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MARSH SUPPLIER SELECT
With supply chains becoming more critical, exposing companies to heightened risks, some organizations find it a stretch to validate their suppliers’ insurance coverage, ensure supply chain efficiency and avoid claims globally.
The need for an efficient method to procure insurance for small, often new suppliers became evident to Erica Chervony, Atlanta-based associate producer at Marsh LLC, who began working at the brokerage three years ago as an account representative for a large retail organization.
“I saw a clear need for suppliers who wanted to do business with big-box stores,” she said. “But if they were small, new suppliers in China or India, for example, without operations in the U.S., they couldn’t get insurance here and often didn’t have the resources to get it.”
After she discovered there was no program in place to help the companies, she began looking for a solution. With the help of coworkers Candace Lemond, Mac Nadel, David Schwartzenfeld and colleagues from Marsh Digital, a new program, Marsh Supplier Select, was launched in February. The timing of the program, a winner of a 2020 Business Insurance Innovation Award, proved to be perfect for what was coming.
“A store that has a supplier that can no longer work with them because of coronavirus, for example, may need to diversify and find a supplier abroad that may not be insured,” Ms. Chervony said. “With this program the company can direct the supplier to the Marsh Supplier Select portal; they get a quote and pay for the product right away. They then get a certificate, and they can do business together immediately.”
The program is designed to help suppliers in other countries, as well as U.S. suppliers that don’t have the resources to obtain the coverage they need, such as farmers who want to sell their products to grocery stores, she said.
Marsh Supplier Select also relieves risk management departments from the job of finding coverage for such suppliers. “Several risk managers I talked to said the burden typically falls on their buyers to ensure that all their suppliers meet the insurance requirements,” Ms. Chervony said. “When the suppliers can’t get coverage, however, the problem falls onto the risk managers who must find a solution.”
The response all around has been very positive, she added. “Especially since it’s a digital tool, it’s easy for anyone who needs it to get insurance,” she said.
Insurers, brokers, technology companies and others continue to roll out new products and services during the COVID-19 pandemic and in many cases the new offerings specifically address issues that risk managers face due to coronavirus-related concerns and restrictions.