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Keven Moore: Change is good and inevitable — but don’t forget to call your insurance agent

What is the definition of heaven? Well for me I could say for a brief time until Bud Selig and MLB woke me out of my dream, it was the day I was hired at Roeding Insurance in 2001 only to later learned that we insured the Cincinnati Reds and that they needed my assistance from a risk control and safety perspective.

As a risk control consultant, I have been in and out of all sorts of different types of businesses and industries, which offered a welcome variety to my workday, working with different clients and locations daily. I’ve seen the good the bad and the ugly as I’ve walked and inspected everything from sewer plants where I watched a machine screen out the used condoms and tampons (nicknamed torpedoes in that industry), to rendering plants where they melted down discarded animal flesh and parts to make fuel and lipstick. I’ve walked auto manufacturing plants, plastic injection molding plants, apparel manufacturers, steel mills, construction job sites, hotdog meatpacking plants, nursing homes, schools, movie theatres, resorts, and yes the Cincinnati Red’s house of worship.

Reds stadium (Wikimedia Commons)

As a huge Reds fan growing up watching and rooting for the Big Red Machine that included the likes of Johnny Bench, Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, Tony Perez, Dave Concepcion, George Foster, Ken Griffey, & Cesar Geronimo, I was amazed that I was now being paid to attend professional baseball games, as I walked and crawled through every square inch of the stadium looking for safety hazards.

I even stopped to pinch myself a couple of times that first year as I walked the very same sacred hallways that Sparky Anderson once took to the field to reach his outdoor office. I was able to sit in the same dugout as I pretend to call it work.

I once even had the opportunity to look out the old backstop door behind the catcher at Riverfront stadium, as I watched future Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr bat against the Cubs. As a kid, I had always wondered what that would be like to watch a game from that vantage point.

Years later I found myself standing in the middle of the dirt field where the pitcher’s mound now stands at the Great American Ballfield as I watched construction workers build the stadium around it.

As the wheels of change move on, MLB decided to change things up and go into the insurance business on their own, by forming an offshore captive and forcing all the baseball teams to join. The sad part about it was that we still offered the better competitive prices for their insurance, as it cost the smaller clubs like the Reds more to join that captive but saved all the larger clubs.

The one thing that remained the constant between all these different industries and places of business, was that change happens often and if our clients are not careful such change can negatively affect their bottom line.  

In my profession change is constant and it takes a good eye to spot those changes to best protect a client’s risk management risk exposure.

Early in my career we also insured a very large furniture retail company with several retail locations. Years before my arrival this client had hired a general contractor (GC) to build a large addition to their warehouse to accommodate for their growth and expansion.

Unfortunately, they did not involve their insurance broker in the equation, and as it turned out the GC that had won the project by being the lowest bid, took some costly shortcuts, that were not noticed while it was being built.

The GC was somehow able to secretively skirt the fire suppression system requirements and installed a weaker and cheaper system for the intended fire load with rack storage, and nobody caught this deceptive tactic during the construction phase. As the insured storage needs grew, they raised the racking height which doubled the fire load for the sprinklers system that had been installed.

Keven Moore works in risk management services. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kentucky, a master’s from Eastern Kentucky University and 25-plus years of experience in the safety and insurance profession. He is also an expert witness. He lives in Lexington with his family and works out of both Lexington and Northern Kentucky. Keven can be reached at kmoore@roeding.com

A few years later the insurance carrier on the risk finally discovered the inadequacy and immediately issued a non-renewal notice on their policy, because of the potential huge loss exposure. After much debate and arm twisting, the client eventually had to bite the bullet and rip out all this new sprinkler system to install the proper required fire pump and stronger sprinkler for the tune of over $150K.

Another example of potential costly change occurred a few years later when a client who was experiencing substantial growth did happen to remember to include us into the equation at the 11th hour, just before pulling the trigger on a new long-term lease agreement.

As it turned out the existing sprinkler system for the new building was inadequate for their intended occupancy. By remembering to include us in the decision process at the last hour, they were able to go back to renegotiate a lower lease rate with the property owner to help offset the cost to upgrade the existing sprinkler system.

In your business or even in your personal life, risk exposure changes and life-changing events occur often. As the CEO of your family or home, unexpected or even unnoticeable changes can affect you greatly if you don’t pay attention to it.

To properly protect your business or family, remember to include your insurance broker /agent in all major life-altering decisions.

So Remember: Call your insurance broker/agent for life-changing events such as growth opportunities, business diversification, and new product lines that come online.

In your personal life if you are planning a move, getting married or divorced, or even if your kid is moving out or back in call your agent. The amount of insurance you need and the items you want to insure will change all the way thru life so keep him/her on speed dial.

As your financial health improves for your family or business, you may even want to assume more of the risk by self-insuring more of that risk, by increasing the deductible to lower your premiums.

When purchasing a big-ticket item for your business or home, the first call you should make is your insurance broker/agent. In some cases, you will need to buy a floater as many times policies will limit the amount you can collect on a loss to a big-ticket item, which may be a fraction of the replacement value. In the case of something new, save the bill of sale with your inventory, and then fax a copy to your insurance agent. If the item is older, have an appraisal done. Again, save one copy and send another to your agent. That way, you’ll never have to worry about proving you owned an item, and there will never be a dispute over what it’s worth.

Keep pace with inflation. This is especially important with a homeowners policy. It may have cost you $200,000 to build your home 10 years ago, or if the housing market jumps off the charts, you should call your agent and have them you’re your replacement costs.

Many companies have an inflation guard, which covers the increasing cost of rebuilding. When your policy comes up for renewal, talk to your agent to verify that your coverage amounts are still realistic. And when you make an improvement, add it to the total.

Change is inevitable – except from a vending machine, and before too long that will change too. Winston Churchill once said, “There is nothing wrong with change, if it is in the right direction.” As for me, I’m still waiting on an apology from MLB Commissioner Bud Selig for messing up my dream.

Be Safe My Friends

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