With the fall storm season approaching, it's time for small business owners to start thinking about their disaster plans. After all, your business property and liability insurance is heavily affected by how well prepared you are and how safe your property is. If you're facing your first storm season as an entrepreneur, it may leave you feeling unsure where to start. You need to know that your business and your employees are protected in the event of a natural disaster or severe storm, including both actual protection steps as well as insurance coverage to help you with any repairs and employee needs. Here are a few things you should know.
Be Realistic About Your Risk
You can't adequately prepare and protect your business unless you understand exactly what you're protecting against. That means taking the time to evaluate what kinds of risks are real threats in your area. After all, businesses in the Gulf region will face different risks than those in the Midwest or Northeast.
If you aren't sure about what kinds of threats you need to be most prepared for, you should talk with your insurance company. Your insurance agent can review your most likely threats and help you understand how to prepare for them.
You can also talk with a risk assessment company if you want to have a more comprehensive evaluation done, including your risk of flooding and the proximity of your business to any fault lines or other hazards.
Institute Structural Protections
Once you know what kinds of threats are most likely, it's time to evaluate your building and property for areas where you can improve safety and security. By taking some simple steps, you might even be able to reduce your business property insurance because some insurance companies adjust your premiums based on the level of risk your property poses.
Things like reinforced or impact-resistant doors, shatterproof hurricane windows, and even additional flood protection barriers can all help to protect your business and reduce your insurance liability.
Review Your Insurance Protection
While you're going through all of the preparations and evaluations, this is the perfect time to review the insurance coverage that you have in place. For example, if your building is in a flood zone, you need to be sure that your insurance company is offering you some form of flood insurance. Traditional property insurance won't provide coverage for most flood damage, so you'll have to have this addressed separately.
In most cases, flood insurance must be purchased through FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program. Coverage is provided for both commercial structures and your personal property, but these policies are restricted to only the FEMA-defined types of flood damage.
You should also review your policy in detail with your insurance agent so that you know exactly what your property coverage does entail. That helps you to identify any potential vulnerabilities so that you can invest in riders that close those gaps.
Build A Response Plan
Work with your management team to create a solid response plan that will help you get your business back up and running as quickly as possible in the face of a disastrous storm. Look to things like defined roles and responsibilities for your keyholders, a cloud-based server backup system, offsite copies of all of your contracts and legal information, and more.
Look for a local destination where you'll be able to restore your operations as quickly as possible. Often this means keeping a skeleton infrastructure of servers in an offsite storage facility so that you can access them after the storm. This allows you to get your systems back up online quickly, even if your primary servers or your building are heavily damaged.
Don't face your first storm season as a business owner unprepared. Talk with your insurance provider about the right business property coverage for your storm risk and work with a risk assessment specialist to ensure that your company is protected.
After I graduated college, I started to feel like an adult. I started teaching at a school. I also bought a car. And I became the owner of several insurance policies. I obtained a comprehensive insurance policy for my car. I also secured my first life insurance policy at this time. I didn’t want my family members to be burdened with funeral costs if I suddenly passed away. A few years after graduating college, I became a homeowner. After this joyous occasion, I invested in a homeowners insurance policy. On this blog, I hope you will discover the most common types of insurance people purchase.