Landscape

crop insurance, farm insurance, insurance broker, Trundle, NSW, Parkes

Why you should get a quote from an insurance broker versus an insurance agent for your crop insurance

Do you know the difference between an insurance broker and an insurance agent (or authorised representative)?

Insurance broker compared to an insurance agent

Basically, an insurance agent is a representative of an insurance company and sells insurance products or services to clients only from that company.

An insurance broker is a representative for YOU, the client, and we advocate on your behalf and in your best interest when we deal with the insurance company.

At GS Insurance, we are part of the Community Broker Network (CBN) and through CBN we have access to a huge range of insurers and underwriters to get quotes from or negotiate with to develop an insurance solution to meet your needs.

Putting your crop insurance into perspective

If you think about it in terms of your crops, you would always make sure that you were getting market rates. So why wouldn’t you do the same with your crop insurance?

If you go through an agent like Elders or WFI, they are limited to their own insurer and likely to only have one rate to give you. But if you go through an insurance broker like GS Insurance, we have access to all the major insurers to get you the best market rate for your area for crop insurance.

Don’t leave it to chance – get a quote for your crop insurance

Why not give us a call or email us and make sure you’ve got the market rate. It costs you nothing because it’s a free, no-obligation quotation, but you’ll have peace of mind that you’ve had your insurance solution reviewed and you have the right cover at a competitive price.

why choose an insurance broker, value of an insurance broker, small business insurance, NSW, Trundle

Should you use an insurance broker? Use these 3 questions to help you find out!

Most of us use a professional such as a solicitor for legal advice or an accountant for tax advice, but is it necessary to use an insurance broker to give you insurance advice?

Here’s 3 questions to help you decide if an insurance broker would benefit you.

1. Do you have a good understand of insurance and confidence that you have the right solution in place?

Insurance is complex, and getting it right can mean the difference between having peace of mind or heartbreak.

An insurance broker has the expertise to ask the right questions to understand your risks, and then ‘broke’ the insurance market to negotiate with insurers on your behalf to get you a good solution at a good price.

There’s no substitute for years of experience, training and professional development – each year insurance brokers have to participate in continuous learning to stay across changes in the market and emerging risks.

2. Do you want to save time, hassle and even maybe some money?

It may seem like buying your insurance directly online could save you time, money or hassle – and, we live in such an online and DIY (do it yourself) world that it normalises these kinds of purchases.

And, a lot of people are initially sceptical about paying a fee for an insurance broker’s services.

But an insurance broker is more than a middle man. They make sure that your insurance solution is tailored for you – and they can look after all your insurance needs in one place.

If you buy online, you may have to do hours of research and price comparisons to find an insurance solution for your business or your home, car and earthly belongings. What huge things to gamble with – the financial future of your business or yourself and your family! It’s a big decision, and one that an insurance broker has done years of study and experience to assist you with.

Insurance brokers not only have great connections and relationships with their insurer partners to try to get you the best insurance solution, they also have access to some solutions that are not available online through the direct market. Insurers often offer lower pricing to insurance brokers, because the broker is trained to select the right solution for clients and therefore less risk (i.e. risk of underinsurance) to the insurer. So save yourself time, stress and the hassle of shopping around and let your insurance broker guide you through the best options and deals for your needs.

3. Have you ever lived through making an insurance claim?

If you’ve ever had to make an insurance claim, you probably understand the value of an insurance broker. Making a claim is the moment of truth, when you’re calling in the ‘piece of paper and a promise’ (or ‘PDF and a promise’ as may be the case these days).

If you’ve gone direct to get your insurance online and made a claim, you’ve likely spent many minutes (or even hours) on the phone, waiting on hold, never speaking to the same person twice. Perhaps they’ve denied your claim or you didn’t get what you thought you were owed and you weren’t sure what avenues for recourse are even available to you.

If you’ve used an insurance broker, you speak with one person, who then manages the claims and all the back and forth for you, even negotiating with the insurer on your behalf to get the best possible outcome.

Working with an insurance broker, you can feel confident and have peace of mind that should you need to make a claim, you’ve got the right insurance solution to protect you and an insurance broker to support you, advocate for you and manage your claim.

Convinced that getting your insurance solution through an insurance broker is the way to go? Looking to discuss your needs? For a free, no-obligation quotation, contact the team at GS Insurance today. At the very least, you’ll get an idea of whether you have the right policies at a competitive price in place!

Best doctors, GS Insurance, CGU, Trundle, NSW

Read this Best Doctors case study and find out more about our offer

In case you missed it, GS Insurance is proud to be able to offer Best Doctors through a partnership with our network (cbn) and CGU.  Best Doctors is exclusively available to CGU Countrypak customers only.

Read below for a real life case study on how Best Doctors works.


“We live a long way from a major city and a lot of our consultations are done over teleconferencing. It was a true facilitation to find out the Best Doctors service works remotely. I’m very thankful for all the help and organization the Best Doctors team did for us.’’


Best doctorsName: Baxter
Reason for contacting Best Doctors: To confirm her son is receiving the right treatment
Best Doctors expert specialty: Paediatric Neurology
Service Used: In-Depth medical review

 


Courtney was having a healthy pregnancy until the situation changed when she underwent her 35th week ultrasound. The results revealed that the fetus had hydrocephalus, a condition in which fluid accumulates in the baby’s brain that in cases can cause brain damage.She was sent for an immediate MRI scan which confirmed that the baby had indeed experienced severe brain damage and that Courtney’s child might not survive birth.

Thankfully little Baxter was born and to his family’s relief, he wasn’t sent to the intensive care unit as they had originally expected. However, additional testing confirmed evident brain damage. Baxter wasn’t able to reach his growth and development milestones. He is unable to sit or crawl, communicate effectively through speech, has epilepsy and also has demonstrated signs that suggest a visual impairment. He also suffered from a hearing problem but thanks to the bilateral cochlear implants he had inserted he is now able to hear. His treating doctors officially diagnosed him with cerebral palsy, which causes Baxter to have impaired muscle coordination as a result of his brain damage.

A happy baby, Baxter always smiles and tries to interact with people, but he does require medical treatments and constant follow-ups. One of the biggest challenges Baxter’s parents face, is that getting Baxter the attention he needs from healthcare professionals is difficult as they don’t live close to a major city. They often have to resort to virtual sessions with physiotherapists as well as speech and occupational therapists. Courtney, who was naturally very concerned about her son’s well-being and development, felt she needed to be reassured that Baxter was indeed receiving the right treatment and care. She decided to reach out to Best Doctors, to use their renowned Second Opinion service accessible via her insurer.

The medical team at Best Doctors offered Courtney the support she was yearning for and they collected all of Baxter’s medical information and history on her behalf. The team prepared a clinical summary to kick-off Baxter’s second opinion process and selected a renowned pediatric neurologist with a sub-specialty in neurodevelopmental disabilities to review Baxter’s case. The specialist agreed with the original diagnosis the boy had received and explained that the cause most likely would have been a congenital CMV infection, a common viral infection that can negatively affect the foetus during pregnancy. The Best Doctors expert provided Courtney with a thorough report in which he explained what treatments would be most suitable for Baxter. Courtney couldn’t be more relieved to receive an additional medical confirmation that Baxter is indeed receiving the right treatment.

Thankful for the chance to review Baxter’s case, the Best Doctors expert encourages Courtney and her family to remain optimistic, as the future is difficult to predict. Even though Baxter will always need special care, Courtney now knows they are following the right treatment path.

It took a load of our shoulders to know that we are doing the right thing with our son. This gave us peace of mind that we are not missing out due to distance. It was great to be able to access international studies through the service.”

Source: http://www.bestdoctorsonline.org/marketing/Case_of_the_month/CGUAu/2017_September_Baxter_Paediatric_neurology.html 

tourism insurance, Trundle, NSW, Sandra Stevenson, NIBA, business insurance, hospitality insurance

GS Insurance’s Sandra Stevenson featured in tourism insurance article

We’re pleased to note that our own Sandra Stevenson was featured in a recent NIBA Insurance Adviser national industry magazine for her tourism and hospitality insurance expertise. See below for an excerpt with her comments from the article.

Small towns with big potential

The Australian Regional Tourism Network states that almost half of every dollar spent on tourism in Australia is spent in regional destinations. A lot of regional areas and towns are seeing growth and prosperity based on regular influx of tourists whether it’s for a certain season or for an event.

Sandra Stevenson from GS Insurance located in Trundle NSW says, “Tourism, travel and hospitality risks aren’t limited to the usual beach and winery destinations in Australia. Here in Trundle, NSW, our town grows by more than ten times its size for our annual ABBA Festival (6 May this year).”

She elaborates, “Also, our neighbours to the north, Tullamore, NSW, usually stages its Irish Music Festival at Easter. Events like these for regional Australian towns can make a huge difference to the financial wellbeing of the town and businesses within it, but there are also risks to be aware of that are associated with tourist drawcards like this.” One of the very real risks in Australia is a disaster or severe weather event occurring that prevents festivals like these from going ahead.

“A cancellation doesn’t just impact the event organisers, but it filters down to the local businesses as well,”  says Stevenson.

You can read the full article (PDF) here or find it online here.

Best Doctors | GS Insurance | community broker network

GS Insurance is part of community broker network, which has partnered with CGU to provide world-leading medical advice to our clients.

Best Doctors is an exclusive service that GS Insurance, through cbn, can offer you and your immediate family as part of your Countrypak policy.

Accident & Health International also has access to Best Doctors.

What does Best Doctors do?

Should you or an immediate family member suffer a medical condition, Best Doctors can give you and your treating doctor access to the expertise and insights from a leading international expert in your condition. Best Doctors will perform an in-depth assessment of your condition and ensure that you have the right diagnosis and optimal treatment plan. All it takes from you is one phone call and Best Doctors does the rest.

Being remotely located means you’re not easily able to access leading specialists, which is why Best Doctors makes a real difference and has already helped other farmers get back working quicker.

Best Doctors can help when you’re:

  • Unsure about your diagnosis
  • Confused about your medical treatment
  • Having trouble accessing a second opinion due to location, cost or time
  • Looking for more information about your condition

Best Doctors can even help you to identify who the leading experts are in your nearest metropolitan area.

Key member benefits:

  • No cost to you in using our service.
  • Available for all Countrypak policy holders, their partner, children and parents (including in-laws).
  • Can be used for any condition, injury or illness that affects your way of life (except mental health).
  • Can be used at any time and as many times as you need.
  • Completely independent to any claim, Best Doctors will not share any information with anyone other than you.

Further information

For more information contact GS Insurance or view the Best Doctors website.

3 minute Best Doctors overview (video)

10 year anniversary, GS Insurance, Trundle, NSW

It’s our 10 year anniversary!

How time flies… GS Insurance has now been in business for TEN YEARS!!

Of course we continued on from Brian Goodwin’s establishment of the insurance agency 20+ years before.

That’s an amazing 30 years of continuous service to our community for this agency. I like to think that we must be doing something right!

I sincerely thank you, our valued customers for your support of our business over this time, as there would be no business without you.

To mark our 10 year anniversary, we’ve revamped our logo and getting with the times by establishing a social media presence.

I invite all our community and business customers with a website to contact me if you would like to have a link on our site (and vice versa).

GS Insurance, multi peril crop insurance, Trundle, NSW, Central West

Primacy Multi-Peril Crop Policy

GS Insurance has access to a multi-peril crop insurance product, ‘Prime Guard, put out by Primacy.

Some features are:

  • Covers loss of production due to: hail, fire, drought, excessive rain, moisture or heat, flood, wind, frost, insect damage, wildlife damage.
  • It costs nothing to apply for a quote.
  • Cover is based on your 5 year average yield for that crop type.
  • Minimum area of 500ha (crops to be within 10ks of each other) to apply.
  • Only applies to cereal and canola crops at this time.

Applications close end April, so please contact us asap if you would like to apply.