Friday, 17 April 2009

Why Say Yourself What a Client Can Say Better?

One of our retail broker subscribers posted a note internally to colleagues about why they should use Advisen - because it helps them make money. I have excerpted in the below for weekend reading - on the flight to RIMS?

Ready to Close that Deal?
Advisen may be the solution!

Whatever happened to the good old days of loyalty coupled with an insurance broker who provides better value than their competitors? In these tough times as all sectors of the economy struggle to tread water, many of us are probably wondering why accounts that we have had ten or twenty years are heading for the door. There is one answer: The bottom line. Do not give up quite yet! There is a software tool that can:
1) Increase the ratio of your sales
2) Provide your client or prospect with valuable information about their industry and insurance policy
3) Clearly put the term “value” back into the minds of the consumers

Advisen is fueling global business insurance with the industry’s first ever online knowledge marketplace.

Advisen’s wealth of information resources, combined with a sophisticated search engine, data mining, and analytical tools provide strategic information services to the insurance industry. By aggregating information relevant to the business insurance industry, Advisen has created a workspace where insurance underwriters, brokers and business managers assess, quantify and evaluate risk within and across domains, benchmark performance against best practices, and track regulatory developments.

Recently, a colleague asked me if I could check what the self-retention average for a company who specializes in real estate management with revenue over $100 million dollars would be. After filling out the brief search engine questionnaire on the software, I was able to create a graph which illuminated the average retention of similar companies across the country. Based on this information, we were able to determine that the retention was right where it needed to be.

We didn’t stop there. I used Advisen to do a policy form comparison between the incumbent broker’s policy form and the carrier’s form that we were planning to use. We were able to show the prospect where the norm in terms of retention fell for their industry, the difference in wording between policies, and also how that could affect the payout of a claim in the event of a loss. To say the least, the prospect was very impressed.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

What's 30,000 Reference Resources Between Friends?

I had a caller from Willis in Oklahoma today call about a client who wanted to be insured against liability for problems at their Italian restaurant chain in the mid-west. The broker wanted a loss run to compare to the clients' own claims experience.

I checked out our MSCAd Large Loss Database (see info here) and since we cover the largest cases first, we covered the infamous "Why didn't you tell me your coffee was hot?" suit against McDonald's (and another one where a Mom sued for a kid falling out of its high chair at McDonald's - my 2yr old son does that at least twice a meal, he must have been born with a steel plate in his skull). But this wasn't going to do - the client had 100 claims last year and we didn't have enough of this granular loss data.

So I turned to our catch-all database called rmLibrary which contains links to 30,000 pages on the web and other resources and found the four links below. I love that in addition to preventing them (the best scenario) there are resources devoted to investigating and proving the damages!

Anyway, this is why Advisen partners with Libraries & Directories and carries their rmLibrary product for all of our subscribers. (See details about expanded partnership here). They don't have loss runs for this either but they have killer content at your fingertips.

The fellow in Oklahoma should subscribe soon and I couldn't resist asking him what caused most of the clients' 100 claims: overwhelmingly it was "chicken bones in the spaghetti". GROSS.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Workers Comp Costs: A Price of Doing Business?

Insuring your workforce is a tricky task. Our staff at Advisen has grown older this year as we've changed some faces and, sadly, we all seem to get older every year despite trying hard not to behave accordingly.

So our benefits renewal was not pretty - the older the staff the higher the premiums. Definitely not something we considered when making hiring decisions - but material to the expense line.

Looking at Workers Compensation insurance, there are a few main drivers for success. One of them is productivity - can you get your staff utilization up and the other is cost - can you keep your fees down and lower your workers comp coverage.

Recently we met Rebecca Shafer who's had a distinguished career at Marsh (pioneering Injury Management Consulting) and at Aon (CEO of the workers' compensation consulting unit of Aon Risk Services, Aon Management Institute (AMI) in Glastonbury, CT, and was responsible for the development of "Comp Camp.").

An attorney, Rebecca retired from Aon and must not have read enough about how hard it is to start up a company from scratch - she founded Amaxx to build the Workers Comp Kit to manage workers comp and her site at - also note her blog in my Blogroll to the right.

From her site "Many of her clients have experienced cost reductions of 20 to 50 percent. Her clients have included Rite Aid, Warner Lambert, Continental Airlines, U S Airways, Universal Orlando, New York Times, TV Guide, CVS, Knight-Ridder, New Haven Terminal, Centerplate, Simpkins Industries, American Tourister, and numerous other national, mid-market accounts and small accounts."

From our joint press release today comes the following pithy comment full of good keywords to get unsuspecting Google searchers to discover us at Advisen:

“Companies typically spend 30% of their risk management dollar on workers’ compensation, according to the RIMS 2008 Benchmarking Survey, but most managers are unsure how they can reduce these costs,” said Mason Power, GM of Advisen. “While companies buying workers comp and their brokers are a key part of the 100,000 industry professionals who subscribe to Advisen, the Workers’ Comp Kit® also offers a predictive analysis enabling insurance companies, state funds, captives and reinsurers to establish a threshold risk profile for underwriting purposes. This partnership further demonstrates Advisen’s commitment to providing invaluable insight to the commercial insurance marketplace.”

Beyond the salesy stuff (the WC Kit is for sale through our store), it's clear that our subscribers find Rebecca's work relevant, particularly how it helps them benchmark workers comp producitvity and cost. We ran a series of seminars with hundreds of attendees on each session and the feedback has been terrific. ReduceYourWorkersComp is a welcome addition to our Partners (see here for further info about the partnership). Rebecca and Advisen will be at the upcoming RIMS conference in Orlando starting this Sunday.