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Trade mark trauma

While most business owners install alarms, lock their premises and have security personnel to secure their business, it’s the intangible assets—or intellectual property (IP)—that often gets left unprotected. And for many businesses, that’s practically leaving the front door open.

A trade mark is like the public face of your business as it identifies where the goods and services you provide come from. It differentiates you from other traders and is the way your customers will remember you and recommend you to others. Your IP represents your business and is the personality that consumers come to know and trust.

Security for this valuable business asset comes from registration and enforcement. While it’s not compulsory to register a trade mark to use it, it does give you an enforceable level of protection that you wouldn’t otherwise have.  

Alarm systems can be beneficial for security

Alarms: Worth considering, worth the cost

  • An alarm system should be a priority for a business premise. It provides peace of mind to business owners, especially outside business hours.
  • There are now a wide variety of alarm systems on the market to suit any situation and any budget.
  •  Systems have become more efficient and reliable utilising the latest technology.

New and Emerging Risks to be aware of

Hold on to your hats, a new wave of disasters are about to hit

There are disasters that are new and unique that could occur in coming years that may or may not have insurance solutions around them.

As Risk Managers and advisors identify new risks to handle, they need to be measured and then they determine whether they can be transferred away or managed in some other way.

One of the places you can transfer your risks to are Insurers, however they will not accept any such risks without determining their Insurability.

There are a number of criterias for Insurability which are discussed elsewhere but not all meet these requirements. Some we are watching to see how they develop. Others we are attempting to control the risks but are impeded by a lack of knowledge about them. All at the same time as Insurers are seeking to be innovative and market leading. Ah the free enterprise system is a wonderful thing.

So what are the new wave of risks we need to be aware of? To sum it up briefly, whenever there is new technology, changes to the climate or changes to the law, then we see new risks come about. Modern Risk Managers and Risk Advisors need to be aware of these and continue to discuss these with their employers or clients. It is an ever changing world we live in. 

Earthquakes in Italy

With the amount weather related natural catastrophes occurring around the world, it seems like we have forgotten that there have been a number of earthquakes also that have devastated communities.

We were recently reminded of this when in May 2012, Italy reported another powerful earthquake has killed at least 15 people and others may be missing in the latest deadly tremor to hit the northern part of the country. This quake had a 5.8 magnitude, rocking one of Italy’s most productive regions.

The High Court has thrown out an appeal to stop internet piracy.

The High Court has thrown out an appeal by some of the world's biggest media companies seeking to stop internet piracy by making Internet Service Providers responsible for policing unauthorised downloads.

A group of 34 international and Australian companies, which included Warner Bros, Disney and the Seven Network, had alleged that iiNet were authorising the infringement of their copyright each time its customers downloaded movies and television programs. 

Cyber-Bullying is Different to Traditional Bullying

An international research project led by Professor Sheryl Hemphill of Australian Catholic University (ACU) has found that the factors leading to incidents of cyber-bullying are different to those which result in traditional bullying.
Of the 927 students surveyed in Victoria, approximately 15 per cent had been engaged in cyber-bulling and 21 per cent in traditional bullying. Seven per cent had been involved in both.
Professor Hemphill found that academic failure, family conflict and past bullying behavior were the main factors leading to episodes of traditional bullying. Of these, only past behavior, in the form of relational aggression, was a factor leading to incidents of cyber-bullying.
Relational aggression refers to covert forms of bullying such as exclusion and spreading rumours.
Professor Hemphill commented that "Advances in technology can provide young people with positive ways to communicate but can also bring about new risks,"
 

2012 Fraud Week: 19 – 25 March

National Consumer Fraud Week is an initiative of the Australasian Consumer Fraud Taskforce(ACFT). Formed in March 2005, the ACFT comprises 22 government regulatory agencies and departments in Australia and New Zealand with responsibility for protecting consumers against frauds and scams. The Office of Fair Trading is a long time member of the ACFT.

Fraud and scams can strike a business at any time, and Fraud Week serves as an opportunity for everyone to review personal and business financial security procedures.  It also raises awareness on new types of fraud and scams which have recently surfaced.

Slam scams! Press delete, throw it out, shut the door or just hang up is the 2012 theme and that highlights the many ways scams are delivered. A phone call, SMS, mobile app, letter, email, fax, or blog – scammers will use any of these means to target business victims. 

Insurers See Growing Risks from Climate Change

In 2011 there were 14 natural disasters in the U.S.A, the most ever known.

In the United States, when it comes to discussion on climate change, the public being mainly take the conservative line and believe it is all a conspiracy theory dreamt up by Scientists seeking more money for grants or from Greens or liberals from the left of the political divide.

However USA's insurance companies are now warning that these costs to taxpayers and businesses will continue to soar because of climate change. After a year of over $1 billion record breaking natural disasters, can you really blame them?

Insurers at a US press conference recently discussed the mounting financial impact of global warming. However, such issues have concerned the global insurance industry, with Committees such as the Geneva Association looking into impacts of Climate Change and in Australia the CSIRO have reported CO2 at record highs

Perils of the digital world

Business is increasingly engaging in social media not just for marketing, but also to interact with their customers and employees. It has been difficult for most underwriters to keep up.

The risks of defamation and copyright infringement previously the domain of print publishers have now become part of the on-line media exposures, along with issues such as cyber crime and breach of confidentiality risks.

Our legal system has also struggled to keep up. The Australian Government is watching with interest how Europe and the USA deals with issues of social media and threats to consumers. Website owners in some circumstances, carry additional risks such as having a duty of care to their users.  

Lead Poisoning in a Valentines Day kiss!

Did you know that most lipstick contains lead? Lead has been banned in paint since 1978 because of its toxicity at low levels, but it still shows up in small amounts in some of the best-selling lipstick brands.

A Reuters report in the USA says that the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, which did an analysis of a study of lead in lipstick conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, wants consumers to know that most of the 400 different lipsticks tested were positive for the substance. 

CPR also stands for Cyber & Privacy Risk!!

We do have a habit of checking out what happens overseas, however for any new and developing risks, particularly in the technology area, we can be guided by what happens in Europe or the USA.

This certainly applies to the areas of Cyber Risks, and the ultimate protection of your client’s private details. You can be liable if you cannot show you have done everything possible to safeguard your clients details. And these days that is not easy to prove.

No longer can we hide behind simple Anti-virus software and firewalls. People are finding their way around these barriers and blocks. The software is much like a Flu injection, it can only inoculate you against known issues before they get to you.

This is why we think we are immune in Australia. They are going after the multi-nationals overseas? Not in every case. You are exposed.

As the managers of your business’s risks, you should monitor:

  

    Toxic Mushroom warnings

    Toxic Mushrooms have recently claimed the lives of a number of people in the Canberra area.

    Even people who have thought they were familiar with these types of Mushrooms, particularly visitors from Asia, have made this deadly mistake recently.

    Those who have died were awaiting Liver Transplants and with Australia's poor record of Organ donation, little chance can be given to anyones survival.

    2011 list of best passwords for being hacked

    One way to help lower personal and business cyber risk is to avoid using passwords that are obvious and common.

    SplashData is a password management application maker, recently compiled a list of the 25 worst passwords for the year 2011. The results were based on millions of stolen passwords that were made available online.

    While more complicated passwords may not necessarily put off those smart and determined hackers, they will put off many hackers consequently reducing the chance of a breach of your systems.

    Here is the list of this year’s worst online passwords. 

    Are you Storm Ready?

    Are you ready to face another season of storms and cyclones?

    With reports that Weather related events will be even more intense i the in the future, us Risk Takers need to adapt and prepare so that the impact is reduced and our family and community is protected.

    Insurance is fine when it comes to compensating you financially, but there are a lot of unpaid hours in preparing, submitting and following up on claims. There are many Flood victims who did not use an Insurance Broker still battling insurers to pay claims here in Queensland. Further, if the cost of a Claim is reduced by better prevention methods, then there is less of a need for Insurers to increase premiums.

    Prevention is better than cure. Click here for a web site with useful tips.

    Preparing for the Cyclone Season

    CGU have provided a brief flyer on how to prepare for the cyclone season. Click here to read the article.

    Climate Change is a concern in the USA

    The global insurance industry has a different outlook on climate change even though it is seen as a conservative area of finance. European Reinsurers have also expressed great concern about the future. More and more the industry is paying out considerably for the extreme weather events now occurring. They are lobbying for governments to act in a subtle way without isolating them from their Insureds. For this reason it is all based on absolute fact.

    The only issue is the question, is it man-made or a natural part of the cycle. The general attitude is, do not take the chance. Anything that can help reduce the risk, a principal of Risk Management, should be taken. It is better to prevent problems where possible rather than rely on an Insurance claim to pay for it, as premiums will just rise and rise.

    The biggest polluters are the USA, and the Insurance Industry here is concerned. Read about it here.

    Insurance against the future

    What are the entry points for hacking?

    This is an article claiming your employees are an entry point for Hackers. They are certainly one way. Read about it here.

     Employees are entry points!

    But then again, things like remote access can be a challenge. Read about that here. Remote Access.

    Managing Risks from Harvesting

    CGU have produced this very useful flyer about the risks that Harvester face and how to manage them. It is worth a look if you are about to commence these types of activities.

    Harvesting Risks

    Watch out Renovators for the toxic hazards of Home renovations

    Perhaps the television shows have motivated some of you to fix up or change some parts of your home? With the warmer weather coming up, now is a great time to do those renovations but be aware of the dangers.

    There are a lot of toxins that can be generated by sanding, scraping, pulling up vinyl tiles and drilling holes.

    Homes built between World War 2 and the 1980’s are likely to contain asbestos. Asbestos was used in the internal wall linings, ceilings and external fibro sheeting because of its insulation properties. 

    Facebook®- Connecting friends and collecting information?

    Facebook is now one of the biggest social media hubs for sharing photos, locations, opinions and pretty much anything you can think about. Facebook has moved ahead of My Space and beat off a few others.

    Soon Google plus will be taking them on.

    Like almost the rest of the world, I have a Facebook account, which I am using quite a bit, not just to keep in touch, but also to have fun. CPR Insurance Services has a page, and it is another way to promote your business too along with Linkedin, which is also great.

    However, many people don’t understand this about Facebook, is that many things inside the Facebook website are outside applications from other companies and web developers, which can download viruses and other malicious software in the background. 

    Do not fall for the “We are from Microsoft” scam.

    Do you recognise this scenario?

    Caller: Hallo, is this Mr Cooper?

    Robert: Yes

    Caller: My name is Sam and I am calling from Microsoft.

    Robert: Okay

    Caller: Yes. We have been receiving error reports from your computer.

    Robert: Have you really?

    Caller: We can fix this for you. 

    Hackers threaten SME businesses

      SMEs need to invest more heavily in security to protect themselves against a growing incidence of website hacking, according to a software security expert. 

    Craig Scroggie, the MD of Symantec, says the growth of social media and the use of mobile devices is exposing businesses to more risks.

    Speaking last week at the Victorian Managed Insurance Authority Risk Conference, he said politically motivated hacking of websites – sometimes referred to as “hacktivism” – is one of the biggest threats businesses face today 

     But do not forget, CPR Insurance offers cover for these Cyber Risks with a special insurance policy. Click here for more details.

    Cyber Risk Insurance

    Horrible House Fires - a reality

    One of the saddest stories I have ever seen on a House Fire. 11 people were killed. House Insurance does not bring them back. We always want to see lives saved because houses can be replaced. People cannot.

    Despite the tragedy, the way the community rallied around the family makes me proud to live in this state.

    We do not yet know what caused the fire but the only other thing positive we can use out of this is to learn from it.

    Managing Risks of bad debtors

    Maintaining a good cash flow is essential in any business staying afloat. Sadly, not all of our clients pay on time despite us providing our services or products in good faith.

     We will always have some Slow Paying Customers that if not better managed, could push your business to the brink of insolvent trading, which is not only illegal, can restrict the operation of some of your insurance policies.

     If your customers are not paying you on time,  they are effectively using you as an interest free bank and it is costing you more money than you think. 

    Latest News

    2019 Insurance Brokerage of the Year

    CPR Insurance Services are so proud to be awards for the second year in a row, "Australian Insurance Brokerage of the Year (1-5 staff)". To win this award two years running is very much a fantastic achievement and reflects the high standard we have maintained in the last two years.

    We very much thank our hard working staff, Ausure Insurance Brokers our licence holder, the Steadfast Group, NIBA and LMI who have supported us with resources and services to meet the demands of our clients.

    And of course we thank all our clients for their fantastic support over the eight years of our business, who if not for them, we would not have a business. Thank you.

    read more

    Robert Cooper named Elite Broker again

     

    Robert Cooper was named in the Top 20 Elite Brokers once again in 2019 from Insurance Business Magazine. He has been in this list for five out of the last six years. This year he finished in his highest position of eighth.

    Robert admits he could not have achieved this without the support of his wonderful staff, and in particular Mandy Cooper.

    read more