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?