Risk Management

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What is risk management?

“Risk management is the identification, assessment, and prioritization of risks (defined in ISO 31000 as the effect of uncertainty on objectives) followed by coordinated and economical application of resources to minimize, monitor, and control the probability and/or impact of unfortunate events or to maximize the realization of opportunities.”

blog4 ISO 31000:2009 gives a list on how to deal with risk:

  1. 1. Avoiding the risk by deciding not to start or continue with the activity that gives rise to the risk
  2. 2. Accepting or increasing the risk in order to pursue an opportunity
  3. 3. Removing the risk source
  4. 4. Changing the likelihood
  5. 5. Changing the consequences
  6. 6. Sharing the risk with another party or parties (including contracts and risk financing)
  7. 7. Retaining the risk by informed decision

Representing many of the leading insurance companies, United Financial Solutions not only provides in-depth knowledge of the available markets, but also brings objectivity, insight and integrity to the insurance and risk management process.

We will:

A substantial portion of United Financial Solutions’ clients are contractors working in the construction industry. We have in-depth knowledge of the risks they encounter on a daily basis and, in addition to core business insurance and risk management services, we urge you to consider these issues and coverages as well:

Design-Build/Professional Liability
If you are controlling all phases of designing and building projects, do you understand, and are you covered for, the additional liabilities you are incurring?

Contractual Agreements
Do you have an insurance expert and/or attorney review contracts to identify non-standard requirements such as hold harmless/indemnity clauses, owners and contractors protective liability, increased policy limits and waiver of subrogation agreements? If handled improperly, these requirements can result in unexpected self-insured losses, additional insurance costs not factored into your bid, delayed starts or a hold-up on final payment.

Worksite Protection
Do you have adequate coverage through Builders Risk Insurance or Installation Floaters to protect your work-in-progress and materials on a job site, in the event they are damaged by forces out of your control?

Equipment
Do you have enough coverage on your owned or leased mobile equipment and are your tools adequately covered? Do you have the proper loss control programs in place to prevent theft of tools, equipment and materials on a daily basis?

Pollution
Do you work with, encounter, or transport any type of hazardous materials and, if so, do you have coverage for that liability or for the cost of a cleanup? These situations are generally not covered in your General Liability policy.

Surety Services
Do you have a working relationship with a surety agent who can assist you in obtaining the various bonds you need, and at the same time give you expert advice on financial and other issues that impact your long-term “bond-ability”?

Succession Planning
Do you have a formal business succession plan that will help assure your business progresses to the next generation?

Every business is unique. We look forward to working with you to identify and manage the risks that can impact the future of your company.

For city and county governments and public schools and universities, there are a number of issues not automatically covered by the core insurance and risk management services most such entities require. Some of the things to consider include:

For counties and municipalities

Law Enforcement and Firefighter Concerns
Do you have professional liability coverage to protect you in the event your law enforcement, firefighters or rescue personnel are accused of not providing proper services? Do you have specialized physical damage coverage, which includes replacement costs for emergency vehicles? If you have volunteer firefighters and EMS personnel, do you have accident coverage to protect them and you?

Public Officials
In addition to the bonds required to secure the faithful performance of officials, do you have sufficient levels of liability coverage in the event you are sued for “actions taken by the governing body”?

Specialized Equipment and Facilities
Do you have specialized inland marine coverage for equipment such as antennas, water towers, fire/police apparatus, electric transmission lines, water/sewer lines and the like? Do you have parks, swimming pools, ball fields, skating rinks or other facilities that increase your liability?

Employment Practices Liability
If your government was involved in an employment lawsuit for alleged discrimination, harassment or wrongful termination, would you be covered for the cost of legal defense and a multi-million dollar settlement? Do you have consistent, documented procedures in place to prevent such suits from occurring?

For Public Schools and Universities

School Board Liability
Will the members of your school board be adequately protected for both legal defense and award costs in the event they become involved in a lawsuit?

Harassment and Abuse
With the prevalence and publicity surrounding harassment, abuse, and molestation cases, are you sure that you have the right types and amounts of insurance protection in place? Do you have a strong risk management program, monitored consistently throughout all of your facilities, to prevent such incidents from occurring?

Transportation
Do you have the proper level of insurance coverage in place, as well as consistent safety and risk management procedures, in all instances where students are being transported?

Computers and Electronic Data
If student records or other important data were destroyed, would you be prepared to pay what it would cost to reconstruct them, or to suffer the consequences of not having them? Do you have coverage in place to specifically address the loss of computer hardware?

Special Programs
If you have students working in the community as part of a special training program, do you have miscellaneous liability coverage in place to protect them and you in the event they are injured or are responsible for some type of mishap? Do you have any unusual exposures to risk because of special training facilities you may operate such as day care centers, auto repair shops, construction programs and the like? Do you have any pollution exposures due to laboratory chemicals, etc?

Student and Teacher Travel
When students take school-sponsored tours, or teachers go on sabbatical in foreign countries, do you have the appropriate types of coverage in place to protect them?

Special Risk Accident
Are your volunteers and students covered in the event they are injured playing sports or while being transported as part of a school program?

Every organization is unique. We look forward to working with you to identify and manage the risks that can impact your future.

Hospitals, clinics, physician offices, nursing homes and assisted living facilities have a significant investment in equipment, personnel and data that is not automatically covered by the core insurance and risk management services most businesses require. Some of your concerns and issues include:

Professional Liability
Are you adequately covered in the event you are sued for malpractice, and do you have a strong risk management program in place to prevent such claims from occurring?

Medical and Other Equipment
Do you have the appropriate levels of protection for your valuable medical equipment? If you have a breakdown of equipment, can you afford to continue paying other overhead expenses if revenue derived from that equipment is curtailed? Do you have one convenient and cost-effective way to pay for the cost of servicing your equipment, as opposed to managing multiple service arrangements?

Patient Transportation
Do you transport patients or residents, and do you maintain specially equipped vehicles to do so? Do you have a comprehensive, consistent risk management program in place to prevent incidents from occurring?

Volunteers
If you utilize volunteers to assist with patients or residents, do your provide insurance coverage for the use of their own vehicles, or for injuries they may sustain that would not be covered by Workers’ Compensation? Are volunteers formally trained to help prevent claims from occurring?

Electronic Data and Valuable Papers
If your patient files, billing information or other important data were destroyed by an insured peril, would you be prepared to pay what it would cost to reconstruct them and to work without them in the meantime?

Aviation
If staff from your organization participate in an air transport program, are they adequately covered for all possible scenarios?

Every organization is unique. We look forward to working with you to identify and manage the risks that can impact your future.

United Financial Solutions insures manufacturers of all sizes and types. While each company has unique risks related to the types of products being made and/or the processes being used, there are a number of common issues faced by most. In addition to the core insurance and risk management services required for any business, manufacturers need to consider these special concerns:

Equipment Breakdown/Business Interruption
Do you have adequate coverage in the event you are unable to operate due to a fire, tornado or accidental breakdown of machinery? Will you have the cash necessary to cover continuing expenses—such as payroll, loan or lease payments, and other operational expenses—that will occur whether or not you have incoming receivables to cover them?

Transportation Exposures
Do you have adequate coverage for any damages or losses that may occur to your products during shipping, either by ground, rail, sea or air?

Credit Insurance
Would you be able to cover your losses if a major customer was unable to pay you due to bankruptcy or insolvency?

Product Recall
If a large quantity of your product was recalled, would you be able to cover the costs related to bringing the product back, communicating with and satisfying customers, handling any bad publicity, etc?

Pollution Liability
Do you use or transport any type of hazardous materials that could pose a pollution risk to your employees or property? Do you have the resources necessary to cover the cost of a cleanup on your site or elsewhere? Are you aware that you could be liable for the mishandling of pollutants, even if you’re hiring a professional service firm to manage disposal for you?

Foreign Exposures
Do you have sales people or other employees visiting foreign countries or working there? Do you have products, or components of products, being manufactured or sold overseas?

Patent Infringement
Would you have protection to cover the costs of legal defense if you were accused of copying all or part of someone else’s product?

Workers’ Compensation
Do you have all the programs in place that can help you lower the severity, frequency and overall cost of injury claims?

Every business is unique. We look forward to working with you to identify and manage the risks that can impact the future of your company

If you are managing a non-profit organization, you may be exposed to certain risks that other business entities do not experience. Even though you may feel pressured to hold the line on costs, considering issues not automatically covered by core insurance and risk management services can be very valuable. Some of them include:

Professional Liability
If you employ medical professionals and/or counselors, social workers or others, you are exposed to liability issues that can extend for years beyond the time your organization worked with the claimant. Do you have adequate coverage?

Directors & Officers Liability
Are the volunteer trustees for your organization protected financially if someone sues your organization?

Transportation
If you have special vehicles or equipment used to transport your agency’s clients, or if volunteers utilize their own vehicles, do you have the proper coverages and risk management procedures in place?

Special Facilities
Do you have gymnasiums, swimming or therapy pools, camps, a daycare center, workshops or other types of special facilities? Each of these has its own inherent risks and requires special coverage and risk management procedures.

Special Events
If you hold special events or fundraisers, do you always check with your insurance agent to make sure the type of activities being conducted are covered under your standard policy? Many types of one-time events have special risks that require protection through a special event policy.

Every organization is unique. We look forward to working with you to identify and manage the risks that can impact your future.

As an attorney, accountant, architect, engineer or other professional, you face some unique concerns that may not be automatically covered by the core insurance and risk management services most businesses require. Here are a few additional issues you should consider:

Errors and Omissions
Are you sufficiently covered for your professional liability, and do you have a systematic, documented internal system in place to prevent them?

Electronic Data and Valuable Papers
If your electronic files or other important papers were destroyed by an insured peril, would you be prepared to pay what it would cost to reconstruct them and to work without them in the meantime?

Directors & Officers Liability
Do you have adequate insurance or cash reserves to cover the cost of defense and damages in the event that you are sued for alleged wrongful acts?

Employment Practices Liability
If you were involved in an employment lawsuit for alleged discrimination, harassment or wrongful termination would you be covered for the cost of defense and a multi-million dollar settlement? Do you have consistent, documented procedures in place to prevent such suits from occurring?

Every business is unique. We look forward to working with you to identify and manage the risks that can impact the future of your company.

Whether you operate a cleaning service, catering business, body shop or beauty salon, you share some unique concerns not automatically covered by the core insurance and risk management services most businesses require. Here are a few additional issues you need to consider:

Damage to the Property of Others
Do you have adequate coverage for any damages that your employees may cause to property when they are working?

Theft
Do you have third party fidelity coverage to protect you if one of your employees steals from a customer?

Transportation and Storage
If you house or transport the property of others, do you have coverage for any damages that may occur while it is in your company’s care, custody, and control?

Professional Liability
Do you have liability coverage for any errors or omissions in your work?

Every business is unique. We look forward to working with you to identify and manage the risks that can impact the future of your company.

If you are a small business owner, it is important that all you’ve worked so hard to achieve is protected. In addition to a debilitating financial loss, your reputation may also be at stake if you experience a problem or incur a liability that prohibits you from delivering your normal goods or services.

The following parameters usually indicate that you need business insurance coverage:

  • Your business is located in a detached building separate from your home
  • You produce ANY type of product
  • You are storing what you make on your premises
  • You are providing a service to others, either on your premises or elsewhere

Other concerns you may have
If you are interested in obtaining a health care plan or other benefits for your employees, click on Employee Benefits under the Business Insurance tab which features a special section for groups with 2 to 49 employees.

If you are concerned about retirement plans, life insurance, investments, business succession planning, click on Financial Services under the Business Insurance tab.

Every organization is unique. We look forward to working with you to identify and manage the risks that can impact your future.

Transportation and logistics companies have some additional exposures not covered by the core insurance and risk management services most businesses require. Among the issues you need to consider are:

Motor Truck Cargo
Does your Motor Truck Cargo coverage exclude any types of cargo that you haul? Do you have coverage if the trailer is loaded and unhooked?

Hazardous Materials
Do you have the proper risk management procedures in place—and an adequate level of insurance coverage—to protect you when carrying hazardous materials? Do you need a special Pollution Policy to cover the costs of a cleanup related to hazardous materials?

Warehousing
If you have your own warehousing facilities, can you cover losses to the property of others that is in your care, custody and control? Are you storing any hazardous materials that could become pollutants in case of fire or other incident?

Workers’ Compensation
If you have drivers traveling to different states, are you aware that a Workers’ Compensation Policy has to be written to cover him or her in all of those specific states? What about Owner-Operators?

Trailer Interchange
Do you have Physical Damage Coverage for non-owned trailers?

Deadheading and Bobtail
If you are an Owner-Operator, do you have sufficient coverage when you are driving empty and are not covered by a trucking company’s policy?

Every business is unique. We look forward to working with you to identify and manage the risks that can impact the future of your company.

Wholesalers and retailers encounter a number of risks specific to their industry. In addition to the core insurance and risk management services required of any business, you should know about these issues as well:

Product Liability
Are you aware that, even though you don’t actually manufacture a defective product, you can be named in a lawsuit if you sell it? Also, did you know that if you import a defective foreign product, and the manufacturer has no U.S. insurance coverage, you will be held liable as if you were the manufacturer?

Premises and Operations Liability
Do you have adequate liability coverage for slip and fall incidents and other liabilities, given the amount of “traffic” in and out of your facility? Do you have effective measures in place to prevent them?

Pollution
Are you storing items that could become a pollution hazard in the event of a fire or other incident? Are your employees working with contaminants, such as cleaning chemicals, that present a liability? Do you have equipment, such as refrigeration units, that contain gases or fluids that are hazardous if not contained?

Employment Issues
With the high volume of turnover inherent in many retail operations, do you have coverage to cover the costs of discrimination, harassment and wrongful termination lawsuits?

Loss of Refrigeration
If you handle food or other perishable items, are you prepared to cover the losses if your refrigeration unit fails?

Every business is unique. We look forward to working with you to identify and manage the risks that can impact the future of your company.

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