Civil infrastructure news, Industry Insurance

NTI: More buck for your boom

NTI

 

How can you harness the opportunities presented by Australia’s infrastructure boom? NTI’s David Kidd and Gary Woodhams explain.  

NTI reinforces the fact that Australia has a considerable infrastructure project pipeline. So what are the opportunities and challenges for businesses in this environment and what does it mean in the mobile plant and equipment (MPE) space that’s so critical to supporting these projects?

EEM sat down with NTI’s David Kidd – National Product Manager Mobile Plant and Gary Woodhams – National Strategic Underwriter, Mobile Plant & Equipment, to discuss Australia’s state of infrastructure.

Big pipeline, big opportunity

The first thing to note is the diversity of public and private projects planned in Australia’s growing urban and regional areas across transport, energy, water, sewerage, technology, and other civil infrastructure. There is also considerable construction activity in the mining industry with growing global demand for critical minerals.

“We’ve seen a lot of state and national government stimulus spending brought forward in response to the COVID pandemic and we are still in that bubble,” says Gary.

“We’re also going through a period of strong population growth, so that’s a major driver for the increased spend. Construction and civil construction needs to keep pace with this increasing level of demand.”

David notes there are some “nation-building” projects projected over the next five years. These include regional rail upgrades in almost every state, including the Melbourne to Brisbane inland rail project.

“It’s a massive infrastructure undertaking that has the potential to bring significant benefits for businesses and manufacturing and, of course, for producers to get their goods to national and global markets,” he says. “It’s expected to be completed in 2027.”

Gary adds: “In another example, there’s the Outback Way, a strategic, 2720km stretch of sealed road connecting Laverton, Western Australia to Winton, Queensland via Alice Springs, Northern Territory – and not to mention the Brisbane Olympics also on the horizon”.

There’s a lot going on. But as we know, opportunities will present a variety of challenges with potential to disrupt the project.

Challenges

What, then, are some of the challenges for businesses in this environment to keep in mind as they prepare and bid for work on these projects?

According to the NTI team, the big ones are:

• Availability and inflation driving the rising costs of materials
• Managing skilled labour shortages andincreased wages
• Supply chain disruptions creating high demand for MPE and placing pressure on the used equipment market
• Integrating climate change and natural disaster resilience into project design
• Factoring in time for environmental preservation requirements and legal compliance.

Despite these challenges, Gary and David say the outlook remains very positive.

From an MPE insurance perspective

NTI has a dedicated team of risk engineers who can assist in evaluating current and potential risks by visiting and inspecting sites and plant.

“Our engineers can go out to site and help identify issues that can possibly be events in the near future,” David says.

“They’ll look at things like fire controls and site prevention. Even the culture of the business – we have programs in place that can support businesses from that perspective too.”

Let your insurance broker help

Gary and David agree that insurance brokers can play a critical role in assisting their customers in assessing their current and future needs and ensuring they’ve got appropriate cover in place.

Gary says a good broker will “really, really get in there, do a thorough review of the risks and support the client with a robust risk management regime across all elements of risk, not just on mobile plant and equipment.

“They’ll also make sure their clients are keeping their schedules well updated and that the values reflect current market values.

“Then they can tailor the insurance cover to protect that.”

For David, schedule inflation is something to watch.

“In recent times, we’ve seen a fair bit of appreciation in plant pricing due to the availability of items, the supply chain, and whether we can get these items into the country or not.

“So, it’s critical for values to be updated and captured correctly. After all, the last thing you want is to make a claim and find you’re underinsured.”

Communication between client, broker, and insurer is the key to success. So, talk to your broker today to ensure you’re ready to get your fair share of the work on offer.

If you’d like to learn more about risk management and how to protect your business, contact your insurance broker, or NTI, today. Visit NTI’s Yellow Cover at: www.yellowcover.com.au

This article contains general information only. You should obtain your own professional advice based on your personal circumstances. NTI is not responsible or liable for your use or reliance on the information in this article.

 

 

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