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Understanding the Role of the Insurance Professional

Businesses today face a number of risks related to property and liability exposures. Consider what might happen if your business were to experience a weather-related disaster, a burglary, a product lawsuit, or an interruption in business operations. Would you have sufficient financial reserves to recoup the losses that could result?

In many cases, businesses can be protected from risks through insurance. When considering risk management and insurance, business owners must ask themselves: what exposures are faced by my business, what is the dollar value of potential loss to my business, and how much protection does my business need? Because of the variety of insurance products available, your insurance professional can be a valuable resource to help you obtain the coverage you need to protect your business.

Risk Analysis Services

A professional insurance agent is trained in risk analysis, which involves evaluating risk exposures to gauge the likelihood of loss to your business. Considering the business property you own and the specific business your company conducts, your agent can recommend specific insurance products and perhaps uncover risk exposures you may have overlooked. In addition, insurance professionals are schooled in the insurance coverage options available in your state, as well as the legislation that governs them. With this expertise, your agent can suggest options from a vast menu of risk-management products and be sure you are following all regulations concerning required insurance coverage. Your insurance professional can also amend a basic policy by adding endorsements, which alter or expand the coverage provided by a specific policy. The resulting insurance program developed by your agent will be tailored to your business’s unique protection needs.

Your insurance professional can also recommend non-insurance strategies to help you manage risks before they turn into losses. Where appropriate, your agent may suggest that your accountant and attorney be brought into the discussion to review the legal and tax implications of suggested strategies.

Other Services Provided

In addition to developing risk management strategies, your insurance professional and your insurance company may provide other important services to policyholders. These may include the following:

Legal defense. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to prevent the unfortunate things that happen or predictthe 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 Services. Insurance companies that issue a number of workers compensation insurance policies may provide access to extensive rehabilitation services for policyholders. Generally, these services help injured workers return to employment, and in some cases, they may even 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 insurance policies may provide this service.

Loss control services. Some commercial insurance policyholders may also 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 hazards, perils, and possible risk exposures; and recommending possible solutions.

Claim management services. Some commercial insurers provide claim management services that support the policyholder in loss analysis after an insured event occurs.

Insurance, with all its varied forms, is a complex and detailed subject. A qualified professional can explain your insurance options, recommend the right coverage, and help you avoid financial loss. Give us a call if you have any questions about the services we can provide for your business.

Copyright © 2013 Liberty Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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