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a day in the life of a benchmark broker

a day in the life of a benchmark broker

 

What does your insurance broker actually do for you? 

The daily tasks that a Benchmark insurance broker performs fall into the categories of:

  • Coverage analysis
  • Risk control
  • Hr services
  • Insure-tech

Here’s a deeper look into what the role looks like when it comes to commercial and personal insurance.

Client Communication

Like the old American proverb says, “To keep a customer demands as much skill as to win one.” 

Client communication is essential as an insurance broker in continuing a trust-filled relationship. One of the first steps a Benchmark insurance broker takes on during the day is taking client calls and emails and answering any concerns in a timely manner. 

This included us following up with any open items we need to complete underwriting or claim files. 

There are smaller questions that are easier to respond to, but sometimes a client emergency comes up, then industry advice is needed ASAP.

Client Emergencies

Benchmark insurance experienced this recently with Lyon & Associates Creative Services, Inc, who reported on their experience in a recent email describing their unfortunate “Pandemic Burglary.” 

Lyon & Associates Creative Services, Inc was out of office for three weeks during the pandemic back in March 2020. Then they fell under the healthcare communicators category and returned back to the office. 

“Our editing computers are largely empty shells, running the software alone. As a result of this structure, an early morning thief snatched all of our editing workstations.

When we reached out to our insurance broker, Carlsbad-based Benchmark Commercial Insurance, they took care of getting a claim opened with our insurer, Travelers.

Due to Benchmark’s previous good counsel, we had excellent replacement value and business interruption coverage. When the Travelers claim adjuster got in touch the same day, they had a significant starter check on the way before the weekend. 

Replacement value means exactly what it says, and then some, by the way. They covered things like the dozen new USC-C (Thunderbolt 3) to Thunderbolt 2 adapters we needed to keep our considerable investment in unstolen hard drives connected to the new computers. Of course, the claim was so well-covered that we exceeded their allowable percentage loss limit and they declined to renew our policy. (Chubb had our workers comp policy and they scooped us up with no increase in rates).” 

In any field of business, unpredictable events occur, so this can often take up time during the insurance broker’s day.  

Negotiation 

One task that generally occurs daily is negotiating with underwriters for best terms on new and renewal business quotes. 

Team Communication

Babe Ruth said “The way a team plays as a whole determines its a success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.”

Even though insurance is a tiny bit different from baseball, the same concept applies in the workforce. 

Communication within the Benchmark team is also crucial throughout the day. This can look like answering internal questions related to claims, billing, certificates, and underwriting. 

Coffee Breaks

Yes, a Benchmark insurance broker does require multiple coffee stops throughout the day— cappuccinos are preferred. 

Client Contracts

Another daily task is reviewing client contracts. The insurance world is constantly changing, so staying up-to-date is important for client communication. When reviewing client contracts, our broker will check to make sure that any insurance or indemnity-related contractual stipulations are consistent with the client’s coverage. 

This also included following up with claim adjusters on open claims on behalf of the broker’s clients and advocating on behalf of our clients to claim adjusters on difficult claims issues. 

Prospect Clients

Finding new clients that will be a match with Benchmark Commercial Insurance, and that we are a match for takes effort. Throughout the day a broker will field calls and emails from new business referrals and prospect call-ins. 

Policy Review

An insurance broker will perform policy reviews to make sure policies have been issued correctly. This includes policy reviews for prospects so they can understand how their current program integrates with the scope of their current operations, which exposes any gaps in coverage. 

A Benchmark insurance broker will also initiate, and continue to follow up on the underwriting status for all renewals 90-days in advance of the policy expiration date. 

Third-Party Communication

Keeping relationships with other companies is important to our brokers. This includes Zoom meetings with our marketing agency and promoting our excellent relationships with the underwriters who support us. 

Wondering why your insurance has skyrocketed this year? Find out the factors that might be directly impacting you on the Benchmark blog. 

How to Stabilize or Reduce Your Insurance Costs

how to stabilize or reduce your insurance costs

Insurance costs are high. There’s no denying it. If your broker didn’t reach out to forewarn you, you likely had a shock when you opened your most recent insurance bill.

Is there anything a business owner can do to reduce those high coverage costs?

Yes, let’s review some of the options.

As a commercial business, the looming year of higher premiums and the unknown can be daunting. However, there are ways to reduce your insurance costs and take proactive steps.

Pay Attention to your Risk Profile 

Your risk profile can be a collection of factors including: 

  • Who you hire
  • How many steps are in place to protect your data
  • Whether or not your employee lists are accurate for insurance
  • Your overall security precautions

These are all small factors that influence your risk profile. Keeping an eye on them can, in turn, avoid long-term costs.

HR Handbooks 

Avoiding a flood of claims helps your reputation and bottom line. Investing in Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) is crucial to protecting your business, however, it can be costly.

An HR handbook can be an active document that provides guidance for employers and employees as a way for your company to stay protected outside of EPLI insurance.

Your handbook can cover topics such as: 

  • Password Policy
  • VPNs
  • Safety Policies and Procedures
  • Intellectual Property

Evaluate Policies Annually

Policies are bound to change in the next year, so keeping a close eye on ones that pertain to commercial insurance will prevent future risk (and future costs).

As your business evolves throughout the months and years, it is important to check in with your Risk Management consultant. In addition, the landscape of legislation is ever-changing in California.

For example, Proposition 22 in California has been ruled unconstitutional, so there may be some changes in the hiring process for W-2 employees vs. 1099 workers.

Do you know why your insurance prices have increased this year? Check out our recent blog post explaining what exactly is going on.