Selling your product to a consumer is your forte. Selling the risk of your operations to underwriters is ours. Having done this for years, we know that establishing a coherent risk program before going to the insurance market can make a huge difference in your short term (insurance) and long term (labor and fleet costs, especially) risk costs .
Utilizing an independent insurance broker provides the manufacturing company with an expert advocate when purchasing property and liability insurance. Presenting what you do and how you do it through a risk lens can affect what carriers say "yes," the limits and types of coverage available to you, and of course price. Here's how we do it...
An in-person visit affords important information that is useful when negotiating with an underwriter. Walking through your plant and learning your company's history, as told from your lips, paints a narrative that can be shared. Experience gives us insight into what an underwriter will be looking for in terms of exposures, hazards, safety measures and employee training. Some areas risk professionals focus on are different from yours: the year built, number of stories, construction material, the presence of a sprinkler system, and the roof type of and in your building; the square footage of your parking lot; your neighbors (no kidding); and the age and capacity of electrical systems will all affect an underwriter's appetite.
Loss history on paper provides only numbers, no context. Knowing the circumstances behind losses and measures taken to minimize recurrence tell another story. We love to talk about continuous improvement with underwriters. Does your focus on continuous improvement include safety?
Workers Compensation requires information about employee accidents. When we recommend training courses for staff, or filters for new hires, this can mean the difference between a "yes" and a "no" in terms of competitive carrier willingness to offer customized insurance.
There are other factors common to risk in the manufacturing sector:
Intellectual property including patents, formulas and designs has great value. Are these adequately protected?
If you have a retail component, payment card information may include a data breach exposure. Data theft is a real thing and steps taken to protect yourself can mean the difference between moving on from a hack attempt and having to close your doors. Educating employees on confidential data, and establishing best practices with your IT partners, can drive down the cost of this risk substantially (for more, download our Cyber Whitepaper).
Transporting your product and transporting your salespeople is another area to focus on. Running prospective employees' driving records under a "conditional offer" can help ensure fewer accidents, affecting both fleet and labor costs.
Finally, you may have exposures to other risk such as service interruption or product recalls. Talking through your daily operations with us, along with any perceived vulnerabilities, allows us to tailor the most fitting coverage while simultaneously assuring the company underwriter you are a good risk.
To discuss your business with a Gordon Atlantic Insurance professional, please call us toll free at 1-800-649-3252. Prefer to type versus talk? Use the form at the left of this blog.