Last week I gave a speech entitled “How the Changing Insurance Market in Florida Affects Your Business” at a meeting of the Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce.

In order to make the most important point of my speech memorable, I started the speech by asking all the insurance agents in attendance to stand up. About a dozen or so did, and I am certain they were wondering what kind of lawyer trick I was up to.

I then made an announcement that went something like this:

“The people standing up are some of the most important professionals to your business, your employees and you. A catastrophe can substantially affect even the most successful business and create a financial catastrophe for the business owner and his or her employees.

You do not read your insurance policies. Even if you did, you would probably not understand  all the terms and the resulting legal implications. Neither are you aware of the various coverages available in the marketplace and how they could protect you in the event of a catastrophe. .

When your business was not as profitable, it did not matter as much whether you were properly insured. You had less to lose and fewer employees and their families depending on your business. Physical destruction of property and the resulting loss of revenue, coupled with expenses, can devastate any business. Having the “peace of mind” that you have selected the right insurance agent becomes very significant to you, your family and your employees and their families–even your banker and other businesses have an interest in the survival of your business.

Most likely, the insurance you buy is purchased on the recommendation of your insurance agent. A good agent will educate a business owner on the types coverage available and coverage necessary for your business to survive a catastrophe.

Trained, dedicated, and professional insurance agents play the most significant roll of any type of individual in preparing you for a loss. If you do not have the right type of insurance or enough of it, you are jeopardizing yourself and your employees.

If I could give you one piece of advice, I would suggest you contact one of the people standing or call your insurance agent and have him or her review and explain your business coverage as soon as possible. Insurance agents provide security when you need it the most. You should contact yours now, before it is too late.”

As you can imagine, the insurance agents in the audience liked the speech. I truly love insurance agents. Without their product, I would not have the peace of mind in knowing that my family, my business, my employees and their families will survive financially if a catastrophe hits.

On a lighter note, as I noted during the presentation, my insurance defense colleagues and I are beholden to those insurance agents. If they didn’t sell policies, there would be no work for us.

Insurance transactions and coverages are easily mixed up, not purchased properly, or not purchased in sufficient amounts. The results of that can be financially devastating. If I had to give any of my corporate, commercial, governmental and condominium clients only one piece of advice as we make our way through the hurricane season, I would simply say “get a good agent into your office, go over your entire business operation, and ask for help getting all the protection you need and can afford. You, and everybody hitching their star to your financial wagon, will sleep better for it.