January is always a month for resolutions. It’s a time when we all swear to ourselves that we’ll make improvements in our lives. And we usually achieve that change in January. The problems arise in February and March. Business owners often treat insurance in the same way. It’s vital at renewal time, and then it drifts into the background.
But business insurance should always be at the forefront of your thinking, because your business’ survival may rely on it one day. Here are five resolutions every business owner should make to ensure their business remains secure in 2013.
Talk About More than Business Insurance
A common trap a lot of business owners fall into when they talk to their agent is they focus on business insurance. They want to know about coverage, exclusions and deductibles and aren’t interested in discussing their wider business. When you deal with your agent, you should tell them about your business as a whole. Talk about your goals and your strategy; that will give them more opportunities to assess risk and identify areas for improvement.
Focus on Risk not Premiums
With that in mind, it’s also important that you focus your business insurance conversations on risk. Reducing your insurance premiums will save you money, but it won’t protect you if you encounter an unexpected risk. In 2013, make sure you treat insurance as a part of the risk management process, not the target. That’s the way your agent will see it.
Beware Emerging Risks
It’s also important that you remain vigilant throughout the year. New risks emerge all the time and they won’t wait until your next renewal or your next meeting with your agent. You can’t afford to stop thinking about risk.
Keep Monitoring Risk Procedure
And it’s not just new risks that can catch you out. Current risk management procedure needs to remain in place. Too often business owners sign off on business insurance portfolios and risk strategy and then put it aside. For risk management to be effective, it needs to be monitored. All it takes is one employee or department to stop enforcing it for the whole system to fail.
Train and Update Constantly
As well as monitoring your risk procedures, you need to keep your staff up to date on them. That means regular training and refresher courses. It’s your responsibility to ensure your employees have the required knowledge and skills to do their jobs, that includes managing risk.