NEW YORK, Sept. 8, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Peak hurricane season runs from now through October, making this a crucial time to review business insurance coverage, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.).
Forty percent of businesses do not reopen after a disaster and another 25 percent fail within one year, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). But by taking measures to prepare, businesses can increase their chance of getting back on their feet financially and keeping their doors open. The I.I.I. recommends the following steps:
- Develop a Business Continuity Plan
A Business Continuity Plan (also known as an emergency plan) contains the critical information a business needs to keep its doors open, if there is a disaster such as a fire or hurricane. A business continuity plan can serve as a crucial tool in helping a company prepare for and survive a major catastrophe. The IBHS Business Continuity Toolkit is a good place to start developing your plan. Be sure to share the plan with employees, assign responsibilities and offer training so your workforce can collaborate in the recovery of the business. Conduct regular drills to assess and improve response.
- Maintain Key Information Offsite
To get your business up and operating after a disaster, you'll need to be able to access critical business information, such as insurance policies, banking information and contact information for employees, key customers, vendors and suppliers, your insurance professional and others. In addition to backing up computer data, consider maintaining an alternate site to house equipment that is sufficiently far away so as not to be affected by the same risks that threaten the primary location.
- Take A Business Inventory
Creating a business inventory includes listing all business equipment, supplies and merchandise—and don't forget to include commercial vehicles.
- Review Your Insurance Coverage
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 as well as taking into consideration the risks your business may be exposed to. There are two types of policies you can buy as a business owner:
- A Business Owners Policy (BOP) is commonly used by small businesses. BOP's combine property and liability coverage in one policy, though they are usually less comprehensive than a commercial policy.
- A Commercial Multi-Peril (CMP) policy, combines several coverages—such as commercial property, liability, inland marine and commercial auto—into a single policy. It is typically less expensive to buy a CMP policy than to buy the coverages individually.
- Consider Flood Insurance
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. Commercial flood coverage is available from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and provides up to $500,000 in building coverage and $500,000 for contents. You can also get coverage through private insurers.