We receive countless calls on a weekly basis from guard companies telling us they are “Shopping their insurance” to multiple brokers and ask if we want to shop it as well. While we are always eager to acquire new clients, my first question for the prospect is:
What are they trying to accomplish by shopping their insurance?
Is it just to lower the premium?
To find broader coverage, allowing you to take on a wider variety of contracts?
To solve servicing issues that you are experiencing with the current agent?
To find a broker that is an expert in the industry and that can add value to your team?
Some of the prospects I talk to know exactly why they are shopping at their insurance renewal. However, most shop the renewal because they firmly believe this is the only way they can obtain the best pricing and/or coverage.
I often hear the phrase; I need to keep my current broker honest!
Shopping insurance renewals has been the standard since I began my insurance carrier over 20 years ago. I believe shopping the coverage to multiple agents is an outdated practice in today’s insurance climate. In insurance, the security guard industry is a true niche and the insurance carriers willing to properly cover the industry is limited. In the guard industry, shopping the renewal to multiple agents can limit your insurance carrier access, and put you with a broker that has limited experience in the industry. Unfortunately, this can open the company up to uncovered liability due to the brokers inexperience.
Knowing what I know about the insurance industry, and more specifically, the insurance for the security guard industry, my suggestion would be to take a more focused approach to finding the most competitive premium and broadest coverage for your insurance coverages. First, find a broker, at the most 2 brokers, that have been insuring the guard industry for many years. Next, choose brokers that have access to all insurance carriers that write specialized insurance programs for the guard industry. Ultimately, you need to view your broker as a trusted member of your team, just like your accountant, lawyer, etc. A specialized broker will be able to market your insurance renewal to multiple carriers, this will allow the broker to work individually with the carrier underwriter telling them the story of your company and why having your company as their insured is the most profitable thing the carrier can do.
Having an insurance agent that doesn’t specialize in the guard industry and like going to the chiropractor for back surgery. Don’t partner with an agent that knows just enough to get you a quote, partner with an agent that can help provide the knowledge and expertise to help our company grow while limiting it exposure to uncovered claims.