Our Process

Review Our Process by revealing each element of our 7 Step Process below. As we implement this process together with your business, you will be satisfied with the results!

Insurance companies rely on their agents to understand the businesses that they are insuring. That is the foundation to a successful partnership between policyholder, agent, and carrier.  The proper insurance starts with The Southern Agency producer understanding your operations and what your people do.

When we apply for a quote or coverage, we want the underwriter to feel that they are with us taking a tour of your business and operations.  If we do this right, your application will be on the top of the stack of the many other applications that the underwriter will review. Your producer will be able to make notes about the great things that you do to justify premium credits. Underwriters are very interested in this information.

Business insurance premiums are often negotiable and we want every quoting carrier to see that you care about your people, your business, and the best outcomes for all parties if an accident or an injury occurs. This understanding will translate into insurance companies offering their best rates and may even create attractive, competitively priced offers.

No business owner wants to waste their time working on putting together insurance quotes and then not have an objective. We have the same concern as well and that is why your Southern Agency producer must review expiring coverage to ascertain whether the business has any room for improvement — if there is not, we will tell you. While we do not need to see the expiring premiums, it will be helpful to include this if you desire for us to negotiate schedule credits based on previous loss history. Besides, the expiring premium is just that – expiring.

There is an old saying about contracts; “What the big print giveth, the small print taketh away.”  This particularly holds true in insurance.  Insurance is a product that is purchased and usually not thought about until needed. This leads to disappointment when coverage does not do what the policyholder expects. This particularly holds true in commercial insurance where, for example, a policyholder may not have coverage for their largest assets and liabilities.

There are many reasons why there are limitations and exclusions in an insurance policy.  Insurance policies are written with exclusions and limitations — not to penalize the policyholder, but to make clear to the policyholder what the insurance company intends to do, or not do, in the event of an occurrence. Indeed, the premiums are priced for what is covered as well as what isn’t.

Your business needs The Southern Agency experts because commercial insurance is riddled with misunderstandings and we are students of these policies and actually have coverage class weekly for our staff. Take for example, the Workers Compensation policy, Part One of this coverage, does not actually have an Exclusion, because the policy covers whatever the state law states that is covered – no more – no less. So what if you didn’t have any coverage at all (but you paid for it)? Your Southern Agency producer and account manager is going to assist your business in discovering how to improve your coverage and the only way to discover what needs to be worked on is by our team reviewing the expiring policies.

Your Southern Agency producer will also need access to the business’ 3 to 5 year’s loss history as well. If your policy portfolio includes Workers’ Compensation, our experts will review your Experience Modification worksheets as well. Many people do not know this, but it is not uncommon to see significant mistakes on these factors. There are many reasons, including claims reserving or it could be as simple as a mistake in the keypunching.

We want to be the most competitive agency but that is not always possible if there are coverages that are missing in a business’ program. This is where our process is important to you and your business. We differentiate The Southern Agency in this unique way because it is our highest obligation, to apply our knowledge to the exposures.

The Southern Agency producers are trained to identify hazards that could cause injury and measure the likelihood or risk of the hazards to people, property, or operations.  Most often when people think of “risk,” they will think of “hazard” as well. While these are somewhat synonymous, the terms are not the same.

No employer wants their employees to get injured. Identifying hazards and unsafe acts and conditions may require an imagination and may seem somewhat subjective. In many ways it is just common sense. Ask: “What could happen if this occurred?” “What are the consequences if this part is removed from the machine?” etc…

A “hazard” is a situation or anything that could cause harm, such as the presence or use of an unguarded saw or a broken ladder.  A hazard could be posed to either persons, property or environment, or any combination of the three.  A hazard is a potential for harm.

“Risk” is defined as the combination and consequences of a particular event or circumstance. It is the chance, high or low, that someone or something could be harmed by hazards, together with an indication of how serious the harm could be.  A “hazardous circumstance” could be someone cutting off a finger with an unguarded saw, or falling off of a broken ladder, etc.

Some people get mixed up when discussing a Job Hazard Analysis with a Job Safety Analysis.  While these also may seem the same, these analyses are really like brother and sister.  The Job Safety Analysis is the precursor to the Job Hazard Analysis, and each technique identifies dangers that are present or could be present to workers and the public.

The true difference between the Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) and the Job Safety Analysis (JSA) is that the Job Hazard Analysis gauges the probability of a hazard injuring someone and identifying the severity of an injury. Once the JHA is complete, the organization has a plan of what can be done to reduce the likelihood of an injury by reviewing processes to eliminate the hazard or reduce the hazard to a tolerable or acceptable level.

No matter what a person calls it, in simplest terms, IT IS ALL ABOUT KEEPING WORKERS AND THE PUBLIC INJURY-FREE.  Having a plan and updating the employer’s Standard Operating Procedure as hazards are identified is the key!

There are many benefits of spending time with your Southern Agency producer reviewing hazards and risks, including:

  • Our insurance company underwriters will be reviewing your application closely and with this information as part of the application, your business will get noticed. They want to know that your organization has at least identified hazards and risks.  Our signature reports help them gauge their comfort level and this can seriously impact how competitive we can be. (Remember, business insurance is negotiable.)

  • We have seen over-and-over by using our techniques, our team has reduced claims and injury counts.  This obviously helps on future costs but most importantly, this process can reduce the likelihood of an injury to employees or the public.

  • This process can bring unexpected value to the morale or employees and reduce the likelihood of OSHA fines, especially if the business solves problems found during this process.

Additionally, your producer can arrange for a Loss Control representative to help your company put together a formal safety program.

Your Southern Agency producer will evaluate potential solutions to improve the conditions or hazards and mitigation strategies to the problems and risks. In many cases, your producer will bring in subject matter experts from quoting carriers to assist in mitigation strategies as well. These solutions can be challenging to come up with, but can be very rewarding as well. For example, it is highly likely that once new processes have been evaluated, employees find new and better ways to operate machinery while working safer.

An employer is OBLIGATED to identify hazards that may injure or kill an employee.  There are multiple methods that hazards can be identified by your Southern Agency producer, including, but not limited to:

  1. We can review your OSHA Form 300 Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses and the supporting 301 Injury and Illness Incident Report for the current year and preceding years.

  2. We will solicit feedback from current employees about concerns they may have.

  3. We will review safety data from the manufacturers of machinery used for each job function.

  4. We will examine Material Safety Data Sheets and Safety Data Sheets (and other comparable documents) for the safe handling of such materials.

  5. We will take advantage of any vendor review of safe usage of raw materials.

  6. We will consider the Workers’ Compensation Loss History or Loss Runs.

  7. We will discuss exposures to hazards and risk with the Workers’ Compensation loss control representatives.

Of course, we will review the plans and receive your permission before communicating to your staff. If authorized by your management team, your Southern Agency producer is trained to enlist your employees to use the “Safety Walk Thru” approach. With this system, each person spends an hour a month to review the hazards within the organization and documents each hazard that has the potential for injuries and document potential ways to mitigate these hazards and risks.

Your Southern Agency producer will help your management team prioritize the most important hazards to mitigate first, second, third, etc. The Southern Agency signature program is a results maker and has kept many employers from injuries and perhaps even deaths. The most important element of this roll out is the communication of the program to the employees and holding everyone accountable to the new standards.

The Southern Agency is very unique because we are the only agency in the country that has developed our very own Workers’ Compensation training program for the employer, the agent, the legal profession, the medical profession, and the underwriter. We have the experience to even assist your company in placing your entire policy, procedures, and safety training series on video and perform assessments on each staff member of your company.

For more information, please log onto CWCE.com.

As the old saying goes, you can insure anything unless it’s already on fire… Well, almost anything…

Once The Southern Agency producer has delved in, it is time to make an application for coverage and select the right carrier. We represent The Cincinnati Insurance Company, Harford Mutual Insurance Company, Philadelphia Insurance Company, Accident Fund Insurance Company, and Mid-Continent Casualty. We will review which carrier is the right fit for your business. In some cases, we will send your application for quote to all of these carriers.

Together, we will choose the proper insurance coverage with the appropriate insurance company with a premium you deserve.

The cost of commercial insurance often varies based on payroll or sales. Your Southern Agency producer will work closely to forecast these numbers by asking your staff many questions. It is almost impossible to get this number exactly accurate upfront so that is why it is so important to stay in contact with us periodically and us with you. Our agency has invested in the necessary agency management software to allow you to view your policies easily and update us periodically with any changes in operations or functions that will change the business’ ultimate premium.

Many of our clientele will have divisions and each division may have separate premiums.  For example, if your business is a machine shop, an electrical contractor, and a millwright, there will be a separate premium allocation for each these operations.  Assigning proper allocations will be important, otherwise there will be misunderstandings and out-of-whack divisional profit and loss statements.

Your Southern Agency account manager will stay in contact with you to help monitor these budgets and prepare for your audit.

We will train your staff on SIX very specific processes that will make big differences in your results.  These involve:

  1. Show your management team a very specific 12 step hiring process to make certain that you hire the right employee for the right position.

  2. Provide our signature training portal for the Post-Offer, Pre-Placement employment process.

  3. Train the management team on how to manage the Post-Hire process.

  4. Prepare the organization for an injury through The Southern Agency exclusive signature process – the Pre-Injury process.

  5. When an accident occurs, your team must be prepared.  This preparation is learned—and most do not even know this process.  Most simply turn the claim into the carrier—but that is where the work begins.  Your Southern Agency producer will assist and guide your team to make sure the outcomes are predictable and understood.

  6. Helping set into motion the strongest Cost Containment process available.

Who would you want to be insured with an agent that simply sells policies, or one that represents the finest carriers and wrote the book on the process?

If you like what you see here, contact us and let us work on your program. Contact me and I will see to it you have an excellent experience with us and our carriers.

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