Do you find travel insurance confusing and a bit of a hassle? Good news, there’s a new option on the market, TravelCard which is a real-time travel insurance just launched in Australia. AND, Allsure can help provide you with a TravelCard insurance solution – just ask!
About TravelCard Travel Insurance
How it works: you can purchase a TravelCard insurance solution, then you receive a card in the mail. Then, if anything goes wrong while you’re away, funds can be instantly transferred to your card. This means there’s no out-of-pocket expenses, no mountain of paperwork, and no waiting period.
To better understand how it works, here’s a story about the recent Lombok earthquakes and TravelCard’s response.
Allsure Insurance Director Aaron Donaldson was recently featured in Insurance Adviser magazine for his involvement with the Tour de Cure.
There’s a personal satisfaction that comes with getting involved in a cause and giving back to your community – as Allsure Insurance’s Aaron Donaldson found out firsthand.
The insurance industry, especially insurance broking, has some of the most generous and community-involved people in the world. Perhaps it’s because brokers see the worst when it comes to claims – catastrophes, accidents, disasters, interruptions and illnesses – that they feel so strongly about getting involved in their local communities, about giving something back. Insurance Adviser recently had the pleasure of meeting with one such individual, Aaron Donaldson of Allsure Insurance.
Co-run by Aaron and his sister Melissa, Allsure was started in Geelong, Victoria, from the ground up in 1986 by their parents, Ian and Christine. The siblings bought the business in 2007 and transitioned from a multi-endorse authorised representative to an authorised broker, as part of the Community Broker Network (CBN). Currently the business has four staff and has recently expanded its presence into Hobart, Tasmania.
Aaron began his insurance career in 1993. He’s married to his beautiful wife Sarah, with two gorgeous step-kids Lola, 11, and Eddie, 9. He’s also a part-time employee of Telstra Broadcast Services, taking part in live sports broadcasts as an engineer/operator for the Big Bash Cricket, Tour Down Under, NRL, Marathons and Melbourne Cup. He also started up his own drone and videography business (onairmedia.com.au), which has given him the opportunity to present at NIBA events and the CBN conference on drones and insurance.
GETTING INVOLVED IN THE TOUR DE CURE
Aaron initially found out about the Tour de Cure directly from one of its founders, Gary Bertwhistle, who poke at a CGU AR Conference in Queensland. He also worked with Mark Beretta, a regular V8 Supercars commentator for Channel Seven, when Beretta was pit reporting and Aaron was handling the on-board cameras. “I went to school with Mark’s little brother Paul,” explains Aaron. “At the time, Paul owned a bike shop in Geelong and would go on the Tour as a mechanic. I’d helped Paul’s fundraising efforts in past years, and when my dad passed away from brain cancer in 2014, I signed up to help out.
“Dad’s mum died from breast cancer, my dad from brain cancer, my aunty from breast cancer, my uncle from prostate cancer and too many other people to mention. I just had to do something.”
Since 2014, Aaron has personally raised more than $30,000.
“I first applied as a volunteer, and listed my skills and abilities, and that I had a homemade drone to bring along to help with the filming,” says Aaron.
“Now every year I do drone footage for the Tour documentary and help out with video production and other digital media requirements. It’s added a new perspective and dimension to the documentary, which hopefully increases the reach and appeal of the messages, to enhance the fundraising and awareness of Tour de Cure.”
ABOUT THE TOUR DE CURE
The Tour de Cure’s vision is a world without cancer. Its purpose is to raise vital funds to support the doctors and scientists who have dedicated their lives to uncovering a cure. Since 2007, the Tour de Cure has had more than 6,000 participants, raised over $35 million and funded 306 projects (with 22 scientific cancer breakthroughs!). Additionally, more than 100,000 kids have been reached through the ‘Be Fit! Be Healthy! Be Happy!’ program, helping to demystify cancer and encourage kids to make healthy lifestyle choices for their future.
HOPPING IN THE SADDLE
Last year, Aaron decided to truly put his money where his mouth is and participate in an actual Tour de Cure ride himself. He began his training, and immediately found that trying to find the extra eight to 10 hours a week to ride meant getting up “stupid early” at least three days a week.
“It was a great journey,” he says. “I felt better health wise and improved my level of fitness with no impact to my joints. At one point on a training ride, I was unsure if I could tackle the 60km I needed to do that morning, as I hadn’t ever gone that far before. After I’d done the hardest part of that ride, I was on my way home, with the sun shining and the wind blowing at my back, I just started flat-out crying. I would have looked a right sight to the commuters on the way to work that morning!”
All the hard work paid off, and Aaron rode in the Tour de Cure Peter Mac Hospital 3-day Victorian ride, completing over 100km a day around Victoria and the top of Tassie.
FAMOUS FACES ALONG THE WAY
Over the years, Aaron has met a number of actors, entertainers and even other insurance industry colleagues. His celebrity list includes Sunrise’s Mark Berretta, Eric Bana of Chopper and Black Hawk Down fame, Jens Voigt – a German ex pro cyclist and Tour de France stage winner – another Tour de France stage winner in Robbie McEwan, Aussie pro cyclists Sarah Roy and Mark Renshaw, rowers Drew Ginn and Nick Green of the Olympic Gold Medal-winning Oarsome Foursome, TV presenter James Tobin and the inimitable Paul “Hoges” Hogan – to name just a few.
While Aaron says he will be back volunteering at the Signature Tour, which will go from Mackay to Cape Tribulation at the end of April, his riding days aren’t done either.
“Now that I’ve been bitten by the riding bug, I’ll have to do the three days again for Peter Mac,” he says. “The whole family gets involved now – my stepdaughter Lola is just itching to come along and help out. My mum has always been a huge supporter and has hosted functions in the past for Tour de Cure, as well as sharing the story via social media.”
“I really want to add that I couldn’t do this stuff without the support from my sister, Melissa, and the Allsure staff while I’m away from the office.”
HOW TO GIVE BACK… AND WHY
While Aaron would preface any business development comments strongly by saying it wasn’t and should never be the intent of a business or person to make money through giving back, he does acknowledge that “doing good is good business”.
It makes sense, if you think about it – if you had to choose between two similar service providers and one went above and beyond to give back to the community, which one would you choose?
Likely the one that isn’t purely about their own profits! Some insurance brokers shy away from promoting their community service or fundraising efforts, but these days clients want the option of making a choice between a business that does good for the community and one that doesn’t.
It’s also an amazing way to connect more closely with clients – it’s a personal story, and they can be part of it if they want. Aaron says, “It helps to retain clients, especially those that were close with my dad. I’ve had good donations from clients that have known him for 30 years or more and they felt great that we were doing something to help out.”
“Oh, and I reckon that cycling is the new golf in the corporate world. It’s a great social activity, easy to chat to the rider beside you while you roll along, or hang out at a coffee shop after the ride. I’ve found that it’s a great place to network and meet new clients and cement relationships with old ones.”
TOP 4 REASONS TO FIND YOUR OWN CAUSE AND GET INVOLVED
Businesses need to work to create their networks, their connection to communities. Doing something or the greater good brings together like-minded people and has quite naturally led to some good business introductions and winning new business with highly sticky clients. “Several times now, we’ve also donated our broker fee for all new business during the Tour,” notes Aaron. “It gives the clients a bit of a kick knowing it’s going there.”
Having a cause that your business genuinely cares about is also great to build your online presence. You can share the story of what you’re doing and why through your social media channels and it helps drive strong engagement. “The first time I did the ride,” says Aaron, “we posted about it with a photo and a few links, and before you knew it, our organic reach was in the thousands. That one post helped raise hundreds of dollars in donations.”
Learn and grow with connections outside your immediate industry. “Being a small business owner, I feel there is a need for mentors outside the industry,” says Aaron. “With my connections thanks to being involved in the Tour de Cure, I get to chat with large company execs – CEOs, CFOs, CTOs, – and other small business owners and bring back the knowledge and experience to apply it to our business.”
Increase your opportunity to diversify or specialise. “On tour, I’m known as the drone guy, and when people find out it’s not my full-time job, they’re surprised I’ve joined three different styles of business together. My varied experience means a wider knowledge base for the insurance side of things. I can specialise in media-type insurances, drone insurances, event insurances as well as all types of business.”
Read the full PDF article from NIBA‘s Insurance Adviser here.
Most of us understand (albeit begrudgingly) that we need to have insurance for certain things, like our car, home and business. What isn’t always so clear, however, is whether or not we need an insurance broker or if we should just Google and compare solutions online.
To help you decide, Allsure Insurance has prepared 5 questions for you to consider.
How well do you understand insurance (really)?
When we say do you understand insurance, we mean that you understand things like the definition of underinsurance (and no, it doesn’t just mean a little less insurance than what you needed). It means you need to be comfortable reading policy wordings and product disclosure statements to understand the difference between what one insurer is offering versus another (like what is included and often, more importantly, what is excluded.)
Insurance brokers have to have a diploma and maintain their knowledge with continuous training to keep their skills up and stay across emerging risks like cyber and terrorism risk and the implication that can have on clients’ risk profile and insurance solution requirements.
Brokers undergo comprehensive training on each insurance solution that they offer, and passed a test to prove it. If you have that level of comfort and expertise in insurance, then perhaps you don’t need an insurance broker. If you don’t, then perhaps it’s worth having a chat or getting a quote from one at your next renewal.
How much spare time do you have?
It can be quite time consuming to get three to five difference quotes from insurers. And you need to know who the leading insurers are (assuming you know exactly what insurance products you need). You need to ask yourself how much your time is worth, and whether an insurance broker would be better placed to make those calls on your behalf. An insurance broker has 150+ underwriters or underwriting agencies available to them (some exclusively deal with insurance brokers and do not deal with customers directly).
Before all of that, an insurance broker understands and analyses your needs to recommend the right insurance solution. And they can do that for all your insurance needs – truly providing a one stop shop and one point of contact for all your insurance policies. This can also help to reduce the risk of having a blind spot or a ‘gap’ in your cover.
Do you want someone to advocate for you in the case of a claim?
For those of us who have had to make an insurance claim, that’s when we realise the value of an insurance broker to its fullest. And for those of us that didn’t have an insurance broker and had to make a claim, we often don’t make that mistake again!
A claim is often made in a situation that is already quite stressful, and many people don’t even know where to start! You need to know who to call, all your policy details, what additional materials to provide with the claim. And sometimes you’re not even confident about whether the incident is covered!
With a broker, they can be your first port of call and guide you through the steps of the claim, including negotiating and following up with the insurer, saving you countless hours (seriously, hours) of time on the phone. A broker can often reduce the time a claim takes to be processed, and perhaps with better outcomes.
Ombudsman statistics show less complaints from clients who use brokers for claims rather than going direct to insurers.
Most insurance is considered a ‘piece of paper and a promise’ and a claim is when that promise can be fulfilled.
Do you run a business?
If you’re a business owner or operator, an insurance broker is an important member of your team, working to keep your business running smoothly. They make sure your insurances are paid on time, you have payment options that suit you, and that you have easy access to invoices. They send certificates of currency for you and even liaise with financial providers if needed.
Your insurance broker can also be a good contact through to other quality professionals, like accountants, financial planners, mortgage brokers, marketing professionals and maybe the best coffee joint in town!
Insurance brokers are often like you – living and working in your local community. A broker isn’t hidden behind a computer or an overseas call centre. They support the communities that support them. Some sponsor the local football and netball clubs, cricket clubs, school projects. Some take on work experience students or run fundraising programs and events.
My dad used to say: ‘if you are not happy, you can walk in or call me and complain, try that with the direct/online only insurers of the world. You ring, we answer’.
Being part of the local business community means it’s an added incentive to make sure we always do the right thing and the best we can for our clients when we face them every day.
Do you want to learn more about your risk and how insurance works?
A good broker loves to help and educate clients. They are always happy to answer questions so that you understand things like what values to estimate for your insurable items or how insurance responds to things like natural catastrophes. They run information seminars, feature blogs, write about how to mitigate risk and prevent claims.
Your insurance broker will answer your phone calls, emails and messages about insurance questions. We agree that there are no dumb insurance questions, and we love helping people and protecting what they care about.
Contact us if you would like to get a quote or discuss your insurance needs.
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.
Allsure Insurance’s Melissa Donaldson will be featured in Insurance Adviser magazine next month for her expertise in hospitality insurance. In the meantime, here’s some tips on how to minimise your hospitality business risk.
There are plenty of measures you can take to help protect the future of their business – here’s 6 you can start with today!
Having your canopies cleaned regularly is not only a great idea, in many cases it’s a condition on your insurance to have a maintenance program.
Take steps to minimise fire risk, such as installing an automatic fire suppression system and portable fire extinguishers, and scheduling regular electrical equipment maintenance and exhaust system inspections for grease build up.
Tea towels have also been known to spontaneously combust, so keep them where no damage will be done.
You also can reduce your risk with good policies and procedures. Keep good documents on cleaning, food supplied and staff training.
Take temperature on new food stock into the business, record it. If you keep food warm, you should keep regular checks on temperature. Know when food went in, and when it should be thrown out.
Make sure all your staff have food handling training. Have regular meetings with your staff about potential areas of risk, and record the date and topic of those meetings.
Have questions, need help or want a quote for your hospitality insurance? We’d be happy to help.
This information doesn’t take your personal or financial situation into account and may only be regarded as general advice. You should speak to us or your insurance broker before taking action. And, of course, always read the fine print (i.e. product disclosure statement) before purchasing any financial product.