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Insurance: What We Often Forget

Robyn:
I’m Robyn Vogels from Personnel Relocations and the author of the book Your DIY Move Guide to Australia. I’m joined today by Glenn Thomas of GT insurance and we’re just going to discuss some of the important factors that you need to consider when you move to Australia about your insurance and things people often forget. I’m going to share some stories of people that I’ve moved that haven’t had adequate cover and we’re just going to have a good chat. Glenn is one of the best insurance people I know not only because he knows his stuff but he comes with a big smile and a sense of humour which is the best way to get through a day. So Glenn thank you for joining us.

Glenn:
Thanks, Robyn. Thanks for those fine words as well.

Robyn:
Oh, you’re welcome they’re well earned. So just for the listeners who aren’t in Australia, you’re in Bendigo which is how far out of Melbourne? Driving out of Melbourne.

Glenn:
I’d say it’s probably about two hours outside of Melbourne, taking into consideration traffic on a quiet night. You can do it a little bit quicker in just over an hour and a half but it’s almost in the centre of Victoria.

Bendigo: a brief overview

Robyn:
There’s a lot of people that actually look to moving to Bendigo because, of course, the visas they considered are rural visas for Bendigo– a lot of health workers and all sorts that you’d have up there. So having lived there all your life, what can you tell us?

Glenn:
Yes, I’m born and bred in Bendigo. The last year has been a massive boom with the influx of new people moving here, resettling mainly from Melbourne because it is two hours drive. There is a train that goes to and from Melbourne so people can work remotely, enjoy the countryside and travel to Melbourne on a train.

Robyn:
True, it’s not sort of a little village anymore. It is a town, and it’s got a lot to offer.

Glenn:
Previously you used to be able to get anywhere in Bendigo in about 10 minutes, whereas nowadays it’s about 15 minutes! But it has great schools and good restaurants. Recently, we have been winning some great awards for our local restaurants.

Robyn:
I always see great exhibitions and things happening in Bendigo. They seem to have quite a strong arts program.

Glenn:
Yes, we have one of the oldest art galleries around that promotes the town and hosts lots of exhibitions and events. I would assume it’s a lot cheaper to run an event here than it would be in Melbourne, for example, and it’s quite an easy town to get to for that reason.

Robyn:
Great little town! Ok, let’s move on to insurance.

What GT Insurance Brokers Can Do for You

Robyn:
I wanted to get you in front of our audience because insurance is one of the important things that people need to do as soon as they arrive. You helped some clients of mine recently that had come in from England, maybe just talk through what you’re able to do for them and explain which insurance services you offer.

Glenn:
Thanks. I am an insurance broker in general insurance. So I look after:
1. your property cover,
2. your cars,
3. your building
4. and home and contents.

I can help with business insurance, trade insurance, even professional indemnity.

Recent case studies with clients

Glenn:

With your client that has just been relocated, you were able to find them a beautiful house to live in, then they required contents covered. We had a good chat over the phone while they were in quarantine which was good because I could take the time to make sure it was the right cover for them.

They appreciated chatting to someone to explain all the ins and outs of different policy wording which they were not familiar with. The time I spent on the phone saved them hours of research.

We then moved onto their car insurance and settled on a plan with a few extras that would give them peace of mind down the track. We also removed things like the need for a hired car. Where their homes were located, they could use public transport if they really needed to or hire a car for a short period of time, which was more cost-effective than paying for one within their insurance. For a previous client of yours, we opted to keep the hired car because they had children attending sports and different school locations, so life was more complicated.

Robyn:
Perfect. Moving country and trying to research and compare insurance plans is very difficult. I was so pleased you had these clients covered from the moment they moved into their new home. Recently you also helped a client who was living on a golf estate and their insurance didn’t cover for golf balls breaking a window. It is reassuring that you know the in’s and out’s of so many policies.

Glenn:
That client, in particular, had a really cheap insurance policy and they had a hole form in their roof and water damage came in and damaged the ceiling. They went to lodge a claim but it was denied by their insurance company because the hole wasn’t caused by the storm and rain. So we put them with an insurance company that covers the resultant damage. Yes, their insurance premium is a little bit dearer but now they’ve got cover for that type of event.

Is cheap insurance worth it?

Glenn:

You know with insurance I always believe you get what you pay for and there’s good insurance and there’s bad insurance – as opposed to cheap or expensive. It is an added advantage of going through a broker who’s looking after you as the client. We as brokers prioritize our clients’ needs, so it’s much more personal than going directly to some high street insurance company.

Everyone wants cheap but they also want the best cover for their circumstances. We can find the right balance or give them options at least. As my Dad found out, after never having to claim for 20 years until a car went through his garden, it’s a traumatic experience for everyone. But if you have got the right insurance in place, hopefully, it makes the blow a little bit softer.

How Australian Insurance is Different

Home vs Contents Insurance

Robyn:
Each country can be a little different too. When we have somebody coming from France we need to explain that here in Australia, the landlord will be responsible for anything such as plumbing issues or home maintenance. They only require contents insurance. So many end up trying to insure the home too!

Cooling-off Periods

Robyn:
Cooling off periods, that’s something that’s also quite unique to Australia. Could you just talk us through the cooling-off periods here?

Glenn:
The cooling-off periods in Australia have been enforced by government legislation and every insurance company has a different cooling-off period, but there’s a minimum requirement that essentially allows a client up to 14 days.

It allows the client time to read the PDS (Product Disclosure Statement) and if they change their mind they can cancel without penalty – unless of course, they try to make a claim during that time. To be honest, I’ve never had a client retract on a cooling-off period because I give enough information to the clients at the beginning so they can make that informed decision.

Robyn:
That peace of mind again is so important when you are new to a country.

How Quickly You Can Get Insurance

Robyn:
Something else I wanted you to share, is how quickly people can get policies in place here in Australia AND how quickly they could get these policies in place!

One of our clients had a really nasty experience. Many people don’t realize or don’t read the fine print in the terms and conditions of their removals, but things like jewellery are not covered under shipping especially if you’re wearing the jewellery! Our client’s jewellery went missing within a few days of her arrival and was not insured. Devastating! So everyone must ensure soon after arrival.

Glenn:
Exactly! Yes, get cover even if it’s a basic to start and then we add when the rest of the goods arrive. Depending on workloads of course but I can generally turn a simple policy around in two to three hours. With that, I’d probably check about 10 to 15 different insurance companies. Different options–provide those options to the client. It will be about a 5-10 minute phone call with your client. I come back with those options and we can put the policy in place. That easy and would have saved your previous client a lot of heartache!

I am mindful of people’s time and try to make the process easy for them. I am not a call centre that has to run through every possible tick box; I get to the point. More importantly is that I am based in Australia, with Australian products.

Robyn:
Exactly and I think you know what makes your service different and why I love sending my clients to you – it is not just your great sense of humour!

Insurance Top Tips

Robyn:
So what would be some top tips you could share with my clients?

Glenn:

  1. Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Make sure you understand.
  2. Make sure your sums insured are adequate. You’re dealing with Australia; make sure you have insured your Australian replacement value, not what you paid in another country.
  3. You may have only shipped a few items and will be replacing them; be mindful and rather insure for a little bit more. Not only that but there’s a thing called inflation. Don’t just sit and forget don’t insure for say 30,000 and then the next five years have 30,000 worth of cover.

Robyn:
I think that’s an important point. You can’t just convert in British pounds or euro–whatever it might be–but you must research the replacement value here in Australia.

Glenn, thanks so much for all your insight today. That’s been brilliant and I’m sure everybody will appreciate all that information–the importance of reading the fine print, the importance of getting insurance early…

Glenn:
My pleasure and it shows I’m a real person as well so that’s an added bonus in today’s society.

Robyn:
Thanks, everybody and you can contact me or Glenn directly. we will have all his information below. He’s part of our concierge service at Personnel Relocations so we can do an introduction to Glenn if that helps.

_________________________

Glenn Thomas is the founder and director of GT Insurance Brokers Pty Ltd. He has over 25 years of experience in the industry. He is part of our Personnel Relocations Concierge preferred suppliers, so we can put you in touch, or you may reach out to him directly at glenn.thomas@gtib.com.au or 0409022535.

 

Watch the interview here:

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