How your commercial client can control risk with a risk management plan
In earlier blogposts, we’ve talked at length about risk assessment and management, along with loss control. Now let’s get down to brass tacks: How can you help your business clients get started on their risk management plan – and maintain it?
“When we talk about risk control, we’re not doing a drive-by guilting, although it can seem that way,” says Brett Barnsley, western business development director for Core Commercial. “You can’t possibly eliminate all risk. Our goal is not just to provide insurance to small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) – it’s to make sure they have the protection they need in every area of their business.”
Often that’s with an insurance policy, but there will also be risks that your client decides to manage on their own, because their potential cost is not high, or the possibility of them happening is just too slim. In both instances, though, they need to be fully aware of those potential losses and have a risk management plan in place.
Below are some obvious and not-so-obvious examples. Click on a bullet to view the pertinent article.
Commercial auto risks
If your client has company vehicles, or their employees use their own vehicles to conduct business, then commercial auto coverage is needed. At the same time, there are steps they can take to lessen the likelihood of a driving accident, using the tactics and tips outlined in the blogposts below:
- 7 ways your clients can lower their commercial auto insurance premiums
- Help your commercial auto clients hire safe drivers
- Provide your commercial clients these safe driver management tips
- Should your commercial clients have an employee mobile phone policy?
- Distracted driving and your insurance client’s employees
Assessing cyber risks in a risk management plan
Does your client have computers that are networked and store their clients’ and employees’ private information on file? Here are a few ways to lessen those risks:
- Online security tips to help your clients shore up their cyber security
- Social engineering fraud – how to protect your commercial client
- Insurance cyber attacks, data breaches and your agency, part 1 (although this is written to agency owners, the information holds true for other businesses)
- Cyber protection: How to guard your insurance agency against attacks and data breaches, part 2 (same here)
Planning for workers’ compensation risks
Your clients can lower their workers’ compensation claims and insurance costs by adding these suggestions to their risk management plan:
- 3 ways to help your client beat workplace heat illness
- 10 ways to keep employees safe from winter work hazards
- Workplace safety reward programs help stop accidents before they start
- How effective is your client’s return-to-work program?
If your client has a brick-and-mortar location, here are ways they can influence insurance rates in their favor here too, by:
- Fire prevention tips for businesses
- Help your commercial clients protect business property from earthquake damage
- The hard, cold facts on how to prevent winter damage
- Winter loss control tips for your business during the holidays
- Help clients stamp out construction fire hazards
- 31 restaurant fire prevention tips for business owners
More helps for creating a risk management plan
Developing a risk management plan may seem overwhelming to your client. How and where do they start? How comprehensive should it be? Should they try to plan for every possible risk? Here are a few more articles to help them get started: Scenarios to think about, checklists and suggestions on where to begin.
- Steps to Creating an Effective Loss Control Program
- Top insurable risks to business growth for small-to-medium businesses
- Show your commercial clients 6 steps to creating their disaster plan
- Help your commercial clients formulate a business continuity plan
- Show your clients how expanding their business owner policy may save their bacon
Brett recommends helping your client make a list of every potential scenario and loss you can think of, and then discussing these possible losses to ascertain
- How great is the likelihood and the cost of each risk?
- Is it a risk that needs insuring?
- Are there ways you can minimize their possibility right now and in the future?
- What are the most cost-effective ways to mitigate those risks?
Unless your client is a mom-and-pop shop, their risk management plan and loss control efforts shouldn’t be “owned” by one or two people in the company. Instead, planning should span all groups, from front desk, customer service, manufacturing lines, janitorial, etc., and all levels of management. Their employees are more hands-on in their areas of labor than are your client or their managers. No doubt they have good ideas as to ways to improve safety and lower risk.
Moreover, risks change continually, as your client goes through cycles. Staff changes that result in less seniority and experience will influence risks and their probability. Environmental factors, from the obvious fires and storms, to roadwork and detours or neighboring businesses opening or closing, will also impact risks.
All that to say – they’ll need to assess risks on at least an annual basis. The best time to do this is when their insurance is about to renew. Remind them of their organization’s claims profile. Help them identify possible hazards and suggest solutions. As their trusted risk and insurance consultant, you can help them navigate the murky waters of potential risks so they can focus on growing their business.