Australia, Features

Importance of having the right insurance cover

Dean Bassed, Director at PNOinsurance, recently presented at the Queensland branch meeting of the Crane Industry Council of Australia (CICA). His presentation covered a number of important topics relating to crane owners, and he explains more here.

“Having been heavily involved with other states and the annual CICA National Conference and Exhibition, I recently presented at the Queensland branch meeting of CICA,” Dean says.

“The presentation provided an overview of the overall insurance market with a particular focus on the crane industry. Topics spoken on included the recent merger of UAA and Mecon, insurer security – wanting to recoup premiums from recent large losses including the devasting floods and wind farm-related incidents – the personal injury claims spike (sub-contractors), costs and delays on obtaining parts for repairs and barriers of entry for additional insurers,” Dean says.

Overall insurance market:

There is real difficulty attracting new insurers to the Australian crane market due to the market not being large enough to warrant investment when weighed up against the perceived risk, Dean says. 

With the potential for losses being severe, there currently isn’t enough incentive for opposing insurers to build a portfolio from the ground up.

“UAA on the other hand, have a long-term track record in terms of their expertise, market share and loss ratio, and with their underwriting security they continue to offer market leading products to the crane market,” Dean says.


The market has seen an increase in premiums on not only poor performing accounts but increases across the board following large losses for mobile plant insurers from flood claims and more specifically large losses on cranes, which has a knock-on effect within the industry. The importance of keeping your risk management tight, and your claims performance attractive to insurers has never been greater. 

Dry Hire:

“Dry Hire is a key area, and it is important for those crane companies engaging in Dry Hire to ensure they are adequately protected. It is vital to safeguard their business by having clear terms and conditions outlining who is responsible in the event of an incident. Due to the risk on severity of claims, the position of placing all rights and responsibilities on the customer hiring the equipment is recommended. 

“Checks and balances can be put in place to ensure your own coverage is appropriate, and likewise that of the insurance coverage provided from the customer. On the flip side, when a crane company is hiring in from others, it is important to ensure your own cover is sufficient, not just from a damage perspective but also potential demands for loss of hiring costs following a claim,” Dean says.

Risk Management – Worksafe 

“From our perspective, a Management Liability policy is imperative cover for any business due to the breadth of protection it provides. By its very nature the construction sector and the crane industry has increased exposure to personal injury which can lead to a Worksafe investigation and/or prosecution,” Dean says.

A correctly placed Management Liability policy can provide protection in this regard, which can help safeguard against costs that have the potential to run into the hundreds of thousands.

Whilst recent workplace health and safety laws across most states have largely outlawed the ability for an insurer to indemnify to pay penalties stemming from these incidents, the investigation/prosecution costs remain indemnifiable.

Education around where covers start and stop:

“Whilst the UAA policy provides broad levels of cover, there are many levers in terms of sub limits, and optional extensions of cover which we tailor to suit the needs of each specific business,” Dean says.

“It’s our job to educate our clients on where their risk starts and stops, so a solution across their UAA policy and entire insurance program is developed. The goal is to strike a balance of sufficient protection while keeping premiums at a sustainable level.”

PNOinsurance and Membrey’s Transport and Crane Hire

Membrey’s Transport and Crane Hire moved to PNOinsurance and UAA three years ago. Craig Membrey talks about his relationship with Dean, PNOinsurance and UAA.

“Anyone who knows me will confirm I count loyalty as a key characteristic personally and in business. I had been with my previous insurance broker for 30 years before I noticed their service was starting to fall away.

“Dean had been in touch with me for close to three years, but I had been reluctant to switch brokers. Dean recommended I speak to a couple of his crane hire customers, which I did, and they provided excellent references,” said Craig.

“I sat down with Dean and we went through all of our requirements. I don’t have a bad word to say about Dean and his team. When it comes to service they are rock stars and my experience with them has been very, very positive. They’ve saved me money and they’ve introduced areas of cover that were not in place which could have had significant consequences for the  business. 

I can’t speak highly enough of the way Dean, PNOinsurance and UAA go about their business and the products and service they provide,” said Craig.

More about PNOinsurance

Launching 45 years ago in 1977, PNOinsurance has earned its reputation as one of Australia’s most respected and dynamic insurance brokers, delivering consistent and exemplary service to clients. 

With a team of 60 professionals working across more than 80 insurers, PNO has the reach to find the most suitable insurance partner for every single one of their clients, regardless of the complexity of their needs. 

The PNO team combines its collective business experience and work with industry leaders across construction, transport, professional services, financial services and commercial sectors

Dean’s bio

Dean commenced his insurance career following completion of his university studies via a graduate program with QBE in 2012. He then progressed to a state manager position with the largest mobile plant insurer in Australia (UAA).

Dean joined PNOinsurance at the beginning of 2017 with the transition into partner following in 2018. 

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