Market Your Business for a Lower Insurance Premium
There are many risks associated with working in the construction industry and they drive up your commercial insurance premium. That’s why the construction industry has the highest insurance cost relative to revenue, according to a study by Swiss Re.
I’m often asked by those in the construction industry about ways to lower their business’ insurance cost. Insurance brokers cannot control the cost of insurance premiums, but the safer and more attractive your business looks to a carrier, the lower your premium will be. The key is to make safety and education your top priorities.
Here are a few tips to make your business more marketable to insurance companies and, most importantly, to protect your most valuable asset – your employees:
Amp Up Your Business’ Safety Protocols
Write and implement a thorough safety plan, which helps your business protect its people and outlines for carriers the definitive ways in which you do so. To start, identify any potential or existing safety hazards, and put protocols in place to eliminate them. Then, develop a written plan that includes strict and specific safety processes, current and relevant OSHA regulations and guides for best practices in the workplace.
If you already have a written plan, be sure that you are updating it regularly and that it reflects current projects. Site safety is not “one size fits all,” so your process should include developing site-specific protocols for each construction project. Showing this level of preparedness will show insurance carriers that the well-being of your employees is at the forefront of your business operation, and that you’re less likely to experience an onsite accident or incur an OSHA violation.
Implement Regular Employee Trainings
Though you can lessen the risk of an accident by establishing strict safety protocols, it’s impossible to completely eliminate human error. But you can greatly reduce it by holding regular employee trainings; especially as rules and regulations change and new projects break ground. New employee onboarding is a great place to build the foundation for best safety practices, but employees can often benefit from a refresher course, or from learning new safety techniques, as they become more comfortable in their roles.
Employee trainings don’t always have to center around safety. Other potential subject matter for employee education ranges from harassment to disaster preparedness to job-specific training.
Create and Maintain an Employee Handbook
Document all of your operations processes and protocols in a formal employee handbook. Review the handbook at least once a year with your lawyer or insurance broker to ensure accountability and compliance.
Use this handbook during new hire onboarding as part of your training curriculum. And go over it with your existing employees at least annually to refresh them on the material and update them on any changes to the handbook. A detailed handbook that’s regularly updated will show insurance companies that safety and compliance are top concerns for your business.
Establish a Disaster Preparedness Plan
Are you and your employees prepared to act when disaster strikes? Establish a disaster preparedness plan to prove that you’ll be ready to act efficiently and effectively in the face of adversity.
This plan should include an array of worst-case scenarios and outline an exact course of action to take in each situation, including the individual responsible for each task. Different scenarios include jobsite accidents, natural disasters and workplace violence incidents. Be sure that your employees are ready to act by holding training sessions and testing the plans with them regularly.
You can never be too cautious when it comes to the safety of employees. By implementing these tips, you’ll protect your employees and your business’ bottom line.