Property damage small business

When Disaster Strikes Your Business

A disaster almost always affects more than just your property.

by Anna Gelbman Edmonds

This past fall, South Carolina experienced the state’s third major flood in three years. Communities across the state that haven’t yet fully recovered from the 1000-Year Flood of 2015 and Hurricane Matthew of 2016 were again recently under water, thanks to Hurricane Florence. In addition to the tragedy of lives lost during these events we’re again seeing the devastating effect on millions of people who have either lost their homes and businesses or are facing crippling costs to repair them.

Your insurance agent is the best person to help you decide on the risk management steps you can take to lower your risks in the event a disaster occurs. He or she should be knowledgeable about your specific business and be able to offer custom advice for protecting your property and assets. Following that advice generally leads to a lower premium. Below are examples of events that could adversely affect your business.

  • Flood: Water damage resulting from a flood can be crippling and the cost of restoration unmanageable. Too many homeowners and business owners learn the hard way how vital flood insurance can be, even if you don’t live in a flood plain. This protection is not included as part of your general liability policy.
  • Weather: Severe weather can cause all sorts of havoc on your business. Lightning strikes can cause electrical outages, fires, and trees to fall on your building or vehicle. Tornados and other high-wind events can cause significant damage to buildings, especially roofs, windows and signage. Improperly-stored equipment can be hurled through the air resulting in damage to your property or that of others. Heavy snowfalls can cause roofs to collapse and extreme cold can cause water pipes to freeze and burst.
  • Cyber Attack: There are many steps you can take to lower your cyber risks, such as storing data in the cloud and on an off-site server, firewalls, and using strong, unique passwords. But the only actual protection we currently have from cyber criminals is cyber insurance. The villains behind ransomware attacks, hacking, digital fraud, phishing and data breaches are always one step ahead of the good guys.  Investing in a cyber insurance policy means you’ll have the means to recoup your losses if your business is targeted.
  • Electrical/Plumbing: Faulty wiring can result in fires and smoke damage and equipment downtime.  Faulty or old plumbing can mean serious water damage.
  • Theft: Your money and property are always at risk from burglars, shoplifters, and employees. Unfortunately, employee theft is more common than most business owners know. Disloyal employees can take physical property or cash, make unauthorized money transfers or steal personal information from your customers.

You can’t prepare for every possibility or prevent natural disasters. But you can take risk management seriously and learn what to anticipate in a given situation and how to best protect yourself and your business. Better safe than sorry!

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