Phil Barton, CEO at Partners&, the next generation insurance advisory business, conisders what business leaders want from this year…
I wouldn’t be surprised if that list included stability, resilience and security to cope with unforeseen events. The common denominator is understanding risk.
Risk is inherent in all aspects of business, and it’s down to each of us to determine our appetite for risk – how much do we want to protect ourselves, or how much do we want to shoulder. That’s effectively what an insurance purchase is all about, weighing up whether we want to be risk averse and transfer the risk to an insurance policy, or whether we’re ok to take on some risk and pay for that ourselves.
Insurance is the most powerful tool that a business owner has to protect what they have worked long and hard to develop. Yet, the industry’s reputation is at an all-time low. It represents an immense power for good, yet people view it as a necessary evil. In fact, I see insurance as an enabler for growth. Who would invest hard earned cash if there were a chance it might go up in smoke? Entrepreneurs can invest in something knowing their creation is protected if something happens.
Your first challenge is to understand the risks you face. How aware are you of the complete risk landscape in your business?
Do you have a sense of the impact of the wider economy on your sector and most specifically your business or your employees? What are the burning issues in your business? What’s keeping you awake at night? Is your existing programme in the right shape to cope with those risks?
I’d also recommend challenging your own understanding of the programme you currently have in place.
How do you know you’re getting the right advice if you don’t understand the jargon, the complex terms, what insurance you actually have, and why you have it? Next time you’re speaking with your insurance adviser, ask them to explain your risk exposure in plain English. Ask them to help you build resilience in your business to prepare you for the challenges ahead, rather than just repeat last year’s programme. If your business has changed at all in the last 12 months, so should your insurance to reflect those changes.
Insurance is a complex area where you need professional advice both in preparing your business for an unforeseen event and recovering from one. An advice led approach offers much more than a piece of paper.
For example, when is the last time you fully tested your data security or technology environment?
A comprehensive, risk-based relationship with your adviser surfaces such issues and equips you to make informed decisions based on a sound understanding.
The support that can be offered to help you recover your business through access to charted loss adjusting services can be the difference between recovering and returning your business to its business plan, or failure.
“Insurance is the most powerful tool that a business owner has to protect what they have worked long and hard to develop”
– Phil Barton, CEO –
The right insurance programme allows your business to deliver on its plan and your ambitions, building in resilience to enable it to withstand what life throws at it. In short, an effective risk and insurance programme plays a major role in keeping your business on track and enabling it to perform.
I know that the insurance industry has a lot of work to do to instill confidence in people that their insurance programme will perform as it should, but consider this: What is the likelihood of an unexpected event crystallising? Wouldn’t you welcome the confidence to make sure that your insurance programme has built resilience into your business.
Make 2022 the year you commit to truly understanding the risk in your business, giving it every chance to succeed in an uncertain world.