• Case Study: Have You Ever Read Your Commercial Insurance Policy Cover-To-Cover?

    January 19, 2016

    As one entrepreneur discovered, the minutiae of a short paragraph on page 157 could mean the difference between millions of dollars in claims fulfillment or a devastating loss to the business.

    This business owner spent over three decades building a reputable wood and distribution company with multiple locations, divisions, and revenue sources. The high-risk nature of the lumber industry, combined with the complexity of the business structure, made the organization challenging and expensive to insure.

    This isn’t homeowners insurance. This is complicated. And we were underinsured by several million dollars in areas we didn’t realize. That’s why Brunswick Companies was so important.


    While the owner was a highly reputable expert in his own field, he only had a topical understanding of commercial insurance and was not confident that his business was properly covered. Brokers proposed cookie-cutter policies without many options. Costs continued to rise year after year. In early 2014, he asked Brunswick Companies to be his fully outsourced risk management department.

    In this fee-for-service consulting capacity, Brunswick Companies president Todd Stein and his team started by immersing themselves in the client’s business, identifying right-fit carriers, and designing a coverage program that achieved significant savings and long-term advantages. Once the plan was established, Brunswick Companies became their Chief Risk Officer, managing everyday risk needs, and ensuring that the coverage strategy evolved with business operations.

    Has Your Agent Asked The Complex Questions To Truly Understand Your Business?

    The first step required a thorough audit of company operations, financials, and existing coverage. This process uncovered gaps where the company was overexposed. In this case, the audit revealed disparities in general liability, property, automotive, equipment, and umbrella coverage. The biggest discovery, however, was a considerable deficit in business interruption coverage.

    The Brunswick team conducted an audit that was incredibly detailed. If the information was not sufficient, they were tactfully diligent and conscientious.


    Business interruption insurance compensates you for lost income if your company must vacate premises due to disaster-related damage, such as a fire. Generally, businesses choose to insure for gross profit losses related to downtime, as well as continuing expenses, such as payroll. Under the client’s existing policy, both revenue and resource losses were not reported, so the coverage would have been about 10% of what he actually needed to stay in business if a disaster occurred.

    When Was The Last Time You Compared Quotes?

    Once coverage needs were aligned with the reality of business operations, the Brunswick team went to work to identify the carriers that would deliver appropriate coverage at the best value. They leveraged their extensive relationship based on a search that took them beyond typical networks and into the offices of small, specialty agents. In every case, the agency exclusions and plans were carefully vetted, resulting in a concise summary of qualified recommendations.

    Before Brunswick, agents were just selling us a policy. That’s their job, to sell. To have an expert on your side to walk you through the details and put together the right program… Well, that helps you sleep better at night.


    This evaluation proved critical to the client’s decision-making process. With a well-designed program in hand, he was empowered to make educated choices about transferring the risk or avoiding exposure.

    A Relationship That Delivers Day-To-Day Value.

    When the risk management strategy was devised and implemented, Brunswick became an extension of the client’s staff to ensure that coverage continued to align with its ever-evolving business.

    On a day-to-day basis, the Brunswick Companies team is managing claims as they arise and address coverage changes related to business assets, certificate additions, and operations updates. The team also makes proactive recommendations related to new contracts and industry requirements, and will be actively involved in leading the exercise of renewal when the time comes.

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