What are some of the characteristics that you need to look for in an insurance agent? I don’t think this is a question that gets asked enough by my clients or the people I talk to on a daily basis. I think that there are a lot of things you do look for such as pricing and coverages, but beyond that, I think if you’re going to partner or bring an insurance agent into your organization, I think they need to have certain characteristics or certain abilities that you should require. I will discuss six of the most important items that decision makers, in security guard industry, should be asking of the agents that they’re going to partner with.
First off: The most important quality is that the insurance broker needs to have experience in insuring the security guard industry. Experience matters. The experience is going to allow this agent to understand the unique perils and claims that are associated with the industry The agent is going to have to understand how to insure against those unique exposures. There is a lot of things that go into insuring the industry and being specific to it. The only time that you’re going to get that knowledge is through the experience that one acquires over time in insuring multiple security guard companies.
The second item: The insurance agent needs to have access to multiple or all insurance carriers that specifically provide programs and write insurance for the security guard industry. You don’t want to partner with an agent that has a limited relationship and access to a limited number of insurance carriers, and insurance coverages. There are many insurance companies that leave different states and industries depending on the climate and there are others that come in to this market periodically. You want to make sure that you partner with an insurance agent that has relationships with as many insurance carriers as possible and keeps up with changes. Security guard insurance is very fluid. Insurance changes over time and you’re going to want to have a broker with this knowledge every time they market your insurance. You want to make sure that the agent goes out to multiple carriers to make sure that you are getting the best possible coverage and premium at the time of your renewal.
The third item: Make sure that the insurance broker you choose has a team behind them to help support and provide you with the exceptional customer service you deserve. The team needs to provide you with the professional, courteous and prompt service that you demand on a daily basis. Having the insurance agent as a point of contact, is what I always recommend, but agents can get very busy. You want to make sure that there is somebody backing up that insurance agent, to have a team behind them. Somebody that’s going to be able to provide the certificates for you, the endorsements, anything that you need to properly operate your business. Time is money and you need things done promptly and done well!
The fourth item: Does the insurance broker have programs in place that are going to help with the responsiveness that I just discussed? One thing that I do know from years of insuring the guard industry is that everything is needed yesterday. So, let’s take for example, a certificate of insurance. You are going to want to make sure that that agent is able to get you the certificate of insurance that you need on a timely basis. You must make sure that there are programs online that the agent uses to make certificates very easy and simple. Nowadays, there shouldn’t be a 24, 40 hour wait. It should be seamless. Your insurance broker needs to be a digital and up to date insurance agency.
The next item to look for: Your agent should be a full service agency. What I mean by that is they have the ability to provide any type of insurance you need to properly protect your company, the company owners, the employees, and your clients. From your basic commercial P&C coverages, general liability, worker’s comp, and auto insurance. You want to make sure that as your business grows or is growing, you provide health Insurance plans that you need. Also, the cyber coverage you need, the EPLI, 401(k). Whatever it may be, you want to make sure that you have one contact, one insurance agent that you trust, that is able to provide all those coverages. It’ll be more cost effective in the long run and, knock on wood, if a claim occurs, it’s going to be easier to have that team behind you to handle that claim if they handle all of your insurance.
My final point: You want to make sure your insurance agent has access to Risk Management Programs. This is a big deal. Insurance claims do happen. You want to make sure that your agent has the ability to help you when a claim does occur and that’s going to be through Risk Management. You don’t want to leave the claim and the handling of that claim up to the insurance carrier and the adjuster. You want an agent that has the resources and the team behind him to help. They are going to help push that claim along, get the employee back to work and back to where they were before they were injured. If the claim occurs, we will make sure that claim gets pushed through and is at the top of the adjuster’s list and is always moving along to completion. It is our goal to have your claim finalized in a prompt, professional manner. It has been shown that if a claim is continuously followed up on, it will get closed faster and the loss will be mitigated or reduced. This will greatly help your insurance premiums and keep your employees happy (WC claims) and your customer’s happy (GL claims).
Those are the types of things that you really need to look for when you are choosing an insurance broker. Keep in mind that you want to partner with this person. I always say, if you’re going to partner, it’s like with anything, it’s going to have to be hopefully, for a long period of time. You’re bringing them into your business. They’re going to get a great understanding of your company, your business philosophy, your growth pattern of what you look for in the next one, three, five, 10 years. They are there to help insure that your business is protected properly as it grows, changes and evolves.
As a recap, you want to make sure that the insurance broker that you choose has the experience, qualifications, access to the markets and so forth so that you can get the best possible experience and coverage that you need. I hope that you found this helpful. If you have any questions for me, I would love to hear from you. You can always reach me at my email, firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.