How many of us have stood around burning $20 bills and laughing? I love burning my money…..said no one ever. Okay, it may sound a bit harsh or drastic but in the end, a poor choice in your insurance partner could be doing just the same.
When comparing cost and coverage, it’s important to start with the latter first. This article is a basic overview of the whys and the hows. Coverage can be written up in so many ways with a variable cornucopia of options to choose from, and yes it can be overwhelming. If we insured everything and anything that could go wrong, well, we would have no money left at all.
On the other hand, basing decisions on cost alone without subjective comparison could be just as bad as burning $20’s. Paying less for inadequate coverage is the same as going without, so why waste the funds if you are willing to gamble with your business?
Insurance can be a dry and difficult task to tackle, more so in industries with complex or unique situations.
Best bet, start with your association! If the association has vetted and partnered with a program manager then you should always start there. The chances are that the agent and carrier have been educated on the needs of its members as well as building a portfolio that is meant to tackle today’s biggest concerns. Another reason to start there, you may have a good chance of voiding your chances to apply! That’s right, some carriers offer closed program partnerships with specific agencies and partners. If you apply with an outside agency and they are declined, you may be unable to reverse the decision even if you are the best risk in the industry.
Secondly, have a conversation with your agent and partner! Pick up a phone and tell them what you are doing, how you are different, where you have experience and why you are a good risk and partner. Open communication drives clarity, and that champions above all else, the opportunity for good coverage and great rates. If you are in the business of commodities and treat your partners like one, they will be less likely to help, so treat them like a partner and they will return the favor!
Lastly, never underestimate your network! If there is a need to bring about change to options and coverage, leverage your network and plan to participate as a group in requesting quotes, adding lines of coverage and building a strong team of elevated professionals. Underwriters and agents alike love to hear about how you and your colleagues are raising the bar of excellence and gathered voices in unison are better heard than whispers and mutters lost in the shuffle of individuality.
VP JA KNAPP