Do you meet with your insurance broker in the middle of each year to discuss the state of your business? If not, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, according to insurance industry consultant MarshBerry, 80 percent of planned mid-term meetings don’t happen. Why? We suspect it’s because the brokers aren’t doing what they said they would.
A few years ago, we committed to having 100% of our planned mid-year meetings. We call them partnership meetings, because that’s what they are – a way to check up on the partnership and see how it’s going. That term also implies a two-way dialogue. We want to get a better understanding of what is happening with our clients, and our clients want to know what we’ve been up to and what’s coming.
What’s included in partnership meetings
- Client Updates: What’s new for your industry? What’s happening with you? Are you planning for any operational changes, expansions, management transitions or long-term goals?
- Broker Updates: How we’re investing in our business to serve you better, how we’re growing and what changes we’re making.
- State of the Insurance Market: The trends for the year ahead in terms of rates, risks and economic and geopolitical effects on the market.
- Carrier Updates: How your carriers are performing, changing and growing.
- Year in Review: How we’ve performed against our goals and tactics for you this year. This can include activities like building appraisals, renewal results, risk analysis on your policies and adding coverage.
- Future Objectives: Finally, this meeting gives us a chance to hear what you’d like to see from us in the future and what additional goals we might set together.
Helping clients prepare for the future
People don’t like surprises at renewal time. The partnership meeting helps them see where prices are trending and know what to expect. For example, right now, rates for workers’ compensation and general liability are holding steady or going down. Auto rates continue to rise, and we are starting to see property rates ticking up. Of course, some of these increases will be based on losses. Many say that the third quarter of 2017 was the worst loss quarter in history, because of the hurricanes and wild fires. We are also seeing carriers redefine or tweak coverages like abuse coverage, drone coverage, cyber risk coverage, and some others. By talking with clients mid-year, we can help them prepare for these changes and maybe put some programs in place to reduce the impact.
Partnership meetings also can help clients make sure they have the protection they need. We went to a partnership meeting recently where the clients mentioned how well things were going in Texas. That was the first we had heard of their new Texas operation, and they didn’t have that location covered!
At another meeting, the business leaders told us they were about to add construction services to their offerings. With that knowledge, we were able to help them understand the additional risks the business would incur so they could price them into their revised business model.
We recently had a client who was looking at an acquisition. Because they involved us early, we were able to help them anticipate the cost savings of consolidation, which ultimately affected the price of the deal.
Holding Your Broker Accountable
Partnership meetings are just one of the ways you get to hold your broker accountable. Are they doing what they said they would do? Are there other services that they could help with? Good brokers will listen and respond. Because that’s what partners do.