Farella’s Insurance Recovery Group lawyers regularly collaborate with and learn from different players and functions within the insurance industry. To provide more value to our readers, we have reached out to a series of insurance brokers to create the Insurance Broker Series Q&A.
Our latest installment is with Daniel Law, Office President with The Liberty Company Insurance Brokers, Inc.
How long have you been in the insurance industry?
I’ve been in the industry for almost 15 years.
How did you get into the insurance industry?
I’ve always had a keen interest in both finance and the law – after briefly exploring both options, I was presented with an opportunity to work for a boutique insurance brokerage handling large and complex risks. I was immediately hooked and have not looked back.
What trends are you seeing in the insurance industry or markets?
The bundling of insurance with other seemingly-related services has been ongoing for some time now. Insured’s seeking a payroll platform, HRIS, or other web-based application are asked to trust a software engineer with the insurance coverage. Most of this happens at the expense of a well-designed insurance program and may eventually come back to haunt the buyer. While the insurance industry needs to adopt a better suite of technology products to deliver information to clients, I feel the broker/risk-manager is more important than ever to adequately address the risks faced by most businesses.
What advice are you giving to clients looking to purchase or repurchase insurance?
Make sure you understand the form and function of the insurance coverage you are buying. Don’t simply purchase the coverage because you did so last year. The landscape of your risk and the role insurance plays can change drastically from year to year. Insurance is a portion of your risk management platform and should not be the solution to every problem.
What 2 – 3 questions do you wish your clients would ask you?
- Aside from assisting with the transaction of buying insurance, what continued services are you going to provide?
- Before contemplating insurance, what steps should we be taking to manage our risk?
How are insurance products in today’s markets changing?
More than any other time in my career, insurance carriers seem to be developing coverage enhancements and expanded offerings at a faster pace. Insurance is reactionary by nature, but the reactions to addressing previously unmet needs are occurring more quickly. We see this particularly with cyber coverage addressing phishing scams, business income loss, loss due to cloud services, and social engineering fraud. With the current soft market, many of these coverages can be included for little premium. As claim trends solidify and when/if the market hardens, we expect some of this coverage to demand stricter underwriting guidelines and premium allocation.
What is the key issue you are facing as it relates to insurance products / policies today?
Various policies and programs contain access to resources the client can use to help their business manage risk. On top of that, the broker provides value-added services than can range in scope. Managing all of those services, assisting the client with their implementation, and generally creating awareness of their existence is something the broker community could better deliver to clients. Dovetailing these items with other services the insured is already utilizing would be very advantageous to brokers and insureds alike.
What risks should clients be using insurance products to mitigate that they may not know they can use insurance for?
Intellectual property, foreign credit, terrorism, and social engineering risks are all areas we see as being underserved by others in our field. Rarely has a new client been asked about any of these aspects of their operation nor do they understand how insurance can play a role in addressing the exposure.