Don’t Sideline Your Independent Insurance Agent During Contract Negotiations

The self-storage industry is experiencing significant levels of transaction activity and new development. After the hard economic climate just a few years ago, it is encouraging to see this upswing in growth.

One constant in these activities is contract negotiations. Whether you are in the process of acquiring a property, planning new construction, expanding existing property or joining a property management group, there will be many contracts and lengthy negotiations along the way. For most business owners, their legal counsel is an integral part of this process, and they would not consider finalizing a contract without consulting their attorney. While this is certainly wise, many of these same business owners may neglect to include in the process another critically important member of their team: the independent insurance agent.

When it comes to acquisitions, activities related to developing a property, and property management agreements, your insurance agent should not be an afterthought. He or she should be included in the process early on so as to identify any proposed insurance requirements and exposures related to the transaction and assist you in negotiating contractual elements pertaining to insurance requirements and assumption of risk.

4 Benefits Of Working With Your Insurance Agent

Here are just some of the key benefits of working with an independent insurance agent:

  • License and Designations – Your independent insurance agent is licensed by your state and has the fiduciary responsibility to act as your representative and advocate. Many agents have professional designations reflecting their commitment to their profession and ongoing continuing education.
  • One-Stop Shopping – Most independent insurance agents represent a wide variety of carriers with different product lines. In addition to assessing your exposures and helping you select appropriate coverage for your business, they typically also can address auto, home, renters, and other personal line exposures as well as your life and health needs. Self-storage has some unique exposures, and the independent agent has the ability to access the markets that offer this type of specialty insurance.
  • Multiple Company Benefit – Because the independent insurance agent has access to a large number of insurance companies, they can determine what is available in the market and provide you with choices. Their job ultimately is to help you select the right coverage at the right price based on your organization’s needs.
  • Knowledge and Experience – Have you read your entire insurance policy lately? Insurance contracts and the laws that govern them are complex and subject to change at any time. It is your independent agent’s business to understand it, stay current with changes, and communicate the information to you. This is particularly critical if you are purchasing excess and surplus coverage because this line of business can deviate from standard admitted market coverage.

 

Whether you are pursuing an acquisition, joining a property management team, or just need to review your existing insurance coverage, your independent insurance agent is an important member of your consulting team. They can work with you to secure the coverage you need and help you avoid unnecessary and potentially costly exposures.

Mike Schofield

President and CEO

 

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