Five ways to reduce E&O risk
IA&B is the "Agents' Agency" for E&O, but we don’t just sell insurance to independent agencies. We provide risk management – such as the loss prevention tips and resources like these:
1. Cover your (coverage) bases.
Recognizing prospects’ and customers’ exposures can prove challenging. After all, unless you’re an expert in their field – or cater to a niche market exclusively – you likely have a thing or two to learn about how their business operates. Here’s where industry-specific coverage checklists come into play. In addition to helping you recognize potential exposures, these checklists and questionnaires serve as documentation for client files.
Pennsylvania and Delaware members can check out the Virtual Risk Consultant, an online sales and service tool that shares common exposures for over 650 industries and includes comprehensive questionnaires. Your IA&B membership entitles you to discount pricing.
Maryland members can check out Rough Notes Producer Online, an online sales and service tool that shares common exposures for over 650 industries and includes comprehensive questionnaires. Your IA&B membership entitles you to discount pricing.
2. Don’t let history repeat itself.
Knowledge is power. And learning from other’s mistakes is just plan smart. Loss-control seminars provide insight into common E&O triggers, as well as what works – and what doesn’t – to limit an agency’s exposure. What’s more, some agency E&O carriers offer loss-control credit for taking these courses. (Plus, underwriters typically can consider the impact of loss-control seminars at their discretion.)
Register for a risk management seminar to learn about your duties and responsibilities and your requirements to avoid a claim. IA&B offers classroom, on-site and on-demand courses – at a discount for members.
3. Teach insurance consumers a lesson.
Insurance is complicated. And chances are that your prospects and customers (individual and business consumers alike) are uninformed – or possibly misinformed – about their risks, industry terms, policy exclusions and more. The benefits of consumer education are multifold: a solidified agency-customer relationship, possible cross-selling opportunities, and reduced risk of E&O claims, to name a few. Teaching opportunities can take myriad forms … a webpage or mailer, an envelope stuffer or social media post, even a glossary or explanation included with a policy proposal.
Rely on vetted consumer-education content, available as customizable flyers and raw content in IA&B’s online library and incorporated into ActiveAgency – a complete website solution now offered to members through Independent Agency Solutions.
4. Gain some perspective.
Forming an objective analysis of your agency can be next to impossible. After all, most agency principals are too involved in day-to-day operations to step back and evaluate their business’s opportunities and risks. Hiring an outside expert to audit your agency may seem extravagant, costly or intimidating. But the auditor’s insight and customized E&O mitigation tips, as well as your agency E&O carrier’s potential loss-control credit (or underwriter’s consideration), can make the investment well worth your while.
Contact IA&B’s My Agency to learn about potential agency audit offerings from your E&O carrier and for leads to other reputable auditors.
5. Get your ducks in a row.
Running an agency typically takes priority over formally documenting how to run the agency. But a procedures manual can help to improve operations, compliance and consistency – all of which can mitigate E&O risks. While you likely don’t have time to document all of your agency operations, there’s no need to. Rather than reinventing the wheel, consider customizing a template manual to incorporate your specific policies and procedures.
Explore template agency procedure manuals, such as the one IA&B offers. It contains over 120 forms, worksheets and checklists; links to IA&B resources; and is available at a member discount.