Allianz Australia acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we live and work across Australia, and pay our respects to First Nations Elders past and present.
- As part of its Reconciliation Action Plan, Allianz Australia has commissioned new research by First Nations engagement consultancy Winangali, revealing that 16% of First Nations small businesses do not have any insurance cover.
- A quarter of First Nations small businesses surveyed were sole traders and more than 50% employed between 1-10 people, indicating a high proportion of micro-businesses in the sector.
- Just 21% of First Nations small businesses had general property insurance, as compared to 42% of Australian small businesses broadly.
- To help First Nations home-based small business owners understand the different types of insurance covers for their business, Allianz has created the Home-Based Business Insurance Toolkit in collaboration with First Nations communications consultancy Iscariot Media.
First Nations-owned businesses are part of an expanding and increasingly diverse sector, however, new research has found that many First Nations small businesses do not have suitable insurance cover for their needs. As part of its Reconciliation Action Plan, Allianz Australia has commissioned Indigenous engagement consultancy Winangali to conduct research into the experiences, attitudes and behaviours of First Nations small businesses with respect to their business insurance needs.
The found that while 95% of First Nations small business owners agreed that insurance is a ‘must have’ for their business, 1-in-2 (50%) said that there were likely things they needed insurance for that they weren’t aware of. A further 16% of First Nations small business owners did not have any insurance at all, with that number jumping to 23% for businesses that are less established (businesses in operation for less than 4 years). First Nations small business owners said they most commonly sourced information about insurance from other businesses that they know and trust (66%), and from insurance brokers (54%).
Sema Musson, General Manager, Conduct and Customer Advocacy at Allianz Australia, said: “First Nations businesses provide important social and economic benefits to First Nations communities through employment, empowerment and self-determination. We know that business insurance is a key aspect of building successful and resilient businesses, and by working with First Nations consultancies such as Winangali, we are seeking to better understand the role insurers can play to support this growing sector.”
According to Supply Nation research report, , First Nations businesses registered through Supply Nation turned over $1.03 billion in 2021 , and while they span a full spectrum of industries, professions and sizes, a significant portion are ‘home-based’ start-ups and micro businesses. Despite loss of property emerging as a key concern for First Nations small business owners, only 21% had general property cover as compared to 42% of Australian small businesses broadly.
“The disparity in general property insurance for First Nations small businesses indicates a particular risk for those businesses operating in the home and expecting coverage under their home and contents policy. Business stock may not be covered, or have very limited cover, as part of general home and contents insurance, and in addition, if an incident was to occur in a home where a small business operates, the home insurance cover may also be void,” Ms Musson continued.
Allianz has created the Home-Based Insurance Toolkit to help small business owners better understand the cover required for businesses operating in the home. Reflecting the growing need for this information in the First Nations business community, this Toolkit was created in collaboration with First Nations communications consultancy Iscariot Media.
The research also found that First Nations small business owners feel the cost of premiums is not the most important factor when purchasing insurance, with almost 90% indicating that having products that suit their business needs is extremely important. Almost 70% of First Nations small business owners said that having an insurance company that understands First Nations business is extremely important in their decision, however, less than 1-in-10 (8%) First Nations small business owners feel that insurance companies understand First Nations businesses.
Noel Niddrie, Managing Director of Winangali, said: “Indigenous business is a major growth sector and not enough research has been undertaken in this area. The decision by Allianz to do this research is insightful and will benefit our mob, our businesses and our communities.
Too often First Nations peoples are seen as an economic burden and it is a revelation when corporate Australia sees the potential spending power of the emerging Indigenous middle class. It is the pursuit of facts that will allow us to break down the myths that persist about Australia’s first peoples.”
Allianz Australia has added to the available training for front line staff to improve understanding of First Nations businesses. Allianz is also reviewing its – which was implemented in July 2021 – and is working closely with Winangali to identify areas for further research and action in response to these findings.