Success Story: When a business experiences the unexpected - Part 2

Missed part 1 of Kyle's client story. Watch it here.

When your business is hit with an unusual challenge, it’s important to have an experienced insurance agent to guide you through the process. Kyle Retherford, an account executive at Witkemper Insurance Group, shares a unique client experience that required quick, thoughtful counsel. 

It's easy to say we insure your building, but I also had a policy in there called business income. And most contractors don't take that because they think, well, I can just dropship material somewhere. My guys can go work on site. Heck, we can office out of my garage, I don't care. But in this situation, there was significant loss of business income because it took a while to replace the material that was lost.

And in working with this type of policy, it's pretty easy to calculate the jobs that you lose. But what was tough and what we were able to help out with is, hey, what about the jobs that you did, but there was an extra cost associated with it, right? So we want to keep our employees working, but we have to get new material from way away. And there are extra fuel charges. There are shipping charges. In order to meet our time goals for the general contractor, we had to hire subcontractors. That's an additional expense that wasn't going to be covered under there. They also had to rent out several warehouse spaces to store the new stuff that was coming in because the building wasn't done. That's extra, really, that would not be included in any sort of property insurance or liability insurance for this plumber that ended up doing it, which it was just a really unique situation.

Our experienced team at Witkemper Insurance Group is here to help you find the best solution to your business needs. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Success Story: When a business experiences the unexpected - Part 1

When your business is hit with an unusual challenge, it’s important to have an experienced insurance agent to guide you through the process. Kyle Retherford, an account executive at Witkemper Insurance Group, shares a unique client experience that required quick, thoughtful counsel. Watch the video or read the transcript below.

One of the relationships that I've had almost since I started here at Witkemper is a painting contractor that I work with. I've had tons of claims in my 16 years of being in commercial insurance, but this one was a little unique in the fact that they have a warehouse in a small town here in Indiana, and a local plumbing contractor contacted my client and said, 'hey, do you mind if I use your building to look at my van? My van is kind of running weird. I think I know what it is, but it's kind of cold out here. And do you mind if I just pull into your shop?' And the guy was like, yeah, no problem.

So in doing his service work to his own vehicle, he actually started a fire and left because he thought his van was going to blow up. And it caught the entire building on fire. And being a painting contractor, they had, like, 10,000 gallons of paint and lacquer, and it was an explosion. So the unique situation about that was, it wasn't my client's negligence or fault. It wasn't an act of God. And the guy whose fault it was was a plumber, not an auto mechanic. So he didn't really have insurance for being a mechanic.

Listen to part 2 of Kyle's client story here.

Our experienced team at Witkemper Insurance Group is here to help you find the best solution to your business needs. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

The value of customer relationships

Kyle Browning, Co-owner/Vice President, of Witkemper Insurance Group sits down to talk about the value of developing customer relationships in the insurance world. When rates are measurable, you need to differentiate yourself in other ways, too. Watch the video or read the transcript below.

I think ultimately in our industry, what we have come to learn is people buy from people. They don't buy for the monetary values. While they have to be competitive, that's just the entry to the game them as being competitive. People buy from other people. They choose based on relationships. They have a lot of choices in our industry. They could go to 100 agents and buy the same 100 companies from all 100 agents if they wanted to. We all have the same carriers, the same opportunities. So it's the personal relationship that wins the business at the end of the day. And what we have to remember is that while we're interacting with these people, every time you're interacting with them, they're making an evaluation of you, of your character, of your integrity, of if you're trustworthy, can they believe what you're telling them? And over time you become impactful to them.

If you just continue to do what you say you'll do. All we're selling them is a piece of paper, that's a promise that if something happens, we'll be there. It's a total intangible sale. There is nothing tangible about what we're providing them when we sell them and they pay a premium. What matters is when there's an issue, are you there to help? When there's an issue, can you be impactful in that issue? Do you have the relationships at the carrier level to impact your customer's relationship with the carrier? You become their advocate. And that is what we strive to do and what we try to prove to our clients every day and why we believe they stay with us at Witkemper.

Our experienced team at Witkemper Insurance Group is here to help you find the best solution to your business needs. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Millions of Americans are living with mental illness. Mental Health Awareness Month is an opportunity to fight the stigma of mental illness, share resources and information, and provide support to individuals and their families. The infographic below provides statistics related to mental health and strategies to help you thrive.

May Is Mental Health Awareness Month Infographic May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Client Success Story: Helping a customer change employee culture

Brandon Ward, an Account Executive at Witkemper Insurance Group discusses the importance of being a man of your word as he takes us through a success story where he did more than planned to help a client change employee culture everywhere. Watch the video or read the transcript below.

There was a client of mine that called me and was just out of the blue and was asking for some insurance advice. His EMR rating was very high and was looking for ways to help, not someone he was looking for for real information, not someone that was just going to tell him, well your problem here is your MOD well, he already understood that, but he was looking for ways to try to help get his MOD down. I was very, very, very honest with this client and told him, we've got a lot of work to do, but we can accomplish this by establishing some overall better practices, including safety manuals, safety meetings, toolbox talks, tire kicks, distracted driving, reward program, etc.

For this client, that's a hard thing to do is when you start changing culture at a customer. But this customer realized that he had to do something different. We actually started to change the culture. We had employees looking after one another, just not business owners looking after the employees. It was an all hands on deck approach. We successfully drove the EMR rating down for this customer just because of some best practices that we put in. And now this customer, like I said in the beginning, is one of my largest assets, sending customers my way because he understands the importance of the things that we bring to the table here at Witkemper Insurance group.

Our experienced team at Witkemper Insurance Group is here to help you find the best solution to your business needs. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

"Customers are my greatest asset"

Brandon Ward, an Account Executive at Witkemper Insurance Group walks us through his mindset in approaching insurance with his clients, and how there is much more than meets the eye with your insurance agent.

Prior to coming to work for Witkemper, for a number of years...my experience I obtained in the manufacturing industry definitely propelled me in my success as a commercial insurance executive. I've held various roles in the manufacturing arena from details of a quality inspector to setting up CNC equipment early in my career to run an entire manufacturing operations.

Because of my ​vast insurance knowledge and understanding that many business owners do wear multiple hats - I understand this from my prior leadership roles - I can put myself in their position and understand what a business owner wants and what a business owner is needing in a timely manner for them. I have several accounts I have obtained over the years that are now somewhat of my best assets. So when I say assets, they're giving me constant referrals to others, you know, whether it's a subcontractor utilizing or friends and family. So that's one of my best assets that I have is my customers out there spreading the good word about Witkemper Insurance Group and Brandon Ward.

Our experienced team at Witkemper Insurance Group is here to help you find the best solution to your business needs. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

When clients become friends

Kyle Browning, Co-owner/Vice President, of Witkemper Insurance Group discusses the importance of building relationships with clients. Watch the video or read the transcript below.

We're very blessed to have gracious clients who over the years share their wins and losses with us, really, more importantly, their losses as they become friends. As you sit in front of business owners every day, the owners become your friends. As a young business person back 24 years ago, probably the biggest advantage I had in this industry was getting to sit in front of a business owner and decision-maker every single day, and they get to share what they did well in their career, but more importantly, maybe what they failed at or wouldn't do again.

One situation that I can think of, and kind of a mentor to me, was a gentleman who was significantly older than me when I started selling to them. It's the O'Brien Automotive Group here in Indianapolis, and Mr. O'Brien, who passed away about three years ago. But this goes back to when I was 25 years old. So it goes back 21 years for me when they first bought from me. And Mr. O'Brien was well into his 60s, maybe later at that point, but gave me an opportunity, gave me his word that if I could do these three things - He had given his current agent an opportunity to renew the business but they couldn't come through on those things - He gave me his word that if I could do these three things, I would earn the business. I asked him to give me 12 hours till the next day to get the authority to do that. We got that authority. We made it happen. He gave me his word. He gave me the check. We got the deal. But when I was picking up the check and the signatures, he said, 'hey, just to let you know kind of what happened in the last 12 hours, my old agent came back to me and was able to do those things. But I told him, I'd already put you on the clock and given you my word that if you did these, the business was yours.'

That always stuck with me. Just his level of character and integrity, that as a young guy, he could have easily used me. And he had a lot of years in the business and had a lot of relationships. His current agent was much older, much more experienced. But he chose..he made the choice to honor his word, show me his character, and it just stuck with me.

And so from that time, I've done business with them ever since in some way, shape, or form. And even on years when I didn't have certain lines of coverage, they would call me as their kind of sounding board, as a consultant, if you will, even for areas that I wasn't insuring at the time. Now today in 2022, we have all lines of their coverage for their property and casualty.

I think that in the probably 15 years that Mr. O'Brien was still in the relationship, and he was still doing business, he always gave of his time to me, and when I had questions for him.. when I just wanted to probe him about different business ideas...he was always very gracious to give of his time to me and of his experience more importantly, which I think made me a better business person.

Our experienced team at Witkemper Insurance Group is here to help you find the best solution to your business needs. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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Benefits of Contingent Interruption Insurance

Just one brief business interruption can be incredibly costly for an organization, often leading to serious reputational damages or long-term closures. Standard business interruption policies are vital in these instances, providing protection against a variety of common interruptions, including natural disasters, equipment damage, and vandalism.
 

But what happens when one of your suppliers or customers experiences an interruption that derails your operations? To help address this concern, contingent business interruption (CBI) insurance is crucial and has a number of unique benefits.

Coverage beyond standard business interruption policies—Unlike traditional business interruption insurance that compensates the policyholder for a loss resulting from damage to its own property, CBI insurance lets businesses transfer the risk of certain losses to the property of a third party. 

Reimbursement for a number of expenses—When in place, CBI insurance can help employers cover ongoing expenses—like payroll and rent—should the insured’s revenue stream be impacted by interruptions at a third party. In many cases, it is not necessary that the customer or supplier be totally shut down to trigger CBI insurance.

Protection for a variety of scenarios—In the policy itself, the covered third-party property may be specifically named, or the coverage may simply blanket all customers and suppliers. There are a variety of scenarios where this type of coverage is useful:

Want to Learn More About CBI Insurance?

To truly understand your CBI insurance needs, it’s important to assess your exposures. CBI exposures will differ depending on the industry you operate in, but are most common in manufacturing, retail, hospitality and professional services. To get started or to learn more about CBI insurance, contact Witkemper Insurance Group and Financial Services today.

Workplace Violence Prevention

Workplace violence is a serious safety and health issue. While no federal law specifically addresses violence in the workplace, several laws impose a duty on employers to maintain a safe workplace. 

For example, the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) imposes a general duty on all employers to provide employees with a workplace that is free from hazards. Federal civil rights laws also require employers to keep the workplace free from threats of violence, and state workers’ compensation laws make employers responsible for injuries sustained by employees in the workplace.

In addition, the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Act (IOSHA) requires employers to provide a safe workplace. Indiana law also allows employers to seek a temporary restraining order or injunction against any person who poses a threat in the workplace. 

EMPLOYER’S OBLIGATION TO PROVIDE A SAFE WORKPLACE

The IOSHA makes employers primarily responsible for the safety and health of their employees. The law requires employers to provide a workplace that is free from hazards that are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees. Employers must also keep employees informed about: 

The law specifically requires employers to display an official poster about these topics in a prominent location in the workplace.

Employers that fail to comply with IOSHA may be subject to penalties. Specifically, an employer may be fined up to $7,000 for any of the following:

An employer that knowingly commits any IOSHA violation may be fined at least $5,000, and potentially up to $70,000, for each violation. An employer that repeatedly violates IOSHA may be fined up to $70,000 for each violation.

Indiana courts impose further obligations to provide a safe work environment by requiring employers to hire and train their employees properly. An employer that does not adequately hire, train or supervise its employees may be sued in court and held liable for damages if it knew or should have known an employee would subject a coworker, customer or third party to an unreasonable risk of harm.

TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDERS OR INJUNCTIONS

When an employee suffers unlawful violence or a credible threat of violence in his or her workplace, the employer may seek a temporary restraining order or injunction on the employee’s behalf. The state law that allows these actions includes the following definitions:

Under this law, an employer may obtain a temporary restraining order by:

Employers will not be charged filing fees for a petition alleging that a person has:

INDIANA CONCEALED CARRY LAW

A state law allows Indiana residents and some residents of other states to obtain a license to carry concealed pistols in the state. Employers in the state, however, may choose to prohibit anyone from carrying concealed pistols on business property or in the course of employment.

In general, employers may not prohibit an employee from lawfully storing a firearm or ammunition out of plain view in a locked vehicle on business property. There are exceptions to this for: 

Any policy an employer adopts regarding firearms should be clearly and explicitly stated in the employer’s workplace violence prevention policy.

WORKPLACE VIOLENCE PLAN IMPLEMENTATION FOR EMPLOYERS

Employers should create a workplace violence plan to outline policies and processes that help prevent workplace violence. If an employer elects to have a workplace violence plan, the plan will be most effective if it is tailored to the individual needs and circumstances of the employer. It should take into account the resources available to enact and maintain the program.

A workplace violence policy may include the following items:

Avoid Winter Slip-ups

Winter months present additional hazards that are typically not factors for employees during warmer weather – specifically, slip and fall concerns. With snow and ice-covered conditions, you run the risk of taking major falls, which can lead to serious injuries. 

Prevention

Education is essential in preventing winter weather-related injuries. Consider the following recommendations to prevent slip and fall injuries during the winter months:

If You Begin to Slip…

Contact Witkemper Insurance Group and Financial Services for your insurance and investment needs.