While the headline of this article may sound like a fun little pun, let’s face facts: If insureds are not honest, there can simply be no effective insurance policy come claim time.
As a commercial-lines agent and account executive for eight years now, I have worked with business owners of all types—from the owner of a small micro home-based business to the CEO/COO with more than 1,000 employees. While they all have their differences, they all usually have one thing in common—everyone would like to save money!
However, there comes a point when every business owner needs to ask the question: Is saving money worth the cost? The meaning behind this is simple, the cheapest policies are often the most expensive due to exclusions, miscalculations and misrepresentations that could void a policy upon review and investigation.
We spend a lot of time working with insureds to help them understand that rates are set for a reason and typically similar insureds (aka: their competition) are also rated similarly. We discuss with these business owners that there are not one-size-fits-all carriers for each industry, which is why it is up to us to do a good job of carrier selection and marketing of the account.
Doing the best job possible and finding the best fit make you—as the agent—take into consideration several factors such as experience of the business owner, loss mitigation plans, business continuity plans, and the overall operation of the business. Not considering factors such as these can lead to, at best having to do double work, and at worst could result in serious issues in the event of a claim.
At LG Insurance Agency, we firmly believe in doing it right the first time. My employer, Aaron Levine, likes to say, “I’m lazy, how about we do it right the first time, so we don’t have to do it again.” While this is a humorous take on this philosophy, it’s totally true! Doing things right the first time works well for insureds and the businesses that put their trust in us to make sure they are protected.
As time passes and technology expands its capabilities, insureds who may want to operate in the gray area end up having less places to try to fly under the radar of carriers. The data available for owners, industries, individual companies, and property location data is vast, which helps both the agents, and the insurance carriers understand risks better to provide actuarial sound rates.
This vast amount of data and ever-growing technology can lend itself to making the agent’s life easier when it comes to quoting a small business BOP. So much so, that it is not unthinkable that we—the agent—can provide an accurate and full-rounded quote in five minutes or less to help out a small business.
As you move up in business size to middle market, the relationship, trust and rapport is even more paramount. With new technology tools paired with supplemental applications there to help us understand risks in a more comprehensive view, it helps us—as the agent—get a more completed profile of the businesses that intend to represent and protect. From there we can use this well-rounded profile to create a business case to share with our underwriters, putting the best foot forward when marketing the account.
This comprehensive, truthful, and honest practice at the end of the day costs the insureds that we represent less for their total cost of risk than if we started cutting corners. And, with that in mind, it’s hard not to agree; honesty really does make the best policy!