Risk & Business Magazine General Insurance Services - Fall 2020 - Page 7

UNCERTAIN TIMES Uncertain Times Ahead BY: DAVID GATELY BUSINESS RISK ADVISOR, GENERAL INSURANCE SERVICES For 2020, the insurance market has reached a crossroads. After approximately 20 years of a soft, buyer friendly insurance market, we are moving toward a firming or hardening market—one that is less friendly to insurance buyers. While the effects of this hardening insurance market on your business will depend on a variety offactors, many businesses will see premium increases for their insurance coverage overall. In fact, for some types of coverage, businesses may see double-digit rate increases at their next renewal. Beyond that, managing a business today is more challenging than ever. Organizations must account for dynamic short- and longterm trends in their industry while also addressing trends that affect the economy as a whole. Compounding the issue, all of this is unfolding at a time when the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has upended life and business as we know it. While the full human and economic cost of the COVID-19 pandemic has yet to be seen, it’s clear that it has had a profound influence on businesses across the country. In many cases, businesses are facing challenges related to operational changes, the health and safety of their workforce, new compliance requirements, and revenue forecasts. The COVID-19 pandemic is sure to influence the insurance industry, likely from both an operating model and pricing perspective. While this is unwelcome news for many businesses, they are not powerless. Now more than ever, it’s essential for businesses to take a proactive approach when it comes to their risk management efforts and their insurance policies. Put another way: in an insurance and risk environment with many unknowns, businesses should focus on addressing the factors they can influence. 5 KEY COMPONENTS OF A SUCCESSFUL RISK MANAGEMENT STRATEGY 1. PINPOINT YOUR EXPOSURE AND COST DRIVERS 2. IDENTIFY THE BEST LOSS CONTROL SOLUTIONS TO ADDRESS YOUR UNIQUE RISKS 3. CREATE A SOLID BUSINESS CONTINUITY PLAN TO ACCOUNT FOR DISASTERS AND OTHER UNPREDICTABLE RISKS 4. BUILD A COMPANY FOCUSED ON SAFETY 5. MANAGE CLAIMS EFFICIENTLY TO KEEP COSTS DOWN It’s important to remember that you are not in this alone. To help you navigate the hardening market, you need a partner who understands your business and its unique risks and who will advocate on your behalf. Secondly, you need an insurance partner who can tell your risk story to insurance carriers in a way that will best position your business come renewal time. Finally, you need a partner who understands your industry inside and out, the dynamic insurance landscape, and how to provide targeted loss control solutions. If you’d like more information about the market outlook and trends to watch, I can be reached at 219-809-2233 or dgately@genins. com. Remember, in these uncertain times, we’re here to provide the guidance and expertise your business needs. We’ve been monitoring the market throughout the year and will keep you informed of any changes that might affect your business. + David Gately was raised in Michigan City. He attended Purdue University Northwest and Indiana University Bloomington. He began his insurance career in 2011 and joined General Insurance Services as a commercial lines agent in April 2012. Prior to working in the insurance field, David spent 15 years in the business community managing and running restaurants in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana for Bob Evans Farms. He has obtained the CRM designation (Certified Risk Manager). David has two children, Caitie and Connor. He serves on the board of directors for the Boys & Girls Clubs of LaPorte County. David has had a lifelong love of martial arts and holds a 4th degree Black Belt in Taekwondo and a 1st degree Black Belt in Hapkido. In his free time, he enjoys, exercising, reading, the beach, time with his children, and riding his motorcycle. 7