3 Questions Featured

8:00pm EDT August 26, 2009

Cynthia M. Webster has more than 30 years in the insurance industry and currently serves as a principal, president and CEO of Jack Rice Insurance, a Largo-based firm. Webster has been active in insurance associations at the local, state and national levels throughout her career. She is a past board member and is the incoming vice chair for the Florida Associations of Insurance Agents.

Q. How will managing risk help your bottom line?

That’s really twofold. If you can prevent events from happening, you can keep your insurance rates down. That’s the loss control (service) where an insurance company representative will come out and inspect the business to prevent claims from happening. That’s a free service that is extremely valuable. The other way is just to make sure you do an insurance review for your insurance program to see where you can save money today without negatively affecting your coverage.

Q. How often should companies be reviewing their products?

We typically always said it had to be at least once a year, but in this economy we are recommending to all of our clients to do a midyear review, absolutely, because you can make changes. We’ve actually created a savings checklist that we go through with them to see what we can do to help them save money in this economy because the changes can be made now and the savings can go in your pocket now. You don’t have to wait until your policy comes up for renewal, and that’s a very critical point for business owners to get some cha-ching back into their own pockets.

Q. What is the benefit of having a long-term relationship with your broker?

No. 1, the agent or broker knows your business very well and basically can give much better insurance advice on how to handle things. Then typically that agent or broker will have a very long-term relationship with the carrier involved, and that, of course, lends itself to getting claims paid quicker, getting better negotiating power on reducing premiums or getting coverage for next to nothing.