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What Is a P&C Broker—and How Can They Support HR?

What Is a P&C Broker—and How Can They Support HR?

HR pros have a lot on their plates, especially in small to midsize businesses. 

But you’re not alone. Your organization’s property and casualty insurance broker can be an unexpected ally to help you tackle some of the stickiest parts of your job.

Read on for more about who your P&C broker is, how they can support you, and all five of the top HR challenges they can either help with—or take off your plate entirely. 


What Is Property and Casualty Insurance?

Commercial property and casualty insurance, also called P&C insurance, is a type of small business coverage that protects specific parts of your company. 

On the “property” side, this insurance protects the stuff your organization owns: equipment, technology, and even your building in some cases. 

On the “casualty” side, it protects your organization from liability when there’s an incident. That can include:

  • Workers’ compensation claims and other on-site injuries
  • Harm to your organization’s or leadership’s reputation, from things like slander and libel
  • Cyber attacks, from hacking to ransomware to password breaches
  • Employment practices liability, or EPL, which includes allegations of poor behavior from hiring discrimination to sexual harassment

Depending on your insurance policy, you may have worked with an insurance broker or an insurance agent. Both of them sell insurance, but there’s a key difference.

While some agents are contracted by multiple insurance companies, an insurance agent generally works for a specific provider. They’re an expert in the offerings of that provider, and they are able to enroll you in a plan directly.

A broker, on the other hand, works for you. It’s your broker’s job to research the insurance market and help you build a plan that works for your organization’s needs now, no matter which provider offers that perfect plan.  


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How a P&C Broker Can Support HR

Brokers who work on commission receive a bonus every year you choose to keep working with them. So it’s in their best interest to earn a reputation for being a trusted advisor.

Your broker is also extremely qualified to support HR. A P&C broker could have a hundred or more clients, so they’ll have experience in dozens of different tricky situations and know what works—and what doesn’t—for businesses similar to yours.

When you ask your broker about a certain HR challenge, they’ll be able to make valuable suggestions. They might suggest a certain software that worked well for a dozen other organizations in your area. Or they might point you toward a training program or coach who came highly recommended by another client. 

HR will still have to run and manage the program, but outsourcing the burden of finding one in the first place can save many hours of research so you can get down to business and stay compliant more easily. 


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5 HR Challenges to Outsource to a P&C Broker

As your insurance broker becomes a trusted advisor for you and your organization, the possibilities will be nearly endless for ways they can support your HR role. Here are five key examples:

  • Workplace safety.

Your broker has seen it all, and they’ll be able to think of safety concerns even your OSHA checklist didn’t cover. They can help you stay compliant as well as protect customers and others who might come to your place of business or use your products or services.

  • Employee liability.

Ask your broker what kinds of employee liability an organization like yours should look out for. Sexual harassment training is a common one, but they’ll also have tips for avoiding unintentional discrimination in hiring and promotion, preventing wrongful termination claims, and more.

  • Cybersecurity.

Keeping your network secure is more critical than ever. Your broker has likely worked with teams using all the most common cybersecurity measures, and teams that have weathered a breach, so they’ll be able to point you in the right direction to keep your digital information safe.

  • Property loss. 

If your company is the victim of theft, accident, or natural disaster that leads to property loss, you’ll want to already be prepared. Talk to your broker about the kinds of coverage that would protect you in these situations, and if one of them does affect your business, seek their advice on how to respond effectively and efficiently.

  • General training.

Finally, your broker should be able to offer counsel on general employee training. For example, if your employees have to keep their certifications up to date to keep practicing, your broker can recommend a plan for tracking and maintaining employee credentials so you avoid a potential lawsuit. According to HR consultant Tony DiRico in a recent LinkedIn post, general training is especially important in today’s organizations where change happens more quickly than ever:

“Organizations are constantly in flux…. If economic conditions, industries, marketplaces, technology, and the legal landscape don’t remain static, your employees can’t either—lest they and your company fall behind.”


Those aren’t the only ways your broker can support you in your HR role, but it should be enough to get you started. Your broker should be a partner and trusted advisor, and with their help, you can stay compliant, support your team, and make your organization a great place to work.


Additional Resources

You can stay informed, educated, and up to date with important HR topics using BerniePortal’s comprehensive resources:

  • BernieU—free online HR courses, approved for SHRM and HRCI recertification credit
  • BerniePortal Blog—a one-stop shop for HR industry news
  • HR Glossary—featuring the most common HR terms, acronyms, and compliance
  • Resource Library—essential guides covering a comprehensive list of HR topics
  • HR Party of One—our popular YouTube series and podcast, covering emerging HR trends and enduring HR topics


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