Have you ever found yourself at a crossroads? You know what I’m talking about. The time where the feelings of unease and uncertainty are pulsating with such intensity, and you know something needs to change, but the fear of the unknown weighs as heavy as a 50 pound weight.

Personally speaking, the first time I found myself at a crossroads was when I was 20 years old. At that time, I made the decision to move from sunny southern California to South Dakota (which in 2007, it decided to have the most chilling winter that it had had in years).

A year later, I found myself interviewing at Holmes Murphy. It was at the Sioux Falls office that I grew professionally in my knowledge of the insurance industry. I made amazing connections amongst our insurance carrier partners, my teammates, and our clients. I also grew personally.

The Choice between Fear and Opportunity

The crossroads for me came again in 2020 at the beginning of the pandemic with three children at home. All three were doing distance learning, and I was trying to juggle everything. Ironically, it was during the chaos that my husband and I had the most time to reflect, and we decided to take that “leap of faith” and move to the great state of Iowa.

Fast forward to a year later, and I understand why the success stories are so glorified. I’ve had more professional gains than imagined, and my personal development has taken off by making new connections and immersing ourselves in the community that we’ve already grown to love.

Now you may be wondering what in the world this has to do with you. Well, it’s been through this new spot in my life that I’ve been able to see the ongoing struggles of the insurance industry. So many businesses are at a crossroads — whether it be a side effect of the pandemic (booming or declining business, employee shortages, acquisitions, sales, etc.) or typical business decisions (engaging a new broker, changing carriers, safety practices, fleet updates, etc.).

To go a little deeper on this, due to lockdowns and quarantine, many businesses experienced shortages in profit growth. With the shutdowns, businesses in the U.S. experienced shortages in both materials as well as manpower. Maybe you were one of them.

On top of the burden that the pandemic brought, the insurance market had already been quite firm. The perfect storm of socially inflated judgement awards, property losses due to social unrest, and natural disasters saw many reinsurers exiting the marketplace. Businesses were forced to re-evaluate some of their purchasing decisions with insurance being a necessary target. Clients felt by engaging a new insurance broker they could test the market to keep their current broker honest and save money.

Insurance Is a Partnership

Here’s the thing I want you to know — your business does not have to (and shouldn’t) go through anything alone. And I’m not talking about just help with legal and financial decisions. Those are a given. What I’m talking about is insurance.

Some of the themes I’ve heard lately is that insurance is a transaction, businesses want resources, and that they’ve been with their insurance brokers for years but are not keen on making a move. It’s from this that I understand why change has been so tough to make.

Here’s my must haves in an insurance partnership:

Insurance should not be transactional. An insurance agent should engage with you during the policy term and not just to present your numbers.

Insurance teams should be engaged. An insurance carrier is your partner, your agent is as well, and the team alongside your agent are your advocates. Carriers want to earn your business and keep it, as does your agent. Your team wants to keep you engaged and satisfied.

You have the ability to influence your outcome. Actively transferring your risk through contractual language, avoiding losses with enhanced safety practices, ongoing training, and strict protocols, as well as reducing your claims through data trending and involvement from before an accident happens are all ways to impact the decisions that the carriers make on your account.

Education and resources are key to improvement. Knowing enough to be dangerous is good, but not great. Knowing what you, your competitors, your agent, and the team behind them knows is, indeed, dangerous. Your agent should be transparent and explain to you what goes into pricing and terms. Your agent should also be able to guide you through resources that your carrier offers.

Holmes Murphy does all of that more through our proprietary Understanding ART process. From the first meetings to gathering information, we truly learn the heart of your business. Knowing what is important to you and where you are headed allows us to provide what you want.

So, reach out to us. We’re happy to help you with any questions you have. We truly care about you, what makes your world go round, and can help you battle the crossroads!