Filed Under:Agent Broker, E&S/Specialty Business

Boutiques May Be Best Bet For Higher-Exposure Workers’ Comp Clients

Relationship-driven approach, combined with industry expertise & custom loss-control plans, needed for insureds seeking lower comp costs in construction, transportation and waste

Hard hats and steel-toed shoes don’t usually lead to thoughts of custom boutiques. Yet for many higher-exposure and hard-to-place workers’ compensation accounts, a specialty-niche approach to managing risk is a natural evolution.

Much of the insurance industry has taken a “big-box” approach to products—and, more importantly, services—to contain costs and homogenize distribution. This one-size-fits-all delivery of policies and risk- management solutions, however, is not the best approach to customers in industries where workers’ comp premium is a major budget component.

Most contractors’ job sites, for example, change daily as their own work progresses, and as the subcontractors around them change, creating potentially new hazards every day. Using tools such as on-site hazard analysis forms, which require review of the physical surroundings every morning via formal checklists, employees can recognize changing environments. 

Issues like new holes in the floor, mud puddles and the presence of other employers working overhead are directly reviewed, and fresh plans are made daily to mitigate risks before they become causes of loss. We worked with a large drywall contractor that was able to reduce its frequency of losses by more than 50 percent using this process.

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