Insurance Account Reviews

Most clients don’t initially understand all the services their insurance broker can provide. An annual account review is an excellent example and a great learning experience.

What’s an Account Review?

It’s an opportunity to update your knowledge of insurance exposures and fine-tune your coverages.

  • Pick a date mid-year to your policy expirations – when there’s little insurance stuff going on. This should mean the broker’s not “selling.”
  • Think about what you’d like to learn or know about risk or insurance – for free! Also determine if there is someone else in your business who could learn from being present.
  • Be proactive to make it worth your time … read on.

Plan your Meeting

  • Invite your broker to lunch – with a tour around your business beforehand.
  • Point out anything new – equipment, processes, products or services, major vendors or customers.
  • Get his or her experienced, “new set of eyes” view of your operations to uncover new or unexpected risks.

In a risk assessment factory tour the client showed me a “de-burring” operation with a very fast turning drill press-type machine. When I noticed the woman working there had long hair with no net or tie-back, I asked him quietly to have her stop the machine. I then explained and showed her what could happen if her hair got caught in the spinning equipment. The “new set of eyes” was a lucky break for all involved.

  • Introduce your broker to several of your specialist workers and have them express their opinions about risks and concerns.

What are your To-Dos?

  • Over lunch, take time to make notes about anything you’ve both learned: any recommendations, resources the broker may have, or things to consider.
    –   Can a safety or loss control expert make an inspection?
    –   Can someone speak to your safety committee or at an employee meeting?
  • Ask about insurance market or legal trends.
    –   What new coverages, exclusions, or price increases are around the corner and how you can prepare?
    –   What new lawsuits have been happening?
  • Talk about the timing of the next renewal process so you know what to expect.
    –   Update your calendar and alert colleagues about information needs.
    –  Make clear to your broker that you want proposals at least two weeks in advance of the renewal date.
  • Finally, work on your business relationship with your broker – family, hobbies, vacations, recent professional courses, and most importantly who should you think about referring to him or her as a possible new customer.
  • Re-schedule the account review process for next year!

What could make your risk and insurance management easier and more cost-effective?

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One Comment

  1. Charles T. Wilson September 10, 2014 at 1:00 am - Reply

    A colleague, Corri diBagno, emailed this comment:
    “I agree mid year reviews afford an opportunity for the insured to learn more about their operation as well as what new risks could appear on the horizon i.e. Cyber Liability, Foreign Trade exposures, Supply Chain exposures, Political Risk exposures, etc.

    I recall a metal fabricator account that looked to expand into Central America. During a mid year review of their operation with their insurance agent, we learned the owner/principle had leased an apartment in Panama…. he traveled frequently from the US to Panama, exploring potential sites for his operation. When we learned of this international travel, we suggested the owner purchase an A.D.& D policy with evacuation/repatriation coverage. He took our advice and sure enough, he contracted some type of virus that required emergency treatment not available in Panama…..his “Evac Policy” got him out of Panama to a superior health care facility in Texas; ultimately he was sent to University Of Pa. hospital for his cure. Without the policy, much Red Tape could have hindered his return to The States!
    Thanks, Corri for sharing another real-life story!

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