587-597-5478 heather@thinkinsure.ca

Have you lost your job and are now being forced to find another source of income?  Have you decided that now’s the time to start that new business venture you’ve been tossing around for years?  Wondering where to start?

 If the answer is Yes, then read on. 

Growing up on a farm gave me the unique opportunity to understand some of the most important values in life; the value of honesty and integrity, teamwork, providing something of value to others, and hard work. I remember one morning my dad waking me up early before school and telling me it was my turn to help with morning chores. I told him I would eat breakfast and be right out. He made it clear that chores came first. “If the animals don’t eat, you don’t eat!”

Those values have served me well and to this day, it’s important that I provide value to others through my contributions. In my case, it’s helping small to medium size businesses protect their investments using insurance and risk management techniques I’ve learned over the years.

Many of you may have heard the term “hard market”. We in the insurance business understand that but what does that mean to you, the consumer?  It’s actually relatively simply. More dollars are flowing out in claims than are flowing in as premiums which is necessary to have a modest return on investment for the investors. When that happens, investors don’t want to invest capital into an industry that is not making a profit. Insurer’s stop writing certain classes of business that traditionally have higher losses, they tighten up their underwriting criteria for existing business and increase premiums. That is a “hard market”.  The most recent casualties included snow removal contractors, the hospitality industry, and new business ventures.

For those of you starting a new company, you’ve probably experienced this with rejections from insurers for a quote. Those quotes you are getting seem exorbitantly high. So, what can you do?

1. Do you have a business plan? Whether you are looking for investors, customers, suppliers or even partners you have to be able to show them it’s financially viable.

2. Find a broker who will work with you and understands how to present your business in the best light possible to the underwriters. Do they have the education, experience, empathy expertise, and enthusiasm to do the job https://heathercournoyer.ca/2018/08/09/goldilocks-and-the-three-bears-insurance-brokerage/

3. Don’t wait until the last minute to get insurance. In today’s insurance market nothing happens quickly. Depending on the operation, quotes can take anywhere from 2 days to 2 weeks or more to obtain from the underwriters.

4. Be prepared to share as much information as possible. It’s not just about the business you are starting, it’s about how you plan to make it successful. Do you have transferrable skillsets?  What is your previous experience? Just because you are good at your trade or craft as an employee, doesn’t mean you will be a successful business owner.

5. Understand your exposures and work with your broker to help mitigate those exposures. Preventing losses is just as important as having the right insurance in case you have a loss.

Albertans have faced some of the most difficult economic challenges in the past several years made even worse because of the global pandemic. However, we are a resilient bunch and entrepreneurship is alive and well. I’ve successfully found insurance for many of the unique businesses launched in our community lately and love a challenge. If you need help, drop me a line heather@thinkinsure.ca or call at 587-597-5478 and we can do this together!