This story is sponsored by QBE North America.
Many insurance carriers have significant resources available to help mid-size companies minimize or avoid property damage, worker and customer injuries, and a host of other incidents that can lead to a loss. Yet, despite the benefits of engaging these loss control services, many mid-size companies fail to make the most of them.
That’s one of the key upshots of our recent Mid-size Company Risk Report, which was jointly sponsored by QBE and The Association for Corporate Growth. The survey findings indicate that 99% of mid-size businesses are either very interested or somewhat interested in engaging their insurance provider’s loss control services, but 26% interact with the department only once a year or less often—unless the company has recently filed a claim.
An Overlooked Service with Bottom Line Benefits
Undoubtedly, avoiding losses and the downtime associated with them makes sound business sense. Insurance carrier and agency/broker loss control resources can help mid-size companies minimize or even prevent losses that may impair their business results, workforce health and safety, and brand reputation.
Some mid-size companies may not take full advantage of this assistance because they are unaware that the service is available, lack a fulltime risk manager to partner with the carrier team, or simply do not know where to start.
Insurance carriers often offer loss control tips and guidance on their websites. For example, a mid-size manufacturer looking to enhance employee health and safety, with an eye toward reducing the likelihood and severity of worker’s compensation claims, can find a wealth of constructive advice on a self-service basis.
There is nothing inherently wrong with this advice, but it is not a replacement for the guidance provided by a trained loss control engineer who physically inspects a company’s operations to reduce accident and injury risks. Having fewer losses can help keep insurance rates low and eliminate waste, and the advice may also enhance efficiency to the long-term benefit of the business.
The survey findings indicate that 99% of mid-size businesses are either very interested or somewhat interested in engaging their insurance provider’s loss control services, but 26% interact with the department only once a year or less often—unless the company has recently filed a claim.
The loss control expertise and risk mitigation services provided by insurers may be a complement to the services brokers provide. In some situations, an insurer will collaborate with a broker loss control team on the client’s behalf, whereby the carrier and broker each agree to provide certain services. Some insurers provide customers free access to on demand safety training courses for their customers.
Added up, the value of loss control consultations to mid-size businesses is significant. Such companies typically focus their intellectual capital and other resources on market growth and geographic expansion. Often, the organization does not have a risk manager or safety director to effectively manage avoidable claims. Insurers can help companies focus their loss control efforts and assist in implementing risk mitigation steps and programs. These services are often available at no charge as a value-add to your insurance programs.
An Optimal Approach
How might a mid-size company secure these services? It is advisable to ask the insurance broker at the annual policy renewal period to schedule a meeting with the insurance provider’s loss control and claims specialists to discuss the services they may be able to bring to the table. If the incumbent insurer does not provide risk mitigation assistance, ask the broker for the names of insurers that do.
Depending on the insurer, mid-size companies may find a wealth of unexpected loss control expertise. Some carriers have sophisticated employment practices liability capabilities to help prevent sexual harassment or discrimination claims and encourage a supportive working environment.
In the worker’s compensation arena, the insurer may be able to suggest innovative and inexpensive ways to reduce musculoskeletal disorders, redesigning work tasks to be more ergonomic. Some insurance providers also have superb return-to-work programs helping the insured’s ill or injured employees safely return to their jobs or perform transitional lighter-duty assignments.
Other insurers may provide access to a commercial automobile and truck fleet safety program, offering a range of proactive policies and procedures designed to protect a mid-sized company from transportation-related losses.
As one example of the benefit of loss control services, one of our customers was interested in lowering claim costs for their US locations. Our loss control and claims team collaborated to develop a risk mapping strategy and then analyzed where the frequency and severity of claims were occurring by location, department, and specific geographic area within the buildings. Based on the findings, they worked with the company contact to develop a Claims Management and Ergonomics program that was franchised throughout their organization. Incurred losses the next year fell by more than 90%.
Postponing this assistance until a claim is filed is like putting off exercise until after suffering a heart attack. As the survey suggests, now is the best time to transition from wanting to engage an insurer’s loss control and risk mitigation services to actually doing it. Simply pick up the phone and call your insurance agent, broker or carrier and see how they can help. Another option is to sign up for carrier loss prevention newsletters and ongoing digital workshops on various risk topics for free, by simply visiting their website.
Disclaimer: This article is for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, commercial, or other professional advice. Actual coverage is subject to the language of the policies as issued.
Paul Isaac is head of global risk solutions at QBE North America. Tom Lysaught is head of third-party claims and Specialty D&O and E&O lines at QBE North America.