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6 Ways Insurers Must Evolve to Help Small Businesses Address New Risks: Risk and Insurance

Meeting the risk management needs of today’s small businesses requires the same level of technology and sophistication that carriers tend to offer large enterprises.

Both insurance agents and small businesses are facing a period of communication transition.

Gone are the days of making phone calls or putting things in the mail to keep the business flowing. In today’s world of text and email, brevity and efficiency are everything.

In the small business insurance space, the winners will be those that “not only digitize existing services, but use digital engagement to deliver value in new ways.” Jeff Duncan, Head of Commercial Lines, Property Responsibility, AmTrust Financial Services, said:

“More and more customers are realizing that digital channels can provide added value beyond just communicating with their insurer digitally, calling up their car ID card, or using an app to report a claim. We look forward to it,” said Duncan.

And the relationship between carriers and agents should have similar dynamics. Today’s brokers and agents need to quickly determine carriers that can provide the robust coverage their small business customers need.

From offering robust cyber insurance solutions for SMBs, AmTrust Financial Services has launched API integrations for seamless quote and agent interactions, to helping SMBs anticipate threats and develop risk management strategies. We have invested in resources to help formulate.

“The future is not in post-mortem defense,” said Duncan.

Here are six ways small business insurers can ensure they don’t neglect the needs of today’s small businesses.

Provide an adaptable solution for policy services

Jeffrey Duncan, Head of Commercial Lines, Property Liability, AmTrust Financial Services

Addressing small business insurance needs starts with understanding the requirements of agents and brokers.

Duncan explained that there is a common business model in the insurance industry for large insurers to rely on agents to manage renewals using service centers run by insurers.

“One of our hypotheses is that service centers are often a band-aid for technology shortfalls, especially as some carriers pursue a direct-to-consumer model,” he said. He said. “Resellers will become increasingly concerned about the service center model, who is allowed to manage their customers, and how they are allowed to manage that.”

Seeing this trend, AmTrust takes a flexible approach to policy services.

By using application programming interfaces (APIs) and microservices, AmTrust has focused on providing a low-touch, cost-effective mechanism for agents to build unique customer experiences for their clients. rice field.

This allows agencies to work fully with AmTrust rather than being forced into customer experiences and processes built by carriers, said Duncan. “Having said that, we know that some institutions value the service center model and we are looking for ways to meet that need,” he added.

Anticipate small business needs

For Duncan, delivering value to customers begins by observing how they interact with businesses, and then by asking, “What are the needs behind that request?” .

“We invest in both technology and product innovation to not only meet the needs of small businesses today, but to anticipate and monitor their ever-changing needs in the future,” he said.

As a well-known workers’ compensation insurance provider, AmTrust aims to extend its known reach as a provider of comprehensive insurance solutions for small businesses.

The key to knowing what small businesses need is understanding the problems they face. Regulatory risk in the areas of workplace safety and cybersecurity is a top priority for Duncan.

“During the past two-and-a-half years of the COVID-19 epidemic, we have seen businesses find themselves caught between conflicting state and federal regulations, such as vaccination and mask requirements.”

“Small businesses are trying to run their businesses and don’t have a lot of time or resources to manage a highly volatile regulatory environment.”

“Another example is cybersecurity,” he continued. “State and federal governments are beginning to impose obligations on businesses regarding how they hold customer data or how secure their websites and other portals are, so you can have a very secure portal or It’s just not good business to put your trust in data or anything like that.There are retention features, but there are regulatory risks, such as potential financial penalties if you fail to do so.”

Taking care of cyber hygiene

AmTrust offers cyber insurance for major events, but it may also help the insured to manage their cybersecurity hygiene in the first place.

“I envision a future that is not just about reactive protection, but about using technology to anticipate areas of risk for small businesses, government agencies, digital assets, or IT infrastructure, and how phishing attacks occur long before they occur. We want to be able to identify what is most likely to happen.”

“We start identifying architectural weaknesses and ideally addressing them long before denial-of-service attacks occur.”

One of the ways AmTrust is evolving its product suite beyond insurance coverage is by enabling small businesses to assess their websites and systems and proactively protect themselves.

“Insurance is inherently a reactive product, but it doesn’t have to be,” says Duncan. “In the same way that we address worker compensation loss management and help small businesses understand how to better protect their employees and avoid claims in the first place, the cyber risk perspective I’m looking into how to do something very similar from

Stay ahead of reputational risk

Managing your online reputation is also a top priority for many small businesses.A lip service customer shares information on her web Duncan noted that companies now face significant reputational risks after experiencing all kinds of products and services.

“Both great small businesses and great agencies [hope] We’re looking for quality engagement on review sites, but we’re actively trying to cultivate the image they want through those review sites,” he said.

“That means getting them involved, too. When someone has a bad experience at your business, that inevitably happens in the best businesses. How you react to it can turn it into a powerful brand motivation, which can undermine your brand.”

Improving employee experience

With labor shortages, wage growth and wage increases, many small businesses are looking more closely at the employee experience they offer. Organizations of all sizes aim to foster opportunities for individual connections and foster quality experiences for their employees.

“In an environment of rising wages, wage inflation, and a massive labor shortage in a highly competitive labor market, the best employers must not think of wages in isolation, it is a key challenge. Despite that, I think about the overall employee experience, albeit partly.”

“Very large organizations have the resources to invest heavily in the employee experience, while small businesses probably don’t have the same level of resources, but they do have an individual connection with their employees.” he said.

AmTrust aims to provide small businesses with insights to foster improved employee experiences alongside fostering quality customer experiences.

“The way we retain employees long-term—the way we attract and retain them—is to make the workplace more engaging,” said Duncan. Ultimately, this translates into customer experience.

Service within reach

When digital engagement with small business insurance agents becomes as seamless as possible, there are times when situations are specific enough to make a phone call. Carriers that work with small businesses also need to be able to have someone call them to help agents remove barriers to coverage for their clients.

“We are focused on a smaller business space, and because we are a relatively young, flat company, the agents who do business with us have a high degree of access to all levels of the organization,” says Duncan. says.

“There are a lot of little agencies that somebody goes out and hangs shingles over their storefronts and tries to make their own way in the world,” he said. You can identify with the entrepreneurial spirit.” &

Raquel Moreno is a staff writer at Risk & Insurance.she can be reached at [email protected]