Insurance War Stories with Amanda Bird of New Wave Insurance
Hi guys welcome back to another episode of business uncut This is actually our fifth episode, and we're giving Sonny a few very few listeners on there which is great, but today I wanted to invite to the show, Amanda.
Amanda is an entrepreneur, she's divided mother and all around just superstar around the insurance side of things. So Amanda, maybe we'll just start off today by just talking about a little bit yourself, your wife, doing, where you from beautiful thank you as you said, I'm a devoted mother mother of five. Five incredible children that everyone always says, Oh wow, don't you own a TV but yeah, we've got a few TVs in the house and a few kids as well, devoted husband of mine, and yes, I just love being a business owner, not so much being a business owner, but in a business that I can help other people and just serve them, and be what they need to be what I need to be to them. I grew up in Brisbane. I spent some time and a country town where we lived close to the lake where we did a lot of water skiing growing up and a lot of other skiing still now, and then move back to the beautiful gold coast to raise the rest of the kids up with lots of opportunities down here. Awesome, yeah spend our weekends either at the caravan swimming in the beach or waterskiing or socializing, or at the local footy club with one of the kids playing footy on my husband. So, yeah, I love it has the best of all worlds. Very good, and obviously you hit up the insurance section of the ways Yeah, the pretty side of new ways and I wanted to get Amanda on here today just to have a chat about insurance I don't want everyone to just jump off and stop listening here, because they, they, they don't see insurance as a. An interesting aspect of business but I think that, you know, if you stay on, have a listen. We're going to try to three war stories with Amanda and and just have a good understanding of the importance of it, because I think this is one of the areas that a lot of business owners feel as though it's just another expense in the business and unnecessary expense or or inevitable instead of expense but I think it's a if you if you invest in it in the right way and you understand the reasonings behind it, it will allow you to grow and scale your business so I mean, maybe we'll start off, I know you got a few stories on your belt. Tell us a little bit about your time, how long have you been in the industries. Yeah, a long time, I've got a lot of gray hairs from it so I started back in 2000, just as a young 20 year old going on just going to try different jobs and apply for them. I ended up working in Brisbane for a large insurance underwriter and their claims department, loved it did motor vehicle claims did home claims, just enjoyed every part of it, it was so interesting and not just learning about how we can help what a claim looks like on the other side of it when you actually do use insurance. Then I went into different roles with underwriting, so underwriters, assess, who's a good and bad risk basically and what do you need, and then that got really boring because it's quite boring. But it takes you to the next one then I went on to investigation so investigation and claims. That was fun. That was doing it, you felt like you were on a Magnum P I show you're interviewing tow truck drivers and what time do you arrive and what did you see and what could you smell and it was really because that's what we want to hear, we want to amazing stories I want to get people excited about insurance and understanding why they have to happen. Yes. Why is that, those are the things we want to hear about so absolutely. Yeah, you have a few under your belt, Eli, this would be an awesome story. Right, yeah, I've had some great, I've had some not so great, either and probably the reason why you need insurance. It is a necessary evil, I'm not gonna lie, it's a necessary evil people only ever usually get it because the bank said, they need the name on a certificate, or they won't let you have the keys to a lease until you've got a certificate, but it's so much more than that. I've heard excavated claims were at the start of last year, actually we had, like, down in the coast here 250 meals in one day, rain, and I literally had one of my clients and excavator driver, calling me as one of these guys it was a Saturday. And he's like, we're literally watching this water rise and rise and rise and they, in their excavator and trying to dig themselves out and digging themselves deeper. And so we had to get on to the recoveries team of the Assura that time, they shut down to highways, they brought brought in Crane Trucks, and it was exciting. It was really good to sit there and watch them pull this excavator out, and the whole family going, oh my goodness you just saved something worth $350,000 To us, that hadn't gone on die in the flood. Yeah, I think there's generally flooding exclusions around a lot of commercial risks and actually read it, and we just pulled it out, the highway started back up again, and we manage the whole claim from start to finish with them and that was on a weekend, you know, things like that. But there's so many scenarios, a bit of a silent superhero.
Uh yeah, your your little personal assistant. If the same as me, when I go to the mechanics. I dropped my car off. I don't say can you show me how the pistons work and where does that oil go and then if I want to change the filter. No, I just drop it off and trust that they're going to maintain that check everything over. Look at all the bits and pieces so then when I pick it up. If something goes wrong and I'm protected. It's no different. I feel as though that's what I do for people. I don't want people to understand insurance, they just need to understand how I'm going to protect the business with it, you know, different to a mechanic kind of person that's what I wanted all the listeners to understand well before we go on to your next story. Yeah, I think everyone needs to think about insurance, in a way that you're protecting what are your big biggest assets that you'll ever create, what are your biggest money makers you'll ever create one of the biggest generation of your, your wealth or generational wealth, your business will bring back more than pretty much all of your investments put together the percentage that you will get back so why would you not keep that protected, why would you not keep it protected for you for the next person to take orders or whatever it may be and, and, again, it may not seem that exciting but you know there are so many circumstances where people don't have that feel sure to have it but if maybe it's Yeah, or the landlord says hey you get liability and you must ensure that glass and it's this tiny little section of glass and in the front of the door for example. But for maybe $300 more. We had a bit of business interruption in the loss of profits. So then when a car accident like we've had two claims last two years we're broke drivers and old lady accidentally did accelerate instead of being smashed through the random front of a seafood shop here. Yeah, lots of profits for two weeks because they couldn't trade. So, yeah, great. You've got glass cover that's one thing, but ensure those loss of profits for when those accidents happen because they do happen all the time, and you've got loss of stock and you've got everything that you can be protected for for 300 bucks a year if you're weighing out what do I have in a policy, get rid of the gospel and payment out of pocket if that happens, and have your your actual income protected so you can because that's why businesses shut down after a claim, but how do these business owners know to do that though that's the problem that I see a lot of insurance brokers out there and basically car salesmen, they go, they just sell the best deal get the best commission and then walk away like they say yeah, I need a steering committee for liability and glass and the broker says, Sure. Here you go, yeah, as opposed to saying, What are you putting in there, what's the business fantastic, how are you trading What are you making he carrying a lot of stock, how many days are you opening how many employees, you're actually giving a thought about, not just sending your certificate but the business and what would happen, and letting you know that all those cold rooms if you got there, I don't know if they got new motors right they're under warranty, you don't need machinery break down right now. But when that warranty ends. How about we get some machinery right don't have so when you're shut down over on a Monday, Tuesday and you're off having a live in your sacred shop, and if that machine breaks down and you lose stock you covered. Yeah, what would that mean to you, Jesus. Yeah, and it's an initial planning that, yeah, that a lot of people don't look at it it's it's similar to the you know the person who lives week by week only ever looking at that week and there's a warning I need to put $5 away today to make those towards the same thing I feel where people are like, well why do I need to do that because I'll never happen may not happen but believe, believe it or not, it does happen, it does happen. So he says initial planning, and that that is one element and I do agree, especially new ventures, but I guess something that I really thrive on is adaption. So adoption as business grows, so that's why even in house here, I will be resetting a few times a year and I'll speak to a client's account and say hey we got more employees so it's really quick for say a contractor who's A to B to B and he does odd jobs for people, and then really quickly he gets really busy, so he employs one apprentice, and then brings on two subcontractors, but doesn't update his liability, and then his renewal come around and he goes, Oh, I don't read that. Yeah, cool. That just gets paid by the month I'm not gonna adapt that, and then all of a sudden in three years time he's got six subbies that act on his behalf. To train two employees he's turning over a million dollars a year and then he subby falls down a pothole on the, on the premises that they're working at, and then tries to go oh do I need to learn to climb on not covered. So it's about adapting with that business as a broker. I can't tell you how many clients I, in that example like I've insured the machineries and then just do renovations here and there and just odd jobs. And then, next minute I'm looking at them and Instagram and like you're bringing them saying, You know you're doing metal massive commercial fitouts, that's a whole nother level and see and I can see in the pictures for your boys wearing your shirts, they saw these, like COVID and they're like, are Yeah Thanks for ringing I forgot about that. Because, because business has changed and I can change quickly as quickly. It's similar to anything in life, whether you have a child that's growing, you're not gonna have that same shirt for them every day for the rest of their life, to adapt, you need to change. Yeah and it's exactly the same way with insurance. And that's why, that's why we've created this podcast it's not the pretty things in business that we're going to share here all the time. This is the stuff where you may want to push them aside, you may want to just leave it at that. Yeah, down the track, it's not going to be beneficial, it's not going to be an investment. So, yeah. Any other war stories any interest Oh my gosh. Give us the best well especially with those chippies when you're upscaling around guys are just jumping online and buy car insurance I've had Yes, a major builder who was a cheapy become a builder in last five years has about 13 different cars insuring 13 different spots online. And then, a massive total loss when he went looking for that policy he realized he had one car insured three times among three different insurers and the car had to crash, he didn't. I said to him, and that's why you haven't broken, that's my job is to manage all them for you and that's why you upscale your business you upscale and outsource people to look after that for you. Oh, major claims men, no they're all fine, they're all really fun I actually got really excited because that's, that's when you get to kick into gear, you sell them this product and then you're like hey go you just have clients are so nice. You might have a client who's had a big night out come home gone lost my phone in my ear pods, I'm a big night out and I'm like, yeah, yeah and you go, yeah, let's have it because we sell the gear that contaminated. Last year, yeah, you'd love that claim and you say, no problem. That'll be deposited into your bank account in the next two working days they're like, Yeah, that's what happened. Yeah, if you want to cut corners and things like that that's what you're going to do, but it's just all about having someone who cares and just who values your business and can grow with it. So, mechanics, all the time, they think they got liability but they don't have faulty workmanship and telling now, there's going to be a claim it's gonna be a faulty workmanship, or it's gonna be your little apprentice driving a customer's vehicle that you didn't even have comfortable, it's just those little things or you didn't realize you might coveted customer vehicles are covered overnight, every mechanic has a little coke board with everyone's keys on it, that they've left there, it's as simple as saying, pop those keys in the safe every night. Yeah, because if it's stolen you're not covered all the little things that are practical, I'm not going to sit, you don't sit there and read out a PDF to someone, but you go hey, this could happen yeah could happen. So, no, it's just, they're just, they're just always fun, especially the people that you think that they really haven't but that's okay. Who knows yep that and then you go and help me like, Wow, that just happened, how did that just happen. Lots of tow truck claims and stories and that's the thing like things happen, and things will happen everyday, you cannot be 100% Perfect, you cannot be just mitigating 100% of the risk, it's impossible. Now, it's always just a person, a burst pipe. Yes, Someone can run a fantastic retail outlet and they come in and there's a burst pipe that has regular everything, oil, and everything. Yeah, scary so people sue for what can be the most mundane things you think how can that happen but if you've got the right liability you've got that covered. You don't even have to think about what solicitor I call you just bring your broker and they do everything for you. So it sounds like something that's so inside because that's something litigation, they're saying what are you seeing people that are suing for tripping over slipping. There's heaps of stuff. Yeah, there's, and they have what you call a long term claim, generally speaking, so they can go up to 10 years, and often the litigation will be segregated amongst lots of parties so you see, I've had scenarios where a liability claim someone got pushed in the way of a track, but it was on a public premises where an event was happening. So then it's like a 10 year claim, but, and the person who pushed the person in front of the truck, the person who was suing was the person who had broken legs. The truck driver got sued the truck owner got sued the Conrail property that that it occurred I've got sued the person who pushed them got sued the person who got broken legs, evidently ended up becoming a bit of a juvenile delinquent claim that that mental anguish, he ended up in jail and so it's something that will go on for a very very long time. Yes. So that's something just as a truck driver. You want to think, I don't want to do with that if I don't know if my insurance, like, it gets taken care of, there's crazy stuff that people search for. Yeah, and that's the thing, everyone always comes in when you get a lot of new clients every single day, a lot of startups and businesses that are just about to start their business, always ask us, Well, we want to protect ourselves as much as possible in the US and we'll go through all of the structures with trust in the company and in this. Go see a lawyer, etc, etc, but the one thing that they usually don't do is is seek the right insurance. And I always tell them that, you know, over and above all of those aspects Yeah, insurance is going to be first line of defense, we see that a lot. Don't we now with ecommerce startups. So people think I'm just running this business that's turning over 300,000 Whatever 1.3 million from my bedroom, what would I need liability for, like, I can't hurt anyone from here. But the fact is so many people don't know when you import a product in Australian law, you are then deemed the manufacturer, it doesn't matter if it was made in China, India us or whatnot, it doesn't matter. And you can just get really excited with the fact that you bring stuff over this amazing product that's selling really quickly that you forget about the implications that if that maybe ointment someone uses it and it burns your skin, they're going to sue you. That's right, the fact that the US market is huge these days for sales 99 Even if you do have this little policy that you jumped online for. There's not one online policy that I can think of that doesn't execute so for us, so it's all those things that you know, a button can fall off the shirt that you brought over from China, that a charge chokes on that, it sounds extreme, but it didn't happen. I had a client actually, well when I explain that, and I said look you need insurance and this is where I think people need to change their mindset. Yeah, the response to me was, look, I've got the best lawyer in the world, I don't need insurance and I said Well, would you rather pay your lawyer 1000s of 1000s Yeah, fire, or you play a couple of 1000 just to make sure you're protected No, absolutely, it's not just only a button. It's a flammability yes that product, creates a fire, it's here. Yes, even as a property owner you've got you've got to have that you would, some people don't even know that if they have asbestos leaves, that wouldn't be a problem but you have a claim go up and then you'll have pollution liability that extends across the whole community. So it's crazy, it's really mind boggling Yeah, I guess the next area I want to go into with insurance for business because obviously, a business podcast. I want to just give people a high level overview of what they should be looking for when they're starting a business. And even if they are operating their business already. Just as a basically like a bit of a an audit on their insurance, what should they be doing right now what should that be, yeah, what is essential, what do you what do you what can you recommend. Yeah, a minimum these days, it depends on the trade obviously but liability is a huge gap in someone's like, it's a money pit if you were to get sued for some reason, I just, just like you would go to a bank and set up a bank account, go to an account to set up all those, just have a broker it costs you nothing, and have them give you some advice, it's literally free for someone to say, to have that discussion. And so this is what I'm thinking about doing because you might even be in that I'm thinking about stage, you might be thinking, I want to import children's flotation devices you come to me and I say, That sounds lovely. However, this is, this is what you would be looking at in terms of insurance and you might go okay well that that might be outside of my scope that might help them fair and reasonable to do that. Yeah, it's just about mitigating that risk for yourself and even if you've got a training business, it takes a few minutes to say hey this is what I've got is this good. Is this gonna cover me, this is, you know, when you start talking to a broker and saying, This is my business. You can say I've got a few assets, I've got a rental home, you know the, these are things I want to protect. That's what they can look at in their review. Yeah, 100%, and if you're sitting there thinking, you know I've got a new business is it worth it 100% Yes, because you don't want to lose everything else that you've worked so hard for, because you didn't decided not to take on insurance yeah definitely. It's just one of those factors of why necessary, but it's gonna save you so much. And there's a lot of comfort that comes with it. To be honest, it might cost you, it might be, there's an expense to every business but just having that peace of mind that you've been able to have that chance to blurt out all the information about your business put something in place if you just park that to the side then knowing that someone's looking after that for you and that you covered is that it helps you sleep at night, honestly. Yeah, so that's liability insurance any other sort of anything, even in terms of property any types of material damage that you have any type of loss of income. Like I was saying after most incidences that occur with claims. It's the loss of profits that will shut down business so yeah you might get a little bit of settlement because you had $20,000 worth of business contents and computers insured. But it's the downtime because the hairdresser next door had a partial fire that went into your premises and you can't operate anymore. That's not your fault. Yes, if then but if you know if that downtime. Yeah, that just shuts business down and could you go you got to ask yourself, could I go 12 weeks without any income, would I be okay with that could my business survive and all my expenses paid. If 12 a month. I couldn't trade and it's easy to say, Oh, just go, go set up down the road or I go, that still takes time, it doesn't matter even if you go back to working from home you still you lose momentum and time and all that, loss of income producing time. Yeah, makes sense and it's, it's super valuable to have it. I guess the next question I wanted to ask is, with businesses that are growing and scaling so. How often would you want them to get the insurance reviewed six monthly is a yay or nay traditionally brokers. Quite often, just give them a call, a few weeks before renewal. And that's something I'm really passionate about is having that finger on the pulse in between. So and that's the beauty of social media for you to be honest with businesses, so I proactively in the background will be looking at businesses every two months on social media if they have a good social media presence and website you just do a quick like client I went and sorted out lunch. She was talking to me I just said Yeah, with the Linda and I'm like you do live in now. Okay, just by Yep, it's just about to go onto the website so this is person who traditionally does titles in light fittings, is adding that I'm like, good. So where's that linen coming from China. Okay, good. So we, so it's about keeping those connections up, and she said oh yeah that would have been on the website so I do have that in the background. But productively as a broker we should be at least having a chat Hey how's it all going twice a year. And then I also like to get permission to speak with the bookkeeper or accountant, just to touch base and check in and say hey have that they don't need to say here's the p&l and this is the bottom line just Hey Have we had any major changes are there any, like, particularly in the construction industry. Have you had any big contracts. Come on. Have we got any big changes to the revenue, any additional subcontractors I need to know about and are they all covered for their own independent liability so it's not about needing to hassle, the business owner, it's it, I can do that with the other. Do good ways to match it up right after 100% loss basically yeah it makes my job a lot easier. Yeah, and it helps them to feel confident to go off, that's something I don't have to worry about, that's a big part of it, confidence that you know there isn't any issue when you want to try and grow their business take the risk of a fourth mitigates that risk doesn't take it away obviously entirely but that's, that's what it's there for now, let's finish off with your final piece of advice for small business owners. Have fun, enjoying the ride. Protect yourself and get a good broker, yeah, just get a good broker, just get all the right people in your court and then you can run your own line. Yeah, that's all you have to do major club. I think that everyone should contact Amanda, I know this is our podcast as well, but I have not met someone that is so enthusiastic without insurance, who is so embedded into our clients businesses to understand how they operate, what works for them, and it's just not another number. And I know that's super cliche and and a lot of businesses, but I guarantee you right now, when I speak to Amanda she knows every single client to the tee. And she won't let you down for sure so how can people find you better yet just a quick segue for that I'm passionate about people. I really genuinely passionate about people so I guess it just, this is the beauty of this industry that I got to choose that insurance allows me to do that and I do have a passion for insurance and every all the creative nature that it is. But yes, you're more than welcome to find me on my website https://www.newwaveinsurance.com.au/
We've got Whatsapp Skype zoom, email, phone call. Anyway, I really love to do site visits if you're close by or Zoom calls. I love a site visit I love sitting down because I'm quick to pick up in your premises, any type of risk that I can just visually see and give you advice on and then yeah my phone call when they show you how to present, yeah heaps a Google meats that we just yet, give me a picture of that send me pictures of their so I've got them on file, even down to, even your house insurance send me pictures of you saving everything so when you have a claim you don't have to find proof of loss, I've got it on file, just about. It's about caring really, yeah. Thanks so much for coming on board. My pleasure. It's been awesome been amazing and guys again if you did like this podcast please share it, subscribe to the podcast and we'll get some more, sort of in depth, advice around business more around the things that really happen in businesses and not just the great stuff we get to do a little bit of everything so thanks again for tuning in. We'll see you next time. Awesome, thanks guys.