May 1st marks the start of National Hurricane Preparedness Week, and last week we explained several ways homeowners and renters can protect their personal property from the threat of hurricane damage. However, it's just as important for business owners to protect their company buildings, assets and inventory, and employees from possible weather disasters.
In today's Aegis blog post, we'll examine several ways businesses can effectively protect their business property from immediate and long-term impacts that can arise from hurricanes or major storm damage. Early preparations now can help companies have a full and prompt recovery with minimal impact.
Inspect and Reinforce Your Property
The key to your business surviving major storm damage is to inspect and strengthen your business property before serious weather arrives. You should have rooftops and property drainage regularly checked to ensure they're functioning properly, and to give you time to get repairs or reinforcing done now.
As part of your hurricane preparation, you should also have any large trees on the property pruned by professional tree care contractors. Pruning off dead or damaged limbs now can help strengthen and stabilize the tree, lower the risk of heavy branches falling down onto people or nearby structures, and reduce possible liability risks.
Create Detailed Inventory Lists
When a disaster strikes a business, owners and managers may struggle to provide an accurate and detailed list of all the tools, equipment, inventory, and assets that were lost or damaged, as well as their value. If you take the time to create a detailed inventory list now, you can ensure that the full value of all your property is protected, which can help speed up any future claims.
It can also help your business make a faster recovery if you know exactly what types and models of tools and equipment are needed to get your business back up and running. Companies should also consider having backups stored offsite for financial records, network servers, and important documents.
Develop Contingency Plans
Sometimes hurricane damage can leave behind extensive structural damage that requires several weeks or even months of repairs and renovation. Rather than completely shut down your business while you wait for repairs, you can have contingency plans in place that allow you to reopen elsewhere or fulfill orders or projects from another branch location.
Contingency plans spell out exactly how your company will continue operating if disaster strikes, such as:
- Alternative work locations
- Equipment and technology needs
- Vendor or supplier contacts
- Employee job duties and expectations
- Financial responsibilities (payroll, taxes, rent, utilities)
For example, if you own a restaurant or bakery, you can develop a contingency plan now to use a ghost kitchen for fulfilling orders if you need to wait for your own business to be repaired. An attorney or accountant with damaged offices can rent a temporary work space until their own office is repaired and functional.
Well-developed contingency plans allow your company to continue bringing in revenue and providing goods and services while your business property gets the needed repairs and renovations.
Review Insurance Policies
Finally, good hurricane preparation for businesses should include a thorough review of all existing commercial insurance policies. It's important to know what kind of deductible, inclusions, and exclusions your business could be facing if there is major hurricane damage to your building.
By reviewing your business insurance policies, you may identify a gap in coverage such as new property or renovations not included in coverage amounts, or a new type of policy that could better protect businesses within your industry. Making changes now can ensure that any kind of new coverage, such as Flood Insurance, has time to take effect.
Aegis Can Help
Aegis Insurance & Financial Services is a leading provider of top-quality, reliable Commercial Insurance coverage for businesses across the Gulf Coast regions. Our insurance experts can help you navigate the complexities of business coverage to ensure you have the coverage you need when your business needs it most.
For more information about our full range of Commercial Insurance policies, and what you need to protect your business if a hurricane hits our area, contact Aegis Insurance today at 713-850-7622 or fill out our online form to request a free quote!