My Best Insurance Advice for a Startup

#1 Make Sure Your Business Is Insurable.

I hope this new business has control measures in place to keep the cats away from the birds.

I hope this new business has control measures in place to keep the cats away from the birds.

Do this. Consult with an independent commercial insurance agent.

Why? When the time comes you need to know that you can get insurance and at a decent price.

If you are a technology or consulting company and are pushing the current norms then I think it is worth the effort to confirm you can get insurance.

A day will come when you will sign a lease, land a big contract or realize that not having a risk management plan in place is not a good thing.

#2 Do Not Let Your Clients Insurance Requirements Dictate the Coverage You Purchase.

Do not do this: You land a new client. The client emails the contract. You review it. You notice a section that has insurance requirements. You call your agent and forward the requirements and ask for a quote.

My point is the insurance requirements of your future client was written with their best interest in mind not yours.

Talk to an insurance professional and tell them your business story and what you do. Allow them to help you with a risk analysis.

#3 Do Not Be a Jerk

I role play in the video above to give a clearer understanding of what I mean.

There is a right approach and a wrong approach.

The wrong approach: I am a new business and do not have any money for insurance but I need it. I need it for this contract I just got. And I need it in 4 days. Email me your best price and I will let you know.

This phone call generally leads to a 2nd phone call 2 days later. "I called 12 agents and no one is calling me back. I really need some help."

The right approach: This is my first time purchasing business insurance. I could really use some help in understanding what these insurance requirements mean and how the process works. I am going to contact 2-3 agents because I want to do my due diligence. I want to consider the overall value of coverage and what you have to offer. What are the next steps?

I hope you found this helpful.

Next Step: Schedule a 10 min call with me

Terry Grier is a commercial insurance agent in the Austin area. He has a passion for helping entrepreneurs. 

When I talk with small businesses in Texas I get it. I understand. They are focused on TOP LINE REVENUE and PROFIT.  Insurance is a expense and sometimes a significant expense. 
But one thing I have learned in my years in insurance, it exists for a reason. I am here to help...

Time Is The Enemy

Used with permission. Photo by Casey Moore.

Used with permission. Photo by Casey Moore.


This is a saying that my father has told me for at least 20 years. I used to think it meant that I should seize the day and not procrastinate. As I have gotten older and I see my father getting older I view each day I get to spend with him as a precious moment and I have come to understand it in a different manner. Your time on this earth is limited. Make each day count for something. It is less about the volume of activity but the quality of the activity.

I sat down over this extended break and really reviewed what is on my task and project lists and tried keep my fathers saying as my filter for every action I considered. While I have a long list of different things I am going to strive to do differently or just more effectively in 2104 they can be brought under 2 main headings.

Meet, Connect and Help More People.

I am an Insurance agent. I love my job/career. My success is directly connected to my activity.  2014 I will be moving into my third year as an insurance agent in Austin. One of my goals last year was to make 20 sales calls a day. It is not on my list for 2014.

Mid year I met with Tony Psaromatis a loan officer here in Austin.  He was referred to me by my good friend Melissa Lombard.  My meeting with Tony went totally different that I had expected. Honestly, I was an insurance agent looking for a referral source and I was hoping to make a positive impression. Much like my goal of making 20 calls a day I approached my meeting with Tony with “What is in it for me” with the afterthought of I might be able to provide him something in return. He approached the meeting with a completely different mindset: What could he do for me.  What was my biggest challenge that he could help me solve.  He was sincere and engaging.

I asked about his approach and he started explaining some basics to his approach and attributed them to a book by Michael Maher “The Seven Levels of Communication”.  As a person who has been in sales my whole adult life I always cringe a little when I hear about some new book that is going to change my life and increase my earnings 10 fold. I left the meeting not sold on the idea of reading the book but it was Tony and his attitude that made me read it and I am glad he did. My first action?  Stop making 20 cold calls asking people to give me something. Instead I started making 10 calls to friends and clients asking if I could help them in some way. I made a personal goal of finding 10 people that accepted referrals and worked hard to refer someone to them. I was successful with some and struggled with others and improved along the way. I am happy to report that 70% of my 2013 annual income came after I changed this mindset.

Therefore my formula of success for 2014 will be:

Hard Work + Generosity = Success

Read about how I changed my morning routine after meeting Tony and reading 7L.

Put more quality content on the internet

I love the current content revolution. Everyone can find a medium for putting their thoughts on the internet. Social Media, Blogging, Youtube, Podcasts etc. I enjoy adding my voice to the internet. I enjoy the challenge of producing content and I love the interaction.  I learned a good deal while producing our When in Austin Podcast in 2013.  But I lost my way when I forgot what the point of doing the podcast was.  I thought it was about building a larger and larger audience but that proved empty. My content production in 2014 will be viewed through the single lens of:

Moving an Online relationship into a Face to Face Relationship

I could list 20 people that I now know that first started as a twitter exchange. And now I am starting that same process with Google Plus.

In 2014 I plan to broaden my content creation including, trying my hand at Youtube, podcasts in a different format, utilizing Google Live Hangouts all with that one goal in mind.  To meet YOU in person and find out if I can help you.

If you want to discuss any of the above call me and lets meet.  512-948-8517

Success Story: Event Insurance


Hosting or being a vendor at an event generally requires proof of liability insurance to be provided to the location or venue.

For some small businesses who might not have had the need for business insurance can find themselves in a crunch for time. Sometimes a business has even committed resources ($) to the event but the issue of general liability insurance  must be resolved or the business will not be able to attend or host the event.

Recently, I was able to help two local Austin businesses with this exact scenario.   After receiving the insurance requirements from the host location I was able to review the requirements in detail and then approach a variety of insurance carries to find the best overall value.  In the best possible case I have turned these types of requests around as quickly as 48 hours. 

Between the quick turn around and the use of DocuSign to electronically sign the required documents the most painful part for my new client was writing the check :). 

Both Clients were grateful and said so and I have received a referral due to my work.

If you know a small business that might need general liability insurance either for a upcoming business event or just for their business, do me a favor, pick up the phone right now and call me at 512-948-8517 - really I will answer the call. 

Update:  If you are planning an event and need equipment (Tables, Chairs, Tents and almost anything else you need for a great event or party) contact Darin at United Rent All here in Austin. He is a great guy and a business insurance client of mine.  He has been in business in Austin a long time and knows how to treat his customers right.  Give him a call at 512-452-9206.