By Chris Hale
Insurance goes hand in hand with effective risk management. Yet, while the nonprofit sector may be incredibly diverse, many nonprofits and social service organizations share the mutual challenge of finding the right insurance policy for their specific, often highly nuanced, needs. This is especially true during the initial stages of vetting and applying for insurance, both steps that can be exceptionally time-consuming if not managed properly.
In a COVID-19 world where everyone is wearing more hats and time is scarce, efficiency has to be prioritized — but not at the expense of quality or value. At Care Providers Insurance Services (CPS), a leader in nonprofit insurance, we have been working side-by-side with agents and nonprofit leaders to streamline the quoting and purchasing process, and deliver specialized, comprehensive insurance programs for more than 25 years. Drawn from these years of experience, there are five key tactics that can help make the insurance-buying process as smooth and seamless as possible.
1. Nail down pain points upfront.
Troubled by a claims review process that takes too long? Or perhaps you are not getting the loss control you need? Whatever your frustration may be, it is important to describe the challenges you are experiencing to prospective insurance partners early in the conversation. By providing this insight upfront, they will be better positioned to address your frustrations head-on and craft a solution that is tailored to your specific needs.
2. Forego the “give us your best price” strategy.
While it may serve you well elsewhere, using this approach will take a lot longer to get you where you want to go when it comes to nonprofit insurance. Instead, just as it bodes well to disclose your current challenges upfront, share your target budget from the start. It can be tempting to keep this intel close to the vest, but if you are exploring your options with a trusted provider, doing so does not mean you will end up overpaying. It will, however, allow you and your potential insurance partner to work smarter together, within your limits, and maximize your budget without the unnecessary back and forth.
3. Request options on terms and conditions.
Even with transparency around your budget, it is a smart move to ask for options on terms and conditions. With a clear picture of the tradeoffs between premiums and deductibles, you can review your financial options more efficiently and strike the balance that works best for you. Remember that if quote terms appear to be out of line with your expectations, discuss your concerns with the underwriter before writing them off. An obviously unacceptable quote could be the result of arbitrary underwriting guidelines, a lack of clarity about the risks involved in your operations, or an honest mistake.
4. Address past claims and preventative measures.
If information about past claims is not provided in an application, it is guaranteed that insurance providers will circle back to ask about them — no exceptions. To streamline the process, proactively share information about previous claims as well as any preventative measures that have been put into place related to the claim(s). Things such as employee training programs, operational changes, and even building alterations (in the event of a property loss), show your proactive approach to risk management and help carriers gain comfort with your overall operation. Moreover, it gives the merit of a reduced likelihood of reoccurrence of a similar loss in some cases. Overall, the more detail you can provide the better so claims can be evaluated appropriately.
5. Ask about resources and support.
It can be easy to get into the weeds with the numbers, but it is critical to evaluate insurance providers holistically by inquiring about what resources are in place to support you — think claims management support, regular webinars, an online knowledge base, and the like — before you sign on the dotted line. For example, at CPS, our dedicated claims management team advocates for nonprofits during the claims process, ensuring all claims are processed fairly, in a timely manner and that there are no missteps in communication. Making sure you have a partner that is working in your best interests all around is right up there with getting a great rate.
What underpins all of the above is the importance of being proactive. It goes a long way in finding an insurance partner that meets your needs long-term and can save you valuable time in the process.
Chris Hale is the Director of Care Providers Insurance Services — a best-in-class program built by NSM Insurance Group, a leading provider of specialty insurance programs. Visit info.ins-cps.com to learn more or contact Chris at CMHale@nsminc.com.