Setting expectations in your commercial insurance broker relationship
Value is a word often bantered around in the commercial and personal insurance advertising. Just what is value as it relates to the commercial agent providing your business with insurance coverage today? Are you receiving the value of a good trusted advisory relationship with your agent?
There is no magic wand to wave and produce the ideal agent or broker for your business. An engineer’s business insurance needs will differ from a retail store’s insurance needs and a veterinary clinic’s insurance needs. Instead, let’s turn the focus on what you feel you need to achieve value from your commercial insurance professional.
First, we suggest at least an annual review face to face. An annual review isn’t, “Here are the latest premiums, sign here.” Instead, you should expect a review of your business, what’s changed, and what has changed with your insurance agent. Depending on the type of business you have, the risk your business carries, and how fast your business is growing or changing, we also recommend a quarterly or bi-annual update phone call. More or less contact needs to be determined by you as the client.
- Is your agent or broker genuinely interested in your business and not just the commission?
- Have s/he recently toured your facility and inspected the equipment they are providing coverage on?
- Is your business out growing your agent?
- Are you and your company relegated to a junior staffer except at renewal time?
The bottom line is to set an expectation of what you want from your business insurance professional and then get mutual agreement when moving forward. Your commercial insurance agent should be one of your most trusted advisers and not just a transaction.