It’s all about relationships
By Carl Weitzel
When working with new businesses, I like to gain a holistic view of the owners. It’s important to find out how they started, where they are now, and how they got there. Most importantly, I want to talk about their plans for the future. Only then do we look at insurance issues. On rare occasions, I will find a potential customer is properly covered and is paying a fair price. If that’s the case, it’s important to be transparent about their current policy, which engenders trust.
However, in most cases, I find there is a disconnect between the policy and the business activities because of growth or the changing environment. In other words, the older coverage is no longer fit for its intended purpose, yet has been renewed year-after-year. If a loss occurs and the policy is needed to cover that loss, this can result in unnecessary stress for the business owner.
But what causes this disconnect between the policy the business owner has and the policy he or she needs? Procrastination and over-emphasizing price instead of coverage can cause this. Fear of insurance-speak is another causative factor. Finally, failure to realize that an owner simply cannot abdicate property and casualty responsibility to his or her insurance guy or gal is potentially very costly. Effective and workable coverage requires an ongoing partnership involving an interested owner and an engaged agent. Regular coverage reviews prior to renewal are imperative.
Being willing to give another agent a chance to quote your account may end up being just that - getting new numbers based upon the coverage you already have. It’s well worth taking the time to sit down and review your existing policy with an agent on a regular basis. If you want a policy that fits both your budget and your business, find an agent who has a vested interest and wants to take the time to get to know you. If he or she is ever going to effectively advise you on how to protect your investment against the risks inherent in your industry it’s important they clearly understand you and your business. An effective policy really is the result of a successful relationship between client and agent.