Protecting Your Assets...Don't Leave It To Chance
By Universal Underwriters Group's Loss Prevention Department

Do we have coverage for that loss?

If you don't already know the answer to this question, it's too late. The key is proactively managing the protection of your assets: buildings, inventory, human resources through various means. It is crucial that you, the business owner, be involved in the process of transferring risk by buying insurance or through other contracts with suppliers and subcontractors. You also need to have someone managing the loss prevention practices in your facility. Lastly, know what losses you will be paying for yourself— this is exposure you won't be able to transfer to another source.

Managing the "Insurance Buying Process"

The first steps in managing your insurance buying process relate to your needs, the company providing the coverage, and the agent representing that company. Regarding your needs, decide what's most important to you in your protection program. Regarding the company, seek out a provider that is financially strong and committed to your industry. Regarding the agent, find an agent who knows your business and is committed to providing a tailored protection program. Lastly, make sure the agent puts your interests first. Listen to the questions the agent asks you, and watch his/her activities to evaluate their commitment to meeting your needs.

Set the "Rules of the Game"

• Who and how many agents will be allowed to propose your insurance: We recommend a maximum of three.
• When should the process begin? We suggest you begin 75 days prior to your expiration date.
• When will the decision be made and how? We recommend the decision be made at least 14 days prior to the expiration date of your current policy.

Take proposals from insurance companies that meet the following criteria:

• They understand your business and have experience insuring automotive recycling businesses.
• They have claims service with automotive recycling business expertise to put you back in business ASAP.
• They are financially strong and well managed. The AM Best rating is an excellent guide.

Evaluate agents using the following criteria:

• What recycling businesses do they presently insure? Review their list of customers.
• Are they involved in your industry functions?
• Are they someone you can work with and trust?

Gerry Cecil is the National Account Executive for the Special Account Services division of Universal Underwriters Group. For more information about how Universal Underwriters Group, Special Account Services can help your automotive recycling business needs call 800-840-8842, ext. 4845, visit or e-mail:

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