BE PREPARED.. Plan For The Future
Catastrophic events like flooding, severe storms and wildfires are becoming increasingly commonplace. Since 1980, there have been 308 weather and climate disasters in which damages were $1 billion or more, at a total cost of $2.085 trillion, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). In 2021 alone, there were 18 such events.
As a result, it’s never been a better time to determine if you are adequately insured and prepared for these events.
A typical property insurance policy covers many natural disasters, including hail, windstorms and lightning. It does not usually cover floods, earthquakes or tsunamis.
It’s important to consider catastrophic insurance. If you are located in an area prone to a certain type of catastrophe, such as tornados in the Midwest, earthquakes in California or hurricanes near the Gulf, look into policies that provide catastrophic insurance to cover those risks.
Is your business at risk? Business catastrophe insurance is designed to protect against natural disasters and address the direct costs of a disaster, like physical damage to the premises and other business property.
For businesses, there may be a loss of income because the premises aren’t usable after a disaster. Business interruption insurance covers the income that a business would have earned while extra expense coverage compensates a policyholder for expenses incurred while keeping a business operating during rebuilding.
Catastrophic events like floods could also impact businesses that host events. Event cancellation insurance covers expenses and loss of revenue associated with cancellation and postponement.
While all these coverage items are worth considering for the protection of you / your business, you should also work on minimizing loss. Just like boat owners have plans for hurricanes, you should have a plan in case disaster strikes.
Train on disaster procedures, like:
- where to shelter in the event of a tornado
- where fire extinguishers are located and
- where emergency exits are located
Your plan should also involve regular practice drills. Also, do you have backup generators, flashlights or food and water if you need them?
While the safety of people is NUBMER 1 the protection of your business data is also important. Secure paper documents in areas that would not be affected by a flood. Better yet, store important papers in a safe deposit box and maintain duplicates.
A paperless system not only increases efficiency but also offers piece of mind when disaster strikes. Ensure that digitized systems are regularly backed up and properly maintained. Not only do you have an obligation to maintain customer files, you also don’t want to lose business. If you store your customer list electronically, you can quickly communicate with clients after a catastrophic event and let them know how to contact you and when you expect to be fully operational again.
You can also create a list of property and equipment with model and serial numbers and confirm that there’s adequate coverage for these assets.
The more planning you do in advance, the quicker your business and personal life will be up and running again after a catastrophic event. That means making educated choices on what insurance coverage should be in place and what actions should be taken before a natural disaster occurs.