• Guild's guide to a risk free holiday season

    With the holiday season approaching, it’s time to remind ourselves of the possible threats to our homes and cars during this time. In the lead up to what should be a fun and festive time with loved ones, it’s important to think about what you can do to protect your valuable assets during this period.

    Thefts and burglaries increase at this time as a lot of crime is opportunistic; thieves know that houses and cars might be full of newly purchased gifts. Thieves also know that with people away on holidays, there is an increased opportunity to break into cars and homes.

    However, holiday dangers aren’t just about thefts and burglaries. People also need to think about what they can do to protect their homes and cars from damage or unnecessary costs while on holidays, as well as keeping themselves safe.

    Protecting your home
    Before heading off on holidays:

    • Be mindful of how you dispose of packaging of gifts or newly purchased items. A bin full of boxes for items such as televisions, game consoles or tablets lets people know what valuable items are in the home.

    • Ask a friend or neighbour to collect your mail. A build-up of mail is a sure sign someone isn’t home.

    • Use a timer to have your house lights turn on and off at certain periods of the day, creating a look of someone being in.

    • Consider what appliances can be turned off within your home. While usage is low, many appliances continue to use power even when they aren’t being used. Items to consider turning off include hot water tanks, televisions, microwaves and computers. However, be sure to think about what you’re turning off before you quickly switch off all power; for example, fridges and freezers, unless empty, should be kept on.

    • Clear out your gutters. A build-up of leaves and other debris creates a fire hazard as well as a risk of an overflow of water entering the roof space during a storm.

    Protecting your car

    • If leaving your car at home while on holidays, where possible leave it locked securely in a garage or somewhere else out of sight. Thieves will notice a car sitting in the sam spot every day which hasn’t moved.

    • Don’t keep valuables in sight that could entice those opportunistic
    thieves. This applies to items used all year, such as mobile phones. However, over the holiday season it also applies to shopping bags which are clearly full of new items.

    • When taking your car on holidays, be sure you have some sort of roadside assistance or breakdown coverage to protect you during those
    unexpected moments.

    • If sharing driving duties during a road trip, be sure the insurance policy for the car covers all drivers.

    • Take regular breaks on long drives by either swapping drivers or taking rest breaks. Also, when on long drives, plan your stops to allow for petrol fill ups and food and drink stops.

    • Be particularly careful when driving at dawn and dusk as visibility generally isn’t as clear as during the day.

    Download the printable version


  • Understanding water quality - water quality in dental practice

    Various forms of water are used in the dental practice. The previous article, ‘Dental unit waterlines’, focussed on waterline biofilm issues. In this second article, Professor Laurence Walsh summarises key aspects of water quality that impact on instrument reprocessing and sterilisation.


    Tap water has dissolved oxygen and other atmospheric gases. Aerators on taps slow the flow to reduce splash, but they increase the dissolved gases. Degassing of water is essential to remove dissolved gases before undertaking ultrasonic cleaning of items.


    Water used in instrument cleaning should have low levels of viable bacteria and bacterial products such as endotoxin, and be free of heavy metals and other contaminants. A key property of water that is used with detergents is its hardness. In hard water, there are high levels of calcium and magnesium salts, particularly carbonates, bicarbonates, sulphates and chlorides. This causes faster build-up of limescale, which can foul plumbing in the water distribution system, as well as major problems with detergents, such as low foam height and reduced surfactancy. The reason for this is that calcium or magnesium ions form insoluble salts with detergents, reducing their surfactant effects. Instead, they create a coating of insoluble stearates on the surface of instruments. This is equivalent to ‘soap scum’ seen in a shower recess.

    Water softening creates soft water by replacing the calcium and magnesium ions in the water with sodium or potassium ions, so that no insoluble products are created by the reactions with detergents. Typically, water softening uses an ion-exchange resin. When all the available sodium or potassium ions in the resin have been replaced with calcium or magnesium ions, the resin must be re-charged by eluting the bound calcium and magnesium ions off the resin using a very strong solution of domestic salt (sodium chloride).

    The hardness of ground water varies considerably around Australia, and water hardness problems are often encountered. This is why some detergents used for instrument cleaning include chelating agents such as citric acid or EDTA, which act as softening agents.


    In short, the answer is no. Normally, rainwater collected into polyethylene tanks is soft as it has low levels of calcium and magnesium ions and so forms a strong lather with detergents. Rainwater stored in concrete-lined tanks becomes hard due to dissolved calcium hydroxide that has been released from Portland cement into the water. Overall, rainwater is not well suited for use in a sterilising room. It is neither sterile nor is it free of anions and cations. Rainwater picks up multiple contaminants from the atmosphere (dust, pollutant gases) and from where it has been collected (off a roof). Normally, rainwater is acidic due to the presence of dissolved carbon dioxide (carbonic acid) as well as containing traces of sulphuric acid and nitric acid, both of which are derived from natural atmospheric sources and from industrial activity


    Demineralised water is used for steam generation in steam sterilisers. Tap water is not suitable because this contains many cations (calcium, magnesium, aluminium, sodium, potassium, iron, and copper ions) and anions (phosphates, carbonates, sulphates, silicates, chlorides, fluorides). Precipitation reactions will cause scale build-up on water heating elements in steam sterilisers, in the same manner as occurs in water distillers, kettles, clothes irons and steam cleaners. In water distillers, regular removal of this white or yellowish mineral scale left on the heating elements of the distiller must be undertaken with an appropriate agent such as citric acid or dilute sulphuric acid.

    Water may be demineralised, i.e. rendered free of cations and anions, by one of three different processes – distillation, ion exchange in a deioniser resin, and reverse osmosis (RO). While these processes remove ions, they do not remove uncharged materials including organic compounds and microorganisms. Deionised, distilled and RO water are not sterile.

    When water is boiled the condensate is collected, resulting in distilled water free of inorganic minerals, and so is suitable for use in a steam steriliser. Distilled water does not have a neutral pH (7.0), but rather tends to have a low pH, caused by carbon dioxide from the atmosphere dissolving back into the water, forming a dilute solution of carbonic acid. When distilled water is made, the collection container is normally not sterile and so distilled water almost always contains some viable bacteria. To avoid this, additional treatment (such as ozonation or short wavelength ultraviolet light treatment) would be needed. The same holds true for deionised and reverse osmosis water; as with distilled water these are not sterile.

    Many dental practices use water deioniser cartridges to generate water for use in a steam steriliser, as the process is easier, less expensive and more energy efficient than distillation or reverse osmosis. In a water deioniser unit, an ion-exchange resin exchanges dissolved cations and anions for hydrogen ions and hydroxide ions. A water deioniser does not remove uncharged organic molecules or bacteria, except by incidental trapping in the resin. As mentioned above for water softening resins, the ion exchange resin beds in a water deioniser unit have a limited capacity and need to be regenerated or replaced periodically. In many cases, this is on a regular schedule (e.g. three monthly) based on the water flow through the cartridge. Often deioniser cartridges are fed by sediment and carbon filters, and will have their own replacement sequence. It is essential to follow the supplier’s advice on when the different cartridges in a multi-cartridge system should be changed. Commercial test strips and meters to check water quality are readily available for monitoring ion content.

    The process of RO uses high pressure to force water through a semipermeable membrane to remove ions, molecules, and larger particles including some bacteria. Tap water pressures of around 40 psi can drive a small RO unit. An RO system must have pre-treatment filters to stop membranes clogging. As with water deionisers, RO filter cartridges need to be changed on a regular basis as per the supplier’s instructions. RO water tends to have a neutral pH, but can be too soft and thus corrosive to pipes and control blocks which is why RO water is not approved for use in many types of dental chairs. Similar issues can occur when using distilled or deionised water, since these are mineral-free and can be very aggressive in reacting with some types of dental unit control blocks.

    An additional issue with an RO system fed from mains pressure water is that they tend to have low recovery (5-15%) and so will use a lot of water that will be discharged as waste water into the drains. Surprisingly, this can lead to high water usage bills.

    To achieve sterility, the steam in a steriliser must condense to transfer the latent heat of condensation onto the instruments or items. This raises an important problem when the water for steam generation is condensed and then re-used in later cycles, rather than being dumped. In re-used water, contaminants (such as handpiece lubricants) build up progressively over time, leading to problems with superheated steam that is too dry and will not condense. For steam sterilisers that condense and re-use water in multiple cycles, demineralised water must be completely replaced every week, and not just topped up.



    Insurance issued by Guild Insurance Limited ABN 55 004 538 863, AFS License No. 233791 and subject to terms, conditions and exclusions. This article contains information of a general nature only, and is not intended to constitute the provision of legal advice.  Republished from the ADA News Bulletin, December 2017 No 471 and February 2018 No 472 with the kind permission of the Australian Dental Association. Guild Insurance supports ADA through the payment of referral fees. Please refer to the policy wording and policy schedule for details. For more information call 1800 810 213.

  • Dental unit waterlines - water quality in dental practice

    This first article, in a two-part series on water quality in dental practice by Professor Laurence Walsh on behalf of the Infection Control Subcommittee, provides useful guidance for all practitioners managing water quality in their practices.

    The second part is published under the article Water quality in dental practice – Understanding water quality. 

    Biofilms within dental unit waterlines (DUWL) have been linked to respiratory infections and wound infections, involving pathogens such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Legionella pneumophila and nontuberculous mycobacteria. These bacteria are widespread in natural sources of freshwater and are found commonly in manmade water systems. If tap water with no additional chemical additives is fed into a dental chair through a mains water connection or via a bottle, there will be rapid development of biofilm in the waterlines. Even with chemical treatments, growth of biofilms will occur more rapidly when there is stagnation (from periods of non-use such as weekends and holidays), and when the ambient temperature is higher.

    Dental units connected directly to mains water must have backflow prevention devices, such as reduced pressure zone (RPZ) valves, to prevent water from the dental practice running back into the reticulated water system.

    Many dental chairs now use self-contained bottled water systems, with the bottle located internally or externally. It is essential to check the dental chair manufacturer’s instructions regarding the correct water type and the appropriate chemical additives. When a water bottle contains a continuously acting antimicrobial agent (e.g. silver, iodine, chloramine), the bottle can be left on the chair overnight. However, if any visual contamination is present, the bottle must be removed for thorough washing.

    For dental chairs that use short acting antimicrobial agents (e.g. ozone, hydrogen peroxide), the manufacturer may advise removing the water bottle at the end of the day, then flushing the lines with water, purging them with compressed air, and keeping the bottle stored inverted and dry on the bench overnight. As before, if visual contamination is present, remove the bottle for thorough washing.

    Regardless of the system used for biofilm control, ADA recommends flushing all waterlines at the start of the working day for two minutes (with no handpieces attached).

    A range of chemical agents are available for biofilm prevention and control, including hypochlorites, chloramine T, peroxides, ozonation, silver and iodine. Systems for delivering these agents include external dosing, internal dosing, tablets, liquid dosing, and slow release collection straws. If using tablets, remember that it is necessary to wait two minutes for the tablets to fully dissolve before using the dental unit.

    There are special products made for long term ‘mothballing’ of low use dental units, to prevent biofilm growth over several months. These are left sitting in the waterlines, and are flushed out before the chair is brought back into service.


    Commercial tests can be used to assess bacterial levels in water coming from DUWL. These measure the levels of heterotrophic microorganisms using a nutrient agar. A typical test involves incubation at room temperature for 3-5 days, after which colonies are counted. Ideally, there should also be a second sample incubated at body temperature for two days. However, this requires an appropriate incubator.

    The objective is to keep bacterial numbers as low as possible. The ADA recommended threshold is no more than 500 colony forming units per mL (CFU/mL) for non-surgical dental procedures since this is a widely used international limit for safe drinking water. When treating medically compromised patients, it is recommended that the water from the dental unit waterlines contain less than 200 CFU/mL. The specimen container used to collect the water sample must be sterile. If there is chlorine present, a small amount of sodium thiosulfate (X-ray film fixer) should be added to the sample to neutralise any residual chlorine.

    Frequency of water testing depends on the test results. A starting point would be to assess exit water from a dental chair as a baseline. If results are below 200 CFU/mL, then re-test after three months, and if they remain low, then extend that to every three or six months. With a new dental chair installation, it is advisable to test exit water quality on installation, then three months later. Annual testing would be a workable recommendation for dental chairs in most clinics that are using chemical treatment agents routinely, on the proviso that any indications of water that is turbid or cloudy entering or leaving the dental unit should trigger further testing.

    If test results indicate a bacteria level greater than 200 CFU/mL, then undertake a shock treatment to reduce bacterial contamination from the waterlines in that dental chair. Whenever applying a shock treatment, be sure to adhere to the product instructions provided by the manufacturer, as well as the instructions for the dental chair, since not all shock treatment products are compatible with all brands of dental chair. For example, only some control blocks can withstand sodium hypochlorite shock treatment without suffering corrosion. After a shock treatment, flush the agent out and continue normal chemical treatments, then re-test levels of microorganisms. Some types of additives to water bottles come with recommendations for regular dental unit water monitoring and shock treatment.



    Insurance issued by Guild Insurance Limited ABN 55 004 538 863, AFS License No. 233791 and subject to terms, conditions and exclusions. This article contains information of a general nature only, and is not intended to constitute the provision of legal advice.  Republished from the ADA News Bulletin, December 2017 No 471 and February 2018 No 472 with the kind permission of the Australian Dental Association. Guild Insurance supports ADA through the payment of referral fees. Please refer to the policy wording and policy schedule for details. For more information call 1800 810 213.

  • Preventing glass damage

    Damaged glass windows and shopfronts can cause considerable costs and inconvenience to business owners.

    On top of your existing security measures, there are a number of ways to reduce the risk of glass damage to your business.


    • reduce the possibility of glass damage and break-ins by installing:
    • break resistant glass
    • grilles and shutters over windows and shopfronts
    • glass break sensors for early alarm activation
    • keep valuable items hidden from view through windows or shopfronts out of hours
    • remove any loose or non-secured items around your premises that could be used to damage windows and property
    • leave your cash register draw open out of hours to show that it’s empty.


    • installing bollards in front of windows and glass doors to reduce the risk of a ‘ram raid’
    • planting low shrubs in strategic locations making it difficult for vandals to access the premises
    • immediately cleaning up graffiti or rubbish as delay usually leads to more graffiti and multiple insurance claims.
    • thinking about the signage and advertising you have on your windows and shopfront (e.g. a large smiling face might be appealing to a vandal)

    If damage does occur to your property, ensure you have contact details for an after-hours glazier readily available to all staff who may need it.

    For all insurance and claims enquiries, contact Guild Insurance on 1800 810 213 or visit guildinsurance.com.au


    Disclaimer: This article contains information of a general nature only and is no intended to constitute the provision of legal advice.

  • Your work health and safety obligations

    Every workplace has legal requirement to ensure a safe environment for everyone.

    Your work health and safety obligations

    Here are some simple points to remember.


  • Commenting on other dentists' work

    Generally, dentists will treat a patient who has had work carried out by another practitioner at some point in their career. During this time, you may have an opinion regarding the standard of work undertaken or the outcomes of treatment provided.

    It is important that you remain professional at all times, no matter what your opinion is. Unprofessional comments or uninformed opinions can also reflect poorly on you as a practitioner and the dental profession as a whole.

    If you find yourself in this position, here’s some tips to help you maintain your professionalism:

    1. Avoid making ‘off the cuff’ comments or judging others work. Even the smallest comment could lead to a complaint about the other dentist or a request for compensation.
    2. If the treatment provided does not appear to have reached the desired outcome, do not assume that the other dentist is at fault.
    3. If you have concerns about the treatment provided, it is good practice to request permission from the patient to you speak to the other dentist involved.
    4. When sending patients back to the referring practitioner, don’t rely on the patient to communicate any clinical information. Always provide written documentation outlining the full diagnosis and treatment provided.
    5. Always ensure your clinical records are maintained. If your work is questioned by a patient, another dentist or AHPRA, clinical records will act as evidence to support your decisions.
    6. Further treatment can be very expensive. Always be very clear and upfront about the costs involved.
    7. Avoid offering free or discounted treatments. This may imply that the initial treatment was ineffective or performed poorly.

    For more information, contact your local ADA branch or call 1800 810 213.


    Guild Insurance Limited ABN 55 004 538 863, AFS Licence No. 233791. This article contains information of a general nature only, and is not intended to constitute the provision of legal advice. 


  • Tips for the holiday season

    Why do risks increase at this time of the year?

    The summer months are a busy time of year for the retail sector. Extended trading hours and an increased number of shoppers creates a busy and often stressful environment for pharmacy staff. Not surprisingly, this results in a significant increase in insurance claims for:

    • Slips and trips due to crowding and poor housekeeping
    • Dispensing errors by pharmacists exposed to frequent interruptions and distractions
    • Breaches in patient privacy when good record keeping and dispensing practices aren’t followed
    • Thefts by opportunistic shoppers who capitalise on preoccupied staff
    • Armed hold ups by thieves aware retailers are holding more cash and stock than usual
    • Burglaries by those looking for higher stocks of perfume, medications and specialty goods

    What can you do to reduce risk exposure?

    Stop and think about the implications of a serious incident occurring in your pharmacy this holiday season. Communicate with all of your staff about the importance of:

    • Good housekeeping including checking more regularly for hazards
    • Reducing interruptions and distractions when pharmacists are dispensing medications
    • Adhering to good record keeping and dispensing practices despite increased demand for services
    • Checking that security alarms, lighting and CCTV are operating properly and that sensors are not obscured
    • Taking care with high risk stock. Don’t tempt thieves by storing desirable medications in areas visible to the public. Keep perfume and other expensive stock away from windows to discourage ‘smash and grab’ thefts.
    • Heightened security measures including protecting all entry points and ensuring staff adhere to correct procedures for opening and closing the pharmacy
    • Regular banking of cash earnings and the use of a time delay safe
    • Knowing what to do during and after an armed hold-up


    For further advice and support, please contact Guild Insurance on 1800 810 213, or visit guildinsurance.com.au

  • Managing a major disruption at your fitness centre

    A major disruption can ruin any successful fitness centre. Business owners often underestimate how vulnerable they are. Most can’t support the financial burden of not trading for an extended period of time.

    Understanding the implications and preparing for any interruption can help reduce the impact of a major disruption.

    Here’s 10 tips to help protect your fitness centre:

    1. Maintain equipment, buildings and infrastructure
      Regular maintenance will help reduce the likelihood of failure or major breakdown.
    2. Develop a major disruption guide
      Prioritise and allocate tasks for team members. Ensure you can access a copy of the guide from both within the centre, and remotely.
    3. Maintain a list of emergency contacts
      Ensure accurate copies are readily available and all staff can access the list.
    4. Assemble an essentials items kit
      Use the kit to store critical items you may need in an emergency. This may include a site map, emergency exits and electrical switchboard locations.
    5. Get to know your neighbours
      Explore potential neighbouring locations. If you can no longer operate from your premises, you may consider moving your business temporarily.
    6. Maintain an accurate asset register
      Use model numbers and photos to help identify assets.
    7. Regularly back up electronic records
      Invest in a secure daily back up procedure and ensure a copy is stored offsite.
    8. Have processes in place to divert phone calls to another number
      Include these instructions in your essential items kit.
    9. If a major disruption occurs, ensure records are kept of the damage
      Before any cleaning is undertaken, make a record and take photos of the damage.
    10. Train staff on the importance of responding to a major disruption
      Communicate who has the authority to make decisions, what the emergency procedures are and what’s expected of each team member.

    Being prepared is the key to minimising your chances of losing everything.  That preparation starts with the right business interruption insurance. To ensure you’re adequately covered call 1800 810 213.

    Guild Insurance Limited ABN 55 004 538 863, AFS Licence No. 233791.  This article contains information of a general nature only, and is not intended to constitute the provision of legal advice.

  • How to avoid a claim against you

    Take a look at our short video for some tips that you can use everyday. Give yourself the best chance to avoid a claim being made against you.

  • Five tips to avoid a devastating fire

    Even the smallest fire could wipe out your business. Here’s five tips to avoid a devastating fire all year round:

    1. Clear space is a must
    To help prevent overheating, ensure there’s enough clear space around all electrical equipment.

    2. Avoid using temporary options
    Extension cords and power boards were designed to be temporary options. Where possible, have additional power points installed.

    3. Maintain your workspace
    Keep dust, moisture and clutter to a minimum. Avoid having food, drinks and flammable items near electrical equipment.

    4. Implement safety measures
    Maintain your property and ensure your fire safety services are always up to date.

    5. Those who fail to plan, plan to fail
    In the unfortunate event of a fire, a simple action plan can minimise the risk of harm to people and property.

    For more information call 1800 810 213 or visit your local Fire Service website.

  • Help protect your staff from infectious diseases

    Childcare and early learning centre staff have the important role of taking care of our children every day. But who’s looking after them?

    Parents and childcare workers alike are all aware of the constant struggle with the spread of germs in childcare centres.

    Who hasn’t had a child, or known of a child, coming home with a runny nose after going to day care?

    Obviously all care is taken to curb the spread of illnesses such as colds, flu, and conjunctivitis. However, there is a very real risk of some serious infectious diseases also affecting the staff working at the childcare and early learning centres.

    Whilst your centre will most likely have a robust hygiene policy, there is an extended duty of care that owners and operators need to show their staff.

    In particular, it is imperative childcare workers are informed, aware of and protected from infectious diseases when at work.

    It’s the law

    The Educational and Care Services National Law and Regulations state that adequate health and hygiene practices must be implemented in childcare and early learning centres.

    There are severe penalties if centre owners and operators do not adequately educate their staff on the policies and procedures regarding hygiene practices.

    This includes not informing childcare staff, particularly women of childbearing age, of the risk of cytomegalovirus.

    What is cytomegalovirus (CMV)?

    CMV is part of the herpes family of viruses. It is common throughout the population and most carriers of the virus may not even know they have it.

    The virus does not usually pose a health threat to an otherwise healthy person, but it can be fatal to people with a compromised immune system.

    CMV can cause serious defects to an unborn child if the mother is infected while pregnant.

    How is CMV transmitted?

    CMV is in the saliva and blood and can be spread through contact with blood, faeces, urine or saliva.

    You can reduce the risk of the virus spreading by adhering to good hygiene practices.

    What do you have to do?

    Centre owners and operators are required to implement policies, procedures and training dealing specifically with infectious diseases.

    One very important publication that should be constantly referred to is Staying Healthy in Childcare.

    Staying Healthy in Childcare states the spread of infection can be reduced by:

    • Good hand washing, particularly after contact with any kind of body secretion from the children, especially after changing nappies or helping the children with going to the toilet;
    • Washing shared toys; and
    • Not kissing infants around the mouth.

    The National Health and Medical Research Council publishes posters showing techniques for hand washing and nappy changing which reduce the risk of spread of infectious diseases.

    These publications are updated regularly and centres should ensure they are aware of the most recent publications at all times.

    Upon hiring a new employee, owners and operators of centres must:

    • ensure that Staying Healthy in Childcare is always visible and accessible to staff at the centre;
    • ensure every new female employee’s attention is drawn to Staying Healthy in Childcare and in particular the pages regarding CMV and infectious diseases;
    • obtain written confirmation from new employees indicating they have read and understood Staying Healthy in Childcare and in particular the sections regarding infectious diseases.

    What should you do if a staff member tells you she is pregnant?

    If a staff member tells you the happy news that she has a baby on the way, you need to immediately refer her to Staying Healthy in Childcare. You need to ensure she has time to read all sections of the publication regarding infectious diseases, and make sure this is documented.

    It is also important to advise the staff member to speak with her GP about the risks of continuing to work in childcare, as well as following her doctor’s advice on undergoing blood tests to check for susceptibility to infections.

    If the pregnant staff member chooses to continue working at your centre, she should be restricted to working only with toilet trained children, and her duties don’t include nappy changing or assisting the children with toileting.

    Stay aware and stay clean!

    As mentioned earlier, while you may already have stringent hygiene practices in place at your centre, it is always important to remain vigilant.

    Always make sure your staff members are following hygiene protocols, and that all staff, especially women of childbearing age, are made fully aware of the risks of contracting infectious diseases when working in a childcare and early learning centre.

    You can access ‘Staying Healthy in Childcare’ here.

    For detailed information and fact sheets on reducing the spread of diseases in childcare and early learning centres, visit www.nhmrc.gov.au/guidelines-publications/ch55.

    For further information on how to avoid risks at your centre, please contact on 1800 810 213.


    Insurance issued by Guild Insurance Ltd, ABN 55 004 538 863, AFSL 233791 and subject to terms, conditions and exclusions. This information is of a general nature only. For further information, contact us on
    1800 810 213.

  • Monkey business that ended in tears

    Meet Jenny.

    Jenny is the owner of a Childcare Centre in the Gold Coast. Recently Lilly, a three year old child in Jenny’s care fell off the monkey bars and landed awkwardly – breaking her arm in two places. Lilly’s injury was so severe she was unable to attend childcare for four weeks.

    What did this mean for Lilly’s parents?

    Adding to the stressful situation, Lilly’s dad had to take four weeks of unpaid leave from work to care for her at home.

    What did this mean for the childcare centre?

    Both Jenny and Lilly’s parents understood that accidents do happen, but as a Guild customer with Child Accident Protection (CAP) cover, Jenny was able to assist with the medical costs as well as the father’s lost income – with no fuss.

    Without the concern of who was to going to pay the medical bills and the added stress of loss of income, Lilly’s parents could focus on getting her back onto the playground.

    The above case studies are based on general claims scenarios and do not reflect any particular claim. Names are fictitious and any resemblance to a real person is purely coincidental.

  • What would happen if you can’t operate your business? Part 2

    The threat of storms and fire are obvious threats to any business; however it’s often the seemingly harmless incidents which can severely affect a business’s operations. Events such as prolonged unforeseen power outages, burst water pipes or a sewage leak can all wreak havoc on your business.

    However, there are ways you can attempt to minimise the effects of interruptions to your business.

    1. Identify ways in which your business may be vulnerable to an interruption.

    > For example, conduct regular building inspections and ensure preventative maintenance programs are in place.

    2. Develop a critical tasks checklist to follow in the event of a major disruption.

    > Include items such as diverting phones, photographing damage, securing stock and other assets.

    3. Maintain a list of critical contacts to call when an interruption events occurs.

    > Include staff, landlords, contractors, security providers, local council, suppliers and details of your insurance provider.

    4. Produce an essential items kit of things you might need in an emergency.
    > A site map of your premises showing the location of electrical switchboards, hot water service, water and gas shut-off valves and emergency exits.

    > Instructions for restoring IT systems and hardware.

    > Instructions for accessing updates from key government agencies such as CFA, SES, Bureau of Meteorology.

    > Emergency provisions such as a torch, mobile phone charger, and a battery operated radio.

    5. Maintain an accurate list of current assets.

    6. Regularly back-up electronic records and ensure a copy is securely stored offsite.

    7. If an event does occur, record evidence of any damage before beginning the clean-up.

    If you would like information on how Business Interruption cover can help you, simply contact Guild Insurance on 1800 810 213 or visit guildinsurance.com.au





  • Business cyber security obligations

    Did you know that approximately 4,000 reports of cybercrime are reported to the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network every month? That’s a lot of cyber-attacks to arm yourself against.

    While you might do your best to protect your business, do you know what to do if your business is under attack? And do you know what your obligations are when dealing with an attack?

    Download your copy of Business Cyber Security Obligations and learn the essential strategies to preparing for a cyber-attack and the legal obligations you have to your clients and staff.



  • If you fail to plan, plan to fail.

    In business, continuity is the key baseline for success.  It might seem obvious, but it’s surprising how many people rely on your business opening its doors everyday.

    Too often businesses are caught off guard and aren’t prepared when the unexpected happens. While it’s often impossible to reduce the likelihood of many of these events from occurring, business owners can reduce the impact they have by having a plan for what they’ll do if one of these events were to occur.

    Examples of this include:

    • Storm/cyclone
    • Fire
    • Flood
    • Loss of power

    Business continuity plans (BCP) help businesses stay operational during natural disasters, economic downturns, bad publicity and internal conflict or change. Ensuring a business has the correct insurance to continue functioning regardless of internal or external factors, is absolutely key to that business’s success, regardless of size. A BCP is essentially preparing your business for the worst. It is a formal response to a disaster that can help mitigate the impact of continued business interruption. Any business can face an unexpected event that will lead to the business being unable to operate for a period of time. Without a business continuity plan, you may have to figure out solutions in times of stress, and are reactive rather than proactive, which may result in you missing important steps, overlooking risks, and aggravating the impact of the loss. Imagine yourself in an emergency: would you rather have a plan or figure it out as and when the event occurs? It’s about implementing a step-by-step plan for the future should an emergency occur.

    Many business owners feel that they can come up with an “Emergency Plan B” at very short notice to work through a crisis. The reality is that in order for you to be successful with the least amount of downtime, the planning needs to done well in advance. The most effective plans are tailored to your business which requires time to fully imagine various scenarios to come up with solutions to allow your business to move forward even in times of uncertainty. A good BCP will help alleviate weaknesses that are emerging from within the business.

    All BCPs ideally should be unique as they need to be created for the individual needs and operations of the business.

    When businesses create their BCP, they need to consider the following:

    • How vulnerable are you to a major disruption? (for example, are you in a high bushfire area or a cyclone area)
    • How will a major disruption affect the business and the clients of the business? Will clients go elsewhere for the service they require?
    • How long will the business not be able to operate? And how long can the business survive if not operating?

    Some matters to consider including in a BCP are:

    • Possible temporary sites the business can operate from if the usual place of business can’t be accessed
    • Evacuation plan
    • A list of critical tasks needed to keep the organisation operating, such as how to access data and systems as well divert phones for communication
    • Emergency contact numbers (such as for utility providers, insurers, clients, suppliers)
    • Who is responsible for key actions
    • List of current assets

    Be sure all staff are educated on the plan and have rehearsed elements of the plan, such as an evacuation and accessing data off site.

    Plans should be continually reviewed and updated over time to be sure they match the business’ current needs.  For example, if the business changes locations or adds to the services provided, this will require a review of the BCP.

    A BCP gives guidance and takes away some of the stress and anxiety during a crisis.  Many people don’t think straight during a crisis, so thinking about what to do before the situation will greatly increase the likelihood of responding appropriately.  This appropriate response can assist the business to recover more quickly from the event.

    Having insurance without a BCP is like driving somewhere you’ve never been at night, without a map or headlights. Business continuity planning and insurance go hand in hand. Ensuring you’ve developed a thorough BCP will help you get back on your feet if you suffer a loss. Proper insurance coverage which includes business interruption insurance can also be an advantage when faced with a loss.


    A good insurance policy will help alleviate some of the financial loss in an emergency, but you cannot expect it to protect you from all possibilities.  In today’s era of instant gratification customers aren’t as understanding as you may think. They will wonder why you weren’t prepared as they expect you to run your business in a timely fashion despite any hiccups.

    Once you have a BCP in place, it’s important to keep revisiting and tweaking it, as risks and potential solutions for addressing them will keep changing over time. By regularly reviewing your risk, you can ensure that, should the worst happen, you are ready to deal with the situation and have a plan in place that will help you resume and not go out of business.

    Here’s a checklist to help:


  • Are you prepared for a power outage?

    Are you prepared for a power outage?

    Power outages are unfortunately becoming a somewhat common occurrence in parts of Australia. The threat of heatwaves, and therefore higher than usual demands on power, means that power outages are a real threat to many businesses over summer.

    Insurance protection during a power outage

    It’s important that all businesses understand their insurance cover in case of events which impact the running of the business, such as a power outage. Guild Insurance will provide cover when the power outage is unplanned, and this is defined as when there is less than 48 hours’ notice that the outage will occur. Cover will be provided for the cost of hiring a generator. And the really beneficial part about this cover is that there’s no waiting period with Guild Insurance. So if the power is out for only 2 hours, the policy will still respond and provide cover for that short period.

    Planning for an outage

    Sometimes there is no notice that a power outage is to occur. And even when notice is given, there may not be enough time to allow a business to adequately prepare for the outage. Therefore it’s vital that all businesses have a plan in place, sometimes referred to as a business continuity plan, for what they’ll do if a power outage was to affect their business.

    Some factors to consider when making this plan include:

    • Is there a business nearby which provides generators for backup power?
    • Can the business continue running from another site or location?
    • Is there another location where items, such as refrigerated stock, can be stored so they don’t perish or become damaged?
    • Where will emergency contact details (e.g. power company, insurer, clients) be stored away from the business in case the business can’t be accessed?
    • What are the implications for both the business and clients if the business doesn’t operate for a period of time?

    Remember, planning during an outage is too late. Don’t think this won’t happen to you, have a plan just in case.


  • If it doesn't feel right, it probably isn't

    Don’t let anyone convince you to provide treatment against your better judgement. If you find yourself in a position that you are not comfortable providing treatment, just remember the following:

    • As the qualified health practitioner, you are responsible for any treatment you provide.
    • Ensure that any treatment provided is based on your own judgement, not simply a patient request.
    • Remember you’re the one with the clinical knowledge and expertise. With the patient’s consent, it’s up to you to decide what is most appropriate.
    • A patient request for a particular treatment is not a defence for poor clinical decision making.
    • If you decide not to treat the patient, it’s important to explain to the patient why and make a record of your decision in the patient’s record.
    • If you decide not to treat the patient, rather than turning them away, provide a referral or help them find an alternative practitioner.

    For more information call 1800 810 213.

  • Dealing with a claim - an early learning perspective

    A personal text message from the daughter of one of our claims consultants led to the safety of a childcare centre – all before the centre had even contacted us.

    At Guild it’s about getting you back up and running as soon as humanly possible – at the heart of all that we do is you our customers. But don’t just take our word for it – learn more about the Guild difference when making a claim.

  • Dealing with a claim - a veterinary perspective

    In the lead-up to Tropical Cyclone Debbie earlier this year, Seth McIntosh, owner of Bowen Veterinary Clinic in far north Queensland, was busy preparing for the oncoming storm.

    And so were we. At Guild it’s about getting you back up and running as soon as humanly possible – at the heart of all that we do is you – our customer.  But don’t just take our word for it – learn more about the Guild difference when making a claim.


  • Dealing with a claim - a fitness centre perspective

    When a mirror was accidentally cracked by a member at Gideon’s gym, he immediately rang Guild Insurance… and that’s where we kicked into high gear.

    At Guild it’s about getting you back up and running as soon as humanly possible. At the heart of all that we do is you – our customer. But don’t just take our word for it, learn more about the Guild difference when making a claim.


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Why Guild Insurance?

For over 55 years, our customers have continued to be central to everything we do.

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