Indifference to Injections Accounts for Pain to Travellers’ Hip Pockets

Are you planning a trip but not sure if you want to fork out for all those needles? It can be a tough choice, especially if you’re usually perfectly healthy. Getting vaccinations before going overseas can feel like a pricey and pointless expense. However, it could save you a lot of hassle down the track. By avoiding injections not only do you risk contracting deadly diseases, but also voiding your travel insurance policy. Travel insures may not cover medical costs if the reason you’re sick is because you haven’t had the recommended vaccinations.

Increasing access to developing countries brings the potential contraction of some diseases either eradicated or highly uncommon at home. Food and water borne diseases are very common in many countries, and diseases such as cholera, malaria and yellow fever are prominent in areas lacking in sanitation.

The vaccinations required for your trip will vary according to your destinations. You can find full lists of recommended vaccinations on smartraveller.gov.au and should always see your GP before travelling. It’s also a great idea to register your trip with Smartraveller, an Australian Government website which will contact you in case of emergencies and keep you up to date on all the latest tips and health and safety warnings.

Woman at Airport

Image: Pixabay.com

Beyond getting those pesky injections, there are a few ways you can minimise your risk of contracting diseases.

  • Firstly, to avoid disease carried by mosquitoes such as malaria, dengue fever and Japanese encephalitis, try to avoid activities during dawn and dusk, wear clothing that covers your arms and legs but is loose fitting, wear insect repellent and always sleep in screened accommodation under a mosquito net.
  • Secondly, avoid feeding and petting dogs, monkeys, bats and other animals when travelling abroad. Rabies is a disease spread through the saliva of already-infected animals.
  • Thirdly, be conscious of the food and water that you consume. Drink bottled or treated water in certain countries as local tap water may not be safe to drink. If that’s the case where you’re going, be careful of consuming ice or salads which can often contain untreated water. Other foods included unpasteurised dairy products, raw or reheated meat and seafood should also be avoided.
  • Lastly, it may seem obvious but good hygiene practices are essential when travelling overseas (as well as at home). Washing your hands is the single most important thing you can do to stop the spread of diseases, according to The US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. Because you’re exposed to so many different germs as you pass through airports, stations, hotels, taxis (you name it!) when travelling, you should be washing your hands thoroughly and often.

Of course, these measures cannot prevent everyone from falling ill when travelling. It’s important to find an insurance policy that’s right for you and will cover you in case of such emergencies – and get the right injections!

Words by Isabelle Laker

Insurers Try Their Hand at Movie Magic

This year, FT Adjusting has decided to mix things up and produce a video series that documents exactly how loss adjusters approach claims and what they do on a day-to-day basis. The first video we created to test the waters and try our hand at production starred FT’s director Ian McWalter- How Insurance Assessors Use Plans. We began with a loose script written up by Ian. From there, I drafted it down into something we could realistically recreate in front of the camera.

Ian plans video

A shot from the final product

Filming

On the first day of filming, Ian brought in an impressive homemade dolly (a pallet with wheels underneath and a handle, with holes to secure a tripod) which we used as part of the camera set up. We shot the video in Ian’s office here in Epping. It took one (not quite) failed shooting attempt for us to get in the groove and find a style that suited the vision we had of what we wanted to create.

We came back the next week with fresh ideas and a better idea of how to make it. From there, we spent an afternoon filming. A couple of hiccups on the day like unsuitable lighting and short camera battery life didn’t stop us from getting all the shot we needed.

The next step was editing, which took a while to get right. I was conscious of maintaining the feel of the video whilst not making it too kitsch. Originally, I was using a royalty free song that was upbeat but a little bit repetitive; however, Maestro Ian took over that aspect of the production and created an incredible original piece that matched the tone of the video perfectly.

All in all we’re extremely pleased with our first video and eager to get started on the next one! Look for ‘What is a loss adjuster?’ coming to you very soon!

Have you seen the video yet? Check it out at: bit.ly/2t0jWY8

Words by Isabelle Laker

Beware of Suits!

Today our fearless leader Ian had an unexpected encounter whilst having a coffee in Sydney’s CBD. Just outside Chifley Plaza, a truck pulled up to the intersection and waited at a red light. A man in a fancy suit, clearly in far too much of a hurry to wait for the little red man to switch to the little green man, began crossing the street. The truck driver, upon seeing this, called out his window at the suited man.

“Mate you can’t jaywalk here!”

The suited man, previously in a hurry, walked over to the truck and punched the driver square in the face. The suited man then continued to cross the road as though nothing had happened. The driver, understandably furious, leapt out from his vehicle.

One angry businessman

Angry businessman

Image: pixabay.com

At this point many pedestrians, commuters and café-goers had stopped to watch the outburst. Ian was one such onlooker.

The driver caught up to his assailant and took a firm grip of the suit. Rather than engage with the driver, the man simply tried to keep walking. Left with just the arm of his suit and a gaping jaw, the driver and now his mate, previously passive, were prompted into action. The scene escalated as the driver now had to be restrained from returning blows to “the suit”.

The man began to remove his jacket. ‘Maybe he will engage after all’, Ian thought. But no, the suited man simply took off and folded the jacket. All anger from been told off seemed to have vanished.

The man continued on his walk to work, suit jacket tucked under his arm leaving a group of stunned spectators and a furious driver behind him.

The Sydney CBD really can be a concrete jungle sometimes, and you really can’t predict what a businessman in a suit will do!

Words by Isabelle Laker

Hello FT Adjusting!

Hello FT Adjusting! My name is Isabelle and I’m taking over the role of Social Media Manager from the incredible Skye, who had her last day on Wednesday.

I’ve just completed my first year at the University of Technology, Sydney, studying a Bachelor of Communications (Media Arts and Production/Social and Political Sciences) and a Bachelor of Arts (International Studies, majoring in French). That said, I’m also interested in social media and marketing, and have been working in the industry for a little while now.

Hello

Image: Pixabay.com

I’m keen to learn the ropes and get to know everyone here at FT Adjusting. I have big shoes to fill, and I know everyone here at the office has loved having Skye.  I hope I can carry on the great work she has done!

Have a fantastic Christmas and New Year, and see you in 2018!

Words by Isabelle Laker

Ciao for Now!

With Christmas just around the corner, the year is coming to an end. And what an incredible year it’s been for FTA.

2017 has been a series of big steps for FT Adjusting. We’ve had our little family grow and shrink. We’ve taken the monumental leap of opening a second office in Melbourne, with great success. We saw two of our team members, Ben and Zack, move to Melbourne to get that office up and running. And when you’re a small business, that’s definitely an achievement to be proud of.

Christmas

Image: pexels.com

 

Having said that, there’s another face that won’t be seen around the office anymore. With my studies completed and full-time work waiting ahead of me, I’m sad to announce that this is my final blog post for FTA. It’s time to hand over the reins to the new Social Media Manager, the amazing Isabelle.

It’s truly been a fantastic experience working here at FT Adjusting. I’d like to especially thank Ian, Lesley, Ben, Zack, Geoffrey, Simon, Teddy, Richard and Shay for making each day better than the last. It’s because of you that leaving here is so sad, and I’m really going to miss my FTA family and, of course, the unlimited supply of Tim Tams.

Over the year I’ve learnt so much about loss adjusting and insurance (enough for a lifetime, some would say!), and if you’ve been keeping up with my blogs I hope you learnt a thing or two as well. Merry Christmas all, that’s a wrap!

Words by Skye Jamieson

Calamity Cladding

It’s the kind of thing that can cause headaches for many homeowners. Imagine paying a perfectly reasonable insurance premium for many years, only for it to suddenly spike out of nowhere. Well, that’s exactly what’s happened to the residents of an apartment in Brunswick, Victoria.

After their building caught fire earlier this year, owners of the Anstey Square building in Brunswick have been ordered to take immediate action to remove dangerous cladding on the building. The apartments are clad in a mix of polystyrene and aluminium composite panelling, the same material that was used on the Grenfell Tower. You can read more about this type of cladding in great detail in my earlier blog post here.

premium

Image: pexels.com

According to The Age, the overall costs to repair the building are estimated to be more than $2 million. But that’s not all that’s leaving the apartment owners out of pocket. The already-stressed Brunswick apartment residents now have another worry. Their insurance premiums have now more than quadrupled, to almost $134,000 this year.

Chairman of an owners’ corporation, Allister Hill, told ABC News that while he was thankful for the insurance, “it’s a bit scary how much they want.”

According to Insurance Business, legal action has already been filed against the builder. But for the moment, the residents are seeking government intervention. It’s not just these residents that could be caught up in the insurance premium spike, however. It’s estimated that thousands of Melburnians could be affected as understanding of how widespread the issue is becomes known. This could mean anyone who owns an apartment clad by builders using combustible materials in the past decade. Stay tuned, folks. These premiums could be going through the roof.

Words by Skye Jamieson

Piggy in the Middle

Claims, claims, claims. We just can’t get enough of them. As loss adjusters we thrive on our favourite type – construction and engineering. They often come in the form of contract works, public and products liability or professional indemnity claims. And at FT Adjusting, simplicity is at the heart of our claims philosophy, which is why we’re proud of our ‘niche-pertise’.

Now, before I get teary-eyed, I’ll try and get back on track with this blog (I had a point to make, I promise!). The fact is, the claims space is a volatile and diverse cycle. But it also has the potential to change dramatically. In fact, an industry expert has provided his recommendation for digitalising the claims space. And boy, it’s a doozy.

Claim Central Consolidated CEO Brian Siemsen told Insurance Business that we mustn’t “put lipstick on the pig,” when it comes to digitalising the claims space. You heard that right.

Pig

Image: Pixabay.com

“What we tend to try and do, particularly in the Australian and New Zealand industry, is put a different colour lipstick on the same pig,” Siemsen told Insurance Business. “The real challenge is whether we can think disruptively enough in the claims space. Can we map that customer journey and use digitisation to recreate potential operating models?”

While it’s a unique picture to imagine, Siemsen does make some excellent points here. He believes that the advent and acceptance of digital technologies provides the industry with an opportunity to rethink a customer’s journey. This could be all the way throughout the claims process, from researching and taking out a policy to making insurance claims.

In rethinking the operating model, it’s not all about bringing home the bacon. It’s about making successful processes between customer, broker, insurer and supplier. And that’s something you can take straight to the piggy bank.

Words by Skye Jamieson

Asbestos Awareness

In keeping with the theme of last week’s blog, today’s topic is all about the dangers of asbestos. It’s November, and that means it’s Asbestos Awareness Month! This is a particularly pertinent issue for Australians because we have one of the highest rates of asbestos-related diseases in the world, according to Asbestos Awareness.

Before we get down to business, it’s time for a little backstory on asbestos. One of the only places in Australia that produced blue asbestos was a small mining town called Wittenoom in Western Australia. The roads of Wittenoom were paved with asbestos, and the thriving town literally lived and breathed it every day. By 1961, a former Wittenoom miner was diagnosed with mesothelioma (an asbestos-related disease) and died, becoming the first of more than three hundred former mine workers to die of the disease, reported ABC News.

Today, Wittenoom is (almost) a ghost town. The Western Australian Government recommends avoiding the area and no longer recognises Wittenoon as a town. Electricity has been cut off, mail deliveries stopped and police patrols halted, reported The Age. But amazingly, Wittenoom has a grand population of three people, who refuse to evacuate their homes.

Awareness

Image: Wikipedia

Now to business. Asbestos is a serious danger in the construction and engineering industry. It’s not just tradies, builders and engineers that need to be aware of the dangers of asbestos in our homes and buildings, but all Australians. Many people wrongly believe that only fibro homes contain asbestos. In fact, asbestos products can be found in any Australian home built or renovated before 1987. This includes brick, weatherboard, fibro and clad homes.

The fact is that one in three Aussie homes contains asbestos. If you’re renovating this summer, check out this healthy house checklist to help you identify asbestos products and safely mange them. You can also check out the Australian Government’s Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency FAQ page.

Words by Skye Jamieson

Roo’d Awakening

Thank God it’s Friday. It’s been pretty busy around the FT Adjusting office, with a flurry of people coming and going. We can’t wait for the weekend. Although insurance is generally pretty serious business, every so often a little humour manages to sneak its way in.  And sometimes, laughter is the best medicine.

Earlier this week I spotted an article from WA Today that has gone completely viral. The reason? It’s the most typical Australian insurance form you could imagine. And it’s hilarious.

Last month, a Mingenew woman was driving home to her farm at approximately 7pm when she was involved in an accident with a kangaroo.  She alleges that “a massive dinosaur-like creature” jumped out of the scrub in front of the car.

Kangaroo

Image: Pixabay.com

“The massive marsupial had done a number on the left hand side of our Kia Sorrento. He bounced from the front bumper down the side of the car, smashing out the fog light, bending the wheel arch out of place, totalling the mud flap and then destroying the front passenger door,” the woman told WA Today.

But it’s her detailed drawing of the accident in question on the insurance form that would have left her insurer in stitches. Whether it’s a T. Rex or a kangaroo in the diagram, I’ll leave you to decide. You can read the article here. When answering who she believed was at fault, she wrote “Kangaroo for jumping out of the scrub.”

Luckily, this thrilling tale has a happy ending. The woman and the rest of her family in the car were fine.

As she explained to WA Today, “Luckily I’m an extremely experienced bush rally driver and I was able to complete the rest of the journey without incident, allowing my three children to carry on sleeping and my husband to continue to tell me how to drive.”

Words by Skye Jamieson

Island of Positivity

It’s Friday, and according to Google, it’s also Cranky Co-Workers Day. Many people work in an office with slightly overbearing co-workers, and I’m happy to say that it’s definitely not the case here at FT Adjusting! We’re lucky enough to work in a relaxed office where the people are good-natured and friendly. There’s banter galore and more smiles than you can poke a stick at.

Cranky Co-Workers Day, according to this particular website, is a day in honour of all the complaining and just plain cranky co-workers you have to endure all year. This is the day to let them go with it and enjoy their miseries. Sounds enticing, doesn’t it? Fortunately, this is one holiday FT Adjusting won’t be celebrating.

There’s someone in the office who knows a thing or two about positivity. Our very own loss adjuster Teddy Matailevu, was born and raised on a small Fijian island of around one hundred people. On an island that remote, with limited electricity, running water and no technology, your perception of positivity is dramatically altered. Teddy describes the island as paradise. It’s untouched land that takes fifteen hours by boat to travel to. On his island, the sea is teeming with life and the ocean is every colour imaginable. Most people he takes there don’t want to leave.

 

Positivity

Image: Pixabay.com

*Sigh* As enticing as that daydream is to slip into, we’ve got to snap back to the office. Because it’s Friday, and somewhere, somehow, co-workers are finding ways to become cranky. If only every office could be like the FT Adjusting office. If that’s the case for you, please feel free to use that fantasy as a coping mechanism. Just picture a white sand island, palm trees blowing in the breeze, the smell of salt and firewood in the air…it’s easy to slip away. Please note that FT Adjusting is not responsible for any cranky co-worker repercussions that may occur.

Words by Skye Jamieson