Wild Weather Ahead! Learn The Keys To Preparedness
Severe weather has become one of the leading concerns in the insurance industry with carriers taking steps to manage their risk portfolios and innovate coverage solutions to offer protection to policyholders in the midst of billion-dollar losses that have been on an upward trajectory for the past several decades. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reports that weather events with losses over $1 billion increased dramatically from 1980-1989 to 2010-2019.† The total number of billion-dollar events in each 10-year period jumped from 31 to 128, and the cost of insured losses for each period increased from $195 billion to $891 billion. Data for the current decade, 2020-2021, indicates a precipitous climb across both areas of measurement. This two-year period already has seen 42 billion-dollar weather events with insured losses totaling $257 billion.
While weather events cannot be prevented, there are important steps that property owners can take to be prepared for severe weather and help mitigate the risk of catastrophic damage that may result.
Risk Management Planning
Creating a risk management plan for the business is a key factor in helping to minimize the potential for costly property damage, injuries, claims, and lawsuits. Components of a comprehensive risk management plan may include daily premise inspections, roof and equipment inspections, and timely maintenance.
Working in partnership with an insurance agent can help property owners obtain the appropriate coverages for their business operations. For a self-storage business, the policy may include property and liability coverages, building ordinance coverage, business income coverage, and specialty coverages. For businesses in areas prone to wind and hail damage, the agent may recommend a buy-back policy for the wind and hail deductible. An experienced agent also will work with the policyholder to establish the appropriate building valuation, deductibles, and coverage limits to help ensure that the policy addresses relevant exposures while protecting the business owner from large potential out-of-pocket costs.
Emergency Response & Post-Disaster Planning
Developing written plans for responding to emergencies and taking action after a disaster are critical tasks for all business owners. These plans will address issues such as emergency supplies, evacuation routes, shelter-in-place procedures, information to have on hand, vendor contacts, safety procedures, and claim reporting. While this may sound like a daunting project, there are many free resources online to help jump-start the process. Check out these websites for more information and planning templates.