January 14, 2022

WGIS Column: Things Change. Make Sure You are Protected.

By Jeff Gullickson, President of Western Growers Insurance Services

Conversing with several members of Western Growers about their business operations, there is a common understanding that long-term personal relationships with current brokers are difficult to break. We agreed there is no expectation to leave such a relationship based simply on a Western Growers affiliation.

However, time changes all. Whether that be within business structure, team compilation or the current broker relationship. Outgrowing the capability of a broker in the insurance industry is a commonly ignored occurrence, which typically arises from client growth over time.

Changes in a business are a matter of when, not if. Before that change happens, we want a seat at the table to demonstrate our capabilities, so that when the inevitable happens you have a partner that has a proven track record of seamless transfers. Our success supporting members through these changes gives us the confidence and wherewithal to step in when you are ready.

“What will you do that’s different than my agent?” This is the perfect question from an inquisitive CFO or general counsel, and one we often get from members.

Our answer is simple!

The affiliation with Western Growers has allowed us to “connect the dots” with resources that no other brokerage can offer. Several of these resources include Walt Duflock in Technology, De Ann Davis in Science, Karen Timmins in HR, Jason Resnick in Legal and David Zanze in Pinnacle Claims Management. In other words, we do not sell insurance; we offer an incomparable team that truly understands agriculture and food.

Through our team’s expertise, and focus on agriculture, WGIS is in a unique position to create solutions specifically tailored to the agriculture industry that are not available anywhere else.

Proprietary Solutions:

Connected Worker Program

  • Created to keep your workers working by ensuring their safety through wearable tech
  • Helps broaden the reach of your safety and supervisory teams, creating actionable data
  • Decreases your workers’ compensation premiums (i.e., save the company money)

Employee Benefits Transparency

  • Data—based on input from your peer members, we now share the claims data from Western Growers Assurance Trust
  • Transparency—WGIS guides your team in how to properly analyze your claims reports and evaluate your claims, pharmacy and health management utilization
  • Decrease Premiums—WGIS works with your team to use data to address the cost drivers in your program and reduce the cost of claims

FoodGuardian Program

  • A food safety and supply chain risk management program created to protect your business
  • Offers tailored, vetted, best-in-class, grower/packer/shipper specific risk mitigation solutions
  • WGIS utilizes the following three-prong solution to improve processes:
    1. reduce recall durations;
    2. offer proven reduction in premiums; and
    3. ensure that quality, safe products are delivered.

Management Liability

This is also known as corporate risk management, and when done correctly, achieves the following:

  • Provides a Suite of Coverages—Employment Practices Liability, Cyber Risk, and Directors and Officers Liabilities
  • Delivers Transparency—WGIS creates, delivers and ensures market-leading transparency by making sure you understand our solutions, where you have financial risks and how to best mitigate

Oftentimes, coverages are neither mandatory nor expensive, but they are highly misunderstood. Transparency is the foundation of WGIS, and our team will walk you through each coverage option and help you understand where you have holes. Financial risk in these areas is too high not to understand.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, change is constant. WGIS is dedicated to helping you stay ahead of the change by offering you programs designed to protect your workforce while de-risking your operation and decreasing your premiums.

To learn more about our programs and navigate potential financial risk, please feel free to reach out to me directly at jgullickson@wgis.com.