Construction is among the fastest growing global industries, a status it's expected to enjoy for at least the next 10 to 20 years. Yet, as construction businesses look to thrive in this growth environment, there is only a small pool of talented individuals available to help them manage their risks. That's particularly the case in the areas of loss management and loss control.
The issue becomes especially acute at the moment when a hard commercial insurance market presents construction businesses with a virtual "trifecta" of challenges: higher premiums, increased retentions and, in some cases, limited access to insurance.
In this environment, it's critical for contractors and developers to invest in risk management resources and promote a culture of loss prevention and safety. Doing so effectively can help drive down a company's total cost of risk (TCOR), and create opportunities to secure the insurance solutions that meet their unique project needs by aligning long-term partnerships with service providers.
More and more, insurance companies, brokerage firms and even insureds are looking to augment and partner with third parties in order to provide appropriate loss prevention and loss control services. This is the space in the marketplace in which Gallagher Bassett (GB) has invested and is committed to providing tailored solutions across all phases of the project lifecycle.
Along the way, we will undoubtedly enhance and improve clients' results and outcomes.
Broad Industry Challenges, Regional Nuances
The construction industry faces broad challenges and experiences similar trends across the country. Among them are the availability and access to insurance coverage, hard market pressures on prices and rates, insurance capacity, and the need for appropriate loss prevention and loss control resources.
The specifics of these challenges may vary based on a number of factors, including geography, project type, the local legal liability environment, or the type of labor force. For example, in the Northeast region of the U.S., construction companies doing business in the five boroughs of New York face persistent increases in general and excess liability rates, as well as capacity issues and access to quality insurers. Additional pressures from increasing workers' compensation and general liability claims costs are further reducing access to some insurers.
With the specifics of construction companies' risk management and insurance challenges varying by region, project and other factors, those businesses require tailored, data-driven solutions built around their unique needs. GB has designed robust safety and loss prevention programs and found ways to link them to mitigating claims. The quality of data, and the speed with which it can be collected and analyzed, is vital to the response and management of an incident. GB has found creative ways to link loss prevention and loss control to claims adjustment, then has taken it a step further with data analytics, using loss control data to gain insights into potential losses and help clients make better decisions about exposures.
One of the key differentiators in partnering with GB is that our company leverages claims and risk management professionals across the country with regional expertise in the nuances of different construction markets. This ability to leverage our people across the country to deliver solutions where they're needed is one of the greatest values we can offer to construction businesses.
It was GB's commitment and focused investment in building out tailored risk management solutions for the construction industry that led me to join as senior vice president to lead GB's Construction vertical.
GB has the expertise, depth of experience, and claims management capability to partner with businesses better than any other firm in the marketplace. We are creating a scalable partnership platform that speaks to the needs and language of every distribution channel in the industry.
GB's culture is on of prevention and safety. We can help a construction business create a safety culture early in the project planning stage, then build that culture with them over the course of that and future projects. Long-term partnerships are keys to success in the construction industry, including across the insurance chain, from brokerage to insurer to insured. Insurers want to partner with construction companies with a culture of care. GB can help companies build that culture.
Over 20 years as in-house risk manager for construction companies, I've been involved in everything from managing international programs to forming complex captives and creating new products and programs. Coming from a place of actual construction industry experience, we speak the language of our clients and can align ourselves with the unique aspects of their organizations. Now, I can use that knowledge and my buyer's perspective to support the construction industry on a national scale. As GB's construction risk manager, I will support all of our divisions and services by bringing a synthesized and integrated approach that can be both tailored and scalable, delivering superior results.
End-to-End Services, Integrated Solutions
Our team at GB can provide end-to-end risk and claims management services and integrated solutions for the entire lifecycle of a construction project. We offer those solutions through a combination of GB Technical Services (GBTS), which provides Environmental Health & Safety (EHS), loss prevention, and incident investigation in tandem with our claims management and administration teams. We have the talent to manage high-severity catastrophic claims, construction defect claims, as well as the day-to-day worksite claims.
Each of our services is supported by powerful data analytics tools designed to create intelligence around leading and lagging indicators. Our extensive in-house capabilities and expertise create a unique business model which allows us to create "micro" risk management teams dedicated to supporting tailored insurance programs on projects. The GB approach presents a win-win for all parties in the distribution chain, and serves as a force multiplier for the services we can provide to construction businesses. This integrated approach and efficiency will allow us to learn more over time and evolve processes to drive the best possible results for our clients.
Improving Access to Insurance
In addition to improving construction companies' results and outcomes, GB's approach can also improve access to insurance. We emphasize loss prevention and loss control — the cornerstones of every successful risk management program.
Insurance allows businesses to operate, manage risk, and build. GB helps clients get better access to insurance in a more cost-effective fashion. Our services can even assist construction companies discover unique ways to operate more efficiently. In challenging economic times, those efficiencies and insurance cost controls can help construction companies better manage project outcomes.
Insurance companies are increasingly looking to outsource claims, loss prevention, and loss control. So, while GB helps insureds improve outcomes, we're also helping the insurer community by supporting the services they need to better manage their balance sheets and outcomes.
And, as risk retentions increase, builders are taking on more risk than ever. So more and more, it's essential for insurance buyers to have the right risk management programs in place. By using our services and support to better manage their retentions and TCOR, insurance buyers potentially open up new avenues of profitability and margin in terms of how they choose to finance their risk. For a construction company, that can become a true business differentiator.
A True Risk Management Partner
Over my last 20 years in construction risk management, when one heard "Gallagher Bassett," it was common to first think "third-party administrator." The reality is, Gallagher Bassett is a risk management partner, and we have a unique opportunity right now to not only provide solutions, but to build long-term risk management partnerships that can help businesses achieve superior outcomes.
Gallagher Bassett offers all the risk management expertise and services a construction company might need under a single banner, allowing us to deploy those experienced professionals as teams that can generate significant efficiencies and form powerful relationships. GB has the ability to partner with every element of the insurance chain and the ability to deliver solutions now and in the future in a way that speaks the language of smart business.
For more information, please visit https://links.gallagherbassett.com/what-matters-most
. Greg Perruzzi is responsible for ensuring the integration, evolution, promotion, and outcomes of Gallagher Bassett's industry-leading construction claims and risk management solutions. His expertise is multi-faceted, with a particular focus in casualty insurance programs and captives. For more than 20 years, Greg has been providing solutions to some of the largest constructions management and real-estate development companies.