Forecasters at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center anticipate a very active Atlantic Storm season this year with 14-19 named storms. This prediction surpasses the Atlantic Basin’s 30-year historical average (1981-2010) of 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes– we have already seen the disastrous effects of Hurricane Harvey in August.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reports that 40% of businesses do not reopen after a disaster and another 25% fail within the following year. Small businesses are particularly at risk because they may have all of their operations in one location that is damaged or destroyed.
It is more important than ever to make a survival plan for your business, here’s how:
The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety® offers a free business continuity toolkit, OFB-EZ® (Open for Business-EZ) designed to help even the smallest business plan for any type of business interruption. The OGB-EZ® Mobile App guides users through evaluation checklists to help business owners understand their risks. Additionally, EZ-Prep provides a severe weather-planning guide.
To get your business up and operating as quickly as possible after a disaster, you’ll need to be able to access critical business information. In addition to backing up computer data, keep other critical information off site such as your insurance policies, banking information and contact lists. If you have a backup site, make sure it’s sufficiently far away so as not to be affected by the same risks that threaten the primary location.
Include all business equipment, supplies and merchandise—and don’t forget commercial vehicles.
The time to review your insurance policy is before disaster strikes and you have to file a claim. It is important that your business have both the right amount and type of insurance for its needs and risk profile. There are two types of policies you can buy as a business owner:
Most commercial property policies provide either replacement cost coverage, actual cash value coverage, or a combination of both. Replacement cost coverage will pay to rebuild or repair property, based on current construction costs. Actual cash value coverage will pay to rebuild or replace the property minus depreciation. Depreciation is a decrease in value due to wear and tear or age. If your business is destroyed and you only have actual cash value coverage, you may not be in a position to completely rebuild.
Flooding is not covered by standard commercial insurance policies, so consider buying a separate flood policy. If you’re located in a high- to moderate-risk flood zone, you could be protecting your business from devastating financial loss.
If you rent or lease a building, consider tenant coverage, which will insure your on-premises property, including machinery, furniture and merchandise. The building owner’s policy will not cover your contents.
Dwyer Insurance ©2017