Risk & Business Magazine General Insurance Services Magazine | Page 8

RISK ASSESSMENT Is Your Business Ready for Risk Resource ® I f your company’s insurance renewal process does not involve a true analysis of your changing needs, it might be a great candidate for a formal risk assessment—a four-step process that helps companies better identify and implement effective risk management strategies. While it may be easy and familiar to simply retain the coverages you have in place when it’s time for renewal, it makes more sense to assess what’s changed over the past year and how these changes may impact your risk profile and your insurance needs. The process is especially suited to fast- growing small- and mid-sized businesses, where resources are often stretched thin and company executives are typically forced to wear a number of different hats. These individuals may have tremendous vision for growing their business, along with excellent command of their company’s day-to-day operational needs. Yet they may simply not have the time to focus on their business’s areas of risk that need attention. They would benefit greatly from a pair of “fresh eyes.” There is often a real void that exists in these companies because they are usually too small to retain an internal risk manager that is always on alert for threats to the business. 8 Their best bet is to contract externally for these resources so they get the same risk protection as the large Fortune 500 companies without having to carry a full- time salary. The key to success, however, is to engage a risk consultant that really takes the time to get to know your company by looking at specific areas of potential risk: hazards, compliance and legal, internal controls, cultural risks, and external controls. General Insurance Services has a risk assessment program called Risk Resource® that comprises these four steps: 1) Identification of exposures 2) Development of strategies to handle risk 3) Implementation of programs 4) Ongoing monitoring and adjustment In getting to know each client, it’s important not only to look at all aspects of a business’s physical plant and policies but also to learn as much as possible about the business, including answers to fundamental questions about where the company is headed, its goals and aspirations, and what its executives believe threatens the company’s sustainable BY: DAVID GATELY COMMERCIAL ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE, GENERAL INSURANCE SERVICES growth. At General Insurance Services, we also examine our clients’ risk profiles from the insurer’s point of view and strategize about how to strengthen their appeal, perhaps by implementing new safety measures, better communicating company policies, and improved handling of sensitive employee issues. The issues uncovered during a risk assessment often take time to improve, but having a plan of action demonstrates to insurance carriers that the company is serious about issues like workplace safety, employee well-being, and facility protection. The result for clients can be a nice adjustment on their insurance rates, which can often be a big boost to their bottom line. + David Gatley joined General Insurance Services as a Commercial Account Executive in April 2012. Prior to entering the insurance field, he spent 15 years in the business community managing and running restaurants in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana for Bob Evans Farms. David currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Boys and Girls Club of Michigan City. In his free time, he enjoys exercising, reading, the beach, time with his children, and riding his motorcycle.