Hiring an Insurance Consultant Or Any Advisor – 23 Keys

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23 keys – Hiring an Insurance Consultant

The 23 keys for Hiring an Insurance Consultant are great common sense tools. . I had written a similar article here on hiring insurance consultants. The consultants I am referring to are non-agent consultants. This excludes any type of consultant that may be selling insurance products of any type. You want an unbiased opinion.

Picture of Key On Door Knob Hiring an Insurance Consultant Or Any Advisor
(c) 123rf.com

This list is not in any order of importance. The list was generated from real-world examples. We often have to clean up the mess the last consultant left behin.

  1. Make sure that you really need one. Can you do it yourself? You may not even need to hire an insurance consultant. #2 in the list will likely aide you in your decision
  2. Have you defined what you want? An outline of the goals that you wish to accomplish is necessary to proceed further into the consultant search. A short Request For Proposal (RFP) may be very helpful.
  3. Know the consultant’s background – the exact one that will be working on your project? Many times a potential consultant company will list down their “big gun” consultants only to give your project to a trainee later in the process. I have seen this happen very often.
  4. Know the company that made the website. Any company can put up a website calling themselves consultants. A search of the state corporation database is very helpful.
  5. Cheap is not the best, but most expensive is not either. Early in my consultant career, I was often told that I was eliminated from contention on bids as I was “too cheap” on the amount that I was proposing to charge the client. Bringing in the most expensive consultant does not mean better quality. See #3 above.
    Female Insurance Consultant Close up Picture
    StockUnlimited
  6. References are a must. Email each one that is provided with a few questions.
  7. Outlandish claims of cost savings are just that. In the premium audit business, I now see claims that 70%, 80%, or even recently 90% of all Workers Comp insurance policies are incorrect. That is just not true and has no statistical validation.
  8. Explore the initials at the end of their names. Some of the initials such as the ones I have – ChFC, ARM, MBA, AIC should all be researched. It may look good, but not apply to your project.
  9. If it is a large enough project, check out a D&B Report. If the potential consultant company does not have a D&B number, that should be a red flag.
  10. The first phone call is critical, emails – not so much. As with first impressions, the first phone call you make to the consultant company will usually have the consultant unprepared and not in the “canned phone speech” mode.
  11. How long has the company been in existence? With so many people being unemployed, will the consultant company be around when the job market recovers in the future?
    Picture of Couples and Agent Hiring an Insurance Consultant Workers Comp
    (c) 123rf.com
  12. Check databases such as Department of Insurance for licenses, suspensions, and especially license expiration.
  13. Does everything look too flashy in the website? The flashy websites seem to come and go every few months along with the associated companies. Insurance-based websites are not usually known for flashiness. What is the company trying to make up for or trying to hide?
  14. LinkedIn Profile – If the consultant does not have a FULL LinkedIn profile, that should raise many red flags. The service is free to add in a profile. There is no reason to not have one – none.
  15. Are they really writing their own blog? I have been offered $$ to write in other company’s blogs or to borrow articles from here. I also know of six people writing blogs for other people. Why cannot the consultant write their own blog? This is a big red flag.
  16. Do they have experience in the area for which you are searching for help? There are hundreds of lines of insurance. Calling in a plumber to fix the lighting is not a good idea.
    Man Insurance Consultant Talking To Couple
    StockUnlimited
  17. What organizations do they participate in and are they officers or on the BOD?
  18. Are clients all in one state? If they only have clients in Wisconsin and you are in Oregon, the rules and laws are so very different.
  19. Are there any states they will not operate in? Why? Some of our competitors will not operate in CA. We operate there with no problem.
  20. Do they have a blog/newsletter – How often updated? I sometimes get a little behind in the articles. There are actually award-winning blogs that have not been updated in 9 years.
  21. Are they listed with the BBB, Best’s, etc.? Best’s should be a minimum qualification.
  22. Are they brick and mortar? This was becoming less of a concern recently. However, the long-term companies are usually office-based. This is not for all types, especially CAT adjusters.
  23. Check out whois.net to see who actually owns the website. As J&L grew in size, we had to mask the contact info as we were getting over 100,000 junk emails a day per employee. Check the address after [email protected] in the email address such as [email protected]companyname.com. You may be in for a real shock.

This is not an all-inclusive list. It is a great starting point for hiring an insurance consultant. Your gut feeling should rule the day.

©J&L Risk Management Inc Copyright Notice

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James Moore

Raleigh, NC, United States

About The Author...

James founded a Workers’ Compensation consulting firm, J&L Risk Mgmt Consultants, Inc. in 1996. J&L’s mission is to reduce our clients’ Workers Compensation premiums by using time-tested techniques. J&L’s claims, premium, reserve and Experience Mod reviews have saved employers over $9.8 million in earned premiums over the last three years. J&L has saved numerous companies from bankruptcy proceedings as a result of insurance overpayments.

James has over 27 years of experience in insurance claims, audit, and underwriting, specializing in Workers’ Compensation. He has supervised, and managed the administration of Workers’ Compensation claims, and underwriting in over 45 states. His professional experience includes being the Director of Risk Management for the North Carolina School Boards Association. He created a very successful Workers’ Compensation Injury Rehabilitation Unit for school personnel.

James’s educational background, which centered on computer technology, culminated in earning a Masters of Business Administration (MBA); an Associate in Claims designation (AIC); and an Associate in Risk Management designation (ARM). He is a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and a licensed financial advisor. The NC Department of Insurance has certified him as an insurance instructor. He also possesses a Bachelors’ Degree in Actuarial Science.

LexisNexis has twice recognized his blog as one of the Top 25 Blogs on Workers’ Compensation. J&L has been listed in AM Best’s Preferred Providers Directory for Insurance Experts – Workers Compensation for over eight years. He recently won the prestigious Baucom Shine Lifetime Achievement Award for his volunteer contributions to the area of risk management and safety. James was recently named as an instructor for the prestigious Insurance Academy.

James is on the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the North Carolina Mid-State Safety Council. He has published two manuals on Workers’ Compensation and three different claims processing manuals. He has also written and has been quoted in numerous articles on reducing Workers’ Compensation costs for public and private employers. James publishes a weekly newsletter with 7,000 readers.

He currently possess press credentials and am invited to various national Workers Compensation conferences as a reporter.

James’s articles or interviews on Workers’ Compensation have appeared in the following publications or websites:

  • Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS)
  • Entrepreneur Magazine
  • Bloomberg Business News
  • WorkCompCentral.com
  • Claims Magazine
  • Risk & Insurance Magazine
  • Insurance Journal
  • Workers Compensation.com
  • LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites
  • Various trade publications

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