FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT IS OUR ARK MUTUAL?
Our Ark Mutual Limited ACN 627 006 213 entity is a Company Limited by Guarantee. It is owned by its members and its board is solely focused on operating Our Ark for the benefit of members. This is described in its constitution<linked>. The board comprises non-executive independent directors, member representative directors and manager representative directors. Read more about the board here<Linked>.
WHAT IS RISK PROTECTION?
A discretionary mutual is a structure that offers discretionary risk protection to its members.
Discretionary protection is similar to insurance because both offer protection against a certain event or risk (for example, damage to crops from hail). However, the key difference is:
Under an insurance policy, the protected person (the insured) has the contractual right to have their claim paid (if the claim meets all the policy terms and conditions);
Under a discretionary risk product, the protected person has the right to have their claim considered and for a decision to be made about paying the claim (the exercise of discretion).
WILL I SAVE MONEY?
something here about some statutory charges that might apply to insurance do not apply to risk protection products (stamp duty, emergency services levee) so that can be a significant saving. Also something about we aim to provide sharp pricing up front but then also longer term you may be able to save if you and the Our Ark community have favourable claims experience (link to section about profits recycled).
HOW DO I GET A QUOTE?
We will soon be adding online quoting for some products. For now, email us your renewal at email@example.com and we will get on to it.
HOW DO I BECOME A MEMBER OF THE MUTUAL?
You automatically become a member when you apply for a risk protection product, you meet our board criteria, we offer you cover and you pay your contribution.
WHAT IS A CONTRIBUTION
Whereas you may pay a premium for your insurance, you make a contribution (including GST) to the mutual for a risk protection product.
WHAT IS A PREMIUM REBATE?
Where the board resolves that the mutual has surplus capital, it may use some of those funds to reduce member contributions. This is done by way of a premium rebate subject to the surplus distribution algorithm which is driven, amongst other things, by member tenure (longer = better), size of contribution (higher = better), claim experience (less = better) and products held (more = better).
WHY DON’T YOU HAVE AN EXCESS?
We think there are major design issues with excesses - especially high excesses. Marketed by some as a way to save money, the sting comes if you have a claim. If you can’t afford the excess at that time then you are in a real bind when it comes to getting your claim sorted out. Our Ark’s products have a claim threshold (also known as a franchise). If the claim is over the threshold, we do not deduct that amount from your claim nor require you to first pay that amount.
HOW ARE CLAIMS HANDLED?
something about the claims panel footprint and focus on speedy response and local repairers.
HOW ARE DISPUTES ADDRESSED?
Internal dispute, external dispute (AFCA). blab blah
ARE YOU AN APRA INSURER?
Our Ark is not an APRA Insurer. we are a Discretionary Mutual Funds (DMFs). DMFs offer a ‘discretionary cover’, that is, an insurance-like product that may involve an obligation on the DMF to pay a claim. However, it gives the DMF a discretion as to whether it will pay the claim.
IS THE MUTUAL SECURE?
The mutual is protected by A+ Insurers. These policies protect the mutual for cases where there is an extraordinarily large claim or a number of claims that arise from the same event. This means that, in additional to the capital held by the mutual, it has greater capacity to withstand adverse claims experience of the community.