Get ahead of small business risks with proactivity.
Small businesses face an influx of risks daily. From the uncertainties of inflation, to changing weather patterns, to the ever-looming threat of cyberattacks and even employees' distracted driving, these risks can pose significant challenges to small enterprises.
Traditionally, small businesses have relied primarily on insurance coverage to address these risks, but recent loss trends indicate that proactive risk management can also be an effective and impactful approach to protecting operations.
Shifting the traditional mindset around risk from "repair and replace" to "predict and prevent" can prove invaluable for small businesses, but knowing where to start can be overwhelming, especially for business owners who already are juggling countless responsibilities. Fortunately, independent insurance agents can play vital roles, helping small business owners structure effective risk management programs.
Here are three opportunities for agents to help their small business customers prevent losses:
1) On-demand resources. Access to free policies, procedures and best practices around common risks is extremely beneficial for small businesses. Carriers that recognize the importance of proactive preparation serve as strong partners in this area. For example, agents should select carriers that offer business continuity planning toolkits and templates that small businesses can easily download and implement. This way, in the event of a loss, small businesses can be better equipped to recover quickly and efficiently.
2) Online training. Employee education plays a critical role in risk management. Small businesses can benefit from self-paced online training opportunities, which some carriers offer as an added benefit of their insurance programs. These online courses cover various topics, such as employment practices liability and worker safety.
By investing in their employees' knowledge and awareness, small businesses can minimize potential risks arising from human error and workplace incidents. These online trainings can be included as part of a new hire's onboarding or built into annual training programs.
3) Discounts for key services. Partnering with a carrier that aligns risk management solutions with emerging risks can be a game-changer. For instance, water damage has become the leading cause of property damage for businesses. Carriers that offer discounted technology-enabled water sensors can empower small businesses to address this risk in real time, mitigating potential losses.
Additionally, services to combat distracted driving and enhance cybersecurity are important considerations for small businesses when selecting an insurance program.
Carriers dedicated to helping small businesses stay ahead of risks understand the value of continuous investment in education, services, and solutions. When seeking insurance programs for small business clients, it is essential to choose carriers that not only offer coverage but also proactively support risk management efforts, such as The Hanover's Risk Solutions. These partnerships help small businesses adapt their risk management strategies to tackle the evolving landscape.
Embracing proactive risk management with the help of on-demand resources, online training and cost-effective risk solutions offered by insurance carriers can empower small businesses to remain resilient, stay operational and thrive in an ever-changing business environment.
Christina Villena is vice president, risk solutions, at The Hanover.