As a home inspector, you know that things don’t always go according to plan. Success in home inspection always involves some amount of risk, but by building a risk management program, your business can manage those risks to better protect your employees from harm and shield your business from associated costs.
Fundamentals of Your Risk Management Program
A successful risk management program should be developed proactively ahead of potential risks, so that you aren’t caught off guard by the unexpected. Start by establishing the 4 key fundamentals of the program:
- Reasons and objectives: State the reasons for establishing the program. Your objectives help determine a proper depth and scope for your program development.
- Policy statement: Draft a policy statement to share with any employees. Outline program objectives and explain the goals of a successful and effective program.
- Assignment of responsibilities: Assign responsibilities to all employees. Ensure everyone is involved and has a role to play in program success.
- Plan for communication: Implement a system for quick and efficient communication. Reviewing program results can also help identify areas for modification and improvement.
Establishing plan fundamentals will give a supportive foundation for developing your risk management program. Keep in mind that a successful program takes time to build. New elements can be added as needed and past policies can be refined for better results, once a strong foundation is in place.
Elements to Include in Your Program
For home inspectors, these 7 plan elements have been shown to lead to better safety and fewer claims and accidents:
- Selection and placement of personnel: Remember proper role placement is key. If you are hiring employees, assign the most qualified person for each role.
- Establishment of rules and procedures: Develop general and specific rules and implement the guidelines that employees will need to follow.
- Incidents reporting, investigation and analysis: Create a system to ensure all incidents are reported immediately, promptly investigated to uncover facts and causes and analyzed so that corrective actions can be taken.
- Training: Implement a program to provide initial and ongoing training for all employees.
- Emergency preparedness: Designate procedures to follow for first-aid, treatment of serious injuries and natural disasters.
- Engagement and motivation: Stay engaged in risk management efforts.
Five Strategies for Reducing the Risk to Your Business
Businesses like yours face unique risks frequently associated with the industry. Make sure your risk management program addresses these added business risks. Here are five simple strategies you can easily implement to reduce your risk:
- Don’t rush hiring: Pre-screen candidates and hold one or even two interviews before hiring to ensure a good fit and minimize turnover.
- Implement driver guidelines: Ensure all drivers of company vehicles have a valid driver’s license, clean driving record and adhere to mobile device usage bans and safe driving policies.
- Create client communication standards: Review all communication pieces clients see, and ensure the language is clear and consistent from piece to piece.
- Set expectations with clients: Remind clients that an inspection is not a warranty. Reiterate in person what an inspection entails and what it can and cannot reveal.
- Manage any complaints: If a client complains, acknowledge the complaint and get all the details you need and document them. Share the information with your insurance company, as they may be able to help you resolve the complaint.
For more information about building a risk management program and building a comprehensive insurance plan for your business, contact Lockton Affinity’s Home Inspectors Insurance Solutions Program.