Ghost Stories/Commercial Insurance with Martin O’Neill

When we speak about insurance, I’m sure that people sigh deeply, as their eyes prepare to glaze over.

When I was planning Ghost Stories, I wanted to get as many professionals as possible to agree to give of their time to benefit others. I knew that when setting up the sessions, some would be “sexier” than others. But just because they are more appealing to discuss, they are not more important.

I invited Martin O’ Neill in to discuss risk.

There is very little that Martin does not know about risk. He has experience in all areas of Insurance, and Risk. There was no one I knew more qualified than Martin. He didn’t disappoint.

The Chat.

Martin’s level of knowledge is so insanely huge; it makes it difficult sometimes to comprehend how he speaks about his profession so casually. He is a fountain of knowledge, and is concerned only with his client’s best interest. A few times during our conversation, he spoke about believing a potential client was not giving him all of the information, resulting in him walking away from the table. Unable to trust the client, and therefore doing them a dis-service in the long run.

“Insurance is a contract” he explains, “It is a clinical contract”. “If you tell us everything, we can help get you the cover you need”.

When we discussed Insurance further Martin was careful to impress upon us that you shouldn’t profit from insurance. Insurance is there to bring you right back to the day before whatever happened, happened. That is all. “The worry is that if you do not report everything, you may end up getting nothing”, Martin warns.

What we learned:

  1. When considering insurance regarding Cyber-crime, you need to ask yourself if you have taken reasonable steps to protect your data. Failure could result lack of payment.
  2. There is a clause in Insurance called “Average Clause”. This means that if you under insure your premises by more than 50%; you may receive 50% of that 50%. That means your premises is worth 200k, you insure it for 100k (to keep the premiums down), something bad happens. You could only receive 50k!!!!
  3. Statute of Limitations: If an adult is injured because of an accident that was your fault (an accident or not), they can make a claim for up to 3 years after discovery of the injury. If a child is injured then it is 3 years after that child turns 18. Keep all your records.
  4. Keep all of your old insurance policies. Your old policies could have insured you for things that your new policy does not. You should be able to request your policies going back 7 years from your insurer.
  5. Read you policy. Make sure that you actually are covered for what you asked for.
  6. I asked Martin if you could insure about losses as a result of Brexit. He feels it’s a bit late for that at this stage. Even if you could, Martin feels that the premium may not be worth it.
  7. Your motor insurers should send you a green card before Brexit. If you are driving in Europe, and their authorities ask for proof of insurance. This is your proof. Put your green card in your car.
  8. You can insure against “perils”, flooding, lightning strikes, etc.

Top Tips:

I asked Martin for his top 5 tips on Insurance, he gave me 8.

  1. Insurance is in the upmost good faith, so tell the truth to your insurer.
  2. Give your insurer the broadest definition of your job. Leave nothing out. If once a month you collect money from clients. Tell your insurer.
  3. Think about the worst case scenario that would put you out of business, and insure against it.
  4. Make sure that you have the correct value on your asset.
  5. Read your contract.
  6. Always make use of an insurance intermediary.
  7. Insurance advice is a professional service, not barter.
  8. You get what you pay for.

Thank you for your time Martin.

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