If you only hear from your insurance agent at annual renewal time, it is time for a new agent.
Do not be fooled by the concept that you do not need an agent to help you manage your risk management and business insurance program. Business insurance should not be something you purchase as you would groceries, clothes, or a car.
Having the wrong kind of insurance can cost your business thousands of dollars in uninsured claims. A good insurance agent will partner with you to fully understand your risk, then offer insurance, risk, and non-insurance solutions that help you manage your risk exposures.
Now that we have established the importance and value of an agent, the question is, how often should your agent meet with you? This is an important question, and the answer should be more than once per year.
If your agent only meets with you before the renewal, they are communicating two things; one, they only care about the insurance product they are selling, and two, they really do not fully understand what risks your business has. They are offering only one option, not any meaningful solutions.
Here is what we have learned about what clients want from their agent:
Business owners and managers want to be educated about the risks they face.
Clients want to connect with, and be valued by, their agents.
Business owners want a business partnership, not a salesperson.
Most business executives want assurance their coverage needs are met.
Clients want to understand how their insurance and risk program works.
Business owners and managers want ongoing communication with their agents.
There is no “one size fits all” approach when determining how often you should meet with your agent. But we have found that the more complex the risk, the more time your agent should be meeting with you.
Benefits of Regular Communication With Your Agent
Assume you started your company five years ago with a small office and a computer desk. You now have a large office with personnel and equipment. If you have the same insurance coverage as you did when you started, or even three years ago, you are underinsured.
Review your company’s insurance coverage with your agent at least once a year to ensure that all your assets are protected, and risks addressed. Circumstances change, and if you do not conduct an annual review, you risk incurring significant costs or uninsured losses.
One approach that works well is to set up an annual service calendar. This will allow both parties to set the agenda and prepare for the meetings. Here is an example:
Sample Client Annual Service Calendar (assuming a December renewal date)
Deliver policies and review coverages.
Claim and loss control services meeting.
Annual stewardship meeting.
Pre-renewal meeting to review current insurance program and review new risks both internal and external. Set a renewal strategy.
Renewal meeting to deliver renewal options and confirm coverage.
Most of these topics are self-evident, but the stewardship review might be a new concept to some business owners and managers. Here is what might go into a typical stewardship review report.
· Coverage history
· Account service team
· Program summary- coverage, deductibles, etc.
· Claim review and history
Summary of Agent Services
· Key accomplishments and review of service goals and objectives
· A review of the state of the insurance and risk market
· Benchmarking studies
· Future risk concerns and suggest strategies
· Discussion on planned actions, new risk issues and ongoing action items.
Your agent should be a trusted business advisor. That includes regular communication on the effectiveness of your business insurance and risk management program. If you are not getting that from your agent, it may be time to look for a new agent.
Leap | Carpenter | Kemps Insurance Agency Is Your Choice for Captives
Leap | Carpenter | Kemps Insurance Agency provides Commercial Business Insurance, Employee Benefits, Life and Health Insurance, and Personal Insurance to all of California, including Merced, Atwater, Los Baños, Mariposa, Madera, Fresno, Modesto, Turlock, and Stockton.Contact us today!
Mike Dwyer is a Commercial Insurance & Risk Advisor, who specializes in Group Captive Insurance, and specialty insurance and risk management solutions for businesses in the construction industry.
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Leap | Carpenter | Kemps Insurance Agency provides Commercial Business Insurance, Employee Benefits, Life and Health Insurance, and Personal Insurance to all of California, including Merced, Atwater, Los Banos, Mariposa, Madera, Fresno, Modesto, Turlock, and Stockton.
CA License Number 0646081 | Licensed to do business in California, Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington.