Insurance agents and brokers sell insurance products to a variety of consumers, both personal and commercial. Four major categories of insurance exist: property, casualty, health and life. Agents can be captive and represent one company only, or be independent and represent a number of companies. Agents must be licensed in the provinces they represent for the products they sell.
Agents are held to a high degree of professional knowledge and skill because of the possibility of major loss if the client is not properly protected. The background, education, experience, licensing, and professionalism of the insurance agent are items to consider.
Property exposure is primarily an office exposure. There may be considerable storage of customers’ records, which significantly adds to a fire load. Storage should be in fireproof file cabinets, and fire suppression systems must not damage the papers
Inland marine exposures consist of Computers and Valuable Papers coverage for records; and Accounts Receivable. Duplicates must be made and kept off site.
Crime exposure comes from Employee Dishonesty. It is important to keep billing and disbursement as separate duties. Regular audits are also important.
Occupiers’ liability is limited. All customer areas should be well lighted with floor coverings in good condition. The off-site exposure is extensive. There should be policies and training as to off-site conduct by employees.
Professional liability and errors and omissions exposures are important. Policies and procedures must be in place. Information must be in a written form and regular sign-offs obtained. Files should be regularly reviewed to ensure compliance.
Automobile liability may be Hired Non-Owned or the employees may be furnished with vehicles. All drivers must be licensed. If owned vehicles are taken home, a personal use and permitted use policy must be in place. Regular MVRs should be run and vehicles must be maintained and records kept in a central location.
Workplace safety exposure is that of an office exposure. Due to the extensive use of computers, all workstations must be ergonomically designed to prevent repetitive motion injuries. What are the controls in place for off-site employees?
Minimum recommended coverage:
Business Personal Property, Dishonesty, Disappearance and Destruction, Money and Securities, Accounts Receivable, Computers, Valuable Papers, General Liability, Professional, Umbrella, Business Auto Liability and Physical Damage, Non-owned Automobile
Other coverages to consider:
Computer Fraud, Employment Practices Liability.
Ready to discuss your unique coverage needs? Contact the Axis Insurance Group today!