What to Expect from Your Insurance Agent

Monday February 01, 2021

"Your business requires a strong, trusted relationship with an insurance agency partner who is responsive to your needs, committed to understanding your operation and addressing the various exposures you face, has a network of top-tier insurers, helps you establish a safety culture to mitigate losses and improve your risk profile, and serves as your claims advocate."

Your business requires a strong, trusted relationship with an insurance agency partner who is responsive to your needs, committed to understanding your operation and addressing the various exposures you face, has a network of top-tier insurers, helps you establish a safety culture to mitigate losses and improve your risk profile, and serves as your claims advocate.

Work with Local, Responsive Insurance Professionals
In working with a local insurance agency, you gain the benefit of working with professionals who understand your market and can respond to your needs. These professionals have the ability to meet with you and your staff, truly understand your business, customers and your various risks, and take an active role in your loss control and safety programs. You are not some “faceless” business but a member of their community.

You also want professionals who will provide great customer service, who will answer the phone and emails, and be responsive to your needs. The last thing you want is for one of your projects or potential business opportunities to be held up because of delays in getting the insurance information contractually required in a deal to your prospective client. Ask yourself just how good your agent’s services are when it comes to making coverage changes, obtaining certificates of insurance, adding vehicles or changing property values, and filing a claim, for example. Having a dedicated team member ready to serve you and your staff makes the entire insurance process smooth so you can focus on running your business.

Work with Experienced Insurance Professionals in Your Industry
Today’s challenging insurance environment, with rising rates and a shift in risk appetite by insurance companies, necessitates that you partner with an insurance agency that specializes in your niche market – one that understands both your operation and the industries you serve.

Agencies with specific industry experience bring more value to your customer relationship by understanding and explaining coverage options and potential coverage gaps, particularly for more complex exposures, and how you can close those gaps. In this type of partnership, you get the benefit of working with an agency that takes on more of an advisory and consultative role and goes beyond the traditional goal of just selling insurance products.

In addition, you also get the benefit of the agency’s long-standing relationships with a network of insurance markets, providing the agency with the ability to negotiate coverage terms, conditions, and pricing on your behalf. Your insurance program will be designed with industry-specific, customized policies designed to fit your unique risk profile. There is nothing cookie-cutter about your insurance program when working with a specialist.

Work with Insurance Professionals Who Review Emerging Risks and How to Address Them
You want an insurance agent that keeps you abreast of risks that can potentially upend your business if you are without the proper protection. For example, today’s legal liability landscape, characterized by an aggressive plaintiff’s bar, litigation funding, and juries awarding multi-million-dollar verdicts, coupled with rising medical treatment costs and increased automobile repair costs, have caused many businesses to re-examine their liability insurance limits. Having $1 to $2 million of General Liability or Commercial Auto insurance is typically not enough coverage, particularly when it comes to catastrophic lawsuits. An experienced agent will discuss with you the need for Commercial Umbrella insurance to extend your underlying liability insurance limits to properly protect your business assets.

Cyber is another area of concern today. Ransomware, malware, data breaches and other types of cyberattacks are on the rise. In addition, our current work-from-home environment continues to usher in cyber vulnerabilities as bad actors take advantage of employees working remotely on less secure networks and best practices that have not been updated to accommodate the new workplace landscape. Having insurance professionals to help design Cyber insurance that fits your business’s risk profile is critical today. In addition to getting the various coverages you need to respond to numerous exposures, you can also receive additional services including risk management strategies to help prevent losses, a cyber breach coach to assist with the myriad steps you should take after an attack, PR assistance to help with reputational management, and more.

Work with Insurance Professionals Who Provide Safety Programs, Loss Control & Risk Reduction Assistance
For continued business success, work with insurance professionals who, in addition to providing you with the right coverages at competitive pricing, offer safety, loss control and risk management assistance to help mitigate your risks, improve your risk profile, and gain control over premiums. For example, to help prevent workplace injuries, you need a strong program that fosters a safety-first posture throughout your organization’s culture, helps with OSHA compliance, and reduces your long-term cost of risk. This will positively impact your Workers’ Compensation premiums.

Inside Your Ex-Mod
In addition to these services, regarding your Workers’ Compensation program, you also want your insurance professionals to help improve your experience modification (ex-mod). Your ex-mod is the benchmark against which your business’s claims profile is measured in relation to others of similar size in your industry. An ex-mod of 1.0 is the benchmark average -- if your company’s ex-mod number is lower than average, (i.e., less than 1.0), your Workers’ Comp premium will be lower than average. An ex-mod number greater than 1.0 will result in a higher-than-average premium. Often ex-mods are incorrect. Routine analysis of your ex-mod by your insurance agency will determine its accuracy and forecast its future financial impact on your premiums. Inaccurate ex-mod calculations are typically the result of errors in payroll amounts, inaccurate job classifications, improper claim reserves and open claims that should be settled and closed. A detailed analysis of your organization’s payroll, class codes and claims history (the number of claims and amount of each loss, including whether losses are medical only, without temporary or permanent disability) will help ensure your ex-mod is accurate.

Work with Insurance Professionals Who Serve as Your Claims Advocate
The claims process can be complex and overwhelming. Having someone in your corner during a loss – whether you’re facing a customer or employee lawsuit or as a result of fire damage to your business property, an injury to a worker, or a data breach – you should be able to rely on the expertise of your insurance agent to walk you through the entire claims process and to serve as your claims advocate. A claims advocate provides you with direction, guidance, and a strategic plan immediately following the incident, and works with all the parties involved to ensure that you receive appropriate communication throughout the entire process. The ultimate goals behind claims advocacy are to mitigate and expedite the claim, and ultimately, reach a successful resolution for you – the client.

Partnering with an experienced, professional agency provides you with a relationship on which you and your business can rely to obtain a comprehensive insurance and risk management program that addresses your operation’s exposures and helps mitigate potential losses; receive responsive, personalized service; and have an advocate for you every step of the way in the event of a loss or accident.

About Peabody Insurance
Based in Fenton, Michigan, Peabody Insurance Agency is a full-service independent insurance agency with a 100-year legacy of servicing our community and the surrounding area. By partnering with our clients, we discover your unique needs and goals, then we construct a business insurance program tailored specifically to you. By proactively assessing each of our clients as individuals we are able to ensure your costs stay low, and your coverage properly fits your needs.

In addition to the insurance programs we provide to business clients, we also provide the following:
  • Free Safety App: Get hundreds of safety tools right at your fingertips. Our mobile Safety App can help with your safety compliance needs. We can also create a Custom Safety App specific to your company and your business needs.
  • Risk Reduction Toolbox: A personalized client portal provides you with access to a library of downloadable safety, cost containment, and employee communications articles; an interactive discussion forum with colleagues across the country; online services for claims report submissions, certificate of insurance requests, property claim reports, etc.; OSHA compliance program and training requirements; and more.
What Some of Our Clients Have to Say
“We really love it when we get a real person on the phone when we call…and the response to questions or concerns is fast and professional.”

“I deal with a LOT of insurance agencies in my line of work. There are some I wouldn't even consider utilizing due to their lack of knowledge and less-than-desirable customer service. I switched to Peabody Insurance because I knew I would get the coverage I needed with great customer service. And if I ever need to file a claim, I know they will advocate for a fair and proper settlement. Thank you to the staff at Peabody for being there for their policyholders when they are needed most!!”

“Peabody Insurance has a well-informed, responsive team that maintains a competitive edge on the latest risk management, insurance and related technology trends tailored to my specific situation.”

Peabody Insurance 265 North Alloy Fenton, MI 48430 Phone: (810) 629-1504 Fax: (810) 629-2822 www.peabodyinc.com