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Make Insurance In the Wood Products Industry Work for You

Do you enjoy researching and finding the right insurance coverages for your business? Do you find insurance interesting? Chances are the answer to both questions is no, and that’s ok! The reality is insurance is an integral part of your business. In the situations we all hope never happen, insurance can save your business, your family, and your employees. As important as it is, though, many business leaders don’t understand it and don’t have the time to dedicate to getting it right. And, when not done right, you could pay the price at the worst possible time.

So, how do you make insurance work for you and your business? Follow these steps:

Work with an advocate. Find an insurance agent you can trust. One who not only knows insurance but also knows your business. For specialized industries like the forest products industry, insurance experts can be difficult to find. Don’t worry. If you have found an agent you like and trust, but they don’t have experience with the lumber industry, find a specialist who can help them maneuver the nuances of your field and the insurance coverages you need.

Continental Underwriters, Inc. is one of those specialists. We work with agents across the United States to create wood products insurance programs for sawmills, planing mills, wood manufacturing and preserving operations, lumber yards, log haulers, loggers, and any other company in the forest products industry. We have spent our careers getting to know the forest products industry and can advocate on your behalf and on behalf of your agent to make sure you get exactly what you need out of your insurance.

A generalist alone will not do. Find someone who can get you what you need, advocate on your behalf, and be there for you when the unthinkable happens.

Make sure you understand your wood products insurance coverage. And, make sure your agent understands your needs. Reading through an insurance policy isn’t fun for most, but it’s important to know what coverages you have and, perhaps more importantly, what coverages you don’t have. Your agent and the specialist they work with can help you get the right coverages for your business, but they can only do so with your help.

Be sure to ask questions and explain what your business needs. All businesses, even those within the same industry, are different. Your sawmill may have new machinery or a unique set-up. Perhaps you are in the process of building a new dry kiln or installing a new debarker. Explain your wants and needs to your agent so they can help you find the right coverages for you and your business.

Cookie cutter policies work for many businesses, but more is needed for companies in specialized industries – another reason to find a specialist to work with you and your agent! They may ask questions or request information you didn’t even think to bring up. Providing as much detail as you can will only help you get the best coverages for your business. Good agents and specialists know this and will request more than you may be accustomed to. In the end, you will be happy they did.

Work closely with Risk Assessment and Loss Control representatives. And, when you find the right one, stick to them! Most insurance carriers have Risk Assessment and Loss Control representatives who will visit your facility in person at scheduled intervals. You can tell a lot about a company by the people they send out to represent them. These people should be educated in your industry, familiar with your business, and focused on helping you run a safe and profitable business.

While they will certainly point out areas of improvement, their goal should not be simply to tell you everything you are doing wrong. They should take a consultative approach to helping you operate a clean and safe business. Working with someone who knows the forest products industry and who has seen similar businesses will help you communicate and come up with creative solutions that can work for you as a business owner and your insurance carrier. Right next to your agent and specialist, this is one of the most important relationships for your business.

As with any business transaction, the key to making insurance work for you is relationships. Find people you can trust, who know and understand your business, and who care about getting it right. Anyone can obtain insurance coverage for you, even at competitive prices. But, when that claim occurs, will you be concerned with the few hundred (or even few thousand) dollars you saved? Probably not. Your focus will be on getting your business back up and running, protecting your employees, and making your business whole again. And, that is worth far more than someone can save you in insurance premium.

Continental Underwriters, Inc. is a full-service intermediary and program administrator specializing in all aspects of wood products insurance. As one of the foremost solution providers of insurance for the forest products industry, our reach is nationwide. At Continental Underwriters, Inc., we could serve the insurance needs of any business, but we choose to serve the needs of your business. Let us show you how we can become The National Solution to Your Local Risk!

 

Developing a strong and successful team requires experienced and knowledgeable partners that will work hard to maximize the relationship between the customer and the carrier.  That is what we have found in our team at Continental Underwriters, always striving to improve the relationship and service while committing their resources fully.  Truly caring about the customer shows in their approach to our needs now and in the future. – Sawmill Owner

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