Cyber breach costs CEO his job


Your IT security may not protect you from every cyber breach

Cyber breaches are unfortunately becoming more common in Australia, with organisations needing to become more vigilant when it comes to protecting their balance sheet and the reputational damage that can be caused by a cyber breach.

ASX-listed property valuation firm Landmark White experienced were made aware of a cyber breach in February of this year, forcing the company into a trading halt.

The company expects to lose up to $7m in revenue as a result of the breach, costing the CEO Chris Coonan his job as he was forced to resign. The company resumed trading in May, where the share price has tumbled from $0.43 down to $0.26.

This case is a timely reminder that companies cannot afford to rely solely on their IT security software in this era of cybercrime. For complete protection, companies need to look towards their insurance broker for guidance on how to manage their cyber risk.

Source: IT News,


The impact of Product Recall and Contaminated Products

Food & Beverage

Damage to Brand and Reputation and Product Recall remain two of the greatest risks facing a competitive Food & Beverage sector in Australia.


Supply chains are becoming more complex with growers, processors, packaging, distribution and retail all having exposure from a product tampering/extortion and contamination exposure.  Crisis management and business continuity planning remain essential for all parties. 


Comprehensive product recall policies, once triggered, can cover First Party and Third Party recall expenses, business interruption, replacement costs and rehabilitation expenses.


Significant losses were incurred in late 2018 when the $500m dollar Australian strawberry market suffered a series of tampering events (needles in strawberries) as a result of disgruntled employees and further copycat actions. As a result, the sector lost 14% of its value in 2018 and several producers went out of business (despite a multi-million dollar Government Assistance package).


The increasing complexity of supply chains and the rationalisation of components /raw ingredients supply to maximise efficiencies in product manufacturing has also led to a multiplying impact on product recall exposures. This can result in a ripple effect whereby an issue with one component can impact across a significant number of brands and products causing reputation damage and financial loss to many different parties.


The Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) recall in 2008 remains one of the largest ever Food & Beverage recall incidents globally. A salmonella outbreak in peanut product had widespread consequences and although PCA were only responsible for approximately 2% of the supply of peanuts into the US market, over 4,000 products from 200 different companies were affected, resulting in estimated losses of over  $2bn to the industry and a reduction of 24% in peanut sales across the entire market. PCA filed for bankruptcy as a result of this incident, with numerous civil suits served against the company and owner.


In the current environment, manufacturers and wholesalers need to remain cognisant of the exposure arising the products they are producing and distributing. Large retailers impose Terms of trade that are heavily weighted in their favour with little room for negotiation. Australian Consumer law dictates that importers of overseas products are legally liable for loss or damage arising from said products, so care must be taken to ensure that overseas manufactures and suppliers have quality assurance procedures in place along with internationally recognised Food Safety accreditation. 

Recall Expenses extensions available under Public Liability policy will only trigger in the event of Third Party Injury or Property Damage and the coverage is limit so case must be taken if Manufacturers are relaying on this cover to adequately protect them. The sector is seeing increasing incidence of Product Withdrawals by retailers due to quality issues (such as incorrect specification/package/colour etc.) in many cases, these do not trigger even comprehensive Contaminated Products Policy (although there are additional coverage options available in the market).




  • Product safety regulation and investigation expanding
  • Technological advances in testing and identification of new pathogens
  • Increasing complexity and consolidation of supply chains
  • Economic rationalisation and sourcing new/cheaper components
  • Rise in consumer awareness/use of social media
  • Retailers passing on exposures to suppliers under terms of trade.



Rebranded specialty division reflects Honan’s strength in managing professional and executive risks, especially in a challenging market.



Honan Insurance Group’s (Honan) Head of Financial & Professional Risks Henry Clark has announced the specialist department has been rebranded to Professional & Executive Risks to better reflect the group’s strength in expertise, market clout and it’s pro-active approach in supporting clients with market related issues and challenges such as Directors and Officers (D&O) insurance.

Commenting further on the announcement Henry Clark said the days of just rolling over the D&O insurance renewal is no longer an option as the sector continues to navigate a very challenging and dynamic market. Insurers applied heavy price increases across-the-board in 2018. This continued into 2019 as the number of claims and reported circumstances exceeded the total insurance premium pool by a significant margin.

“D&O is an exceptionally complicated insurance market with carriers responding assertively to claims pressure and continuing growth in securities class actions, litigation and the prospects of further action arising in 2019 and beyond”, said Henry Clark.

Once regarded as mainly being applicable to large listed entities, litigation costs arising from D&O exposures are now so great that D&O insurance has become a necessity for many businesses–regardless of size.

“The primary driver for the current hardening D&O market is the growth in securities class actions led by opportunistic law firms backed by litigation funders and predictions that further claims pressure will arise from the Hayne Royal Commission, privacy regulation, workplace health and safety and now the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety”, continued Henry Clark.

“As a result, upward pressure on D&O premiums will continue into 2019 and beyond as insurers leave the market resulting in the current pool becoming inadequate to cover increasing and expensive claims”.

This is going to be reality for the foreseeable future affirmed Henry Clark.

Although a challenging environment, there is still flexibility in the market, but only if the right messages are communicated – and strategies are needed to demonstrate to insurers that the D&O risk is being properly considered and mitigated.

“Honan’s Professional & Executive Risks team works proactively with clients by actively engaging in relevant education and alerting them to the changing insurance environment well in advance of cover renewal. The team then guide them to establish the most appropriate strategy to reduce the impact on premium and coverage.”

This includes:

  • Providing Directors, the knowledge and tools to personally engage with senior management to set and manage D&O forecasts and expectations.
  • Working with insureds to be proactive and commence the renewal process early, allowing time to address any surprises or consider strategies which may mitigate premium increases.
  • Examining insurer selection, transparency, relationship management and adequately conveying the client’s individual risk profile in underwriter presentations to help mitigate the prevailing market issues and assist the company to stand apart during this market correction.

The Honan Professional and Executive Risks team specialises in insurance for financial institutions, professional service firms and corporate organisations. The team of experts has decades of experience offering specific industry insight and placement experience for traditional and emerging risks.

Issued by Honan Insurance Group

Media Enquiries:                 

Mr. Joe Perri
Joe Perri & Associates Pty Ltd


Cyber attacks on the rise for the real estate industry


As cyber breaches are becoming more common in Australia, real estate organisations need to become more vigilant when it comes to protecting their balance sheet, and the reputational damage that can be caused by a cyber breach.

The industry is seeing an increase in cyber breaches, as hackers realise the potential to access sensitive information that real estate companies hold.

This year alone, Honan have received claims for two separate agencies that have been victims of Social Engineering Fraud. In both cases, hackers were able to access documents and contracts, changing the bank account details to their details, sending payments directly to the hacker’s accounts. Together both claims totalled over $100,000.

Ransomware is another form of a cyber breach affecting the real estate industry. This occurs when malware infects files or devices, locking them and demanding a ransom to regain access. With offices relying on IT systems to run the day-to-day operations, a ransomware attack can shut down a business for days or weeks and can be extremely costly to resolve.

ASX-listed property valuation firm Landmark White was made aware of a cyber breach in February of this year, forcing the company into a trading halt. The company expects to lose up to $7m in revenue as a result of the breach, causing the CEO Chris Coonan to resign. The company resumed trading in May with the share price plummeted by 40%.

With today’s reliance on all things digital to run a business, it is more important than ever that the real estate industry look towards their insurance broker for guidance on how to manage their cyber risk.

For more information on how to protect your business from these and many other emerging cyber exposures, please feel free to contact a Honan representative below;

For more information on our Real Estate Solutions, please contact our team at

We welcome Eliza White as Director of Operations – Asia

We welcome Eliza White as Director of Operations – Asia to the Honan team. Eliza will be based in regional head office in Singapore.

Eliza joins us from Starr International, bringing with her a strong broker background and experience in risk insurance, underwriting (specialising in the energy and risk sectors), management, analytics, and global insurance.

Eliza’s appointment marks another important step in our strategic aspirations in Asia-Pacific and will help drive our continued growth and momentum.

Honan hosts the inaugural WBN Asia-Pacific Regional Conference in Singapore


Honan were honoured to have hosted the launch of the WBN Asia-Pacific Regional Conference in Singapore on Sunday 10 February 2019. This year marks the inaugural launch of the annual conference, aimed to bring global partners of the network together to strategise on synergies of service.

This year’s theme was Navigating the Network, where the delegates explored trends, turning points and topics across the insurance and broker markets within the region.

On behalf of WBN, we’d like to thank our sponsors.

  • AIG
  • Zurich
  • Lloyd’s of London (Asia)
  • Beazley Group
  • Aviva
  • AXA
  • Liberty International Underwriters

We look forward to the next conference!

Photo from left to right: Tony McHarg from AIG, Francie Starnes from WBN and Damien Honan.

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