Reduce Your Insurance Premium: The Benefits of Security Certification

This will all make sense about halfway through the article... Image: josefkubes / iStock / Getty Images Plus

The annual Nightclub & Bar Show provide attendees with opportunities to discover new products and services, network with industry peers, party at some of the most cutting-edge nightlife venues in the world, and attend education sessions presented by top industry experts. On top of our training offerings, some of our programs can actually reduce your expenses and go right to your bottom line.

Certifications such as the National HOST Security Certification Program. HOST is the mandated California Proprietary Security Officer (PSO) Licensing Training for all California in-house security guards or "bouncers."

The program may not be required in all 50 states (yet), but it’s crucial to every operator across the country. To say this program can save businesses, money and, most importantly, lives isn’t an overstatement.

“The industry needs this type of training because on my end, I deal with claims,” says Pike Barber, president of Hospitality Insurance Agency. “So, what are my claims? Assault and battery, and liquor liability. Are they severe? Are people dying? Yeah. I mean, goodness gracious, we've paid out millions of dollars with people dying.”

Barber met Robert Smith, CEO and president of Nightclub Security Consultants and creator of the National HOST Security Certification Program, a decade ago at the Nightclub & Bar Show. A national insurance broker, Barber approached Smith about using his training programs to help mitigate venue liability and assault and battery issues with restaurants, clubs and bars across the country. As a result, owners and operators who complete HOST certification receive premium discounts for their insurance coverage.

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The above result isn’t a lucky “perk” of earning HOST certification. Barber has met with presidents and heads of underwriting of insurance providers. He’s explained what Smith, Nightclub Security Consultants, and the certification program teaches owners, operators, managers and staff. And the providers have listened.

“[I] was able to work with them to come up with a percentage discount that could be offered based on different levels of training that you completed through Nightclub Security Consultants,” says Barber.

A simple example of that training to which most operators can relate is a video exercise utilized by Smith. In the video, a man is refused entry to a bar. Rather than letting the refusal go, the man finds a brick, returns to the bar, and throws it through a large front window. He runs away after throwing the brick through the window of the bar.

Should the security staff chase the man? Or should they call the authorities, providing a description, name from the ID if it was presented before they refused entry, and the direction the man fled?

In the video, four of the security staff members chased after the man. He turns his head to look back at his pursuers and his eyes are wide open—he’s afraid. The man loses his footing, falls in the road just before the sidewalk, and slams his face into the curb, breaking his nose and jaw.

So, again, should the security team have chased the man, or should they have remained at the venue?

In Smith’s experience, and from what Barber has learned through his relationship with Nightclub Security Consultants, when a group watching the video is asked what they would have done, half will say they would have pursued the man who threw the brick. Their choice would have resulted, in that case, a $670,000 payout to the brick thrower. Yes, the guy who threw the brick should have been arrested and prosecuted. But in a litigious society such as ours, "should have" can result in unexpected consequences.

“The guards should've known, ‘It's a window. We have insurance. Who gives a damn? We have the guy on video, call the cops.’ But that's just a classic example of a split-second decision of deciding between right and wrong. Every time, I mean, we'll go into class tomorrow, we'll do the same video, same response: 50 percent say chase, 50 percent say don't,” says Barber. “So one by one, one club at a time, one drink at a time, if we can get to enough of them and teach them those correct ways of handling those split-second decisions, then the safety for the patrons, the cost of insurance, all that's going to be in the betterment of everyone working in the industry.

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Speaking of the cost of insurance, the industry operates at a 66 percent loss ratio, according to Barber. For every dollar an operator spends on their premium, the insurance company spends 66 cents to pay for claims. The loss ratio for Nightclub Security Consultants and Hospitality Insurance Agency clients? They’re operating at a 26 percent loss ratio. Overall, those clients are receiving discounts of 10 to 25 percent on their insurance premiums. With some bars averaging annual premiums of $10,000 to $15,000, you could be looking around $1,500 in savings. Be sure to check with your insurance broker to see if they recognize these type of certifications because who wants to overpay for insurance? 

The training provided by Smith and his team also helps operators avoid expensive, unnecessary and, in some cases, business-shuttering claims. Security teams are trained on consistently making the most intelligent decisions in various situations. Additionally, owners and managers learn what to look for when hiring security staff so they can avoid those who would chase in the example provided above.

“We just have fabulous results that the training works if you do it right,” says Barber. “If you do it right and you listen to him, and you drink the Kool-Aid, your losses are going to be lower.”

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Robert Smith and Manny Marquez, vice president of Nightclub Security Consultants, have the opportunity to take part in the National HOST Security Certification Program. Owners, managers and, of course, security guards will learn to create a safer, better and more hospitable experience for guests while mitigating unwanted liability. This certification is scheduled for Monday, March 25 with a start time of 12:30 p.m. Register now to take advantage of this valuable opportunity!

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