The economy of the past few years has caused many businesses to take a hard look at overall expenses and eliminate costs that they can survive without. Insurance premiums might seem like an easy expense to skip temporarily, but the risks heavily outweigh the monetary savings, says Scott Carroll, vice president and program director for Take 1 Insurance, U.S. Risk Insurance Group’s entertainment division. “You’ve got to step back and think, ‘Can I afford the risk of not having insurance’ in that situation that you can’t imagine what it might be,” he explains. “If you don’t have insurance and the bottom falls out, could you lose your company?”
This year Take 1 is celebrating its 15th year of service to the entertainment industry at large and 15 years of serving as the exclusive endorsed insurance provider for InfoComm members. While most insurance programs typically start without first consulting those who will be using it, Take 1 was developed with the industry in mind. “This program started by finding out what the constituency needed first, and then we built the program around it,” Carroll says. “It’s highly focused on members of the audiovisual communications industry, with a great emphasis on InfoComm members.”
In addition to knowing the particular needs of the AV community, Take 1 knows that businesses have been struggling. Carroll explains that reaching out to your insurance agent to explore various options is better than skipping out on insurance. “You can always talk to your insurance agent to try and come up with different solutions,” he says. “Every insurance company understands what is going on with the economy, and every insurance company is attempting to make sure they take a hard look at what that insured needs, and the rates that are being charged, and they try to work with that insured.” For instance, Take 1 offers a direct bill paying installment plan that is worked out over a 10-payment period. Also recently announced is a benefit to Info- Comm members who purchase a Take 1 inland marine and/or general liability policy. InfoComm members will automatically receive a 5 percent discount off the normal policy rates, and members can then earn up to an additional 20 percent discount upon receiving their CTS certification.
Besides discounts, the return on investment incentives provided by a comprehensive insurance package should be considered. “Really take a look and determine if this is what you need to get a better job, to get work that, if you didn’t have the insurance, you couldn’t qualify for,” explains Carroll. “Yes, it’s a cost of doing business in the beginning, but it might pay off down the road.”
As Take 1 continues its relationship with InfoComm, which has branches around the world, it is looking into expanding its product internationally. “We know many of our clients have international connections, that some have locations in other countries — Canada is a great example — and we try to help our insureds who also have those international exposures,” says Carroll. Take 1 is currently working on a program for the international members of InfoComm, specifically focusing on the European Union and Australia, but hopes to expand to all the countries that InfoComm services. “We’re attempting to grow the way we see the industry growing,” says Carroll.
Mary Bakija is the managing editor of Systems Contractor News