The Protection Evaluation Services
of RiskSmart Solutions

Our Protection Evaluation Services are designed for your company if you want to reduce your risks.

As a small business owner with limited time and resources, you may have struggled with some of these problems.

  • You have a pile of insurance correspondence and policies in a corner of your office that you don’t really have time to read, and you feel it’s all probably too hard to understand anyway.
  • You have several insurance agents or brokers with different policies that you bought at different times. It seemed like a good idea to get the best price at the time, but now it’s pretty complicated and renewals come up unexpectedly all year long.
  • You have vendors that provide essential services to your business, but you worry what would happen if they make a mistake or injure one of your employees, or forget to advise you about a new critical matter.
  • You often have to sign complex agreements in order to get an engagement or work on a project. It’s often last-minute and there’s no time to really understand the terms. You trust your partners, but have a nagging feeling that they may be just protecting themselves and not you.
  • Your business depends on the Internet and your stored data about customers, invoices, employees. And the cyber world seems to be moving at the speed of light – it’s hard to understand what to do and what not to do. Your IT service provider seems okay, but you’ve never tested an off-site backup solution. And what if those IT folks goof? Who’s going to pay for a lawsuit?
  • Your employees are pretty good workers and you pay attention to hiring as best you can. Human Resource consultants and attorneys are expensive, so you do the best you can….
  • But you wonder … are you following all the rules, keeping the right file notes, and maintaining an up-to-date Employee Handbook. Are you likely to get sued? Are you protected? Do you have insurance coverage for any of that?

Perhaps you need a new perspective

The difficulties that got you where you are today come from the complexity of the risk and insurance industry, and from our litigious society and attorneys finding new ways to protect their clients.

You are not alone and should not feel guilty about being confused. It goes with the territory. Mid-size accounts rarely get to discuss risk with insurers and most brokers don’t take the time to fully explain what they offer and why.

RiskSmart Solutions® is here to demystify your insurance program and help you get what you need at the best terms and pricing.

I spent over 30 years in and around the insurance industry – from trainee to CEO. I wore many hats starting, building, fixing and running small business units for large, international organizations.

From these experiences, I bring an integrated and creative, solution-oriented approach to business risk assessment, problem solving and crisis management. “I’ve been on both sides – I know the insurance industry thought-process, and the vital small-business need for practical, effective solutions.”

Since 2000 RiskSmart Solutions has been helping clients demystify their insurance programs, and get the best coverage and value for their premium investment.

We work with our clients to accomplish two main objectives

  1. Evaluate and enumerate both the obvious and hidden risks to your company. What I see so often is putting the most attention on the obvious risks but completely missing hidden exposures to loss that often catch a company by surprise. These unknown or evolving risks seriously impact companies every day.
  2. Provide objective, professional evaluations and advice. Unfortunately the majority of companies never get this kind of advice. They defer to their insurance agent who is knowledgeable about various insurance products, but rarely about the many hidden risks lurking in your unique operations.

What you can expect if you work with us

  • Projects uncover and clarify key business risks – the ones lurking out there that can shut you down and foil your plans.
  • You get improved loss prevention techniques to improve operational safety, avoid supplier mistakes, address employee risks and regulations, and analyze complex contracts and agreements.
  • We assess your insurance broker’s expertise to make sure you have the right, knowledgeable, high-integrity provider for your unique business needs.
  • We demystify your insurance protection. Yes, I translate “insurance-ese” and make sure you buy it last – after careful consideration of real needs.
  • Insurance “fine print” can be mysterious and costly – wordings, limitations, conditions, audits, etc. And we address costly gaps and overlaps in your program.
  • This results in an improved risk profile – which is how insurers classify and price your account. While more comprehensive protection is the prime goal, some clients benefit from lower premiums.

Addressing these important client expectations allows you to get back to your business with confidence. You have the peace of mind that a second set of professional eyes has evaluated your protections and verified what you have.

What gets accomplished with our Protection Evaluation Services?

Projects start with discussions and interviews with several, or many, execs, employees, and perhaps outside advisors.

  • I gather pertinent information from you, your broker, and other service providers – all with your permission.
  • I assess contracts and agreements for possible liabilities and discuss satisfactory insurance protection with your brokers.
  • I give clients objective recommendations and observations. We discuss options about how best to handle different issues
  • There’s no sugar-coating and no conflicts of interest – I have nothing else to sell.

We proceed by:

  1. Carefully considering all the risks you may be exposed to and have concerns about. The key areas include:
  • Property and Business Interruption
  • Business Liability – both primary and excess
  • Professional Liability
  • Auto Liability and related add-ons
  • Workers Compensation and Employers Liability
  • Employers Liability
  • Cyber Liability
  • Directors & Officers Liability
  1. Prioritizing key risks according to possible frequency and severity to get a clear picture of what needs to be done.
  2. In-depth reviews of your operations, customers, vendors, leases, contracts and agreements, and your insurance policies and broker service capabilities.
  3. Clarifying discussions with certain staff members, vendors, your insurance brokers, and other pertinent advisors, like your attorneys and accountants.
  4. Practical and cost-effective recommendations that are focused on safety, prevention, and areas of legal and financial protection.
  5. Implementation assistance starting with thorough discussions and clarifications so recommendations are clear, prioritized, useful, and ready to be implemented. Additional assistance in the implementation and transition stages is always available.

Of course, successful outcomes are not always simple or easy. I believe in telling the whole truth about what I find. We may have some frank discussions about:

  1. Poor messages executives communicate, for example, about worker safety;
  2. Preferred vendors and the importance of a vetting process;
  3. Demanding, over-reaching customers; and
  4. Professional advisors, including the right insurance brokers.

The first step in any evaluation is getting a clear picture of where you and your business stand today, and agreeing on priorities.

These Evaluations are unique. While risks and exposures to loss can be similar, each client has unique circumstances and priorities. There are no cookie-cutter solutions. In addition, you get insurance–related advice with no conflicts of interest – we get nothing from brokers or insurance companies, and we have nothing else to sell.

Our Protection Evaluation Services include these three offerings

We address your needs and concerns objectively. Every company is the same and every company is different. That is, all companies have property, etc., etc. But many companies have special needs and exceptions that need to be addressed.

1 – Initial Business Evaluation

With all our clients we start with an Initial Business Evaluation. This is a low-cost, fixed-price, basic Business Assessment that checks –

  • A snapshot of your current risk profile and loss exposure situation
  • The adequacy of your prevention plans and safety measures
  • An overview of your insurance coverage looking for gaps or overlaps

An objective and professional second set of eyes can quickly pinpoint critical areas needing improvement, and provide peace of mind about your due diligence.

You’ll get a written Initial Report and Project Recommendations, if any. Then you can decide – with objective input – whether or not a more comprehensive project is appropriate.

If yes, together we’ll create a focused project plan. If not, you will have more confidence in your protection plans, and no further obligation.

2 – Comprehensive Business Evaluation

This is our most requested service. It is complete and thorough. It gives you a wide-ranging overview of the risks your company faces and the best ways to protect yourself.

It includes an in-depth risk assessment, a safety/prevention review, and an objective financial evaluation of your insurance protection needs.

This level of detail allows you to get back to running your business, and not worry about your bottom line.

3 – Tailored Evaluations

Services here focus on special areas of client concern.

For example:

  1. Startups may need advice about what is needed immediately and what can wait for an appropriate need.
  2. Mergers and Acquisitions need to be sure about what risks are lurking in another company’s past, and need to be effectively addressed to avoid surprises.
  3. Larger firms may need an objective review of their in-house risk management or safety policies and procedures.
  4. Partnership Agreements require careful assessment of all aspects of proposed contributions and operations.

3 – Personal or Family Evaluations

This service is for clients who want to be sure they understand their personal exposures to loss, that plans for loss prevention minimization and contingencies are in place, and that insurance protection is satisfactory and not over-priced.

While there can be differences, most evaluations follow a similar pattern.

There are five key approaches to our process.

  1. A typical project starts with an Initial Evaluation so we carefully clarifying what you need. Then we describe the project, set expectations, and agree on budgets, so there are no surprises.
  2. We visit the relevant parts of your operations and discuss procedures, policies, clients, vendors, and your advisors.
  3. We review your leases and other contracts or agreements for areas of risk that may not be recognized or protected.
  4. We assess the depth and breadth of your insurance protection, and I usually work with your broker to clarify any misunderstandings.
  5. Finally, we draft reports and recommendations and thoroughly discuss with you for any misunderstandings or oversights. We then complete your final report.

Here is a chart of the flow of our services:

Timeframes and pricing will vary

Timeframes and pricing will vary depending on size, scope, geography, and complexity of business operations, and on the depth and breadth of required assessments.

  • Some clients want just the evaluation and recommendations.
  • Others want implementation of certain or all improvements.
  • And many want an on-going relationship that provides oversight of policy renewals, and allows them to ask questions and get assistance at any time when new issues or problems arise.

We are very careful to not overbook client work. Neither of us want timeframes to slip or expectations to not be met.

Why our approach succeeds.

You have probably seen above that each evaluation is a thorough, individual project that focuses on your unique needs, priorities and concerns.

And you get a rare guarantee – you will be satisfied, or we will make it right for you, or you will get your money back. Period.

These services are for you if you need someone…

  • Who has broad insurance industry and small business experience – who has “been there done that” in start-ups, building, fixing, and running small businesses.
  • Who knows how insurers work and think, and what they want and need. I help with applications so they are clear and concise, and don’t say too much.
  • Who can work seamlessly with your insurance broker or agent to get the best results for you – my only client – and make sure your broker and potential insurers really know your business and any protective measures you have.
  • Who provides all clients get a unique guarantee – You will be satisfied or either I fix your concerns, or you get your money back.
  • I believe I have clients for life – I know that may sound strange! But it means to me that I am often thinking about you and about new risks or problems that may be important. And it means to you that you can always ask a question or discuss a concern with no obligation or additional cost.

What’s Next?

The first step in any client project is agreeing on what we want to accomplish – so our expectations are on the same page.

  • We complete a worksheet then flesh out additional milestones or final project needs.
  • We discuss and agree on timeframes, scope and budget.
  • I prepare a detailed proposal and if it’s all okay, we start the project.

All these initial steps are without cost or obligation

You might want to look at some of our Client Case Studies and Testimonials.

“Charles put a different spin on risk management and gave our CPA firm a new way to look at insurance vs. risk.
His engaging presentation educated our firm in what we should be looking for and questions to ask our clients regarding their risk management policies and how insurance fits into the equation.”

Howard Zangwell, Stockholder
RINA Accountancy Corporation