What to do after the 7.5 magnitude earthquake hit central New Zealand

By now you will be aware on a large earthquake that hit central New Zealand overnight (14th Nov). Many would have been woken by this.

Your responsibilities
Please take all reasonable steps to preserve your property from more earthquake damage.
This means that, if you’re able to, you should do things like:

  • turning off the water or gas if it may be leaking
  • boarding up broken windows
  • putting tarpaulins over holes in the roof or walls.

You should only do these things if it is safe for you to do so.
Take photos beforehand (if you can), keep broken parts, and keep copies of invoices from tradespeople.

Clean up
If you’re staying in your home, you’ll probably want to clean up spillages and breakages straight away. You should try to:

  • take photographs of the damage before you start cleaning up
  • keep all your damaged goods and parts, except for perishable items (e.g. food from a broken freezer or that has been spilt)
  • make a list of your perishables – and take photos – before you dispose of them.

Make sure you dispose of perishable items safely.

Carry out urgent repairs
Urgent or emergency repairs are work that’s needed to make your home safe, sanitary, secure and weathertight.

You should first do all that you can safely do yourself to make your home habitable and protect it from further damage.

You can:

  • Get essential services like toilets and water systems repaired immediately, but you should keep, document or record everything the repairer replaces (and keep a copy of the bill).
  • Clean up spillages of crockery and glass breakages (but you shouldn’t throw anything non-perishable away yet).
  • Dispose of perishables like ruined or spilt food. You should list the items as you dispose of them.

If possible, take photos before moving and repairing anything.

Important: Don’t start permanent repairs until your claim has been settled.

Making a Commercial damage claim

Please contact us ASAP and we will assist you in the claims process – we are here to help.

A claim form can be downloaded here

Making a Home and Contents damage claim

As this was a Natural Disaster, the EQC is the lead insurer if you have suffered damage to your property.

If you’ve suffered damage, you should lodge a claim with EQC as soon as possible.
How to make a claim

Or call EQ C 0800 DAMAGE (0800 326 243)
From overseas +64 4 978 6400

Claims must be made within 3 months from the date your home, contents or land were damaged by the earthquake.

What is covered by EQC?

Under EQCover, your building is insured up to a maximum of $100,000 +GST and is covered on a replacement value basis. If your loss exceeds the limit above, your private insurance policy will top up the remainder, up to your nominated sum insured.

Your ‘contents’ means ‘personal property’ that is usually in your home. It includes contents that are temporarily removed from your home and is generally insured up to a maximum of $20,000 +GST. If your loss exceeds the limit above, your Private Insurance policy will top up the remainder, up to your nominated sum insured. (www.eqc.govt.nz)

If you have any doubts or questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us – we are here to assist you.

Meth or P contamination in rental properties

MethMethamphetamine (‘P’) manufacture in NZ is a growing problem, not only for law enforcement, but also for innocent property owners and the general public that come in contact with dangerous residues, which are by-products in the manufacture of methamphetamine.

What is P?

‘P’ is a street slang for methamphetamine – a psychostimulant drug. It enters the brain and triggers a cascading release of norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin, causing euphoria and excitement and making it prone to abuse and addiction. Other common nicknames for ‘P’ include meth, jib, ice, crystal and glass.

MethHow is it made?

The manufacture of methamphetamine is fairly simple and does not require a chemistry degree. It is easily produced in makeshift labs hidden in homes, garages, warehouses, or even motel rooms, using over-the-counter pseudoephedrine found in cold medication. The person manufacturing the drug literally ‘cooks” the ingredients.

Symptoms of ‘P’ users

People who use methamphetamine may experience anxiety, confusion, insomnia, and mood disturbances and display violent behaviour. They may also show symptoms of psychosis, such as paranoia, visual and auditory hallucinations, and delusions (for example, the sensation of insects crawling under the skin).
Taking even small amounts of methamphetamine can result in many of the same physical effects as those of other stimulants, such as cocaine. Long-term methamphetamine use has many negative consequences for physical health, including extreme weight loss, severe dental problems (“meth mouth”), and skin sores caused by scratching.

How can ‘P’ affect my health living in a contaminated property?

There are short term and long term health effects associated with being exposed to meth residues in property. Where these residues are at low levels and limited to use only, the effects on health are less severe than if a lab has been operating. It should be noted that the effects on children tend to be more pronounced as they are closer to the contamination, absorb proportionately larger amounts of contaminants and less well developed metabolisms.

Short Term Health Effects

These can be wide ranging. They can be similar to seasonal effects associated with allergies or cold/flu. The key thing to note, is that they will persist far longer than you would normally expect. It is important to note, that some people will suffer none of these effects, while others will. Symptoms might include:

  • Headaches
  • Watery or burning eyes
  • Nausea
  • Burning skin
  • Coughing or Choking
  • Pain in diaphragm
  • Feeling of coldness or weakness
  • Shortness of breath / dizziness
  • Decrease in cognitive function – feeling ‘mismothered’
  • Vertigo
  • Convulsions
  • Sleep disorders

Long Term Health Effects

Studies into long term health effects associated with living in properties that have been used as meth labs are not widely available. However, the effects of the chemicals associated with manufacture are understood. So, living in a contaminated property increases the risk of the following:

  • Cancer
  • Nervous disorders/Tremors
  • Damage to kidneys and liver
  • Birth defects
  • Reproductive problems
  • Death

MethRental Properties contaminated

Tenanted properties make up a significant proportion of the P-laboratories in existence and the innocent property owners are unaware of the property damage caused by their tenants until well after the manufacture has ceased.In addition to Rental properties, Motel rooms and even Book-a-batch properties are prime targets for short term labs, where the cooking can only take a week or a few days.Repairing the damage is a costly and time-consuming exercise. Buildings and houses can become contaminated with carcinogens, posing a danger to future occupiers, especially children. The clean-up can involve the removal of wallpaper, wall linings, sinks and benches, stoves, baths, furnishings, soil and septic tanks.

How often should rental properties be checked?

Usually the contamination damage is discovered following police investigations; however thorough inspections completed by landlords every three (3) months can lessen the chances of significant damage resulting in methamphetamine manufacture. Owners of rental properties need to be vigilant as it can cost thousands of dollars for their houses to be re-inhabitable.

What to look out for if there is a suspicion of ‘P’ users in your property?

  • Pyrex dishes & laboratory glassware
  • Chemical smells
  • Rubber/surgical gloves and masks
  • Dead grass around drains
  • Light bulb containers – or missing lightbulbs
  • Iodine containers
  • Unexpected high-tech security
  • Unusual rewiring or plumbing or the presence of extractor fans in unusual places
  • Signs of smoking inside the house, with piles of cigarettes outside the property
  • Etching or staining of concrete, particularly outside drains

What to do if you find ‘P’ evidence on your property?

Calmly exit the premises and notify the police immediately

Who does testing for Meth on rental properties?

Mirroring the increase Meth users, there are an increasing number of companies that exist just for the purpose of testing houses for contamination. We do not advocate one company over the other, but a quick Google search will locate many of these businesses.

Meth Monitors

There are devices landlords can install in their houses, very similar to smoke alarms that detects chemicals associated with the manufacture of methamphetamine. Your tenants should appreciate that you are willing to protect your investment and their home. Future tenants will have confidence that they are not being exposed to an environmental hazard left from the previous tenant. Any reputable meth testing business will assist you in installing these devices or visit www.methminder.co.nz for more information

Does Insurance cover the costs of repairing contaminated rental property?

All Rental property policies have their own variation of wordings, but in the whole there is cover provided under your policy. For a claim to be considered you must first demonstrate all these landlord obligations:

  1. Vet potential tenants by obtaining satisfactory references, collect a minimum of 3 weeks rent in a combination of bond/rent registered with the Tenancy Services
  2. Complete internal & external inspections at a minimum of 3 month intervals and upon every change of tenants
  3. Keep a written record of the outcome of each inspection

Where do I get help for addiction?

Alcohol and drug helpline http://alcoholdrughelp.org.nz or 0800 787 797


(some content NZI, 2016)

1 in 4 New Zealanders has suffered a Cyber-attack

If you are yet to be convinced about the relevance try Googling cyber-attack under “news”.

What’s a cyber-attack?

Hackers take control and lock your computer or mobile device. They then seek a ransom or threaten you with extortion.

The hackers really want your data base!
Then they can extort not only you – but all your clients! Remember the Ashley Maddison adult site attack early this year? The hackers not only wanted ransom from the business, but also from the millions of individual users.
As a hack, this was both begrudgingly brilliant and frightening scary (to say nothing of the humiliation of those implicated).Credit card details are worth around $20 on the black market so a stolen database with 1,000 plus members is worth good money. For illegal organisations Cyber crime has become more popular than selling drugs!With free Wi-fi increasingly available, more of us using these public networks with our smartphones and can potentially put their clients database at risk.


Want to see “real time” cyber-attacks happening now?

(This is pretty cool!) Click on the following link http://map.norsecorp.com/

How can we help?

Insurance policies are available right now to protect you.

Typically, they contain 3 x elements to a policy:

  1. 3rd Party claims from a failure to keep data secure, including claims for compensation, investigations, payment of fines and penalties. Defence costs and legal representation expenses are also covered.
  2. Business Interruption – reimbursement for lost profits, as well as necessary expenses incurred to maintain operation of the business as a result of the interruption.
  3. Remediation Costs – reimbursement of your own costs including credit monitoring, cyber extortion, data restoration, forensic, notification and public relations costs, and legal representation.
What is the cost of cyber insurance?
Like any Insurance policy the actual cost is linked to the size of your risk exposure and the level of cover provided. For example, a small business with $250,000 of Cyber cover will add around $700 to the annual invoice.


What can I do?
https://www.connectsmart.govt.nz/ is a government initiative setup to assist everyone in what they can do to make themselves safer online.


Example of a common office-based claim paid under Cyber Insurance policy in NZ
– Professional services firm with real-time anti-virus software
– Good risk management and preventative measuresIncident
– Virus infection spread through network
– IT service provider initially unsuccessful in eradicating virus
– Finally eradicated by wiping and reinstalling all computersExposure and Insurance Coverage
– Services costs, costs for restoring data, business interruption, loss of revenueTotal Loss
– $30,000+ data restoration and forensic fees
– $20,000 estimated network loss


Who has had a Cyber Attack/Data Breach in NZ?

Interested in Cyber insurance?

August 2015 News – We Are Marathon Men!

Insurance Fraud – tempted?

Insurance fraud has been with the insurance industry since it began. There is a misconception that insurance fraud is a “victimless” crime where nobody personally suffers a loss, but huge wealthy insurance companies make extra playouts from their wealth funds.

The reality is that insurance fraud has to be paid for by honest policy holders. This is done by increasing your premiums to account for those less scrupulous policy holders who are committing fraud.

Common insurance fraudulent doings:

  • Losses that didn’t happen
  • Staged losses – arson, car theft etc
  • Exaggerated claims
  • Non-disclosure of information that insurers require in order to match the correct premium to the risk

The extent of Insurance Fraud
The most recent The Insurance Council of NZ (ICNZ) survey in 2007 found that the cost of fraud was estimated at NZD $450 million per year and that Insurance premiums are inflated by average 10% to make up the difference.
Of this, the lowest levels of fraud are House insurance (6.1%) and the highest is Travel insurance (20%).

What’s the Industry doing about fraud?

  1. Specialist claims training – all insurance claims personal have fraud detection training and each new claim goes through a series of fraud indicators. If the claim seems too good to be true it normally is. If fraud is suspected an investigator is appointed. (Note: sometimes investigators are appointed because further information is needed; not all investigations involve fraud).
  2. Insurance Claims Register – the industry has a register of claims that has been operating for 12 years and has over 8 million claims in the database. This database is used to check whether full disclosure of claims history has been made and if the claim is being claimed by more than one insurer. Sometimes this database is checked when policies are taken out to ensure they have been given the correct information.
  1. Zero tolerance of insurance fraud – Insurance companies will prosecute fraudsters through the court and they have a Memorandum of Understanding with the Police. If you are found guilty, your chances of obtaining insurance in the medium future is severely restricted if not impossible. With no insurance, you won’t be able to obtain a loan for business, motor vehicle or potentially a house.
  1. Specialist Fire Investigators – These are appointed if arson is suspected.
  1. Fraud Hotline – The Insurance Council of NZ has a toll free number 0508 FRAUDLINE (0508 372 835) where the public are encouraged to call and report information about potential insurance fraud cases. Calls can be made anonymously and no details are passed on to the alleged fraudster.

(Excerpts @ ICNZ)

Non-disclosure of dodgy driving history stops claim pay-out

Mikayla accidently hit a median barrier while driving home in the middle of torrential rain. Her VW Golf was written off in the accident, but her insurance Company declined the claim. Her Insurer argued that Mikayla had not disclosed previous traffic infringements when she first applied for car insurance.

When Mikayla first applied for cover she wrote on the proposal she (just) had a prior DIC conviction thinking this carried the most weight. On her claim form, Mikayla then wrote she’d had 4 x speeding tickets, which was also true.

The Insurance Company revoked Mikayla’s policy and refunded her the premium. The reason for this is that if they had known of all of Mikayla’s speeding tickets, they would not have offered her cover in the first place.

Mikayla explained that her Mum had completed the insurance policy proposal and that failing to disclose her speeding tickets was simply an oversight. Unfortunately although Mikayla acted innocently and in good faith, she had an overriding duty at law to disclose all traffic infringements. Also, Mikayla’s history of speeding was material in that they would have influenced the judgment of a prudent insurance company whether or not to accept the risk. The Insurance Company was acting within its legal rights to decline Mikayla’s claim.

The lesson here is to fess-up with all facts, even if you don’t think they are important.

World disasters on the decrease?

Worldwide insurance losses from natural and man-made disasters continue to trend downward. A reportreleased by large reinsurer Swiss Re, found that losses from disasters had dipped considerably over the first half of the 2015.

Total economic losses from disasters in the period January to the end of June 2015 reached US$33 billion, of which half were covered by insurance.
By comparison at the same stage in 2014 the total economic losses totalled $54 billion. The 10 year average is actually US$99 billion.

With economic trends pointing down, deaths related to disasters sky-rocketed when compared with last year as approximately 18,000 people lost their lives in disaster events in the first half of this year compared with 4,800 last term. The worst disasters of the first half of the year were the Nepal earthquakes and heat waves in India and Pakistan a devastating combination.


Despite having 15 luxury cars already in his possession, the son of a Swiss multi-millionaire was so intent on upgrading his collection he devised a scam to claim another model on his insurance. The unnamed 20-year-old, who was said to have become bored with his Ferrari 458 Italia has been convicted of deliberately setting fire to the $350,000 car, along with three other accomplices.

The idea came about when the young man realised he would get a lot less for the car than he had hoped, after a valuation put it at just $292,500. He was then advised by a local car dealer to commit insurance fraud which prompted the pair to plot together, with the dealer recruiting an accomplice from his garage to help. In order to create an alibi, the car’s owner went with a friend to a massage parlour in Augsburg, Germany, where he lives part time, leaving his accomplices to set fire to the car for a payment of $23,000 each.

But unbeknownst to them, security cameras recorded the crime and the plotters were arrested when they returned to Switzerland.

The wealthy businessman father of the Ferrari owner paid his son’s bail, which was set at $331,000. During the trial, the young driver also revealed he still received an allowance of between $10,000 and $15,000 per month from his father. He also owned several properties totalling more than $40 million and 15 cars including a Lamborghini. All the vehicles were paid for by his father.

The young man told the court that at the time of the offence he was low on cash but did not have the courage to tell his father that he had become bored with the Ferrari.

We are marathon men!

We talked the talk, and now we have walked the walk. Well, ran to be correct and for all 42.2 km of the inaugural Taupo marathon! Richard, Matt and Andy pictured above at dawn on the day of the race, where we all look far more energetic, with more smiles and much less chaffing than at the finish line.

1. In which town do the Simpsons reside?

  1. Springfield
  2. Shelbyville
  3. Seinfeld

2. What is the name of the Simpsons’ next door neighbor?

  1. Barney Gumble
  2. Ned Flanders
  3. Principal Skinner

3. Who founded the Simpsons’ town?

  1. Jebadiah Springfield
  2. Zachariah Springfield
  3. Springfield Manhattan

4. How old is Bart?

  1. 10
  2. 11
  3. 12

5. What is the name of Lisa’s jazz mentor?

  1. Billy Jazzman
  2. Blind Willy Witherspoon
  3. Bleeding Gums Murphy

6. Who is Mr Burns’ assistant?

  1. Seymour Skinner
  2. Barnard Gumble
  3. Waylon Smithers

7. What is the name of the bar where Homer drinks?

  1. Moe’s Tavern
  2. Joe’s Cavern
  3. The Drink Hole

8. Which one of these is not a catchphrase Bart uses?

  1. Aye Carumba!
  2. Don’t have a cow, man!
  3. Woohoo!

9. What does Bart do in the opening credits?

  1. Write on the blackboard
  2. Play a practical joke on Homer
  3. Drive Marge’s car

10. What is the name of the minister at the First Church of Springfield?

  1. Ned Flanders
  2. Timothy Lovejoy
  3. Carl Carlson

11. Who runs the Kwik-E-Mart?

  1. Apu
  2. Homer
  3. Mr. Burns

12. What nationality were the people who bought the power plant from Mr. Burns?

  1. French
  2. German
  3. Swiss

13. What does Smithers collect?

  1. Star Wars memorabilia
  2. Malibu Stacey Dolls
  3. Romance comics

14. Who is Springfield’s underperforming and over promising attorney at law?

  1. Lyle Lanley
  2. Lionel Hutz
  3. Jimmy the Scumbag

15. Who practices medicine without a license?

  1. Dr. Hibbert
  2. Dr. Nick
  3. Bart Simpson

Answers 1-Shelbyville, 2-Ned Flanders, 3-Jebadiah Springfield,4-10,5-Bleeding Gums Murphy,6-Waylon Smithers,7-Moe’s Tavern,8-Woohoo! 9-Write on the blackboard, 10-Timothy Lovejoy, 11-Apu,  12-German, 13-Malibu Stacey Dolls, 14-Lionel Hutz, 15-Dr. Nick

June 2015 Newsletter – Meth Labs

Contents claim issues – proof of items?!Without a shadow of a doubt, the biggest irritation when dealing with Contents loss/theft is actually proving to your insurer that you owned the items. This can delay the settlement process and lead to angst and frustration – perhaps you’ve even experienced this?Whilst most policies don’t make this 100% mandatory, there is an obligation on your part (the policy holder) to fulfil your part of the insurance contract and provide evidence when asked.

Proof of ownership can be any of the following:

  • Purchase or repair receipts – preferred.
  • Bank statements showing purchase transaction
  • Photographs
  • Other parts of the item still in your possession (e.g. lap-top charger and carry bag, or the box that it came in)

This applies to both Domestic Contents policies and Business Assets policies.

Tip! Take photos of your possessions (e.g. jewellery/high valued items/wardrobe/garage etc) and save them to your cloud email account. Alternatively, you are free to email these to us and we’ll keep them on your file (you are protected by the Privacy Act 1993).

Modified vehicles

A gentle reminder to all you motoring enthusiasts that there is no guaranteed cover under your Motor vehicle policy if the vehicle has been modified, unless details of all modifications have been given to us and they have been agreed by your Insurer.

Common examples of modifications are:

  • Mag wheels
  • engine modifications
  • aftermarket exhaust systems; and
  • lowered or lifted suspension
  • Less common examples are gull-wing doors and flame paintjobs!

In most cases you Insurer will accept the modifications, but they could impose additional warranties – for example Twin locking nuts on Mag wheels.

Following the rule of its better to be safe than sorry, we encourage you to inform us of any vehicle modifications that you may have.

We’ve entered the inaugural Taupo Marathon!

Well, three of us have – Andy, Matt and Richard. Keen to finally establish Alpha-male dominance in the office, we’re putting up to shut-up. Of course entering is one thing, but finishing the event in a decent time is another. Come 1st August, we’ll finally see who gets the key to the executive wash room. Until then, it’s all war stories and mind games in the office!!

Methamphetamine in NZ

Did you know that over 70% of “meth” labs raided by Police are located in rental properties?

Methamphetamine  (meth) is an odourless drug, so it is difficult to tell whether it has been used, or manufactured, in a rental property. While the use of meth takes time to contaminate a property, the manufacture of it results in immediate contamination. Research has shown that a third of users will attempt to manufacture the drug themselves. Meth labs can be set up easily and used. This is why so many motels, hotels and holiday homes are used as bases for meth manufacture. Similarly they are easy to dismantle. So inside the 48 hr notice required for a landlord to enter a property, all the evidence can be cleared away. It is almost impossible to determine if your rental is being used for this purpose.

What happens when those tenants move out and new ones move in? The cost to health to those occupying a meth-affected building can range from headaches, coughing and watery eyes thru to shortness of breath and sleep disorders. Long terms exposure to a dwelling affected by meth can include cancer, birth defects and even death.

Rental property contamination example:

A 6yrs old brick and tile property in East Auckland was rented out and professionally managed. A Police raid alerted the recently appointed property manager to the issue. A baseline meth test identified massive levels of contamination. Detailed testing confirmed the property was beyond economic repair. The building had to be demolished, and ½ metre of topsoil removed from the section due to contamination. 

Meth contamination does not go away with a simple paint job; abet for many people who suspect they have a problem with meth contamination, this is how they handle it. The costs to rid a meth contaminated property are significant – even to the point of having to rebuild from scratch in some cases.

Does my house insurance policy cover meth lab damages?

Yes and no – there is inconstancy across the insurer spectrum. Some insurers don’t specifically exclude meth damage and for these each claim is treated on its own merit. At the very least you would have to provide evidence that you were meeting your tenancy agreement landlord obligations and making regular inspections of your rental property/tenants (essentially being a prudent policy holder).

Other insurers offer a limitation for chemical contamination per claim (e.g. $25,000 max) but increasing to the nominated sum insured for fire or explosions. The same landlord obligations apply.

Conversely a landlord who doesn’t undertake regular property inspections, and/or has a “hands-off” approach to their tenants, would potentially have an unfavourable outcome if they made such a claim.

Help reduce the risk:

  • Proactive management is essential
  • Before you purchase or move into a property, make sure you have the property meth tested.
  • Use an experienced provider who uses a laboratory-based test for the most effective testing, rather than a DIY kit.

Info provided by MethSolutions. For more information contact www.methsolutions.co.nz or call 0800METHLAB.

MethSoluitions have tested nearly 2,500 properties across NZ, and 2 out of every 5 properties tested have tested positive for meth residues.

(QBE, 2015)

Paintball champ triggers unique insurance policy

A paintball enthusiast from England has joined the ranks of strangest insurance policies thanks to a £100,000 cover for his trigger fingers.

Ronnie Hollington, runs Mayhem Paintball in Essex and added his left and right trigger fingers to his insurance policy in a bid to ensure that he can continue his paintball career.

“I added my trigger fingers to the insurance policy because without them my career would be over,” Hollington said.

“To me they’re the most essential body part so even the thought of losing them is frightening; without them I can’t do my job.”

In the event of an accident involving his fingers, Ronnie would receive damages of up to £100,000.

With this potential benefit, Hollington hopes that his wife, Clare, resists the temptation to cash in quick.

“£100,000 is a lot of money so I’m hoping Clare won’t chop my fingers off to pocket the dough!

I didn’t tell her about it at first and I’d definitely prefer to keep my fingers than be paid the money but knowing they’re insured makes me feel a bit more comfortable. The insurance doesn’t make my fingers safer but it’s nice to know I would receive a payout if I lost them”. (NZ Insurance Business)

MJIB Food Trivia!

  1. The Aztecs were the first people to drink chocolate?
    True or False
  2. What food is Houmous made from?
    Tofu, Rice, Chick peas or Corn
  3. Ugali is eaten in Kenya, it is a porridge made from millet flour or cornmeal?
    True of False
  4. Cinnamon comes from the outer bark of the tree?
    True or False
  5. What meat is Navarin Stew made from?
    Veal, Beef, Lamb or Chicken
  6. What is the most popular spice in the world?
    Pepper, Nutmeg, Curry or Cloves
  7. McDonald’s opens a new restaurant every ….?
    4 minutes, 4 hrs, 14 hrs or 4 days 
  8. The British came up with Ice tea?
    True or False
  9. Just 1% of the McDonald’s chicken in Great Britain comes from Great Britain?
    True or False
  10. People used to salt meat taken on ships so it would stay good longer?
    True or False

Answers 1-True, 2-Chick peas, 3-True, 4-False, 5-Lamb, 6-Pepper, 7-4 hrs, 8-False, 9-True, 10-True

May 2015 Newsletter – Commercial vs Private

Commercial Motor policy vs Private Motor policy – What’s the difference?

A gentle reminder to those who run their own business. If you use your vehicle for business use (e.g. to generate income) then you should be insuring your vehicle(s) on a Commercial Motor Policy. This policy covers both business and Private use. Generally there are no “named drivers” or younger driver exclusions – so long as the driver is driving within the bounds of their licence, then the policy will respond.

A Private policy is, as the name implies, for private use only. These policies are more flexible and there are many ways to reduce the cost of cover – excluding <25yr old drivers, specifying named drivers and electing higher XS’s. You may drive your vehicle to and from work/business, but any business use is excluded.

If you unsure if you have the correct policy, please feel free to contact us immediately and we will best advise you.

ACC Motor Claims

Every year there are about 4,000 new ACC claims for injuries that occurred in motor vehicle crashes on New Zealand roads.
  • In 2013 fatigue was identified as a contributing factor in 32 fatal crashes, 109 serious injury crashes and 427 minor injury crashes. These crashes resulted in 33 deaths, 153 serious injuries and 600 minor injuries. The total social cost of crashes involving driver fatigue was about $274 million.
  • If you drive with less than 6 hours sleep your risk of a car accident TRIPLES.
  • Crashes involving fatigue are most likely to occur between 3am and 5am because our body clocks (circadian rhythms) programme us to feel sleepy. There is also a secondary peak in sleepiness between 3pm and 5pm. This is the time of the day when physical and mental performance is at its worst.

What causes fatigue?
For people who drive as part of their work, fatigue is a major risk factor. It can slow reaction times, affect concentration and undermine their ability to drive safely. 

A number of factors in the workplace and in a person’s personal life can lead to fatigue. Some factors include:

  • extended working hours and irregular and unpredictable working hours
  • early starts and working at night
  • shift work, having more than one job
  • sleep disorders
  • stress.

Tips to avoid fatigue: 

  • make sleep a priority – aim to get enough good-quality sleep every night; eight hours is ideal for adults
  • avoid eating and drinking too much before you go to bed – if you are hungry, have a light snack
  • avoid alcohol, caffeine and cigarettes before bed

Sunstrike – What is it?
Sunstrike occurs when the sun’s rays hit your windscreen at a low angle, usually during sunrise or sunset, making it very difficult to see. 

Unfortunately sunstrike has been the cause of many road crashes, simply because the driver could not see another vehicle. Over a five year period, NZ road crashes involving sunstrike:

  • on average 2 people killed and 500 more injured every year
  • Canterbury (118), Waikato (97) and Otago (76) had the highest number of crashes (AA)
  • May is the worst month of the year for sunstrike

Reducing the danger of sunstrike 

  • Be prepared for possible sunstrike when driving at sunrise or sunset, especially when turning or driving towards the sun. A driving break during these times is a good idea.
  • If you are having difficulty seeing, pull over and stop for a few minutes until your eyes adjust or visibility improves.
  • Keep your windscreen clean, inside and out. Dust and grime on the windscreen can make the effect of sun-strike much worse.
  • When driving into the sun wear sunglasses and use your vehicle’s sun visor to block the sun.
  • Drive with your headlights on, so your vehicle is easier to see
(NZ Transport Agency website: www.nzta.govt.nz/resources)


Insurance Reps are the second most dangerous to live with!

A new analysis of home insurance claims has discovered who is most likely to burn your house down, flood the bathroom, or leave your door unlocked or windows open when you’re out – and it doesn’t look good for those working in insurance!

According to the study, by the Daily Mirror (UK), insurance representatives are the occupation group in second place for professions that claim the most.

The 10 professions that claim the most were:

  1. Teacher
  2. Insurance representative
  3. Personal trainer
  4. Head teacher
  5. Finance director
  6. Home help
  7. Technician
  8. Business consultant
  9. Signalman
  10. Financial advisor

The safest professions were training consultant, photographer, transport officer, post-woman, ground worker, systems manager, deputy manager, contractor, building inspector and motor mechanic.

The survey also looked at marital status, with separated people making the most insurance claims, and married people making twice as many claims than those in a civil partnership.

According to age groups, people in their 60s were the most likely to claim, with those in their 20s and 40s safer than those in their 30s.

People with birthdays between March 14 and April 14 were the riskiest to share a flat with, while those born between October 23 and November 22 are the safest to live with.

So if you’re a separated insurance broker in your 60s and Pisces is your star sign, don’t be surprised if no one answers your Flatmate Wanted ad!

(NZ Insurance Business, Mar 15)


Kiwis find going to the dentist a pain in the wallet

68% of New Zealanders say they put off going to the dentist purely because of the cost, and only 32% of us go to the dentist each year.

A September 2014 survey commissioned by Southern Cross also shows that:

  • 19% don’t like going to the dentist
  • 16% don’t feel like they need to go
  • 4% don’t have time to go to the dentist
  • 32% go once or twice a year
  • 39% go only when they have an issue
  • 16% said they never went

A Ministry of Health survey (2014) shows that dental problems have an indirect cost to society, with 10% of adults aged 18–64 years taking an average of 2.1 days off work or school in the previous year due to problems with their teeth or mouth. Dental decay remains the most prevalent chronic (and reversible) disease in New Zealand. In 2009 one in three adults had untreated coronal decay and one in ten had root decay.
What’s the best way out of this predicament? A smart tactic is to invest in a regular examination to find issues before they become big and expensive. Last year the average fee for an examination and x-rays was $99 – affordable for most people. An examination in time could save thousands down the line.

(Southern Cross)

MJIB Sporting Trivia!

  1. Who is the current men’s Wimbledon champion?
  2. What year did Ritchie McCaw debut for the All Blacks?
  3. How many test cricket triple centuries have there been scored by a New Zealander?
  4. How many World Cups have been won by the Australian cricket team?
  5. Which famous yacht race starts on Boxing Day each year?
  6. What three movements are required for an athlete to successfully complete a triple jump?
  7. Which team is the current NZ rugby Premiership champion?
  8. Name the 5 x manufactures contesting the Australian V8 Supercars racing series?
  9. Name two of the countries vying to host the FIFA World Cup soccer competition in 2018.
  10. In which sport do competitors use leather gloves, bells and hoods?

Answers: 1. Novak Djokovic 2. 2001 3. One (Brendon McCullum, 2014) 4. Five (1987, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2015) 5. The Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race 6. Hop, step and jump 7. Taranaki 8. Holden, Ford, Nissan, Mercedes Benz & Volvo 9. USA, England, Australia, Russia, Belgium, Netherlands, Indonesia, Japan, Korea Republic, Mexico, Qatar, Spain, Portugal 10. Falconry or hawking

February 2015 Newsletter – Health Insurance Why should I?

With an aging NZ population and a rise of obesity/diabetes choking the Public health system, Private Health Insurance has never seemed more attractive. If you are thinking of Medical insurance, we’ve highlighted some key points for you to consider about the potential impacts a health problem could have on your lifestyle, family and earning ability.
Ask yourself the following questions –

1. I’m currently in good health, so what is the likelihood I’ll experience a health problem?

Who do you know who has suffered a heart attack, cancer, stroke, back or knee problems…   Reality is, we all usually know someone. An individual has a 52% chance of having one of the following operations before age 65:
• Cataract removal
• Hip or knee replacement
• Heart procedure
• Hernia
• Prostate
• Hysterectomy and/or Endometriosis.
• Gall bladder

2. If I experience a health problem, won’t the public health system look after me?
For emergency treatment, yes. But for all other events you will go through an assessment process and if you qualify for treatment you will then be put on the waiting list. Waiting could mean:
• Your condition will deteriorate
• Prolonged periods in pain and discomfort
• Loss of income because you can’t work
• Strain on your family through emotional and financial stress
• Your life could go on-hold until you receive treatment

3. Could I cope financially if I developed a serious health condition and couldn’t work while I wait for treatment?
According to the Ministry of Economic Development, poor health and lack of health insurance is one of the five main causes of people going broke.

4. Couldn’t I just self insure?
With many hospital treatments now costing over $20,000, self insuring for this amount could be financially challenging.
A risk of self-insuring is that you (or another family member) can have a series of high claims close together, and you have no time to financially recover from the first.

5. The True cost of health claims…

•    $4,000 – Cataract removal
•    $500 – $6,000 – Skin cancer removal
•    $35,000 – $60,000 – Heart bypass surgery
•    $7,000 – $13,000 – Breast cancer surgery
•    $6,000 – $22,000 – Endometriosis surgery
•    $15,000 – $25,000 – Hip replacement
•    $25,000 – $30,000 – Spinal disc fusion
•    $10,000 – $32,000 – Prostate cancer surgery
•    $16,000 – $30,000 – Knee replacement

•    $3,000 – $5,000 – Squint correction (cross/lazy-eye)
•    $3,000 – $5,000 – Tonsil removal
•    $1,500 – $3,000 – Grommet surgery

Employment changes are coming; it’s a good time to review your workplace arrangements

New changes by the Employment Relations Amendment Act 2013 (the Act) come into force on 6 March 2015. It’s a good time for you to review your working arrangements to see how these changes can affect both employers and employees, or your business operations. These may provide significant opportunities to transform your workplace!

Briefly, the key changes include (but are not limited to):

  • greater flexibility to compensate in lieu of rest and meal breaks, which could see changes to roster schedules, or sole charge workplaces
  • flexible working arrangements – extended to all employees, with employers having only one month to respond to such requests (down from three).
  • industrial action provisions – introduction of additional requirements to most strikes and lockouts.
  • good faith bargaining – changes to how employers can treat confidential information in bargaining situations.
  • continuity of employment has been revised, so employers must have a good reason to change terms and conditions of existing employees’ employment prior to a transfer.
  • changes to the collective bargaining obligations.
  • speeding up decisions of the Employment Relations Authority.

Keep in mind, in any changes to your working environment, you need to check you’re complying with your health and safety duties, including those to employees and work colleagues, and those in or around the workplace who may be impacted by changes in the way you carry out your work.
For employment information check out Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment:http://www.dol.govt.nz/er/
Note: You should seek independent legal advice for further information or advice on changes that may affect you and your business

Four years on – Canterbury Earthquake Report.

Vero has released a comprehensive, independent report on the insurance response to the Canterbury earthquakes.

The report by Deloitte Access Economics entitled: “Four years on: Insurance and the Canterbury Earthquakes” was released recently at an event in Christchurch. Click hereto read the full report.

The report focused on Vero but many findings are relevant to the wider insurance industry.

The report makes findings on the impact of insurance payments across a fifteen year period – from the time of the first earthquake in 2010 through to 2025.

The report also provides a comprehensive overview of the social consequences of the Canterbury earthquakes including population dynamics, mental illnesses, housing stock and affordability, employment outcomes and crime patterns.

We’re sure you’ll find the report interesting reading.  (Vero, 2015)

Steadfast Membership

Matt Jensen Insurance Brokers are pleased to announce that we are now members of the Steadfast Broker network.Steadfast is Australasia’s largest general insurance broker network comprising more than 500 offices across metropolitan and regional Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.Steadfast is listed company on the Australian stock exchange (ASX 200) and generated over A$5 billion in insurance sales in 2013-14. The network looks after over 2 million insurance policies.In terms of doing business nothing has changed. Matt Jensen Insurance Brokers are still 100% locally owned and operated and offer the flexibility that only comes with complete independence. Unlike some competitors, we are not obliged to place business with specific Insurer(s) because of contractual arrangements.

Click here to visit Steadfast www.steadfastnz.nz

How Steadfast’s strength benefits you as a customer Group Ltd 

  • Customised policies not publicly available
    Anyone can sell you off-the-shelf insurance but Steadfast brokers have access to customised policies developed by Steadfast directly with the insurers, written exclusively for the network. Steadfast brokers are able to offer policies with greater coverage than a standard product, at market competitive pricing.
  • Championing your claims
    If you make a claim and there happens to be an issue, a Steadfast broker can call on the power of the Steadfast to escalate the matter. Through solid relationships with its insurers, Steadfast has a depth of contact with the right decision-makers to get your voice heard and will champion well-evidenced claims on your behalf in an effort to achieve positive claims outcomes.
  • Choice of policies from over 150 insurers
    Steadfast are Australasia’s biggest network of insurance brokers and have partnerships with over 150 insurance providers locally and internationally. (Steadfast)

MJIB (Royal) Trivia!

1. In 2008 a fan paid 1200 pounds for a piece of memorabilia from Prince Charles and Diana  Spencer’s wedding. What was it?
a) A bridesmaid’s dress
b) The knife used to cut the wedding cake
c) A piece of the wedding cake
d) A serviette Diana used to wipe her mouth

2. Who is the only monarch to have born and died at Buckingham Palace?

3. Which of these countries has never been a Commonwealth monarchy?
a) Australia
b) Malawi
c) Myanmar
d) Grenada

4. How many Princes of Wales have there been?

5. The Queen learnt to drive in 1945 when she joined the Army. True or false?

6. Which English singer performed at Princess Diana’s funeral, and what song did he sing?

7. In a 2002 BBC poll of the 100 Greatest Britons, Princess Diana ranked third. Which one of these people ranked higher than her?
a) Charles Darwin
b) Sir Winston Churchill
c) William Shakespeare
d) Robbie Williams

8. In 2005 Prince Harry got in trouble for his choice of costume at a theme party. What did he wear?

9. Which of these languages does the Queen speak fluently?
a) Italian
b) Spanish
c) Latin
d) French

10. In what year did Prince Charles and Princess Diana divorce?

11. Which element of Prince Charles and Diana Spencer’s wedding is to be repeated at Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding?
a) The venue
b) The wedding dress
c) The carriage
d) The wedding rings

12. How many people watched Prince Charles and Diana Spencer’s wedding?
a) 20 million
b) 100 million
c) 500 million
d) 750 million

13. Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton with the same ring Charles proposed to Diana with. True or false?

14. How long was the train of Diana Spencer’s wedding dress?

15. Where did Kate Middleton and Prince William meet?

16. US President Barack Obama was not invited to the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. True or false?

17.What is Kate Middleton’s profession?

18. Henry VIII married 6 times – how many of his wives did he behead?

19. What is the preferred royal title of Prince Charles’ second wife, Camilla?

20. How old was the Queen Mother when she died in 2002?

Trivia Answers
1. c) A piece of the wedding cake 2. Edward VII (born 1841, died 1910) 3. c)Myanmar 4. 21 5. True
6. Elton John, Candle in the Wind 7. b)Sir Winston Churchill 8. An Afrika Corps uniform with a Nazi armband  9. d)French 10.1996 11. The carriage 12.  d) 750 million 13. True 14. 25 ft 15. University of St Andrews 16. True 17. Fashion retail buyer and photographer 18. Two of his wives – Kathryn Howard and Anne Boleyn 19. The Duchess of Cornwall 20. 101

Stop Press: Law changes for Building Industry – 1st January

You will no doubt be aware of the new law changes which come into effect on 1 January 2015.
The changes will affect most builders and other trades, with the introduction of new requirements.
This newsletter addresses any Insurance questions you may have.

What’s new?

The new law includes providing correct pre-contract disclosures to all customers (your skills, experience and qualifications), having written building contracts, provide a check-list of the client’s entitlements, supply details of the materials they use and being available to attend to customer-reported defects for a 12-month period.Included in these requirements is to supply a current copy of your Public Liability Insurance certificate. (Public Liability insurance provides compensation to third party property and/or bodily injury to a third party where it is determined or alleged that you have liability for the resulting damage).

Does my current Insurance cover me?

  • In most instances, your current Liability insurance cover is sufficient and there are no “new” requirements. It just means that you will need to produce evidence that you have this cover.
  • All Contract Works/Builders All Risks polices include a maintenance period that follows completion of the works. (This covers you for building defects/issues that you are responsible for that surfaced after completion).Most Insurers have the option to provide cover for up to 12 months immediately after completion of works.If you are the main contractor and provider of the project Contract Works/Builders All Risks insurance, then potentially your new requirement to attend customer-reported defects for a 12-month period can be covered under this policy.Note: If you have not provided the Contract Works policy for the project (e.g. the principal has taken out the policy, or you are acting as a sub-contractor) then potentially you may still be covered.However, this will be conditional upon you i) having a Public Liability policy – the main contractor’s insurer may wish to recover damages off you, ii) confirming that sub-contractors are covered under the main contractor’s policy, and iii) the loss falls with the maintenance period of the insurance policy.

Contact us

Contact us if you do not have a current copy of your Public Liability insurance certificate on record, and we will obtain this for you.In addition, if you have any questions regarding the scope of your insurance policies, we welcome your enquiry anytime.

December News 2014 – Women ‘run over by dog’

Insurance payout for woman ‘run over by dog’

 Many of us have been involved in road traffic accidents but not many will be able to claim they’ve be run over by a car driven by their dog. One woman in Victoria, Australia has been awarded AU$140, 000 following such a claim.The woman, who remained anonymous, was run over by her pet pooch after the driving dog knocked the handbrake off her car.The woman had been walking her dogs before the accident which occurred as she was loading her pets into her car. She had two pets in the back seat and one on the front seat when the accident occurred.

Keep it clean over the break

If you’re lucky enough to be holidaying this summer please remember to adopt a common sense approach with your vacant house. Like getting your mailbox emptied daily and having your lawns mowed regularly … basically any action that doesn’t advertise the fact that you’re away.
Please also don’t leave the recycling out any longer than needed – nothing advertises a “target rich environment” to a would-be thief more that a Flat screen TV cardboard box or iPad wrapping at the foot of your driveway.




MJIB Trivia!


  1. In Roman mythology, who was Cupid’s heartthrob mother?
  2. Which two fruits are anagrams of each other?
  3. What is an anagram?
  4. Which chart-topping 1974 single equated falling in love with Napoleon’s famed defeat, and who sang it?
  5. What special characteristic is shared by the monarchs of Malaysia and Cambodia?
  6. What is the hardest of all nuts to crack?

 (Just kidding, see bottom of page)

Learner Motorcycle Rules Change

NZTA have recently changed the licensing rules around what motorcycles riders can ride on their learner licence.
LAMS (Learner Approved Motorcycle Scheme) was introduced to improve rider safety by determining appropriate motorcycles for learner and restricted Class 6 (motorcycle) licence holders.Previously learner riders were restricted to motorcycles with a maximum engine size of 250cc.This has been removed, and in its place approved motorcycles are determined by –
  1. A maximum power-to-weight ratio of 150 KW per tonne (manufactures disclosed engine power and motorcycle weight + rider and gear); and
  2. An upper engine capacity of 660cc

These changes have doubled the sales of 250-400cc range of motorcycles, and those in the 401-750cc category have increased by more than half.There is wide range of motorcycle insurance products available, including track day cover, cover for your riding gear and roadside assistance.

Are You A Micromanager?

Micromanagers get a pretty bad rap; attention to detail is hugely important and sloppy staff is a huge burden. But there is a limit, and applying the same level of scrutiny to every task can end up damaging productivity and morale.

Leadership coach Muriel Maignan Wilkins, writing in the Harvard Business Review, has listed a number of micromanager traits, which can be adapted to small-business environment:

  • You’re never quite satisfied with deliverables.
  • You often feel frustrated because you would’ve gone about the task differently.
  • You laser in on the details and take great pride and /or pain in making corrections.
  • You constantly want to know where all your team members are and what they’re working on.
  • You ask for frequent updates on where things stand.
  • You prefer to be cc’d on emails.

Fear not! There are four strategies to ‘cure’ you of micromanagement inclinations:

1. Get over yourself
Strong words, but Wilkins insists that the polite defences of serial micromanagers (i.e. ‘It will save me time if I do it myself’) are actually excuses for unreasonable attitudes (i.e. “I don’t believe it’s worth my time to let them try, because they won’t get it right anyway”).

2. Let it go
As a leader you don’t add value in the ‘micro’ tasks – you make the difference in the big tasks, where your experience can be utilised to the full. Look at your to-do lists and start picking out the items others can do, and the tasks which were made for you.

3. Give the ‘what’ not the ‘how’
Your job as a manager is to define the end result, not how your team gets there, beyond respecting good professional practice. Draw on the creativity in your team and let them find a way to that end result.

4. Expect to win (most of the time)
Micromanagers are often disproportionality afraid of failure. By focusing on the possibility of failure, and micromanaging employees to avoid, employees develop ‘learned helplessness’, which makes failure a bigger possibility, turning into a vicious cycle. Stepping back will result in some failures, but will in the long term build up a stronger team.

(Muriel Wilkins, 2014)

 MJIB Office Closure

Our office is closed from Thursday 25 December and re-opens Monday 12th January.
However you can still contact us (thank you smart-phones) and our emails will be monitored.• Matt 021 899 640 matt@mjib.co.nz
Andy 021 074 3140 andy@mjib.co.nz
Aidan 021 452 010 aidan@mjib.co.nz
Richard 021 180 1010 richard@mjib.co.nz


Last, and certainly not least, all the MJIB team would like to thank you for your continued support and wish you and your families a safe and relaxing Christmas and New Year.

Trivia answers
(1. Venus, 2. Lemon and melon 3. An anagram is a type of word play, the result of rearranging the letters of a word or phrase to produce a new word or phrase, using all the original letters exactly once; for example Torchwood can be rearranged into Doctor Who. 4. “Waterloo” (ABBA). 5. They are elected.6. Macadamia)