- Customer Service
As a contractor, you need and deserve more than just an insurance policy from your agent and insurance company. The typical reactive service is not enough. You should have an all-encompassing Risk Management Program, and your agent should be working off of a Proactive Services Platform with a Written Services Timeline (WSTL) in place. The Risk Management Program can help protect your assets properly, reduce your claims, put you in a more defensible position when claims do arise, and help improve your company’s profitability.
One of the items on the WSTL should be a Fleet Safety Meeting with your drivers. The meeting is just one of many items in your Fleet Safety Program. A few other items include a customized Fleet Safety Manual, sample pre/post trip inspection forms, the proper MVR Request Form (driving record check sign-off form), and assistance with a cell phone usage policy.
Also, ask your agent to help organize Safety Meetings, provide you with “tool-box talk” topics, and arrange On-site Inspections of job sites which function like mock OSHA audits. You would rather have a potential code violation caught early and have them corrected before the real audit becomes a costly expense.
As a contractor, you should be aware that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a new regulation to reduce lead paint dust, which took effect April 22. Click here to learn more about this new EPA regulation.
Risk transfer is another important area of pro-active services This applies both when you transfer risk to your subcontractors and when you assume risk from owners and general contractors. When you assume risk via a contract, have your agent perform a Contract Review so that, from an insurance perspective, you do not assume risk that is not covered by your insurance policy, thus leaving your company assets unnecessarily exposed. On the flip side, transferring risk through a solid Sub-Contract Agreement is extremely important when you hire a subcontractor,. Your agent should provide an agreement that can be used with all of your sub-contractors. Just getting named as an Additional Insured on your sub-contractor’s policy isn’t enough, since most of the forms do not provide you with the depth of protection you need.
Your WSTL should include a Pre-Renewal Meeting, to be held approximately 3 months before your renewal date. At this meeting, you should discuss any exposure changes, perform a Claims Review and map out a strategy for your renewal. If you agree to shop your account that year, your agent should perform a Market Analysis to look at the 15 plus competitive companies they represent and match up the ones that are a good fit for your company based on their appetite, the services they can provide you, their coverage forms and their pricing philosophy for your specific construction operation. This will also allow you to get your renewal proposal several weeks before your expiration date so there are not any last minute decisions being made.
This economy is tough. Why not take advantage of all the potential resources available to help your business survive, thrive and grow? If you find that your insurance agent is just being reactive rather than proactive, then start demanding more. Ask that your business partner step up, help improve your profitability, and provide you with the services you need and deserve.BRIAN HOAGLAND, CPCU, CIC, CRM