What Being Injured Taught Me About Risk Management

We can learn about risk management and insurance from our daily lives? Think about the times you may have gotten injured or something went wrong in your life that was preventable by incorporating risk management activities into your life. Right now I am going through one of those times in my life.

I am an avid runner but have been suffering through a foot injury all autumn which has prohibited me from running and doing pretty much any other exercise that requires me to put weight on my foot. To add insult to injury (pun intended), the fall is the prime racing season in distance running so I have not been able to race either. Granted, I am no Olympian by any stretch, but I like to challenge myself and get my competitive juices flowing so not being able to race, let alone run, has been very difficult for me.

So how does risk management play into this? First, the injury wasn’t due to some freak accident, it was caused most likely by my lack of doing the ancillary work I should have been doing to take care of my body. If I had stretched, done more strength work, and listened more to my body I probably would not be in the position of having to stay off of my foot. To put it bluntly, if I had done the things (risk management) that I know help prevent injury (loss) but I don’t really enjoy doing I would probably not be injured now.

According to my doctor I will be fine with rest and recuperation but that will take time. Even though I will be fine and my financial cost is limited, that does not mean I will come away unscathed from this injury. There are direct and indirect costs that cannot be redeemed. My stress levels were increased because I could no longer use running and exercise as a release. My health most definitely took a step back. I am sure there were other impacts as well, but the point is even when we are made whole after a loss we still suffer losses that we cannot recover.

We all know there are certain things we should be doing to prevent losses but don’t do them. I don’t do enough stretching, although I like to take comfort in the fact that I am sure I am not the only one not stretching as much as I should. Many companies don’t do the things they should be when it comes to risk management and they too can take solace in the fact their peers aren’t either. There are many reasons why companies don’t implement a risk management program, it could be a lack of resources, either financial or personnel, not knowing how to implement risk management, or it could be they just don’t see an ROI from risk management and therefore won’t even entertain the idea. Whatever the reason might be, in hindsight we all wish we would have done things differently after a loss, especially if we know it could have been prevented.

The less prepared you are the more a loss will hurt, trust me, I am experiencing this right now. Many companies don’t realize that insurance companies want to help you implement a risk management program. Insurance companies realize that investing in preventing a loss is much better for their bottom line then paying claims. What is surprising is how often new clients do not realize that these resources are available and that they cost you nothing, but their prior insurance broker never told them they were available. Your insurance broker should be more than someone who simply transacts an insurance placement on your behalf, they should be helping you manage your risk. This can be done by making sure your policy is actually covering what you need it to cover and helping you find ways to prevent losses in the first place.

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