Archives for July 2020
RISK SAVINGS—Sometimes, it’s important to get a second opinion.
If a family member has a serious illness, you may choose to get a second opinion on treatment options.
When you’re in any kind of legal trouble, you probably call your lawyer for advice.
But, when you wrote that check for your company’s insurance coverage (that check with WAY too many zeros in it), you may have not even realized that you had an option for a second opinion.
Yet, there is a profession that specializes in being an advocate, an advisor and an ally for companies.
There is a person who can handle your entire insurance program for you—saving you time, worry and money.
There is someone who will be completely dedicated to YOUR best interests.
That profession, that person and that someone is a Risk Manager.
A Risk Manager Is A Unique Type Of Insurance Specialist
Of course, you need an insurance agent. But you also need a specialist.
A general practitioner will refer you to a specialist based on your needs; such as a surgeon, orthopedist or dermatologist.
Your lawyer may advise you to seek a specialist; such as a trial lawyer, an estate attorney or corporate counsel, if necessary.
Risk Managers are the top consultants in the insurance field.
They are your best option for independent, unbiased opinions on your commercial insurance program.
Huge corporations have entire Risk Management Departments.
The biggest reason most mid- to large-sized companies don’t use Risk Managers is that they just don’t know about them.
They don’t know who they are, they don’t understand what they do and they don’t realize how helpful they can be.
Our company was founded by a former insurance agent who realized that businesses have a great need for:
- A middle-man to serve between them and insurance companies;
- Someone to sit on their side of the table during insurance negotiations; and
- A personal representative who will have their back at all times.
So, Walter Haney, Sr., became a Risk Manager—one of the very first in the entire southeast.
For more than forty years, the company he created, American Risk Managers, has helped dozens and dozens of companies like yours—in all types of industries—save money on insurance costs.
A Risk Manager Can Save Your Company Money
The supplies, goods and technology needed to run your business are probably your top expense, with payroll being the next highest cost.
You understand your due diligence in those categories.
You don’t sign a contract with a major parts or materials’ supplier unless you’ve looked into their company and spoken with a few other customers.
And you don’t usually hire the first person who fills out a job application. You accept other applications and ultimately hire the best fit for the job.
Yet, for your company’s third biggest expense—commercial insurance—you receive an invoice for tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars and you proceed to pay it every year… Maybe a little painfully, but also quite possibly without understanding exactly what you’re paying for.
But insurance is different, you might think. It’s just one of those things you HAVE to HAVE to do business.
Yes, you have to have it. But you can also involve a specialist in the insurance field who is not employed by an insurance company.
You can get help from an independent outsider—a Risk Manager.
Have you ever asked yourself:
- WHY is commercial insurance so expensive?
- Is there REALLY nothing our company can do about it?
- We’re paying all this money and I’M NOT SURE we’re completely covered?
Risk Managers can address ALL these issues, plus more. And give you some certainty and peace of mind in these very uncertain times.
A Risk Manager Will Help You Explore Your Options
If you’re like most businesses, you have a wide variety of insurance policies placed among several different insurance companies.
Some of your policies are geared to protect your buildings and their contents, such as property coverage. Some policies protect your vehicles and the drivers in your fleet, such as automobile coverage.
A construction company will usually carry extensive equipment breakdown coverage, while a business that offers professional services may carry professional liability coverage.
But there are dozens of options available, such as:
- Commercial general liability;
- Electronic data processing;
- Inland marine or equipment;
- Stock throughput;
- Umbrella and/or excess liability;
- Directors’ and officers’ liability;
- Trustee and fiduciary liability;
- Crime policies;
- Cyber policies;
- Business interruption insurance;
- Boiler and machinery;
- Automobile coverage; and
- Employment related practices liability.
How do you know which ones to choose?
Do you really need all these policies?
And if you can’t afford them all, which ones are the most important for your business?
Those are considerations that your Risk Manager, with their experience and expertise, is going to help you with.
For example, a major manufacturing facility with a production line probably will have all of the policies listed above—or even more.
While a smaller company, one in its first or second year of operations, might not be able to afford more than the basics; such as property, commercial general liability, automobile, professional liability and umbrella coverages.
A Risk Manager will help you determine the insurance that is needed—within your budget—to help you safely operate and cover your risks.
What about workers’ compensation?
Every business has to carry workers’ compensation coverage. There’s nothing you can do about that one. Or is there?
Yes, you have to have it. But mistakes can be made with payroll totals, categorizing employees, and reporting estimates that can cost your company more money than necessary.
And then there’s the fine print.
Every single line of insurance has its own:
- Coverage list;
- Limits for payments;
- Endorsements for covered and/or not-covered items;
- Associated values for covered items; and
- Lists of additional covered items
If you’re not familiar with these terms, that’s perfectly normal.
Most business owners and top executives are experts in their field—not the insurance industry.
And if you don’t enjoy reading the hundreds of pages of all your different policies, that’s understandable, too.
These tasks are among the reasons why huge businesses, industries and corporations have Risk Managers on staff.
But you could have access to a Risk Manager and their full range of services—at a fraction of the cost—by adding a consultant to your team!
But where would my company even begin to start with a service like that?
Well, a Risk Manager is going to start with the basics—YOUR company and its RISKS.
A Risk Manager Will Design An Insurance Program SPECIFIC To Your Business
Similar to how an architect designs plans for a house, but then a contractor comes in and builds it, a Risk Manager will design an insurance program for your business and then help you place your program with companies that best fit your needs.
First, they’ll conduct a thorough review of your company and its areas of risk.
Some companies even offer free Risk Surveys. (We do. Here’s an article about FREE Risk Benefit Surveys.)
Risk Managers know the leading insurance companies that cover companies with similar risks—highly-rated companies and companies that PAY claims.
Because no matter what you pay for insurance, if it doesn’t cover you at claim time, it’s useless. You need a top company and you need A+ policies.
An insurance company is usually going to offer you a selection of commercial insurance packages to choose from.
At that point, many companies let their insurance agent advise them on what coverages to purchase.
But that’s like looking at a menu, but then letting your waiter decide what you want to eat for dinner and which wine you should order.
There’s a possibility they might be inclined to pick the most expensive meal and beverage because their tip is calculated on a percentage of your cost.
Your insurance agent’s commission is also calculated on a percentage of the premiums you pay. That’s just how it is. There’s no hiding that factor. And it’s important to address it.
Of course, insurance agents deserve to be paid for their time. We certainly have nothing against agents. We interact with them on a daily basis on behalf of our clients and enjoy good working relationships with them.
But, we also believe that commercial insurance is far too expensive for most companies. And we want to SAVE you money, not cost you more.
So, how are Risk Managers different than insurance agents?
A Risk Manager Is YOUR Advocate
Independent Risk Managers are totally unbiased—because their fees are not attached to a commission.
They are not paid by any insurance company.
In fact, their independence is one of their greatest assets.
They are loyal ONLY to you.
And they get paid a fee based on their services to you!
That’s great… but CAN we afford a Risk Manager?
Since their fees are usually covered through the savings you obtain by using their services, Risk Management provides a rare opportunity.
Our company has helped businesses save tens of thousands of dollars, hundreds of thousands of dollars—and even one specific client, a construction company, ONE MILLION DOLLARS. (See Client Savings.)
And all those savings were gained during their first year of using our services. These clients continue to save an average of 25-35% annually through decreased insurance costs.
So, how do these interesting savings happen?
A Risk Manager Will Save Your Company Money By Utilizing Competition
Just as any major municipality will accept bids on new construction projects and select the one that’s most beneficial for its citizens, Risk Managers will approach multiple insurance companies and allow them to bid for your business.
This competitive bid process allows you the best chance to obtain the best coverages at the best prices.
They’ll start the process by taking your company’s risk survey and creating bid specifications that match its unique risk profile.
Just as no two companies are exactly alike, no two commercial insurance programs should be.
Your company’s bid specifications should reflect your specific business, service, or industry, and the exact coverages you need to cover those risks.
To help protect you financially:
- Coverage limits will be carefully calculated;
- Deductibles will be set on some policies as cost-saving measures; and
- Policies which should not contain deductibles will also be noted.
There is no one-size fits all commercial policy package when you work with a Risk Manager. Each program is designed as one of a kind.
We’ll also review your needs with you and point out areas of specific concern. For example, if you’re at risk from litigation, you may want directors’ and officers’ coverages to protect your managers, yourself, your family, and your assets.
A Risk Manager Speaks The Language Of The Insurance Marketplace
When your customized insurance program is ready, your bid specifications will be provided to the insurance marketplace.
Insurance agents chosen by you and your Risk Manager, including your current insurance agent, if you wish, will then be given an opportunity to prepare and present their proposals.
ALL proposals must match the published bid specifications.
Your Risk Manager will schedule all the appointments for you, at a location of your choosing, and you will be able to participate during the meetings to any extent you wish.
But you’ll also have your own insurance expert on hand—your Risk Manager—to offer advice on every aspect of the proposed coverages.
A Risk Manager will know:
- What specific questions to ask about these proposed policies;
- If there are dangerous gaps that could put your company at risk; and
- If any double-coverages are included that are driving up costs without creating value.
After the presentations, your Risk Manager will provide you with an analysis of the proposals, with coverages and costs laid out side-by-side, along with their recommendations.
You’ll then be able to make an informed decision on which program is right for your company.
Later, when you receive all of the different policies you’ve purchased, your Risk Manager will review them carefully to make sure you’re getting the exact coverages you’re paying for.
But the benefits don’t end after the bid process.
Risk Managers can provide many more cost-saving and risk-reducing services.
A Risk Manager Provides Continuing Aid
Your Risk Manager is now a vital part of your team and will be able to offer assistance any time you need it.
- Remain readily available to address your considerations or answer questions regarding claims, incidents or coverages;
- Continue to manage your insurance program for you, so you and your top managers can focus on other responsibilities; and
- Keep up with renewal data—what information is needed and when it’s needed, and what items should be updated or even eliminated.
We sincerely hope you now have a much better understanding of how Risk Management can work for your company.
And if you’re ready for a second opinion, we’d love to help.
We also offer FREE Risk Benefit Surveys, with no obligation necessary.
With just a few items of information (sent safely and securely via email), we can review your current insurance and risk situation and provide you with an estimate of the savings you could expect to obtain by using our services.
Please call us at 800-548-0117 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we can get started right away.
Better Insurance. Less Cost. Risk Management.
(Photo Credit: Pexels/energepic.com)