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Filtering by Category: Five by Five

Five by Five from an Insurance Broker

Kerri Day

Upgrading your qualifications to become a builder is a fantastic achievement and means you can now delve into those larger projects you have always wanted to manage. But with the new qualification comes new responsibility and this can raise some questions regarding insurances.

Below are FIVE questions I commonly get asked by new builders and a brief overview to get you started.

ONE - What is Contract Works Insurance?

Contract works insurance, sometimes referred to as construction insurance, is a very familiar term to builders, it is a common requirement in building contracts and financial institutions usually require it as loan security. But there is no one policy that suits all situations and builders should take particular care when arranging a policy.
Contract Works Insurance policies insure the construction-related activities of a construction project into one package policy, covering the interests of all parties involved in the development. Covered parties include the project owner, general contractor, subcontractors, and in some cases, materials and equipment suppliers.

TWO - What does Contract Works Insurance cover?

Contract Works Insurance covers accidental risks of physical loss or physical damage to the contract works during construction as well as third party liabilities.

Limits under Contract Works Insurance policies are based upon the full estimated contract value. Sub-limits apply to certain coverage extensions, and a specific limit will apply to the Public and Products Liability section.  
Public and Products Liability provides protection for amounts you may become legally liable to pay for compensation in respect of third party personal injury or property damage, as a result of an occurrence in connection with your business activities.
Contract Works Insurance is an all-risk policy that is subject to policy conditions.

THREE - Who is responsible for pre existing property cover?

This is a common question asked by Builders and property owners: it is the responsibility of the property owner to effect and maintain insurance on their property, unless the building contract states otherwise.
To avoid any conflict both parties should start by checking the insurance clauses in the building contract. These clauses will clearly set out the obligations of all each party to arrange the various insurance policies needed.
If you find that the contract doesn’t mention insurance for pre-existing property, it will continue to be the property owner’s responsibility just as it was prior to the works due to the fact that the building contract has changed nothing in this regard.
It is a common mistake that builders often assume that the their public liability policy will be sufficient to protect the owner’s property, as this policy covers the builder’s liability for damage to third party property (including the owner’s). The problem with making this assumption is that public liability cover does not directly insure the owner’s property. Public liability only insures the builder’s legal liability and the builders negligence would need to be proven for the policy to respond.

FOUR - Do I need cover for tools and equipment?

Loss or damage to your tools of trade and equipment can delay work until they are replaced. It is wise to consider the cover you have for your tools and equipment. Many policies may exclude tools while they are left onsite or accidental damage.  There may be provision on a contract works policy for tools cover but be aware that the owner of the tools needs to be an insured on the policy.
In the event of a claim you may need to provide proof of purchase. A good way to have this on hand is to keep the purchase receipt or photos of the items in case they are stolen.

FIVE - What is Home Warranty Insurance?

Home Warranty Insurance protects consumers from financial loss caused by a builder's failure to rectify or compensate for defective or incomplete residential building work. The conditions vary depending on which state the work is being conducted.
Builders are responsible for taking out Home Warranty Insurance at the time of entering into a building contract with a homeowner.
The extent of cover and requirement varies from state to state and are subject to legislative changes.
In NSW any contract for residential work that is over $20,000 requires Home Warranty to be taken out. This may be lower in some states.
For more information on Home Warranty in NSW visit

““Five by Five is a radio communication that means loud and clear. The radio expression goes back to the 1950’s ‘All right, testing, one, two, three ... Five by Five Mr Holloran’ (Hunter, Blackboard Jungle 1954)””


Five by Five from a Solicitor

Kerri Day

For this months Five by Five I would like to introduce Gino Adoranti from Australian Property Legal. Gino has provided some great tips you should consider if purchasing a property.

Gino Adoranti Principal

Gino Adoranti Principal

Purchasing a property can be a daunting task. Using a solicitor can help take the stress out of the process and ensure that your interests are protected. This is intended to be general information only. You should seek advice from a solicitor who will be able to provide you with advice tailored to your specific needs. The following are 5 things to consider when purchasing a property.

We are legal professionals who are dedicated to providing you with the most cost effective solution to your legal issues and who dont believe that sound practical legal advice should cost the earth.

1. Have a solicitor go through the Contract for Sale

The Contract sets out the terms of the purchase. Since all properties are different some contracts may contains terms that may not be in your favour and may favour the vendor at your expense. A solicitor will be able to explain the terms to you and liaise with the vendor’s solicitor to ensure that any unfair terms are either renegotiated or removed altogether. A solicitor will also be able to identify from the Contract, if there are any restrictions on what you can and can’t do with the property. This is particularly important if you are planning on carrying out building work on the land.

2. Pre-purchase inspections

These include, but are not limited to, reports such as a Pest Report, Building Report and a Strata Report (if purchasing a unit). When purchasing a property a purchaser usually buys it “as is”.  It is therefore, important to carry out pre-purchase inspections before exchanging contracts with the vendor, as these reports may reveal problems with the property which could result in major expenses being incurred to rectify the problem.  A few hundred dollars up front could end up saving you thousands if, for example, you discovered after you own the property, there were termites in the property or some structural problem.

3. Ensure finance is approved in writing

Most people, when purchasing a property will require a loan from a financial institution.  It is important to have the loan unconditionally approved in writing prior to being committed to a contract or ensure that the contract is subject to you getting finance approved.  Otherwise, if your finance is not approved for some reason, such as a default in your credit history that you may not have been aware of, you will still be obliged to complete the contract or risk losing your deposit.

4. Pre settlement

Settlement is when you are required to pay the balance of the purchase price and when you get the keys to the property. You usually are not required to attend settlement. Usually, the solicitors and the representative of the respective financial institutions attend and swap the title documents for the balance of the purchase price. Your solicitor will then contact you to let you know you are now the proud owner of your new home. Immediately before settlement, you should carry out an inspection of the property to ensure the property is in a similar condition as it was at exchange of contracts, fair wear and tear excepted. Also, you should take out insurance over the property prior to settlement.

5. Wills

Since you are now the owner of a significant asset you should consider having a Will prepared or updating an existing Will.  This is a document your solicitor will be able to prepare or review for you. When you buy a property there are two ways you can choose to own it. Firstly, Joint Tenants which means if one owner dies the remaining owner/s are entitled to the property regardless of what is contained in the deceased’s person’s Will.  This method is usually used by most couples who buy a property together.  The second way to own property is as Tenants in Common. This is usually the method used by business partners or people who are not closely related.  In this instance, the deceased’s persons share in the property would go to the person nominated in their Will.

If you require assistance when buying or selling a property, please give Gino a call on 0249411844 at Australian Property Legal.  Gino can help you with all your property needs.

“Five by Five is a radio communication that means loud and clear. The radio expression goes back to the 1950’s ‘All right, testing, one, two, three ... Five by Five Mr Holloran’ (Hunter, Blackboard Jungle 1954)”

Five by Five from a Mortgage Broker

Kerri Day

Introducing Lake MacQuarie Jetty Finance. For this months Five by Five they have been kind enough to provide a fantastic insight into how a Mortgage broker can assist you. With all the options there seems to be out there as to how to get the best from your Mortgage it can be overwhelming. Luckily there are people that can help us wade through the options. This is what Jetty Finance had to say.

What Does a Mortgage Broker Do?

Firstly, a mortgage broker is responsible for assessing your situation and your creditworthiness. This will help him or her to develop a better picture of what the lending risk is for lenders. This assessment will also typically cover your income levels and ability to pay mortgage repayments. Next, a mortgage broker will take your information and work to find a loan that meets your needs as closely as possible. Brokers contain vast databases of information on available lenders, allowing them to research your options quickly and effectively. Brokers can also provide advice throughout the entire process and beyond. If you have questions about brokerage, or what your mortgage options are, contacting a broker can be very effective.

The Jetty Finance Team

a mortgage broker will take your information and work to find the loan that meets your needs.....
— Lake MacQuarie Jetty Finance

5 ways it pays to use a Mortgage Broker

ONE - Spoilt For Choice The biggest advantage of a broker over a bank is choice. When you sit in front of a broker you are sitting in front of 20+ banks and 100’s of products versus visiting a banker who has access to one bank and one bank’s products only. This is especially important at a time like now, when the banks are saying ‘no’ more, and by having more choices you’re likely to get a ‘yes’. They have an exceptionally large network of lenders that they work with to get you the most favourable mortgage rates and terms. Put it this way, the more lenders you have competing for your home loan, the more you save.
Two - Experience Brokers often own their own businesses and are committed to their clients in the long term, with many years of industry experience. Banks are big companies; they move their staff around and reward good performers with promotions away from their customers.
THREE - Relationship For most people a mortgage is the biggest loan they will ever undertake and it will most likely be part of their financial situation for many years. Your mortgage broker will be there with you on your journey. When you have established a relationship with your mortgage broker it will be the ONE constant throughout the life of your mortgage(s) – even if you change lenders along the way! Through regular contact your mortgage broker will get to know you, your family and the ever changing events in your life that may prompt a review of your financial situation.
FOUR - Training & Qualification
In a bank you will be dealing with a bank loans officer – there is no requirement for a bank loans officer to acquire the same qualifications as a Mortgage Broker. Mortgage brokers must meet membership requirements such as minimum levels of experience and education. They must also undergo many checks and meet fair and ethical trading standards before gaining accreditation to practise as a Mortgage Broker.
FIVE - Bank Says NO – Broker says YES They can often times find a lender who accepts home loans that the bank foregoes. Mortgage brokers are also able to discuss a lower interest rate from lenders in trade for bringing in business. So if you aren’t approved by a bank, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not eligible for a home loan! You may just be stuck with the wrong lender!

Five by Five is a radio communication that means loud and clear. The radio expression goes back to the 1950’s. ‘All right, testing, one, two, three... Five by Five Mr Holloran’ (Hunter, Blackboard Jungle, 1954)

Five by Five from an Accountant

Kerri Day

This month I am pleased to introduce our friends at CATS Accountants. They have some great reasons for why businesses should consider using XERO.

The current push to cloud-based software and technology by Xero, Quickbooks Online and MYOB Online is revolutionising the accounting industry. These advances have allowed you to start working closer and more efficient with your accountant than ever before, due to easy access, quick and easy support systems, seamless interface and endless amounts of add-on’s. Out of the 3 major players in accounting software at the moment Xero is out in front. Even as the younger players in the market, these are the 5 main things which keeps Xero head and shoulders above its competitors.

We strive to minimise our clients’ stress and offer solutions that make a difference.
Meet the friendly team from CATS

Meet the friendly team from CATS

5 Reasons Xero is The Leading Edge in Accounting Software

 One - No Updates, EVER!

Xero is a browser based software which means you access it like any other website. This allows Xero to improve and update their system in the background and the next time you log on the update is already done and you’ll have instant access to everything. This saves a lot of time and IT cost when compared to other software. Xero allows you to access it from any web browser such as, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, etc and any computer or tablet allowing you access to your information anywhere there is an internet connection. This is unlike MYOB Online where you have to log on through their portal which has to be installed onto your computer beforehand. So if your computer dies you won’t be able to just use any other device, you’ll have to get a computer and install the portal software onto that before beginning work again. However both have released an app for Android and IOS to allow you to do your bookkeeping and manage your business on the go.

Comparing Xero’s instant updates against desktop based software where you could log on find an update sitting there and have to wait possible hours depending on how your computer feels that day, it is no question why Xero is the leading software in accounting.

Two - Amazing Support and Free Education Tools

Xero has fantastic training tailored for your role in the business such as Small Business Owners, Bookkeepers, Accountants and even up to a virtual CFO. This comes in the form of small courses with a streamlined layout of videos and small tests to reinforce what you learn. At the end there is even a more formal test where you can become Xero Certified. But don’t be put off, all this is optional and just an additional tool that you can use.

If you would prefer to dive straight in and seek support as you go, Xero has its own help centre, where there is heaps of options like; frequently asked questions,  explanations on “Using Xero day to day”, even when Xero was last updated, the new changes that were made and more! There is also a place to interact with the Xero Community and ask questions or make requests to the developers about what features you would like to see in the next updates.

All this help and support means you require less training from your Xero partner, saving you time and money! Also Xero is arguably just by itself so much easier to learn and use than other traditional accounting software because of its layout.

Three - It’s Beautiful and Logical

You would never have thought users of accounting software would say the words “I love doing my bookkeeping”. Sounds unbelievable, but it’s true. Xero is so aesthetically pleasing and logical in its layout and methods on how to do everything. There is often more than one way on how to do something meaning you are wasting less time figuring out the only path to what you are doing. There is even plenty of links on each page allowing you easy access to the next step of whatever you are looking for instead of having to go back to the dashboard all the time. Xero is easier to understand and therefore better for your business. For example blatantly displayed on the front page after logging in is how many invoices are outstanding and the total amount owed to you and also your bank feeds which display the balance of the bank accounts you choose.

Xero has recently added a search bar where you can search the whole system for contacts, transactions, invoices, everything! There is also an additional search bar on most pages where you can refine and look at more specific/relevant information to what you want. Xero also has a toolbar where you can navigate almost the whole system within two clicks. With six dropdown menus such as “Reports” where you can see how well different aspects of your business are going and “Accounts” for access to pages like Bank Accounts, Sales, Inventory, Etc. 

Four - Constantly Ahead of the Curve

Arguably one of the things Xero does the best which keeps it the leading edge in accounting software is that it is constantly improving and finding new and better ways to do things. Such as online quoting and client acceptance systems to streamline this initial stage to get the sale done quicker and easier. You can also lodge TFN declarations straight from your Xero software which means no more lodging paper forms to the ATO by snail mail! The ability to add a section on your invoice to allow clients to pay electronically when they receive your invoice, making it more convenient than ever, and automatic invoice reminders assist with cash flow and debtor days. Xero are also constantly adding more banks to the bank feeds list allowing more people to have up to the second detail on how well their business is doing.

Xero has annual roadshows, which are a day event and they discuss what they have planned for the future similar to what Apple and Microsoft do to promote their future products. Xero also have regular webinars on new updates to help you understand what is new and also coming soon to Xero.

Five - The Expansive Add-on Marketplace

If Xero doesn’t have the exact solution your business needs, chances are there is another software available that links into Xero seamlessly. Xero has its own add-on marketplace that offers hundreds of applications to choose from with a large variety of categories and industries. Therefore you can have a world class bookkeeping software working in unison with your other important practice software – like stock management and ordering, tradesmen job tracking tools, timesheets and job management for service industry. Almost certainly if you need something more the Xero Add-on marketplace has a solution.

For example CIN7 takes care of your whole inventory and supply chain across all channels in one software.

Add-ons can not only improve the efficiency of your bookkeeping and accounting but also improve your business strategy. For instance Fathom, which is a reporting and financial analysis tool which helps you to assess business performance, monitor trends and identify improvement opportunities.

With more and more add-ons being made constantly there is no end to what you can do or monitor.

Contact CATS Accountants on 43535370

Located at 12 Pacific Hwy, Wyong NSW 2259

Five by Five is a radio communication that means loud and clear. The radio expression goes back to the 1950’s. ‘All right, testing, one, two, three...Five by Five Mr Holloran’ (Hunter, Blackboard Jungle, 1954)

Five by Five from a Financial Planner

Kerri Day

For this months Five by Five I would like to introduce my associate David Hammett founder and owner of Sydney Wealth Advisers. Through Sydney Wealth Advisers, Dave brings a better, fairer and more transparent way to showcase the true value of quality financial advice.

I am proud to call him my friend and know he will help you shed some light on how a Financial Planner can assist you.

The concept is simple: Do the right thing, do it well and do it in a transparent manner
— by Dave Hammett
I am pleased to introduce Dave Hammett founder of Sydney Wealth Advisers

I am pleased to introduce Dave Hammett founder of Sydney Wealth Advisers

Here are Dave's tips especially for you.

One - Have a Financial Plan

The old saying "Failing to plan is planning to fail" is not strictly true.  There are many success stories of people that manage their own financial plans.  I have however, met very few that have optimised their positions by understanding the deep complexity of investment markets, legislation and taxation.  It is nearly always the case that the initial and ongoing costs of a professional adviser will be recovered many times over the course of your investment horizon.

Two - Research your adviser

It's sad to say that there are still some so called professional advisers out there that continue with bad habits when advising.  These include:
· Only using the products and services of the institution they represent
· Cookie cutter advice or a one size fits all
· Charging for ongoing advice services but providing none.
If you have an adviser - good decision!  I'd ask you however to review what ongoing advice you’re actually getting.

Three - Know your limits and budget

Today's social dynamic makes us all want the best.  We want to nicest house we can afford, the best cars and spare cash to spend on holidays and treats.  The truth however, is that you can’t have it all.  That's where a budget comes into it.  If you do not manage your personal cash flow properly chances are you're living week to week.  Start by drafting a spreadsheet yourself or engage with a financial adviser that will include budgeting as part of their strategic advice.

Four -  Ask for discounts

A very quick but effective tactic to reduce a utility bill or interest rate is to ask.  Nearly every utility provider, bank and finance company has a 'retention's team'.  If you contact them and let them know you have been offered a better price elsewhere for the same product or service they will nearly always try to match it (within reason).  A great start to that conversations can be as simple as letting them know that you wanted to give them the opportunity to retain your business - that's their job.

Five - Don’t believe everything you read

Avoid paying attention to main stream media outlets that are doomsday speculators.  If we believed even a fraction of the things we read about the doom and gloom of global economies we would all be in deep trouble.  The truth is that a well-planned and well managed investment strategy should be built to weather any likely bumps in the road, and whilst it's true to say that that investments can and so go up and down, good fundamentals in your portfolio should provide for more ups than downs over time.

Contact Sydney Wealth Advisers

P 1300 584 052E


Five by five is a radio communications expression that means ‘loud and clear’. The radio use of this expression goes back to the 1950’s: ‘All right, testing, one-two-three...’ Five by five My Holloran!’ (Hunter, Blackboard Jungle, 1954)

Paragon......... I hear you say

Kerri Day

Welcome to my new blog for Paragon Insurance Solutions. I am looking forward to sharing my insurance knowledge and views to assist small business owners along the way.

Business owners know only too well that there is a big picture in running a successful business and making sure you don't lose site of why you started the business in the first place. You put your heart and soul into your business and invest your time and money into your idea. All of this passion and hard work pays off as you see light at the end of the tunnel and your business starts to show expansion. Exciting times... profits are steady and best of all you are doing what you love and now. Now its time to ensure you are utilizing the help of various other professional to assist you to leave you more time to work in your business.

The first series I have organized to share is "Five By Five". I will bring to you Five tips from Five Professionals on the Fifth of every month. guessed it. There is Five Blog posts in each series. The Professionals featured in series one will include associates of mine such as a Financial Adviser, an Accountant, Bookkeeper, Business Consultant and a Finance Professional.

Why the name Five By Five??? Well other than the obvious correlation with the number of posts, professionals and tips. I will be bringing this information to you "loud and clear". So thought it was appropriate to use the radio communication expression.

Five by five is a radio communications expression that means ‘loud and clear’. The radio use of this expression goes back to the 1950s: ‘All right, testing, one-two-three-four. . .’ ‘Five by five, Mr. Holloran!’ (Hunter, Blackboard Jungle, 1954).

In addition to the Five by Five series the blog will bring you insurance tips and help you understand insurance and how it can help you.

I am looking forward to 2016 and all that it brings.

Look out for the first post in the Five by Five series on the 5th February. Join the Paragon Community and keep informed.

Looking forward to seeing you again.

Warm regards Kerri