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Why do Brokers matter?

Avoiding Assigned Risk Pool and Rate Debits

There is common misunderstanding about the relationship between nonprofits/companies, their broker, and the insurance carriers. Many assume that all brokers are created equal, serving merely an intermediary or middle man to access insurance policies sold by carriers, with no influence whatsoever over pricing or quality of coverage. This could not be further from the truth. The reality is that an organization’ s ability to access coverage in the open market rather than in an “assigned risk” pool partially depends on the level of trust the carriers have in the ability of the broker to accurately represent risk. Brokers with no interest or insight into the field activities that drive conservation work and whose portfolio of clients is not focused on the outdoor industry, often lack the credibility to earn the trust of the carriers. Organizations represented by brokers who are generalists can find themselves relegated to the assigned risk pool, adding 33 percent or more to the cost of coverage. They may also be offered coverage in the open market, but “debited”, meaning that the rates are subjectively increased because the carriers are simply not comfortable that the broker has helped underwriters truly understand the organization’ s activities and exposures. As a brokerage founded “By Conservationists, For Conservationists”, Conservation United represents dozens of organizations engaged in hands on restoration and has earned the credibility necessary to access the best possible combination of coverages at the best possible price.

 

Advocacy and Support in an Emergency

Your insurance broker is your immediate point of contact when it matters most. If your organization suffers an injury, is involved in a loss, experiences property damage, or faces the threat of a lawsuit, your broker is your first point of contact and your first layer of support. Brokers serve as the liaison to the carriers, guiding you through the process to file a claim, and ensuring that your claim is promptly handled. When the worst case scenario unfolds, you need an active, engaged, informed advocate who truly understands your organization.

 

Advocacy in an Audit

Carriers, particularly in the worker’ s compensation arena, audit their clients, often arriving in person to go over their records. These events are often stressful and fraught with uncertainty for management teams. Conservation United is pleased to attend carrier audits, either by phone or in person, ensuring that the process is clear and the outcome is accurate.

 

Accident Avoidance through Risk Management

Brokers are judged by the quantity and severity of the losses suffered by the organizations they represent and virtually all are motivated by a genuine human interest in avoiding loss. However not all brokers are equally capable of offering advice, guidance, and resources to help conservation organizations recognize and avoid risk. If your conservation organization/company engages volunteers, holds special events for the community, operates chainsaws or other power tools, drives 4WD vehicles or other large passenger vehicles, moves of splits stone to construct retaining walls, applies herbicide, or engages in any number of other specialized field skills, Conservation United is likely to work with other organizations with similar risks. Through our large and growing network of clients in the conservation space, and informed by our experience conducting field work in the nonprofit industry, Conservation United can aggregate best practices, perform valuable site visits to the field upon request, and share safety approaches that similar organizations have found to be most effective in preventing accident, injury, and loss. Conservation United is proud to serve not merely as a broker, but also as a safety partner, consultant, and clearing house for aggregated best practices, helping your organization recognize and mitigate risk in your unique outdoor workplace.

 

Understanding Workers Compensation Codes

Many organizations are unaware of the range of worker’ s compensation available for outdoor work. The vast majority of brokers are honest and very few intentionally steer organizations to more expensive codes generating higher premiums and higher commissions. However, unless they are actively engaged in understanding all the facets of field work and associated exposures, they may not be able to help you assign the appropriate codes saving you the most money. Applicable compensation codes vary, state by state, and the application of these codes to specific organization’ s activities sometime require the approval of the Workers Compensation Board. Conservation United’ s specialized client base allows us to identify common risk, choose state specific codes, and where necessary help your organization gain approval to apply the most advantageous and accurate codes to each work activity. Proactively monitoring and selecting the best compensation codes can eliminate a tremendous point of pain in many conservation organizations’ bottom line.