3 Questions Featured

8:00pm EDT August 26, 2010

Jonathan Theders is the president of Clark-Theders Insurance Agency and has extensive insurance experience. Theders joined the company in 1998 and was named president in 2004.

Q. What risks are companies facing in the present economy?

I see commoditization as a big risk influencing businesses right now. If you, your products and services become indistinguishable from others like it, consumers will turn to only price. The way you focus on client relationships and how those are communicated has to be part of the company culture. We have to ask, ‘What can we do that’s valuable and different from others in our field?’

Q. How will managing risk help a company’s bottom line?

When investing in risk management, the tangible results to the bottom line may be more difficult to identify than other profitable activities. It may even lead to an almost vague feeling. For example, you may have a top-notch safety committee and implemented exceptional programs that have a cost, but if those measures prevent an injury or fatality, it’s hard to say what the cost of the accident would have been. Unless it happens, you don’t realize the total cost. Effective risk management leads to a more rational and efficient allocation of financial and human capital. It offers balance sheet protection.

Q. How can you save money through risk management?

Companies should feel empowered to identify, measure and prioritize their exposures to loss. One way this can help save money is through proper insurance procurement. If your organization has initiatives for effective risk management, not only are you being proactive to prevent events from occurring, but you are also more appealing to insurance carriers who will be eager to offer better rates. If your agent is only seeking a price in the market and not truly promoting your organization’s strengths and commitment to risk management practices, you are likely leaving money on the table.