Axons Unleashed S2 E4:The Importance of A Good Solicitor. Tip: Don't Do it Yourself!

Welcome back to Season 2 of Axons Unleashed!

This week we continued on the journey of property investment steps with another guest from our wider Axon family Jason Matthey, from InsuranceWeb.

Robbie and Jason have known each other for over 7 years and have been working closely since Axon started. You’ll get to meet Jason and discover what advantages he brings to the Axon Group… 

How special and important is a personalised experience in the insurance realm? How does Jason stand out even more in the insurance world? 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Episode Transcription:

Automated voice:
Axons Unleashed.

Robbie:
Morning, everyone. My name’s Robbie. I’m only joined here with the man, the myth, the legend, Dan. Today we’ve got a very special guest with us. Welcome to episode six of season two of Excellence Unleashed.

Dan:
Absolutely. One of the great mornings where we are here in our lovely office down on the Gold Coast, all gathered here together. Buddy, it’s a great pleasure to be able to invite some extra people along again this week, to be able to continue taking people on the journey of, okay, who are these key advisors or the key stakeholders you really need in your journey as well.

Robbie:
Yeah. I hope you’re really enjoying season two, everybody. So we’ve spoken to property managers. We’re speaking to a property manager later this morning, we’ve spoken to an accountant, spoken to a mortgage broker, spoken to [inaudible 00:00:53] support person, spoken to a solicitor. As we sort of grow that now, it gives us great pleasure to introduce Jason Matthey from Insurance Web.

Jason Matthey:
Jason Matthey.

Robbie:
That too.

Jason Matthey:
That too. I can go by whatever name you like.

Robbie:
[crosstalk 00:01:11] Jason M.

Dan:
Jason M, yeah.

Jason Matthey:
Just don’t call me late for supper.

Dan:
Yeah, its Jason M on the email.

Robbie:
How are you buddy? Good to see you by the way.

Jason Matthey:
Yeah.

Robbie:
You and I sort of connected this morning had brekkie. And we’re certainly going to tell our story about how we met shortly. But we haven’t seen each other for probably five or six years, but we’ve known each other probably seven or eight years. Mate it’s good to see you. You haven’t aged any more than seven or eight years.

Jason Matthey:
I try to do things.

Dan:
The moisturizer.

Jason Matthey:
The sun screen. Let’s call it sun screen.

Dan:
It’s a very rare occasion that there’s someone in the podcast studio with less hair on the top of their head than I do.

Robbie:
True.

Dan:
I’m feeling pretty good about life today.

Jason Matthey:
I’m also trying to get the glare effect, Dan.

Dan:
I should have polished it up this morning before we came in here.

Robbie:
It’s only going to be for those people watching on YouTube, everyone else on podcasts. I don’t care.

Dan:
We’re doing this. You can now go and watch these episodes on YouTube, as well as being able to listen on wherever you get your favorite podcasts from. So it’s really good. And it really supplements, I suppose, the other live elements that we do generally through Facebook as well.

Robbie:
Yeah, we had a heap of clients here. So, here we are now speaking to you on the 27th of April, couple of days after Anzac day. We had a heap of clients here in our office and yeah, a lot of people are now starting to watch the YouTube clips and it’s like, “Oh, it’s good to see the expression on your faces.” Anyone who knows me or has been watching me for a while as I’m doing right now, I like to talk with my hands and get a little bit of expression going.

Dan:
Whenever you’re passionate or whenever you’re really getting into something you know you need to get your hands moving as well. Just to be able to try to…

Robbie:
But you can’t hit the fucking table because it makes too much noise.

Jason Matthey:
Tap, tap.

Robbie:
All right. Let’s get into it.

Dan:
Of special interest, Tamara isn’t in the podcast studio today. So when she comes and listens to this, she’s going to lose her shit that Robbie was just hitting the table with his hands during the podcast.

Robbie:
On purpose.

Dan:
Yeah.

Robbie:
For a chance. All right. Let’s get into it. Matthey, so tell us what’s your recollection? How did we first meet?

Jason Matthey:
Yeah, well, the former business that you were involved with. And yeah, we have a relationship right from the start when Axon started. So we were really pleased that you brought us on board for what we were already doing, and you could see value in what we were doing. So yeah, it’s been awhile.

Robbie:
It’s a bit of a no brainer, really like the simple and easy to understand, but detailed risk management plan that we provide all of our clients. Having your insurances in place, can’t stop shit happening, but it can certainly cure or fix stuff straightaway. It just gives you a bit of peace of mind that you’re sort of wrapped around a little bit. If Murphy’s law has struck, and even though you put prevention measures in place to stop something happening, if your tenants wreck the joint or the tenants do the run out, or there’s something, there’s a bar or someone goes through a wall then, hey, if you’ve got your insurances policies in place, building insurance and landlord’s insurance, and we’ll certainly go through the differences that those two this morning, you know it’s going to be fixed and everything’s going to be okay.

Jason Matthey:
Absolutely. And we usually do the two together, the building and the landlords’ contents. So certainly we know what we’re doing, we’re doing it for a long time. I’ve been around 30 years.

Robbie:
Yeah. I was going to say, give us a bit of a history of your personal experience in the industry.

Jason Matthey:
Yeah. So I started carrying mail and delivering stationary really around the office, and hat was a long time ago.

Robbie:
Everyone starts somewhere.

Jason Matthey:
Yeah. So back in the time before emails and carrying the mail from the post office to the office back in 1991. We’re talking, that was mainly only once a week. Well, I’m coming up on 30 years.

Robbie:
That’s 30 years.

Jason Matthey:
Yeah 30 years.

Robbie:
Well, I joined the army in January, 1990. So if you’re talking early 90 stuff, you were in fucking high school still mate. You were in primary school probably.

Jason Matthey:
I don’t think I’d even started school.

Robbie:
There you go.

Dan:
Sorry. We’ve got a couple of old men in the studio

Robbie:
Mate, you’re right. Times were different back then. Certainly, I don’t know how you got insurance policies quoted and posted out to everyone around the country like you do now. Oh yeah.

Dan:
How did it used to work back then? You’ve been in the insurance game that entire time, so you probably seen it develop. But when you first entered the game, how did the process work?

Jason Matthey:
Well, when I first entered the game in 1991 certainly everyone just posted things. It was mail not email, it was just mail. I was the guy that carried the sandsack from the post office to the office. So I had this big sack on my back and these days it’d be a work cover issue. But everything was through posts. On a daily basis that, that sandsack was pretty full. But everything was by that sort of style of communication and things have come a long way, I think around about the year 2000s, really, when things changed in the industry with the internet in the 1990s, and then from there the automated rating systems really flourished probably around about 2003. So, yeah.

Robbie:
So when you said you were starting back then, were you working with another insurance broking firm? Just give us a bit [crosstalk 00:06:23].

Jason Matthey:
So, I’ve done both. So in my 30 years I’ve spent half of that time in the underwriting area. So that was with Zurich Insurance to begin with. I think when I first started, we’re talking Guardian Royal Exchange, it’s not around anymore. It was an English company. Then it was Zurich Insurance right up through working with different roles within Zurich. The last role I had was sales, which was working with brokers face to face, being the face of Zurich around the Brisbane area. Always been around this Brisbane area Southeast Queensland.

Dan:
Just for our listeners before we move too far. When you say underwriting what does that actually mean, please?

Jason Matthey:
Yeah. Underwriting is they’re the ones that’s the insurance company. They’re the ones issuing the policy. And the traditional sense of the word underwriting is somebody who creates the policy. People who have the power to change what is written. And the underwriting is underwriting the words that are in the policy. So, that’s an underwriter side of things. So you do have things in between where you get underwriting agencies. They act for the insurance company and they’re an agency. And of course you get the brokers that are acting for the client.

Robbie:
In my mind when mean I underwriting I’m like, who’s going to pay? Who’s going to settle the account if money needs to be paid out? That’s part of the underwriting as well.

Jason Matthey:
Yeah. Absolutely. There’s claims services involved. So you might get external claims companies, but ideally the underwriter, the people who put the words on the paper, they’re also the ones, generally 90% of the time, they’re the ones that are selling it financially.

Dan:
Yeah. But it sounds like there’s that other 10% of the time where you’ve got a face to an insurance company, for example, that is actually underwritten by one of these major players anyway.

Jason Matthey:
Yeah. Absolutely. You’ll get generally that is an underwriting agency and they may get the ability to pay claims. But you’ll find that the financial security comes from the underwriter, or you could say the insurer, the insurance company. There are other ways…

Robbie:
Who are the big players in the game at the moment? Because no doubt many of our listeners will be like, “Oh yeah, I’ve got a policy with those guys.”

Jason Matthey:
Yeah. They’ve heard of different ones. Exactly, yeah.

Robbie:
Yeah. Go for it. Yeah. What’s the top five, say for instance?

Jason Matthey:
Top five. CGU. CGU’s always been a big player and in landlords covers. So if I was talking specifically with the rental and investment properties, that’s SGIO. You’ve got Blue Zebra was in there for a little bit. You’ve got QBE, Qsure. Qsure and Qselect are the ones that we use a bit. ILL, Hollard. A lot of people probably haven’t heard of Hollard Commercial, but Hollard Personal, Hollard Commercial, they’re fairly new to it. But we find they’re doing quite a good job. IIL is really CGU insurance, but in a different format.

Robbie:
I guess two people. They generally got two options. I’ve got an investment property. I want to protect my property, protect the contents of the property, make sure that the tenants don’t turn out to be poor tenants. So I’m protected there as well. I can ring up AAMI, or I can ring up Qsure, or I can ring up CGU and do it myself, or we can get an insurance broker in place. Just to give us a bit of a background why it’s important that you are actually in the game and you’re a part of the transaction.

Jason Matthey:
Absolutely. We get that a bit. There may very well be a pricing difference, but the difference between paying that little bit more and getting the right advice and getting an insurance broker is your advocate. The insurance broker works for you, not the insurance company. So you’re the broker’s client. That is an important part of it. So we are looking after the client as though that is our own investment property. We would want to do the best that we can for our client. It’s got nothing to do with the insurance company. What we do is make sure the insurance are doing the right thing. So part of that process of dealing with a broker, you’re not only getting the extra layer of advice, but you’re also getting an extra layer of protection. If all things do go south and a broker has made a mistake in the transaction, you’ve always got that layer of protection on our professional indemnity.

Jason Matthey:
So there’s that, there’s also the claims process. We’ll touch on that probably a bit later as well, the claims. But you’ve got an insurance broker monitoring the claims process for you. So you’ve always got that extra set of hands on your side. We’ve always got knowledge of what actually happens, what trends, who to go to. We do this every day, all day. I think I look at it like an analogy of submitting your tax, but not using an accountant. I look at it as going to court, but not using a lawyer. I would be using an insurance broker when you’re transacting an insurance transaction that you don’t really know or understand much about. Get a broker working for you.

Robbie:
It’s a good way of putting it. When we spoke late last week, you said that there was an incident in staffing, I think in the north side of Brisbane where one of your… Just tell us the amount of care that is taken by your office in helping people out that have got one of your insurance policies.

Jason Matthey:
That was an interesting one. Of course. To be honest, we don’t get it happen very often where you get a total loss fire. But when we do…

Robbie:
Good.

Jason Matthey:
Yeah, absolutely. When we do we do take a lot of care and we care about what’s actually happened, of course. A lot of the time customers will ring us quite distressed, as you can imagine. This family just left the building with the shirts on their back. They lost a whole lot. That was only last week. And we sent somebody out there straight away. Travis in my office took it upon himself to jump in the car, go see the client straight away and give them a bit reassurance that we’re there. We’re there on the scene. That’s if the property is in that Southeast corner and we can do it like within a two hour drive or so, we’ll get out there. So it just gives a little bit of comfort that you see someone face to face when such a big event happens.

Jason Matthey:
They’ve got a lot of questions, of course, “What do I do now? Do I get a little bit of an emergency expanse? Do I put something on my credit card?” We go through a little bit of that process to give them some reassurance. We also make sure that the right assessors have been appointed. We have a look at who’s going to do what. So our office swings into action saying, “Okay, who has the insurance company appointed, and do we agree with that?” So we may look at it and say, “Oh look, can we maybe have some influence on who we get appointed to that claim because we’ve had good experiences with those people before?” That’s part of what a broker will do as well. I really thought Travis did a great job there going out and seeing that client straight away. That client has a other commercial business with us as well and he’s really looking after him.

Dan:
When you say about having influence over the assessor that’s going to go through there, when you were talking about that, is it because that assessor might be more generous towards the client or is it because they just provide a more seamless process?

Jason Matthey:
More the seamless process. It’s more that some assessors, like any company, you know the ones that are putting more effort into what they do, they’re more passionate about what they do. Also you can look at, you can judge as a broker, the workloads of companies. We can see that if we went to one assessing company and they are taking their time to do things, when we follow them up, “Oh look we’re a bit snowed under at the moment, to be honest with you, Jason.” Then we look at, okay, can we accommodate something as important as this with an assessor that can take that job on and really care about it? That assessor that did get appointed to that one lives in the same suburb. I think hats off to the insurance company for doing that because we didn’t realize we were checking it and double checking, is this the right person for the job? And then Travis came back and reported to me that that assessor drove past the incident in the morning and then was appointed to it by mid-morning.

Dan:
That would become really important, I suppose, when you start thinking of large scale hailstorms, for example, that happened. Because there’s hundreds or thousands of properties that are impacted, right?

Jason Matthey:
Yeah.

Dan:
You don’t want to just be in there with the masses. You want to try to be able to separate yourself from the queue so that you get looked after as a priority, right?

Jason Matthey:
Absolutely. Sometimes when you get a lot of claims happening in one suburb, there’s an advantage to having the same assessor. I’m a little bit contradictive to what I just said, because you’re going to have one assessor loaded up. But it makes sense that they go out there and they’re going down the street, visiting house after house. And applying the same method, the same service standard to each of those properties…

Dan:
Just becomes a little bit more efficient.

Jason Matthey:
Oh, absolutely. Yeah.

Robbie:
Mate, it’s a really good example of how much care you guys take, literally drop everything on a Friday morning, go out there and help a young family that’s just lost everything. They were able to get some allowances for food, some allowances for clothes. I guess this is the fine print that I know myself when I get an insurance quote come in for your car, for your contents, for the boat, for the jet ski, fucking whatever it is, the first thing we look at is the price. Then we’re like, “What am I actually covered for?” And you have a broad brush of what the bullet points are. But then there’s a lot of stuff in the fine print that even the guy who’s been in the property industry now for 18 years, I don’t fully understand because that’s not who I am.

Robbie:
So I do rely… And I use you. This is another example, ladies and gents, of skin in the game. Jason, you’ve been doing my properties in my portfolio now for many years. And I wouldn’t be going back there for it if it wasn’t getting the right level of service. But I guess if I was those clients that we were just speaking about then I would want someone to sit down and go, “All right, you probably didn’t realize this, but now you can go get this much on clothes. Now you’re going to get this much allowance for food. This is how long it’s going to take. Here’s your temporary accommodation.” That would just make them feel amazing that you’ve just taken all that worry off their head.

Jason Matthey:
There’s a lot of that sort of stuff that goes on. We’ve had claims even where people don’t realize what their rights are in a claim. So, looking at rent default, we had one tenant that wouldn’t move out. They refused to leave the property and I stayed on, but didn’t pay rent. Now the insurance company at the time, this was going back 10 years ago, but I just remember this one vividly, that it was an awkward situation where the policy wording said, we don’t pay a rent default claim until you get rid of that person out of the property.

Jason Matthey:
The insurance company was relying on this. We were able to lean on them back through United Insurance Group, back through Steadfast Group that we’re a part of. And the Steadfast Group basically leans on the insurer and says, “Hey, what’s going on here? Yeah. Okay.” There’s an intent in the wording to look after the customer. So go by the intent of what’s meant to happen, not word for word in the policy. I think it’s a good example of where going through a broker, you’ve got so many levels of protection that we can turn around and lean back on the insurance company and they take notice. If steadfast had a big issue with them, that is a massive issue for the insurance company.

Robbie:
Yeah. It’s the same reason Dan, that you and I talk about going through a mortgage broker to get you like, “Here’s all my circumstances. You know what’s in the market. Go get all the quotes for me. Put together the package and the interest rates in the [inaudible 00:18:16], the different sort of products and features of the policy and come back to me with some quotes.” Let’s talk about the quote process now. What happens there?

Jason Matthey:
Yeah. So we already know we have a bit of a panel. So we’d have at least nine insurers on our panel. Some of them we know day-to-day just don’t deliver the results so we may exclude them. We may put them down on the list as number six.

Dan:
By results, do you mean don’t provide the right level of data or pricing is not right?

Jason Matthey:
The pricing. We know the price point. We know roughly where it should be. We may get insurers that say, “Okay, it’s $1,100.” And then we’ll get other insurers that consistently come back with two grand in that area. When we get an estate to look at, and we’ve done the homework on the estate, so we’ve already quoted a few in the estate, the panel starts to sort itself out. And you start to see who’s who in the zoo for that estate. Yeah, we’ll come back with at least three quotes on that email. But there’s possibly that we’ve done a little bit more work. So we may have done five, but we’re presenting the best three and that’ll be service standards. We do look at the pricing. We look at the excess.

Robbie:
What’s covered in insurance as well.

Jason Matthey:
Yeah.

Robbie:
Like I know the quote that I use in my process in risk brief, ladies and gents, for those that have seen that, that’s the exact cut out of what you provided me. And also I got more cover for the contents, more cover for the property itself. The excess was less and the premium was less. I just went with whoever it was. I have no allegiance when it comes to this stuff. I just want to make sure I’m covered at the best price.

Jason Matthey:
We tend to pick the top five reasons. Like the biggest reasons why you may want to choose one over the other. If there was something glaringly different, we would add that into it. But generally we have a panel. We have the list that this one’s coming up with this excess, this one’s coming up at this price point. And the ones that are on the panel, they’re no slouches. If one of them is not good, they’re not going to be on that panel.

Dan:
It’s very much like a mortgage broker. You’re talking about the products, the feature, the pricing, and that’s exactly what a mortgage broker is looking for, is to make sure that the product that gets put in front of you is best suited for your individual circumstances based on that property. Right?

Jason Matthey:
Yeah. Absolutely. That’s what we do. You should expect that from your broker. And brokers should be passionate about that sort of thing. If they’re not, they shouldn’t be doing what they’re doing.

Robbie:
Well, it’s a reason why a client comes to, “Hey, man, here’s my circumstances. Here’s the format all filled out online. Jason and the team go and inform me the best product and give me the option to choose still.” You do that, right?

Jason Matthey:
Yeah.

Robbie:
You go, “There’s your two or three quotes that we’ve now filter through for you.” Then ultimately, it’s up to us as the owner of the asset to choose which one we want to go through. Happy days.

Jason Matthey:
They’re all going to protect your assets. There’s no doubt about that. But some of them, we may throw up a reason why you might want to consider one over the other. It might be that the excess is different but the price is better. Then it would be released to roughly doing the same sort of thing, and your service is going to come back through us. If your price point wants to be a bit sharper, you might be with a higher excess, and we give those options.

Dan:
What about if… Because some of our clients do this. They go out and they want to have a look around and go out on bloody comparethemarket.com or whatever it is that they want to ring up, AAMI, and get their own quotes. I suppose, what would you recommend they do if they go and find a product that they’re like, “Hey, I found this on the internet. Why shouldn’t I go with this?” Should they bring that to you? And then what would you do with that if they brought it across to you?

Jason Matthey:
Yeah. Good question. So we love to see them come back in because at least we got a chance to explain to a customer what it is that they’re not getting. Usually that’s going to be that layer of protection, I spoke about. That service, that claim service, you’re forgoing all of those things. When you’re talking about price, it’s like, “Okay, well, do I want to do this without that level of service? Do I want to do this on my own? If I have a claim, am I happy dealing directly with the insurance company? Am I happy next year to do this exercise all over again myself?” Which means am I rolling it over with a double AAMI or one of those Youi, or whoever’s out there that’s doing a direct? Or do I want my broker working for me to have a look at what’s best in the market?

Jason Matthey:
We’ll probably come to rent default later. I’d look at how they do it. Do they offer it? What levels do they offer it at? We have a look at those sorts of things and make sure it’s right for the client, otherwise clients on their own, trying to work that stuff out, it might save a hundred dollars, but you’re sacrificing a fair bit. And I can’t stress enough that layer of protection, the ability to come back to a broker and say, “Hey, something has gone wrong here and it’s us that’s in the can, not your property.”

Dan:
Yep. It’s funny. I know, obviously the linkages between mortgage broker and insurance broker are very similar as I’ve explained. You’ve got access to lots of different products for all of their clients, and you’re the ones that do all the work. One of our other clients is like, “I don’t want to go through the mortgage broker. I’m just going to deal directly with the bank.” And I’m like, “Hey bro, hey, you gambled everything.” He goes, “Oh, that bank’s a mean fucking [inaudible 00:23:36]. He goes, “I can’t believe how much work they’re making us do.” I’m like, “Ha! Ha! That’s why you get a mortgage broker to do it. Anyway, let me know when you’re finished and we’ll be here for you.”

Jason Matthey:
But the thing is I saved $80. It’s a mindset thing, isn’t it?

Dan:
This is the thing you turn that $80 in. It’s a little bit silly, but that’s like $1.50 per week. And I don’t know about you ladies and gents, but I’m almost going to guarantee that every single one of you goes out and buys one bloody mocha frappuccino for $7 from Starbucks during the week or something stupid like that, which could easily as offset that $1.50, that you’d pay for someone else to do all the work. I’m pretty passionate about it because as my clients know, I declare myself to be an exceptionally lazy person when it comes to this point.

Robbie:
Smart, lazy.

Dan:
Smart, lazy. I like to think smart, lazy, but I don’t disclose that. But one of the major reasons that I go and use a insurance broker as well is because when the time comes that I need to make a claim, I don’t want to have to do anything. I want to be able to outsource all of that straight across to the insurance broker. There’s obviously a pretty close relationship that you then need to have with a rental manager as well.

Jason Matthey:
We string things together. So our claims that we do handle in the broken office. Some brokers you just got to be careful There’s brokers and there’s brokers. Some will not handle a claims process. I think if you were shopping around between brokers, get one that handles the claim process for you as well. Then that is the checking that everyone’s doing what they say they’re going to do. I’ve got somebody in there now who came from Disability Support Services. But we want to show that empathy in the claims handling process so that the standard procedure for us is day one, lodging the claim. Day two, follow up to make sure that there’s a claim number allocated. Who’s the assessor? Where’s it going from here? Do we need to have a day three activity or do we skip over to the day five because everything’s now going the correct way? But because we systemize that in the office, in the claims process, everything just follows that same process and people get held accountable to that process. The other thing I wanted to say… Lost my train of thought on that one, actually.

Robbie:
I was just going to bring up the linkages between the rental or the property manager and what were doing as the insurance broker once a claim comes in.

Jason Matthey:
Yeah. So, the property managers we work closely with, and I think where I was going with that too, is that in our screen, we have the rental property managers phone number, contact details, that’s all in there. Then we have the assessor’s details. We have who at the insurance company we’re talking to, it’s in there. When the guys has pulled that up, it’s all in front of them. So if they need to make a call between a property manager and an assessor, they can do that straight away and pull them in together.

Jason Matthey:
The other thing we do, and I’ve got the guys to do this time and time again to hold people accountable is copy everyone into that email that you’re sending out. So here’s an update of where this claim’s at. Now, if that’s a copy going to the rental manager, the rental manager may read that and say, “Oh, there’s something in there that I’m meant to be doing. But we’re talking to the assessor.” So primarily we’re talking to the assessor, but then the rental manager is copied in. You’re always then going to get everyone working together on it

Robbie:
For us. The defense force listens to veterans, commonly known as the all informed net.

Jason Matthey:
There you go.

Robbie:
That’s all informed network.

Jason Matthey:
It’s the web.

Robbie:
Yeah. Insurance Web. I’ll see what you did.

Jason Matthey:
Oh yeah.

Dan:
Just taking a step back, we spoke about sort of the process that you take after you receive the climb, who from an investment property in particular would normally initiate that claim? Would it be the landlord? Would it be the rental manager? Would it be the tenant? Just tell me about where we find out [inaudible 00:27:32].

Jason Matthey:
Well normally the tenant will go to the rental manager. Then the rental manager can make that claim direct through to our office. Sometimes I’ll go to the insurer and the insurer tell us,” Hey, someone’s gone director made a claim.” But we always activate the claim within a day or so of knowing that someone’s gone direct to the insurer and initiated it. So there’s nothing stopping people from doing that, but we always encourage people to get us involved and involved early. That’s what we’re meant to be doing. So sometimes people do think that they need to go direct and maybe they get that from other brokers that don’t give them the service or…

Dan:
You were going to say, “Don’t give a shit.”

Jason Matthey:
Yeah.

Dan:
But you held back.

Robbie:
But to be fair, I’d like to think, what do their owners do? They come back to axon.

Jason Matthey:
Yeah.

Robbie:
That’s what certainly our build support [inaudible 00:28:20] do. Is that even though we provide that 12 months of coaching post the property being built in a tenants occupy, or you occupying as an owner-occupier, a couple of years down the track, just ring us and we’ll jump in and [inaudible 00:28:32], “All right.” Cause we’re the one that put it all together for them. So then we can instigator [inaudible 00:28:37] anyway

Jason Matthey:
Yeah. It doesn’t really matter where it comes from as long as we get a notification of a claim, we’ll always check back with the person that owns the property all the time. They’re actually away on the Navy ships. Also, we’ve had a few where we hadn’t been able to contact people because they’re out on…

Robbie:
Doing stuff?

Jason Matthey:
Doing stuff.

Dan:
Uncontactable for [inaudible 00:28:57].

Jason Matthey:
So, yeah. But we get on with it. I mean that’s actually just talking to that. That’s another reason why you’d want to [inaudible 00:29:03]… Imagine doing something directly with an insurance company and being uncontactable for three weeks or so or longer. And then relying on your property manager, dealing with the insurance company direct. It really does fit to do it this way.

Robbie:
Yeah. It’s almost like you need a little crisis management project team.

Jason Matthey:
Yeah.

Robbie:
That’s what it is.

Jason Matthey:
Yeah. But I would look more and more… As the years go by we’re getting more and more interaction between you guys at Axon, Insurance Web, the guys at the real estate. That interaction is probably the relationship we have is growing.

Robbie:
What’s one of the greatest tools that the property manager can do that helps you as an insurer and insurance broker?

Jason Matthey:
Yeah. Good question. So we like to see that the property managers are doing these inspections. I think it would be a great idea if they did it a month or two weeks before you are changing, like the insurances do. So if we were to say… I’ll give you an example, like if we were to say, “Okay, we think you should change insurance companies.” And at the time you make that change and you take our recommendation, but then something happens where maybe three months into the next insurance period something comes up. There’s damage to the property, but we’re trying to work out which period that was in. Was it in the old company? Or is the new company picking that up? So I think these inspection reports, they’re gold. We’ll work more and more with the real estate and get these inspection reports done at the right time that suits the insurance.

Dan:
Yeah. I suppose one of the things you’ve just touched on there is also about the timeliness of claims, I suppose, because we all know that if there is something malicious that happens across a property and we want to take all steps possible to be able to avoid that. But things don’t happen all at the same time. If something happens in bedroom one, it might be at a different time. Something that happens in their lounge room that might be a different times, a big hail storm rolls through for example.

Jason Matthey:
Yeah. The hail storm is probably easier, to be honest. A hail storm, we’ve got a point in time. The insurers will always look up the weather. The Bureau of Meteorology, they’ll always look up [inaudible 00:31:20] and say, “Okay, was that an event that actually happened in that suburbs?” So they’ll always check that. So if a hail storm rolls through or a storm, we know that that’s what happened at that time. When someone comes in and says, “Hey, someone drew all over my walls. Was it done maliciously?” What’s the difference between intentional damage where the people in the property think that they’re improving the property, but you don’t give them the go ahead to do this sort of thing. So the insurance…

Dan:
And some parents are probably sitting out there going, “That was artwork from my children. [inaudible 00:31:56]”

Jason Matthey:
Yeah. We improved your property and you should be paying us for that. But think of the times that this happens per room, and think about how insurance is meant to behave. Insurance is meant to have a look at an event in time, and then rectify that back to the situation it was in. If you have several incidents happening over time, is it fair that the insurance company just roll that into one event? And that’s one of the things that I will be honest about that, every insurer probably tries to tackle that and say, “Okay, do we just repaint the whole house? Do we call that all one event? Did all happen in one afternoon?” Because you just look at the fundamental way that insurance works, it’s per event. So you’re going to keep that in mind, if you’re not getting these property reports every six months or how they do them. You don’t know that that’s been occurring over time, and that’s something… I’m going to call it, a trap that you fall into where you just cannot make a claim for everything.

Dan:
Yeah. It’s not like he can just get to the end of a tenancy and go, “I would now done an inspection at the exit.” Or, “I’ve got all of these things that are broken.”

Jason Matthey:
Yeah, “The insurer fix my house up now.” We get that a lot. We really do get a lot of people where the tenancy changes and when you’re renting your property out, it’s like any asset with a motor vehicle that you’ve got as a rental car, there’s going to be wear and tear. There’s going to be little incidents and damage to property that you look at and say, “Okay, is this something that is an insurable event? Is it malicious in nature? Or is it just general wear and tear on the property?” And I think that comes back to what kind of bonds you get, what kind of relationship you have with your real estate agent? When people get pets in the place.

Robbie:
Oh let’s talk about that. Yeah. Goodbye.

Jason Matthey:
I always say, “Increase your bond.”

Robbie:
Yeah, alright.

Jason Matthey:
Because the insurers they don’t like damage by pets. You’ll get some insurers that will put a little bit of a limit of damaged by pets. But again is it accidental damage by pets? Is it wear and tear? The insurers do try to give a bit but it starts to go back into that wear and tear on the property and a bond issue. That’s what they call it.

Robbie:
Yeah. Residential Tenancy Bond.

Jason Matthey:
So you want to make sure… Someone asked me this only recently about, “Jason I’ve got someone lined up to go in and they’ve got a couple of dogs. What would your advice be?” I’m like, “Increase your bond now.” Maybe the estate agents don’t want to hear that, but that’s…

Dan:
Yeah. So it just makes things a little bit tidy because then you’ve got the bond about, they can just be drawn upon rather than having to make an insurance claim.

Robbie:
Or [inaudible 00:34:57].

Jason Matthey:
You want to put more accountability on the people who have got pets to do the right thing by those pets being in the property. Because inevitably you’ll have problems if you’re trying to make a claim at the end of it saying, “Hey, the pets just went and did all this damage to the property again.” Is it one afternoon? Did they do that over time? It flies in the face.

Dan:
If you have a dog pacing around the backyard, they don’t destroy the entire backyard in one afternoon.

Jason Matthey:
Yeah.

Dan:
They wear through the turf over [inaudible 00:35:26].

Jason Matthey:
Some insurers will have a little bit of a give me, I suppose, on damaged by pets. And again, they probably looking at it in a way of, “Okay, it’s accidental damage.” But really to defend the insurers a bit, like we said, it’s more a wear and tear issue when you got pets in the house.

Robbie:
Yeah. What about flooding? [inaudible 00:35:48]?

Dan:
I was going to use children next. What about kids? What do you do with kids then?

Jason Matthey:
You treat them like pets.

Dan:
Increase the bond. “You’ve got four kids, increase your bond.”

Jason Matthey:
Yeah.

Robbie:
[inaudible 00:35:58] same sort of thing. Some pets I would put forward. And certainly we’ve only got two little puppies and they wreck the joint a whole lot less than what a couple of [inaudible 00:36:08] would run around everywhere.

Jason Matthey:
Yeah.

Robbie:
For sure.

Jason Matthey:
Yeah.

Dan:
And my wife Anne will vouch for that because she’ll be like, “Now we do a reset. When the children are back to bed at night, we reset the entire house so it’s not chaos anymore.”

Jason Matthey:
Yeah.

Dan:
And by the way, the advice that… I suppose Jason’s actually covering here, it’s just generalist in nature as well. It’s not saying, “Hey, you need to go and do this.” Individual circumstances apply and obviously need to deep dive into those.

Jason Matthey:
If people want to talk ton us deeper about what is, and isn’t in the policy and put, I always say, “Look, if you want to have a chat over the phone, we’ll confirm it back on an email and say, “Okay, we’re talking about this point, this point, this point. This is what we think. Your policy, this is how it behaves and so is there anything else that you need to know?” It should be a correspondence in writing, but also on the telephone.

Robbie:
[inaudible 00:36:52] was that. This is how the policy behaves. Oh, I haven’t heard that before. That’s good.

Jason Matthey:
Our policy behaves.

Robbie:
Yeah.

Dan:
It’s like the insurance policy is now coming to life.

Robbie:
It is. Yeah, that’s right.

Jason Matthey:
It’s interesting hearing you guys not hearing those terms because there are terms that we use in the industry, the policy behaves like this. How does the policy respond?

Robbie:
It’s like it’s got its own entity.

Jason Matthey:
Yeah.

Robbie:
We’re pretty much as using those terms.

Jason Matthey:
Yes. So children, just to get back on that, I’d say children and pets, it’s very similar in a way of is it a malicious act to the property? If it’s a malicious act by a tenant, then you’ve got some cover. If it’s wear and tear and unfortunately little Johnny’s decided to paint the driveway a different color. You may have problems getting that through as a malicious act.

Dan:
Yeah. Bouncing back to that one you wanted to speak about our, I wanted to cover off on kids really quickly before that, because flooding is something that’s near and dear to lots of people’s hearts. We’ve got clients who are looking at buying a property that probably resides at least 50 meters above sea level. Right? They’re like, “Will we get flooding there?” And I’m like, “It’s 50 meters above sea level. You’re on the top of the hill. I think you’re going to be okay, but let’s go and do the activity.”

Jason Matthey:
Yeah.

Dan:
But we’ve also got things going on, like a little bit of global warming happening, sea level rising, everything like that is going to occur over the next sort of 10 years, 15, 20.

Robbie:
And the lowering of risk tolerance.

Dan:
Exactly right.

Robbie:
[inaudible 00:38:19] comes to that.

Dan:
Tell us what’s the current status of play because especially when you do a development for example, oftentimes they raise the actual level of the development as well, or they might lower and so on and so forth. So things must be changing pretty rapidly in that space.

Jason Matthey:
There was a lot of work done after the Brisbane floods 2011. You would have thought we’d learn from incidents prior to that. But I think 2011 is when they really came out and said, “Hey, let’s learn from this. There’s got to be change.” So one of the things that came out was a clear definition of flood and also that every policy that is a personal retail policy nature has to have the flood cover included. Now if for some reason the insurer says, “We just can’t do it.” A lot of them, we see just bowing out of the quote altogether, instead of saying, “Here’s your quote and it doesn’t have flood in it.” They’re saying, “Well, we just don’t want to quote because we believe it’s in an area that is susceptible so we’re going to bow out.”

Jason Matthey:
So it does make it a little bit harder and more interesting in our office to get people engaged like the insurance companies engaged when it’s in a flooded area or… Sorry, an area prone to flooding, but the mapping is so much better these days. So there’s tools online. I sent one over actually over the weekend, the Steadfast has got a tool.

Dan:
I was checking it out yesterday.

Jason Matthey:
Yeah. Did you run a few addresses?

Dan:
Oh, I might have put in a couple of addresses that I was looking at in there, and just to see what was what.

Jason Matthey:
And usually then they’re giving a grading there of one to five or so of what your risk is. They look at coastal erosional or coastals damaged by a seawater. So storm surge and sea water are something different again from flooding. So it’s harder to be insuring against the rise of seawater but certainly with flooding, which is normally dry land being inundated with water that is risen that is the…

Dan:
[inaudible 00:40:21] like what we got in the 2011 floods, ripping through Grantham and things like that out in some of the Western Corridors.

Jason Matthey:
And always pays to just do hydrologists reports. We had ones in Townsville where we had a property up there and I thought, “It’s obviously flooding.” Now I should be the advocate of the client and we went down the path of, “Can we get it in under not being flooding the Ross river.” The way that got over the line in the end was hydrologists report after hydrologists report. There was three reports done and when the third one conflicted, the insurer caved in and just paid it and we were talking $340,000 worth or so. But it was trying to get that over the line, even though you think, “Oh, that’s probably going to be flooded.”

Robbie:
Very interesting indeed because I know that a couple of our policies for our clients have actually gone up in the last couple of years because the flooding apps have been updated and there are people think it’s in an higher risk area than what it was when they first bought it, which is very frustrating because then that adds quite a few hundred dollars per year to the insurance policy.

Jason Matthey:
Yeah. A lot of these mapping, they have been redone over time. So if you do get that happening… And look as brokers, sometimes we go back to the insurance and say, “Hang on a minute, are you pulling that one out of your pocket again? Is it truly that or are you just looking for a way of increasing things again.” So we go back and challenge it when we think it’s a bit ridiculous. And we can leverage with the portfolio that we have with the insurance say, “Hey, okay, you want to do that? You want to increase the due to flood mapping, but on the way to the portfolio that we’ve already got with you, can you go easy on these increases?”

Robbie:
Yeah, that’s good to hear. And what about the last little bit… Let’s talk about covering of rent default due to a pandemic in the future. So that’s obviously had a massive impact in change on the whole insurance landscape as well. Go for it then.

Dan:
Let’s go back to when this probably really came into the spotlight about what twelve months ago from now, when COVID-19 really hit and state governments introduced their rules and they said, “Hey guys, you’re not allowed to evict people out.” Rental default was…

Jason Matthey:
That was interesting times.

Dan:
Talk us through how that experience went from an insurance broker perspective.

Jason Matthey:
It seems so long ago. So initially obviously we had to feel those questions and it was a moving landscape every week. There was something different and it really depended on what the Queensland government were going to do. So were tenant’s going to be scrutinized or were they not? That was really a big factor in it. If the tenants were scrutinized about, “Did they really lose income that?” That really turned things. Now, insurers did back it. I know CGU did to give them credit for that. They said, “Just send them in. We’ll look at them on a case by case basis.” When they pulled out of doing rent with the default altogether, you got to look at the insurers saying, “Well the financial landscape changed. We no longer feel as though we can offer the rent default cover.” The exposure’s too big for them.

Jason Matthey:
So things have changed, she exposures greatly increased. We’ll pull that back for now. We’ve kept a list of them. So we’re looking at trying to re-introduce it as an optional extension. So you may see some of our renewals coming out soon that say, “Hey, your rent default wasn’t in, but we can include it now. Here’s what you would have got if you just roll it over, here’s what you get, if you want that optional extension.” We always normally quote with the optional extension of rent default. If we’re talking about ones that are in and out at the moment, I believe Q Shaw is in CGU, we’re still talking to and trying to get them to come back into it. But I don’t think it’s far away. I think it’s another month or so before they come back online and start offering this rent default.

Dan:
Yeah. I suppose it’s bloody phenomenal at the moment that there is people that are nervous about the climate that we’re in because the property market’s really boomed back on the back of some of the government incentives that were around.

Jason Matthey:
Yeah.

Robbie:
And trying to find a rental property as a tenant has been extremely hard because the majority of properties that are being built right now or [inaudible 00:44:44] occupies.

Jason Matthey:
Yeah. It’s a good time to invest in a…

Robbie:
It’s a good time if you’ve got an investment property.

Jason Matthey:
Yeah.

Robbie:
Trying to get an investment property, that’s the issue we face every day. We’ve got thousands and thousands of clients on a bit of a holding pattern, just waiting for land to become available the right property in the wrong area. That’s all right. It’ll happen.

Jason Matthey:
Yeah.

Robbie:
Yeah. That’s our job to make sure we’re looking at it every single day.

Dan:
What else is new in the insurance space, man? What’s hot off the press you reckon?

Jason Matthey:
I think, I reckon rent default. The thing that’s hot off the press. Other than that, oh look there’s a new thing coming out about unfair contract terms. So that’d be hot off the press that insurers should have revised their policies and had a look at what would be deemed as unfair contract terms. Now you can talk to a solicitor and say, “Here, have a look at this policy and you tell us what you think is unfair or written the wrong way in that policy so that we can comply with the legislative requirement of fixing up these unfair contract terms.” You take that same policy to another solicitor and they can come back and say, “Here’s 150.” And another comes up with 10 or 15. So it’s a little bit ambiguous at the moment, but they are looking at and working out, “What are we going to release to the market that now takes out any kind of unfair contract terms?” And don’t ask me what they’re going to be.

Robbie:
[crosstalk 00:46:14].

Jason Matthey:
Let me give you an example.

Robbie:
No. Here we are just talking generic stuff.

Dan:
Is this more like they’re basically trying to go out there and standardize some of the things that are included as well?

Jason Matthey:
Yeah. It’s things where it could be ambiguous what the insurer’s trying to say.

Dan:
Yeah.

Jason Matthey:
And like I said, if you take that to different solicitors that look at it they may say, “Well, that could be taken this way or that way.” So everyone in the industry, all the insurers are saying, “We’ve got to try and revise the policy documents.” So you’ll see a lot of updates. Even that one for defense force homes, I think it’s a little bit out of date, so you’ll probably see things coming through which will supersede. I think insurers like QBE are probably having trouble keeping up with all the changes that they need to deliver. So the products won’t all come out all at once saying, “Here it is, it’s done.” But they did have a cutoff date that it was meant to happen by. So a few of them will be scrambling to change their policy.

Robbie:
It’s another classic example, if you’re doing this by yourself, you’re not using a broker guess who needs to keep up with all the policy changes? You.

Jason Matthey:
And we have a tool. LMI policy comparison. Now that is something that all the steadfast brokers subscribed to. And we can put the poll the most up-to-date policies in and it’ll give a spreadsheet and a line by line it goes through. How does-

Robbie:
Include a yes or no.

Jason Matthey:
How does the policy respond?

Robbie:
What’s the behavior?

Jason Matthey:
What’s the behavior of the policy in this circumstance? And it goes through it line by line. You don’t want to be coming through that. We came through that, but when we do it, when we have a panel, we can put up to four of them in there. So if we’ve got nine on the panel, we’ve probably done it over and over again into the policy comparison and then we have a look at how things respond. So if a client says to us, “But I really need to have that extra cover for pets that are going to be at the property.” So, “Okay, well, we’ll spell out which policy is more suitable for you.”

Dan:
All right. I reckon that once people go ahead and listen to this podcast, you’re going to have hundreds of phone calls about pets.

Jason Matthey:
Oh no, I don’t want…

Dan:
Or kids.

Jason Matthey:
Yeah, pets and kids I say, a wear and tear. But no don’t… I think the message is that you can’t rely on the insurer to fix your maintenance issues. I know people don’t want to hear that but it is a reality. Insurance is the financial backing when things go wrong, but not things going wrong over a period of time.

Dan:
Yeah. I almost started thinking about it. It’s like it starts to become our fallback position. You’ve got multiple layers of risk management the whole way down, but when everything is wrong and everything’s gone out the window, you’ve still got your insurance.

Jason Matthey:
Yeah. And add an event at a point in time. Exactly. And yeah, definitely we’re there to fix the financial repercussions. So the financial repercussions. I have the SCS in Southeast Queensland. On my website, call the SCS, get that top on the roof. We do get people ringing to say, “Hey…”

Robbie:
Where’s the top.

Jason Matthey:
“My roof is missing.” We do tend to say to people, “Well, the SCS is the first point of call. We are the financial end of that.” Yeah.

Dan:
So deal with the actual emergency first and then give you guys a call to [crosstalk 00:49:32].

Jason Matthey:
What I ask people when they do make that call. Okay, I’ve got a bit of a funny story about a tree going through. It’s never funny when a tree goes through your kitchen. But someone rang me on a Saturday, but I had just rung for pizza. I thought it was a pizza guy ringing me back.

Robbie:
That’s good. Did you ring him back?

Jason Matthey:
No. The call comes in and I just answered it like it was a pizza guy.

Robbie:
Normally you would have screened it.

Jason Matthey:
Oh yeah.

Robbie:
You [inaudible 00:50:03] on a Saturday.

Jason Matthey:
Next to me someone was talking to me about a kitchen bench with a tree straight across it. We’re not talking about pizza anymore. But that’s on a Saturday. And the reason that happens is we do have that emergency contact in our website. Then my response is, “What would you like to see us do right now?” And I think for that client, they just wanted to know that they had a policy. It was going to respond and we’re going to lodge the claim. So I said, “Well, if the outcome that you want on a Saturday night whilst it’s still stormy, is that we can give you a reassurance that your policy is current. It covers this sort of an event and that it’s going to be lodged and registered on on Monday morning first up.” Now I sent him a lodgement number straight away on a weekend to give them some peace of mind. I think that’s what people are looking for. And we ask them what can fix this situation for you right now that I can do. And then go and eat my pizza.

Robbie:
Love it. Mate, as we wrap up, I’ve got to say from our perspective, that insurance is probably not the most sexy and a riveting topic, but the way that you speak about insurance with as much passion as what we have about helping our clients at the end of the day, you might not think it’s sexy, but when you have a rain event or someone trashes your joint or your tenants had done the bolt, you need someone to go in there and fix it. And mate I’m really… I think Dan, you’re a hundred percent right. Jason at Insurance Web, you’re going to get plenty of calls out here to go, “Hey, can you now give me that an explanation about what’s going on with my policy. Even if you’re not an Axon client, you can just contact you on the website straight away.

Jason Matthey:
Yes.

Robbie:
Pump your [inaudible 00:51:38]. I might help people get in touch with you.

Jason Matthey:
It’s insuranceweb.com.au. That’s an easy one to remember. Insurance on the web. Insuranceweb.com.au.

Robbie:
Love it, mate. Good stuff.

Dan:
You’ve practiced that before. Thank you very much for being here with us tonight mate. We really you appreciate bringing your expertise here.

Jason Matthey:
Great to be with you.

Robbie:
Thanks Jase. See you.

Dan:
Glad to see you mate.

Robbie:
Hi. Thanks for tuning into today’s podcast. If you enjoy listening, make sure you give us a five-star rating, hit subscribe so you’ll be first in line to get it in your inbox every week on a Tuesday. Whilst you’re at it, open up your favorite social media app, be that Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube, and connect with Axon group. This is where you see us every day, sharing the secrets of creating multi-million dollar property portfolios and performing to the highest levels of your life. You’ll get exclusive behind the scenes access to what it really takes to build a life that you love. You’ll also discover how to secure your financial future as an IDF member or veteran. And I assure you, your future self will love you for it. Thanks again for listening. And that’s a wrap.

 

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