When Hurricane Sandy made landfall last year, it caused major problems up and down the Eastern seaboard. Now businesses are taking the opportunity to review their insurance information and determine if they have the right coverage.
A recent survey by The Hartford found that 23 percent of small businesses were planning to review their coverage in preparation for the next disaster. Building managers could also benefit from ensuring they have proper coverage for their properties as the high costs of damage within impacted areas is causing an increase in premiums, according to CFO Magazine.
CFO Magazine notes that 30 percent of companies within the impacted areas should expect as much as a 15 percent rise in their expenses. Even those outside of the affected regions could see a 5 percent rise in their premiums. Fortunately, the source explains there are steps that building managers can take to ensure the lowest premium possible.
Conquer the Code
New sprinkler systems and other fire-suppression devices are just one means to reduce property risk. Ensuring Fire Life Safety systems function properly can lower insurance costs, particularly for commercial buildings that house restaurants, cafeterias and other potential sources of fire. Safety devices are often required to meet certain industry regulations and building managers may need to conduct regular inspections to ensure all codes our met. Remaining compliant with industry regulations can help with insurance costs as well. Watch the “Conquering the Code” webinar to learn how to assess the condition of your Fire & Life Safety systems.
“Our properties are all built to the code of the area, which can be stringent,” Belinda Sharp, vice president of human resources with Ruby Tuesday, told CFO Magazine. “That does help with coverage, especially with the newer buildings and the types of sprinkler systems [required].”
Be prepared for future events
The most effective risk management programs capture, track and report on all risk information, including visitor access records, certificates of insurance, incident reports and resolution, fire and life safety programs, standards of operation and all supporting documentation.
Being prepared for any eventuality is essential to keeping insurance costs down, but it can also have other benefits as well. Major storms have caused businesses to explore ways to keep operations running. The Hartford survey reported that 71 percent of companies in Hurricane Sandy’s path lost power. As a result, 21 percent are now looking to invest in a generator. These devices may become necessary for building managers as a way to help their tenants avoid losses during emergencies.
“We have found that small businesses who take the steps to prepare and protect the business, such as establishing emergency communication systems and backing up critical data, tend to be the ones that can prevail after weather emergencies,” said Ray Sprague, senior vice president for The Hartford.