Today, businesses are vulnerable to a number of risks associated with property and liability. Consider what might happen if your business were to experience a weather-related disaster, a burglary, a product lawsuit, or a temporary interruption in business operations. Would you have the resources necessary to recoup your losses?
In many cases, businesses can be protected from such risks through insurance coverage. When considering risk management and insurance, business owners must ask themselves the following questions: What are the primary risks involved in running my business? What is the dollar value of potential loss to my business? How much protection does my business need?
Due to the variety of insurance products available, your insurance professional can provide you with valuable information to help you obtain the appropriate coverage you need to protect your business.
Risk Analysis Services
A professional insurance agent is trained in risk analysis, which involves evaluating risk exposure to measure the potential loss to your business. With your specific business and property in mind, your agent can recommend appropriate insurance coverage and perhaps reveal risk exposures you may have overlooked. Insurance professionals are knowledgeable about the insurance options available in your state. With this expertise, your agent can suggest options from a vast menu of risk-management products and ensure that you are in compliance with all mandatory regulations. Your insurance professional can also amend a basic policy by adding endorsements, which alter or expand the coverage provided under a basic policy. The insurance program developed by your agent will be tailored to your business’s unique needs.
Your insurance professional can also recommend non-insurance strategies to help you manage risks before they become losses. When appropriate, your agent may suggest that your accountant and attorney be consulted regarding the legal and tax implications.
Other Services Provided
Besides developing risk management strategies, your insurance professional and your insurance company may provide other important services. These may include the following:
• Legal defense. Unfortunately, it is impossible to prevent certain situations or predict the reactions of others to business actions, products, or services. Mistakes can be made just as easily as clients can make false accusations. Liability insurance, particularly for property damage and bodily injury, generally includes legal defense at no additional charge when the policyholder is a party to a lawsuit that involves a claim covered by the policy. The legal defense provision greatly reduces the potentially high costs of litigation to the policyholder.
• Rehabilitation srvices. Insurance companies that issue workers compensation policies may provide access to extensive rehabilitation services for policyholders. Generally, these services help injured workers return to employment and, in some cases, help train them for new jobs.
• Inspection services. Certain insurance policies may provide for property inspection by the insurance company’s specialists as a part of the policy agreement. For example, since many cities require businesses to conduct regular inspections of the steam boilers in commercial buildings, boiler and machinery insurers generally provide this service.
• Loss control services. Some commercial insurance policyholders may qualify for consulting services from the insuring company’s loss control department. This department is staffed with engineers and safety experts who specialize in inspecting business premises, identifying possible risk exposures, and recommending potential solutions.
• Claim management services. Agents and commercial insurers often provide claim management services to help the policyholder obtain loss analysis after an insured event occurs.
Insurance, with all its varied forms, can be complicated. Now that you more fully understand the role of the insurance professional, give us a call so we can help you protect your business, or recommend non-insurance strategies to help you manage risks before they become losses.
Copyright © 2012 Liberty Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. The content of this newsletter is taken from sources that are believed to be reliable. However, this newsletter is not intended as a substitute for legal, financial, or professional counsel.