Rick Vassar has found a niche subject (business risk insurance) that was lacking in coverage, so he wrote the book on it. And he did a great job doing it. The book, Hide, Here Comes the Insurance Guy; A Practical Guide to Understanding Business Insurance and Risk Management, is a job well done.
We all have to buy insurance for our cars, our homes, even our lives. But business insurance is a totally different animal. If you run a business, you have to have insurance. It’s that simple.
Rick spells out what that insurance is, why you need it and why you’ll be sorry if you don’t have it. He has demystified more than a few insurance terms, opened up the world of risk (and the risk is all yours without insurance) and given compelling case scenarios to show what can happen without insurance.
If I had to pick on something to critique, I’d say that some of his headlines don’t seem to match his later words, for example “Why people hate insurance” is the headline and then the anecdote that follows is about algebra. I would argue that people hate insurance because they pay and pay and pay and pay, and then finally, they submit a claim and they get hassled and hassled and hassled, until they finally settle for less than they should be getting from an insurance company. To me, that’s why people hate insurance.
I think, though, that Rick was tying Algebra — the subject everyone thinks they’ll never need — into insurance, because at some point in life you’ll need both. That is a pretty picky critique on my part, because nothing is perfect.
Back to the good stuff, I really like the way Rick has broken it down for you on the ins and outs of the insurance game. For one, he tells you to get more than one quote – at first that seems like common sense, but when was the last time you got a quote?
I had to think about it and for my car insurance, it’s been at least four years. How would I know if I’m getting the best rate if I haven’t bothered to shop around in four years? Nice reminder to me.
The same applies for business insurance and going through a broker. The broker is in business for himself or his company, not you. You are the payee and if you aren’t paying, they don’t make money, which is just part of the reason your insurance rates tend to go up every year, instead of down.
The book breaks down the claims process, defines your risk criteria, gives you the difference between self-insurance and no-insurance (personal alternative risk financing), brokers, lawyers and more.
When you are done reading this book you are going to understand:
The language of insurance
The insurance players who want your money
How to develop a sound insurance strategy
How to invest your time and efforts regarding insurance
And whether you are properly insured or not
Part two of the book is worth the cover price alone: Insurance 101. In this section Rick breaks down the different insurance policies, from cars to homes to worker’s compensation: what is covered, what isn’t, what you can expect from your insurance, time periods, and more.
Worker’s Compensation 101: worker’s compensation is mandatory in all states, but Rick explains that small businesses, based on the number of employees, can file for exemptions. He then goes on to explain why you may not want to do that. After all, even if you have two employees, if both of those employees get hurt, you aren’t covered (let the lawsuits begin). Even if you think that your cousin Fred would never sue you, or that he won’t get hurt because he’s super-athletic, think again. Accidents (and fraud) do happen, even with friends and family.
Rick’s enduring message through the whole book (174 pages, including Index) is to protect yourself and your business with insurance, while protecting your pocketbook from the insurance man. It’s a great book and I’m glad I have it on my business reference shelf.
Since the book is published by iUniverse, I’ll take moment to point out that it’s very well edited. The book has a great binding that I’ve been bending, pulling and adjusting on and it’s stuck together wonderfully. I would not be surprised to find this book as required reading in future business courses in colleges throughout the U.S. and for new insurance agents to give to their clients (smart marketing in action: educate the customer). The layout is professional and easy on the eyes.
As an avid book reader and buyer, I tend to shy away from self-published work – I’m glad I did not in this case. It’s a well done book that hands you information to make your life easier.