Building a Relationship with Your Insurance Agent
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More than 40 percent of businesses disrupted by disaster without a continuity plan never reopen. However, according to the 2017 Allstate/USA Today Small Business Barometer survey, just over half of small business owners have a business owners policy; about one-third carry professional liability; and only 14 percent have business interruption insurance.
Bad things can happen to any business
Having insurance to cover your business should be a given, so why aren’t small business owners protecting themselves from potential disaster? In part, it is because many small business owners are focused on immediate issues, making insurance one of the last things they think about, stated Lindsey Rykman, an Allstate agency owner based in Marietta, Ga who specializes in commercial insurance.
Yet, she added, without that insurance, a single event could stand between the company staying open or closing. Rykman provided this example: A power outage and surge ruined a florist’s refrigerated inventory and damaged the refrigerator, resulting in thousands of dollars in lost merchandise. It took days to repair the refrigerator, leaving limited inventory to sell during that time. Luckily, there was coverage, because without insurance, Rykman said, “they would have gone out of business.”
“A lot of businesses aren’t aware of the potential losses,” said Loretta Worters with the Insurance Information Institute. “I tell small business owners they have to be their own risk manager, taking a close look at the potential risks for their business.”
Unfortunately, many small business owners don’t know what they don’t know.
Eliminate your burden
When Dr. Richard Ambrozic, owner of Southern Vein & Laser; Southern Skin & Wellness Center, a multi-office medical practice, opened a new facility in the Atlanta area, he already knew Rykman, but it was the reputation of her business that led Ambrozic to work with her.
Rykman and her team are thoughtful, helpful and there when you need them. “That’s all you can ask for from an insurance agency,” said Ambrozic.
“Customers expect their agent will take care of them.”
Having an agency owner like Rykman has been beneficial to Ambrozic. “You have a million things to think about as a small business owner, and you don’t want to have a hassle when there’s a problem. The last thing you want to worry about if a problem arises is how you’re going to deal with it.”
Ambrozic has not had to file a claim, but Rykman has helped him prepare if that time comes. His company equipment and vehicles are covered under Allstate Insurance Company business policies. He also has protection from Allstate for his personal life, auto and home insurance. Rykman has even helped with health insurance for the staff.
“He just calls me to say he has a new vehicle or equipment, and we can help,” Rykman said.
Experts can help
Allstate understands the needs and concerns of small business because each agency is a small business itself.
“[We have] a trusted advisor model that we follow,” said Rykman, explaining the steps she takes to build relationships with customers. “We also live in these communities and use these businesses.” Knowing their customers and their businesses personally allows agents like Rykman to build individual, trusting relationships.
“Building a relationship is all about knowing the customer,” Worters added. “Your insurance agent can’t help you select the right coverage if you aren’t open about your needs.”
“Customers expect their agent will take care of them,” Rykman stated. With an agent, you’ll have someone who understands your challenges and helps with solutions to keep you protected if disaster strikes.