Each year Bill Dougherty teaches business owners how to Avoid the 10 Critical Business Insurance Mistakes.  He motivates them to “take charge of their insurance program” to Reduce Costs and Maximize Value.

Partnering With The Wrong Insurance Agency

Chapter 1:  Partnering with the wrong insurance agency

This is the most critical mistake to avoid because if you make this one, you’ll make the other nine!

How do you choose your attorney and accountant partners?  Referral, reputation and specialization.  The answer is the same for your choice of an insurance agent with particular emphasis on specialization.

Here is the point, only about 10% of the agents in the country understand and can effectively manage construction accounts. How do I know that?  I worked with over 3,000 agents across the country in my role as Senior Vice President of a Fortune 1000 carrier.  I’ve seen the contenders and the pretenders. If you are not working with an agency that has extensive construction specialization you have the wrong agency!

But it’s a whole lot more than “specialization”.  Look for an effective Claim & Reserve Management Process, Safety Services, Certificate Efficiency, Contract Review Capability, Strategic Relationships, other Insurance/Risk Management capabilities, etc.  For a complete list order my “Agent/Broker Checklist” and quiz your current agent or prospective agent to see if he is a “10 Percenter”.

One last but key point on partnering with the Right agency.  Not all agents and agencies are equal in the eyes of the insurance carriers.  Just like you, insurance carriers have preferred customers, and the clients of these agencies receive preferred treatment and a superior result in terms of coverage, claims and pricing. How do I know that?  I ran an insurance company and understand their playbook.

Here’s the key point, the quality of your agent’s relationship with your insurance carrier has a direct effect on your insurance program and cost. This is absolutely critical for you to know before you select any agent to represent you with a carrier.

Obviously there is a lot more to discuss on this topic.  This is simply an executive summary of Chapter 1 of a two hour seminar.  If you would like to discuss any of the details please give me a call.

Find out how to avoid mistake number 2 “Not Paying Attention to your Insurance Carrier’s Financial Performance” in next month’s installment.

Stay thirsty my friend.

Bill Dougherty, EVP
True & Associates