How you can control tribal business risk with a risk management plan
In earlier blogposts, we’ve talked at length about risk assessment and management, along with loss control. Now let’s get down to brass tacks: What’s keeping you from creating your risk management plan, and keeping it going?
“When we talk about risk control, we’re not doing a drive-by guilting, although it can seem that way,” says Brett Barnsley, Arrowhead Tribal’s managing director. “You can’t possibly eliminate all risk. Our goal is not just to provide insurance to tribal groups – it’s to make sure you have the protection you need in every area of your business.
“Often that’s with an insurance policy,” he added. “But there will also be risks that you decide to manage on your own, because their potential cost is not high, or the possibility of them happening is just too slim. In both instances, though, you need to be fully aware of those potential losses and have a risk management plan in place.”
Here are some no-brainer examples:
If you have company vehicles, or your employees use their own vehicles to conduct your business, then you need commercial auto coverage. At the same time, there are steps you can take to lessen the likelihood of a driving accident, using the tactics and tips outlined in the blogposts below:
- Lower your commercial auto insurance rates with these 7 tips
- Should your tribal business have an employee cell phone policy?
- Winterize your vehicle fleet to minimize claims in deep freeze months
- How your tribal business can combat the rising cost of vehicle crashes
- Tips for using employee-owned vehicles in your tribal business
- Hiring safe drivers for your tribal business
Do you manage risks for a tribal government? You’ll need professional liability for police, health care professionals and more. Here are a few ideas to help you lower your sovereign nation’s risks:
- Top ways you can reduce tribal government risk
- How you can protect your employees from Valley Fever
- How your water management program can combat Legionnaires’
- Steps to prevent fraud in your tribal business
- It’s Fire Prevention Week – Share these tribal fire safety tips
Does your company have computers that are networked and store clients’ and employees’ private information on file? You may need data breach/cyber coverage. And here are a few ways to lessen those risks:
- How to protect against, detect and act on a data breach
- Cyber security: The threat from within
- How to protect yourself against mobile ransomware
- How to protect your tribal business from cyber threats
- How to beef up your tribal entity’s cyber protection
- Tribal laptop and mobile device security measures
Do you have employees? Then you’ll need workers’ benefits insurance. You can lower your workers’ benefits claims and insurance costs by adding these suggestions to your risk management plan:
- How lockout/tagout safety can prevent accidents
- 5 Steps to preventing restaurant injuries and illness
- Confined space safety tips for tribal employees
- Tips for working with an aging workforce
- Tribal workplace violence training programs
- 5 tools to prevent tribal workplace fall hazards
- How to minimize your employer risk for drugs in your tribal workplace
- Tribal workers and heat illness: Steps to prevention
- How effective is your tribal return-to-work program?
Do you have a brick-and-mortar location? Then you’ll need commercial property coverage. And there are ways you can influence your insurance rates in your favor here too, by:
- Winter Loss Control Tips
- How to reduce vandalism at your tribal business
- Fire prevention and safety tips for your tribal business
- Disaster recovery plan: a back-up plan to keep you in business
These needs are obvious. But what about the not-so-obvious risks? These can range from a key employee (possibly you) who basically runs the entire company- but gets injured and can’t work for a bit. How does the company survive? Or it could be the risk of a fire: You already have property coverage – but do you have funds set aside to compensate for your company’s lack of income while you’re shut down?
Brett recommends making a list of every potential scenario and loss you can think of, and then sitting down with your tribal insurance agent to discuss these possible losses to ascertain
- How great is the likelihood and the cost of each risk?
- Is it a risk that needs insuring?
- Are there ways you can minimize their possibility right now and in the future?
- What are the most cost-effective ways to mitigate those risks?
Unless you’re a mom-and-pop shop, your risk management plan and loss control efforts shouldn’t be “owned” by one or two people in the company; instead, planning should span all groups, from front desk, customer service, manufacturing lines, janitorial, etc., and all levels of management. Your employees are more hands-on in their areas of labor than are you or your managers, and no doubt they have good ideas as to ways to improve safety and lower risk.
Moreover, risks change continually, as your company goes through cycles. Staff changes that result in less seniority and experience will influence risks and their probability. Environmental factors, from the obvious fires and storms, to roadwork and detours or neighboring businesses opening or closing, will also impact risks.
All that to say – you’ll need to assess risks on at least an annual basis. The best time to do this is when your tribal insurance is about to renew, when your agent is checking in with you about the next year. Ask your agent about your organization’s claims profile. Show him or her your list of potential risks and ask for help in identifying additional claims scenarios. Your agent can help you identify possible hazards and suggest solutions.
Arrowhead Tribal now has robust risk control services in place to help our clients: Clear Risk Solutions. Download the information sheet to learn more.
Read more from Arrowhead Tribal on loss control and risk management: