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Business Auto: Knowing the Risk

Fall 2022 Issue

By Jason Vega, Marketing Representative

It was almost 10 p.m. as I sat in the cab of the tractor, pulling the knob to turn on the power take-off. I held down Button Three to extend the auger arm and hit Button Two to turn on the auger, unloading the corn from the grain cart onto the semi-trailer. As the wind blew and the dust was stirring, I could see my in-laws approach in the distance as the new LED lightbars lit up the darkened field. We were in a hurry as a storm was approaching and we needed to get to the neighbor’s field before the rain began. We moved all the equipment in a rush — tractors, trucks, grain trucks, semis and combine — to pull as much corn out of the field for the neighbor as possible before the rain unleashed. Yes, this is the picture of harvest season at its peak.

Over the years, I have grown to appreciate this experience as a somewhat regular occurrence among those in the farming community. I have witnessed multiple neighbors assisting my in-laws and vice versa. Friends and neighbors helping each other in the community is just part of how they operate their business.

When considering your farm truck and commercial auto clients, how many of them are doing things in their business that you do not know about? Would they be surprised that they are putting themselves or others at potential risk?

Working together, we can proactively find the most comprehensive solution to meet each client’s needs. Our underwriters will be taking the necessary time for an in-depth review of all risk and then recommending to agents which additional information is needed to gain a complete understanding of exposures. We will be using best practices, thorough data collection and business systems to make this process fast and accurate. Your assistance will be an integral component of the process.

Not every risk will fall into the appetite or expertise of 1st Auto or perhaps your agency, and that is beneficial to uncover in the beginning. Knowing the needs of your clients can help you assess which other endorsements may fill their needs. They “don’t know what they don’t know” until you take the opportunity to ask the right questions. Working with your clients to have a better understanding of how they really operate their day-to-day business is extremely important in identifying opportunities and finding coverage gaps to address.

Just as my in-laws may not look at helping their neighbors as a potential change in risk exposure, your clients too need to evaluate the activities of their business and the potential impacts. At 1st Auto, using our cargo coverage on the farm truck would address the specific coverage needs of my in-laws when they are doing some limited hauling of grain for others. There are many endorsements available to address the needs of your clients and you have the inside track to open that discussion.

Is there a storm approaching your clients and are they making preparations to weather that storm? By providing them with professional insurance recommendations tailored to their situation, you may prevent a costly mistake for your client and a very difficult conversation and potential E&O claim for your agency. Your relationship and good understanding of the scope of their business is instrumental in making yourself a trusted advisor and helping protect the assets they have spent a lifetime to collect.

Our customers are working in the real world and encountering real risks. They, in turn, are looking for real answers. Whether you are writing farm trucks or commercial autos, our marketing and business auto underwriting teams are eager to assist you with real solutions.

Thank you for partnering with 1st Auto to build on your success!