The Risk Management Process & Your Loss Control Rep

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Believe it or not, commercial policyholders and insurance carriers have the same goal: they invest in one another to protect the insured’s assets in the face of a loss. The only difference between the two is that while policyholders invest by paying their premiums every month, insurance companies do so by providing the resources and support the policyholders need to minimize risk.  

The team at the helm of this risk management process is loss control, a group of commercial insurance experts dedicated to providing the best practices and hands-on advice for protecting what matters most. 

In this article, we uncover how loss control experts approach the risk management process, how a commercial policyholder can maximize this relationship, and the long-term financial benefits of working with a loss control team like Central’s. 

What is Loss Control? 

Before diving into the benefits of a loss control expert, it’s essential to understand what loss control is. 

“To boil it down to the simplest terms, loss control is the practice of preventing claims,” says Cory Eickholt, Director of Loss Control at Central Insurance. “Loss control experts go out and help identify if there’s an exposure to the insured. And then work to reduce that exposure through recommendations or helping our underwriting team have a better, clearer picture of what we’re insuring so they can adequately underwrite the account.”

With commercial insurance losses in America surpassing 202.7 billion dollars in 2022—an 83% increase over the last ten years—this kind of support is invaluable to companies looking to keep their costs low. 

Loss Control & The Risk Management Process 

To help prevent future issues, a loss control expert will visit policyholders and survey their space or assets like vehicles, equipment, or inventory. This visit aims to determine where potential areas of hazard might be and help the policyholder take steps to minimize any potential risk before an accident occurs. 

“One misconception about loss control is we’re out there looking at a property to raise rates or that we are out there as inspectors to penalize an insured,” Eickholt says. “That’s not the case at all—at least not at Central. We’re there to look for opportunities to help support our insureds in reducing their risk and exposure to claims.” 

If a loss control expert were to visit a manufacturing company, for example, they might take stock of the state of the property and equipment, how well-trained the employees are, what the product liability looks like, and any additional safety measures that are in place to reduce accidents. If the expert identifies gaps in one of these areas that might lead to a loss, they would  work with company leadership to find the most effective ways to fill those gaps and mitigate risk.

“We are really just a second set of eyes for our policyholders,” Eickholt says. “We can provide tools to build a better safety program or provide you with free training resources— whatever it takes to minimize your risks.” 

What Kind of Assistance Does a Loss Control Expert Provide? 

After a Central loss control expert has completed their survey of your space, they may deem it safe or mark areas of improvement.  

Organizations with identified areas of improvement are not left on their own to fix the problem, however. Central’s loss control experts are equipped to provide businesses access to free safety courses, online training portals, and multimedia materials to help close any gaps in risk. They often suggest ongoing risk management solutions and products, such as telematics for fleet vehicles.  

“We’re proud to be able to say to our policyholders, ‘You’re not just buying this policy from us, you’re getting all these free loss control services that come on top of that,’” Eickholt says.  

Why Are Some Businesses Considered a Service Account? 

While the section above outlines what an annual loss control visit from one of Central’s experts might look like, what happens if your organization needs more frequent guidance?  

Central has a series of service accounts marked for more frequent visits and surveys by the policyholder and the loss control team. 

“If we have a larger account with high hazards or rapidly changing exposures or a customer with multiple locations and we can’t get out to see every location in a given year, we’ll put that account on service,” Eickholt says. “In these cases, we meet with an insured yearly or up to quarterly, and the relationship is more ongoing.” 

For service accounts, Central’s loss control expert may regularly meet with a particular organization representative—whether it’s the business owner, safety manager, property manager, or even maintenance supervisor—and tackle some of the larger risk management tasks together. 

“A lot of times these service accounts are the most efficient visits of our day because the insured knows what we’re looking for, understand the questions we’re asking, and what resources we can provide to help fill gaps in protection,” Eickholt says. “It becomes more of a collaborative approach when that relationship is established, and they know we’re there as a resource rather than an auditor.” 

The Benefits of Loss Control on the Risk Management Process 

Having a loss control expert evaluate your property is a great way to show your employees and stakeholders that you have your business’s best interest at heart. 

That’s because loss control practices positively impact three critical areas of business: 

  1. Safety: Ensuring protocols are followed, and everything is up to code creates a safer environment for everyone. 
  1. Finances: Well-executed loss control practices can minimize accidents, which leads to fewer claims. Subsequently, this can positively impact your rates and keep premiums low. 
  1. Efficiency: Loss control is as much about safety as it is efficiency. In many cases, these experts’ guidance can streamline processes and make a workplace run more efficiently.  

“Loss control is a benefit across the value chain of customers we interact with and can be a win-win for all those involved.  Not only do we help to keep workers and businesses safe, but we also help avoid costly claims that have a negative impact on profitability for both the insured and Central”. – Cory Eickholt, Loss Control Director at Central Insurance  

Learn More About Loss Control with Central Insurance 

Whether you’re a Central insured looking to maximize your relationship with your loss control rep or a potential policyholder considering working with us, we invite you to start a conversation with your local Central agent. Our hand-picked agent partners are equipped to provide you with all the insight you need into how loss control can positively impact your business. 

In the meantime, subscribe to The Central Blog or follow us on social for exclusive loss control advice and tips from Central’s experts delivered right to your inbox or social feeds. 

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