SMEs are taking business insurance cover more seriously since the Canterbury earthquake according to Business Mentors patron, TOWER Insurance, one of the country’s oldest providers. However, despite the increase in queries, TOWER claims that there are still too many companies that are inadequately insured and could be at risk if another disaster hit.

The statistics are not encouraging. At the Business Mentors AGM this month, TOWER announced that around one in five small businesses may have no cover at all and a third of those that do insure their assets are severely underinsured. On top of that, two thirds of businesses that insure their assets do not insure against business interruption, and would not survive a major setback.

According to Julian Lough, National Manager - Commercial Sales at TOWER Insurance, attitudes towards business insurance are changing but not quickly enough.

‘Even though things are changing in New Zealand and more business owners are realising the importance of having their company properly protected, there are many that are seriously underinsured,’ says Julian. ‘This is often down to a reluctance to pay premiums and valuation costs or they might be receiving insufficient advice from their insurance advisers. There is also a certain amount of apathy amongst some individuals. It’s the whole ‘it will never happen to me’ mentality.’

‘Underinsurance is definitely a false economy,’ adds Julian. ‘If insurance cover is less than the value of a business’s assets, and that organisation is hit with an unexpected event, they will find it very difficult to recover.

Julian advises business owners to make sure they are adequately insured by correctly assessing company assets and keeping the insurance company updated with any changes. They should also bear in mind that the cost of a business grinding to a halt can far exceed the cost of replacing the furniture and computers.

‘It is important to remember that it is not just physical items that business owners need to think about protecting,’ explains Julian. ‘A company suffering a substantial setback, such as a fire, flood or earthquake, can take many months to get going again. Profits will be affected and the employer might find it difficult to continue paying for staff and supplies. They may even need to rent alternative premises if the usual ones have been damaged in some way. Taking out the right business insurance policy will mean that these things are taken care of, should the unthinkable happen, allowing the company to continue functioning and supporting the people involved in it.’
For more information, visit


Last Friday (15th October), teams from Fonterra, Maersk and KiwiRail battled it out in a series of SUB Football games. The competition is an annual tradition which pitches dairy giant Fonterra against two of its larger suppliers on the football field. This year the victors were ‘Inter Moolan’ from Fonterra, who were led by manager player Matt Baker.

Bill Davies, SUB Football founder says: `We're in the business of organising games for corporates and the companies they do business with. These three businesses get a chance to play each other while being refereed by a guy from Swire Shipping.'

Jane Quentin-Baxter, who has played SUB Football for the past seven years, was a member of ‘Inter Moolan’ the winning Fonterra team. She believes that SUB Football has become increasingly popular amongst corporates as it is more inclusive than many other sports, allowing men and women to play against each other. The game also caters for all skill levels, meaning no-one is left out. 'It also has the benefit of being professionally organised by SUB Football Network so you don't have to worry about the timings, referees, venues or anything like that,' adds Jane. 'You can just turn up and get on with enjoying the game!'

'In big organisations such as ours, there are dozens of people that you never run into day to day. When it comes to the suppliers, you might only ever speak to your contacts on the phone or via email. Getting together for SUB Football is great for networking and forming closer relationships with your colleagues.'

The corporate match this year took place at Victoria Park in Auckland and included eight mixed sex teams and four referees. SUB Football Referee Assignments Manager Stephanie Brown arranged for leading referees to keep the corporate teams in order. Top New Zealand Association Football referee Kevin Stoltenkamp was joined by Jan-Hendrik Hintz, who was an assistant ref at World Cup and Nick Waldron who is seeking FIFA accreditation.

For more information on SUB Football, visit


– Entrepreneurial Influence:

“how to turn conversations into profit without talking it up”

* 26th October; 6.45pm for a 7pm start. Runs til 9pm

* St Columba Centre, 40 Vermont St Ponsonby

Register online at the 'Beyong The Ceiling' website.

About the facilitator

Daniel Batten is founder of Beyond The Ceiling, a results-only business, for business.

He is a serial-entrepreneur, educator and author of “How to Build a Beautiful Business Without Stress”; a commentator and writer in NZ & international magazines on
startups, sustainability in business, and sales


In conjunction with Mental Health Awareness Week (4-10 October), Care Chemist, the country’s fastest growing community pharmacy group, is encouraging people with mental health conditions to discuss any questions or concerns they may have about their medicines, with their local Care Chemist pharmacist.

According to the Best Practice Advocacy Centre (BPAC), 47% of New Zealanders will experience a mental illness and/or an addiction at some time in their lives, with one in five people affected every year. On top of that, The World Health Organisation has predicted that by 2020, depression will be the second highest cause of death and disability in the world.

‘Sadly, depression is on the rise, both in this country and overseas and if left untreated, can have a major impact on physical and mental health,’ explains Care Chemist spokesperson, Antony Wentworth.

‘The good news is that you don’t have to deal with depression on your own,’ says Antony. ‘The first step is to talk to your GP and embark on a course of treatment that is suitable for you.

There are many different treatments for depression, including medication, talk therapies and self- help strategies.

‘If you have been prescribed medication for depression, make sure you discuss medicine management with your Care Chemist pharmacist as they will be able to help you maximise the benefits and minimise the side effects of your medication. Our Care Chemist pharmacists are also on hand to check for potential interactions between your prescription medications and assist you with recommendation on the suitability of supplements.’

On top of taking suitable medication, Antony suggests striving to maintain a healthy body and mind to maintain that all-important emotional balance. Strategies include eating a well balanced diet and exercising in moderation. This helps keep energy levels up and gives a sense of being in control of life. Keeping socially active along with planning enjoyable activities to look forward also

contributes to feeling vital and energetic.