Archive for 'Insurance Purchasing and Policies'

10 Ways Risk Management Will Recession-Proof Your Brokerage

We aren’t technically in a recession (that we know of), but it’s not looking good!  Troubled economic times make your clients and prospects price shop; that increased competition is the icing on the cake for brokers who are also struggling with the economy.  A slight change in approach can go a long way towards growing brokerage revenues and weathering the economic storm. Risk Management - Insurance Brokerage

I once gave a presentation to a large regional brokerage on risk management, how they could use it to help them attract and retain clients and, of course, make more money.  Everyone in that room nodded at the right time, laughed at the right time, and said all the right things – my presentation seemed to be on track.  However, when I was done, a senior partner in the room piped up and said, “That all sounds really good, but we make money by selling insurance policies.”  That was back in 2004 – things have changed since then.

Now, risk management is a value-added service that is often considered essential by insureds. I’ve discussed this topic in many posts before, including the post Using Risk Management to Increase Brokerage Revenue.

As a trusted advisor, your clients already expect you to help them manage risk.  In fact, many of your insureds, if asked, would tell you that their insurance broker is their risk manager.  You already have their confidence in dealing with risk, so why not take it to the next level?

10 Ways Risk Management Will Increase Brokerage Revenue:

1. Satisfy your customers

Make no mistake, in these especially trying times, risk management has become the single most critical issue in the mindset of your target customer – if you don’t offer your customers a more robust and personalized service, by finding ways to minimize the cost of risk, they will find a broker who does.

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25 Quick Tips To Get Started With Your Risk Management Planning (Part 2/5)

This is the second installment of five blog posts that summarize the 25 quick tips from my eBook, “Insurance Premiums Are Killing My Business”.  This risk management ebook is a great start for small to medium-sized business owners that are curious about starting the risk management planning process.

The tips below have been written with small to medium-sized businesses in mind, although the same principles should be employed by very large businesses.

Click here if you want to review risk management tips 1 – 5  before going on.

Risk Management Tips 6 – 10Risk Management ebook

6. Periodically check for unnecessary coverages.

Work with your insurance broker/agent to make sure you have all the coverages you need without paying for bells and whistles you don’t need.

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Insurance is a Commodity! …Or is it?

Often a topic for debate, the issue of insurance as a commodity sparked a great discussion on LinkedIn.  I’d like you hear what you have your say in own comments section below.

A commodity is defined a good that is the same no matter who supplies it, and can be differentiated based on price.Risk Management Blog - Insurance is a commodity

Is it true that all insurance is the same aside from price? How do most companies decide where to purchase their insurance?

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Using Risk Management to Increase Brokerage Revenue

We’ve written on the benefits of risk management and on its application by brokers in blog entries like Using Risk Management to Win in the Mid-Market and An Ounce of Prevention: Does Risk Management Really Work? So expanding on that, today The ClearRisk Blog brings you some of the ways that risk management can increase brokerage revenue.

  • Attract New Clients: Providing something of great worth doesn’t go unnoticed. Including risk management advice and support as a value-added service for clients can make a brokerage stand out in the eyes of a potential customer.
  • Better Terms in the Insurance Market: In working with your clients to identify risks and to ensure they carry the right coverages, you help your clients to become ‘best-in-class risks’. Having clients who are informed and knowledgeable about the risks that face their operations will bring them better preparedness as well as access to better rates and terms in the market. Organizations that work towards risk improvement are perceived more favorably by insurers.
  • A Better Book of Business: Clients who take an active role in managing their risks have better loss ratios over the long term. With better client loss ratios, brokerages can earn higher CPC.
  • Stronger Relationships with Clients: Providing risk management guidance to clients not only provides value, but it gives you the opportunity to meet and work with clients on positive, relationship-building terms. Working with them to identify potential risk areas and gaps in their coverages helps you to be seen as a provider of solutions; someone who is looking out for their best interest and who shares the same goals. This can help take your interactions with your clients to a whole new level, where long term and beneficial partnerships are built, maintained and valued. Think about your longest and best relationships with clients. What if you could replicate that trust and loyalty in all of your client relationships?

These are just four of the many benefits that the provision of risk management services brings to brokerages and brokers. On Thursday, April 22nd, 2010 at 2:00pm EDT, I will be conducting a free webinar on the Top Ten Ways to Use Risk Management to Increase Brokerage Revenue.

UPDATE:  You can view a recording of the live webinar here:  Risk Management for Insurance Brokers

Be a Better Insurance Consumer

Most organizations look to financial risk transfer through insurance as their first response to managing risks. Out of all the risk management tools available, insurance can often be the most expensive option. ClearRisk-Blog-Be-a-Better-Insurance-ConsumerThere are a number of simple things that can be done to minimize your insurance-related costs and to get better terms in the insurance market through your broker.

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Using Risk Management to Win in the Mid-Market

Insurance brokers are thought of as trusted advisors. Being an important point of contact between businesses and the insurance industry, brokers look out for the best interest of their clients and are depended on to ensure that their client’s businesses are protected. ClearRisk Blog Using Risk Management to Win the Mid-Market

But what does it really mean to be a trusted advisor? This role, as suggested by Maister, Green and Galford in their book, The Trusted Advisor, is first about gaining the confidence of clients. For brokers, there’s no better way to do so than to provide something of value.

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10 Ways to Get More From Your Insurance Broker

Insurance brokers work on your organization’s behalf to find the best insurance coverage at the best price. While going to bat to get you the best terms and price is integral, there are many other ways to make the most of your relationships with  your broker. Most businesses do not fully utilize the services of their broker and consequently miss out on advice and analysis that can help to better your risk management efforts and lower your insurance costs.

Ten Services You Can Request of Your Broker:

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Insurance Market Hardening: Facing a New Insurance Environment in the Economic Downturn

Over the last few months, we have seen a number of blog entries and articles talking about the possibility that we could be facing a hardening insurance market as soon as late 2009 and early 2010. With insurer credit ratings and financial strength ratings down, investment earnings very low, claims increasing and a continuing difficult economic environment, property and casualty insurance rates are certain to firm up in the coming months. provides the following list of reasons why the market is expected to harden:

  1. Lower Underwriting Profit
  2. Increasing Combined Ratio
  3. Lack of Investment Income
  4. Increased Catastrophic Losses
  5. Return on Equity Falling
  6. Reinsurance Hardening
  7. Reductions/Capacity (decreased surplus of underwriting capacity)

Small to medium-sized organizations can help to prepare for the hardening insurance market in a number of ways.

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Battening Down the Hatches: Risk Management in the Economic Storm

This economy is affecting every company no matter what the business or where it is, ClearRisk is no different. We all have to take time out to assess how the economy will affect our business then implement applicable risk mitigation techniques. A few of the possible risks related to the global economic conditions and corresponding risk mitigation techniques are:

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Eating Our Own Dog Food: Risk Management at ClearRisk

Welcome to the ClearRisk Blog.  This is our first posting.  ClearRisk is a web-based risk management company.  We are an early stage company, started September 20, 2006.  This blog is about how we manage risk at a company that helps other companies manage risk.  I’m angry at myself for not doing this sooner!  If you work at a start up or an early stage company, or if your company isn’t new but you want to keep up on risk issues in a technology company, then I hope you will find this blog useful!

Today, in addition to writing this blog post I am preparing an application for insurance for ClearRisk.  When you spend the last ten years or so giving people advice on how to market their company’s insurance in a way that will get the best possible terms, there’s a lot of pressure to practice what you preach!  If you’re on TV selling BowFlex you’d better be buff!  Technology companies, start-ups in particular, have a common problem with insurance: the risk is unknown to insurance companies.  When the risk is unknown you can bet that if they quote the business, they will err on the side of caution which means higher deductibles and premiums and more restrictive coverages and limits.
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