Orlando, Fla. —The rest of the 2017 hurricane season will be 'active' with more storms to come, NOAA meteorologists say. The official hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30, but as we know, the most active months are August, September and October.
For us in Florida, as we recover from Hurricane Irma, taking measures in the immediate future to prepare your business can increase your chance of getting back on your feet financially and keeping your doors open, despite discouraging statistics. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA,) forty percent of businesses do not reopen after a disaster and another 25 percent fail within one year.
The following steps must be considered for the rest of this year’s hurricane season:
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. This 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
Take time to review your insurance policy before disasters strike and having 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.
Please Consider Flood Insurance
Flooding is not covered by standard commercial insurance policies, so consider buying a separate flood policy. Also, bear in mind, flood insurance requires a 30 day wait period prior to being effective.
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. Overall, the program reduces the socio-economic impact of disasters by promoting the purchase and retention of general risk insurance, but also of flood insurance, specifically.
If you have questions regarding your current insurance coverage and/or feel you need to make changes to it, please do not hesitate to contact one of our courteous local insurance experts at Garzor.
For personal insurance solutions check out our sister company Orlando Insurance Center