Ethics is at the heart of every insurance transaction. A significant level of trust is essential for the protection of assets with businesses in their day to day operations. Expense Reduction Analysts (ERA) insurance practice requires that each Category Expert maintain their insurance license.  As a result, continuing education credits are mandatory along with coursework in ethics.

A general insurance review evaluates an organization’s current insurance coverage, broker services, and premium levels. There is also a priority to maintain a pristine marketplace where there is no blocking or reserving of insurance companies.  Once the client selects their broker, all insurance companies are available to the broker to complete their marketing efforts. ERA provides a broker selection process, allowing clients to decide which insurance agent or broker to select and arrange for their insurance policies.

Three critical reasons why ethics is a necessary component in your insurance agreement:

Maintaining a Competitive Edge

When ERA completes an insurance review, an evaluation of ethics is completed with your incumbent agent or broker. However, there could be an issue if the incumbent agent or broker is not providing competitively priced policies, or adequate services (including risk management and claim services). The client may consider switching from their trusted agent or broker to other competing brokers if these service needs are not met.

Incumbent Broker Rights

However, an incumbent broker does have the right to block other insurance brokers that you may wish to engage with. How can this impact your organization? The block could keep you from finding a more suitable broker or even impede your process for proactively shopping around. An insurance company (and subsequently the insurance underwriter) is only allowed to give a quote to one broker at a time. Therefore, it is important to have the expertise of ERA navigating the comparison of quotes, services and coverage terms and conditions on your behalf.

Time Is of the Essence

What if your insurance underwriter provides a quote to a new broker? Make sure your organization has started the process well before your renewal date. The incumbent broker is given ten business days to win your organization back before your underwriter releases that quote to the new broker.

Clients often opt not to change their incumbent broker. ERA’s insurance review manages the process, so the incumbent broker is given the opportunity to retain their business, while the client learns and evaluates the offerings of an alternative broker(s).

About the Author:

Marlys Schmitt is an experienced Principal Consultant of Expense Reduction Analysts (ERA) in Minnesota. As an advisor and advocate, her focus is to build strong relationships and deliver comprehensive cost containment solutions for her CEO and CFO clients. During her tenure with Expense Reduction Analysts, Ms. Schmitt has led reviews of over $20 million in expenses and completed over 100 client projects.

Marlys has an average cost savings of 18.5%. In 2012, ERA elected Schmitt as the Insurance Practice Chair comprised of eight consultants throughout the United States, who focus on insurance and risk management project reviews. Marlys’ particular expertise in Insurance and Risk Management includes her ability to analyze coverages, perform and consult on risk management services, advise on claim expertise, and manage broker relationships. Marlys is an expert at obtaining the broadest coverages at the most comprehensive premiums for her clients. Marlys is asked by many of her clients to assist in driver safety programs, abuse prevention and investigation, OSHA safety, corporate safety plan development, coverage reviews and benchmark studies.