- Know the insurance market’s positioning towards retail. Is the market soft (i.e.: is the market highly competitive where premiums are lower, or on the way down in comparison to previous years) OR is the market hard (i.e.: there is less choice in the market, premiums are on the increase and risk management in a key aspect in premium allocation). The current market has moved from soft to hard, and that trend is on an upwards trajectory. You need to be aware that retail premiums will rise as a result.
- Understand what insurers base their premium allocation on. There are a number of factors involved in premium allocation, but 3 key factors include: a) the market sector trends (i.e.: how is the retail market performing in general); b) your past claims history (i.e.: how have you performed in years gone by) and c) how well you manage risk (i.e.: do you have standards, practices and systems in place to reduce & manage risk).
- Give yourself leverage by managing risk in a proactive way. There are many things outside of your control when it comes to insurance, but risk management is NOT one of them. Ensuring that you are legally compliant (i.e.: site-specific safety statement), communicate risk to your staff (i.e.: in an understandable way), train staff (i.e.: Manual Handling, etc.), know how to investigate accidents correctly (i.e.: build a case), learn from near misses (i.e.: putting in correctives to ensure they don’t happen again), and audit your safety annually (i.e.: external unannounced audits are best) will all help. Ultimately, endorsing a system that improves safety culture in your retail organisation will have a drastically positive effect on reducing the risk of accidents and claims which will assist in managing your insurance.
- Provide evidence of tackling the big 3 liability claim issues in retail: The big 3 problems in retail are Slip, Trip & Fall (public & employee); Wrongful Arrest (public); Manual Handling (employee). What steps have you taken to reduce the risk of these incidents/claims occurring in your site?
- Find a Proactive Broker / Insurer that will work with you. There are some proactive brokers and insurers out there who will work with you, but you must communicate transparently and frequently with them while ensuring you provide a case for them to help defend you wherever and whenever possible. Find a broker/insurer who values retailers that manage their risk proactively and develop a positive long-term relationship with them.
- Stand out from the crowd. Let’s face it, you don’t want to be lumped into the general retail market in insurers’ eyes, especially considering what the current claims statistics are showing in this sector. So help yourself stand out by doing things differently. A good start would be to take a long hard look at how you can manage risk on a day-to-day basis, and then find a broker/insurer who values your efforts.
The human factor. Thoughts and observations.
The life-blood of any organisation is its people; the success of every system, in every organisation is determined by human factors. We are seeking a deep understanding of these human factors; these are some of our thoughts and observations.