What is the definition of heaven? Well, for me I could say for a short while until Bud Selig and MLB woke me from my dream. It was the day I got hired at Roeding Insurance in 2001, only to find out later that we had insured the Cincinnati Reds and that they needed my help from a risk control and safety perspective.
As a risk control consultant, I worked in various companies and industries, which was a welcome change from my working day and working with different customers and locations on a daily basis. I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly as I went and inspected everything from sewage treatment plants watching a machine filter out the used condoms and tampons (called torpedoes in this industry) to rendering Plants where they melted away animal meat and parts for making fuel and lipstick. I’ve visited automakers, plastic injection molding plants, clothing manufacturers, steel mills, construction sites, hot dog meat packers, nursing homes, schools, movie theaters, resorts, and yes the Cincinnati Red house of worship.
As a huge Reds fan who grew up looking for the Big Red Machine, which included Johnny Bench, Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, Tony Perez, Dave Concepcion, George Foster, Ken Griffey, and Cesar Geronimo, I was amazed that I was now getting paid to attend professional baseball games as I walked every square inch of the stadium looking for safety hazards.
In fact, during that first year, I stopped to pinch myself a few times as I walked through the same sacred passages that Sparky Anderson once took in the field to reach his outdoor office. I was able to sit in the same shelter as I call work.
I even got the chance to look out the old backstop door behind the catcher at Riverfront Stadium once when I saw future Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. beat the Cubs. As a kid I always wondered what it would be like to see a game from this point of view.
Years later, I was standing in the middle of the field where pitcher hill now stands on the Great American Ballfield as I watched construction workers build the stadium around it.
As the wheels of change continued, MLB decided to change things and get into the insurance business on their own by forming an offshore prisoner and forcing all baseball teams to join. The sad thing was we were still offering the cheaper rates on their insurance as it cost the smaller clubs like the Reds more to join this prisoner but saved all the bigger clubs.
The only thing that stayed constant between all of these different industries and businesses was that changes happen frequently and if our customers are not careful, such changes can have a negative impact on their bottom line.
In my job, the change is constant and a good eye is required to recognize these changes in order to protect a customer’s risk management as best as possible.
At the beginning of my career, we also insured a very large furniture retail company with multiple retail locations. Years before I arrived, this customer hired a general contractor (GC) to build a major addition to their warehouse to accommodate their growth and expansion.
Unfortunately, they didn’t include their insurance broker in the equation, and it turned out that the GC that won the project as the lowest bid took some costly shortcuts that went unnoticed during construction.
The GC was somehow able to covertly bypass the fire fighting system requirements and installed a weaker and cheaper system for the intended fire load with rack storage and no one understood these misleading tactics during construction. As the insured storage requirement increased, they increased the shelf height, which doubled the fire load for the installed sprinkler system.
Keven Moore works in risk management. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kentucky, a master’s degree from Eastern Kentucky University, and more than 25 years of experience in the security and insurance professions. He is also an appraiser. He lives in Lexington with his family and works in both Lexington and Northern Kentucky. Keven can be reached at [email protected]
A few years later, the risk insurer finally discovered the inadequacy and immediately issued a non-renewal notice on its policy, as the risk of potentially major damage could be high. After much discussion and arm twists, the customer finally had to bite the ball and rip out all of these new sprinkler systems to install the right fire pump and more powerful sprinkler system for over $ 150,000.
Another example of a potentially costly change came a few years later when a customer who was seeing significant growth thought of including us in the equation at the eleventh hour just before he hit the trigger on a new long-term lease.
As it turned out, the existing sprinkler system for the new building was not sufficient for the intended occupancy. By thinking of including us in the decision-making process for the last hour, they were able to negotiate a lower lease rate with the owner again to offset the cost of upgrading the existing sprinkler system.
Changes in risk exposure and life-changing events are common in your business, or even in your personal life. As the CEO of your family or your home, unexpected or even imperceptible changes can seriously affect you if you are not careful about them.
Remember to involve your insurance broker / agent in any major life changing decisions to adequately protect your business or family.
So remember: give your insurance broker / agent a call for information on life changing events like growth opportunities, business diversification, and new lines of products going online.
If you are planning to move in your personal life, get married or divorce, or if your child moves out or moves back in, give your agent a call. The amount of insurance you need and the items you want to insure will change throughout life. So keep him / her on the speed dial.
As your family or business’s financial health improves, you may even want to take a higher risk by insuring a higher risk yourself and increasing the deductible to lower your premiums.
If you are purchasing a large ticket item for your business or home, the first thing to do is call your insurance broker / agent. In some cases, you’ll need to buy a floater because policies limit the amount you can collect in the event of a loss to one large ticket item, which may be a fraction of the replacement value. In the event of something new, save the sales contract with your inventory and then fax a copy to your insurance agent. If the item is older, have it rated. Save a copy again and send another to your agent. That way, you never have to worry about proving that you own an item and there will never be an argument about what it’s worth.
Keep up with inflation. This is especially important with a homeowner policy. It may have cost you $ 200,000 to build your home 10 years ago, or if the real estate market bounces off the charts you should call your agent and have them as a replacement cost.
Many companies have inflation protection that covers the rising costs of rebuilding. If your policy needs to be renewed, contact your agent to verify that your coverage levels are still realistic. And when you make an improvement, add that to the total.
Changes are inevitable – except at one machine, and soon this will change too. Winston Churchill once said, “There is nothing wrong with change if it goes in the right direction.” I’m still waiting for an apology from MLB Commissioner Bud Selig for messing up my dream.
Be sure my friends