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8 Business Insurance Tips to Avoid a Workplace Catastrophe

Posted by David Ross on Tue, Feb 28, 2017

Business Insurance for Natural Disasters and More in Philadelphia, Reading, Lancaster, Allentown, Harrisburg, York, Lebanon, Pittsburgh, Erie, PA and beyond.If your company has never been struck by catastrophe, consider yourself lucky! But that doesn’t mean that your luck will hold out forever. There’s always a flood, hurricane, explosion, earthquake, lightning, or terror attack waiting around the bend.

And you and your entire company must be ready for it. With wildfires destroying over ten-million acres last year and winter storms causing $3.5 billion in insured losses earlier this year, businesses cannot afford to assume that they will be exempt from a catastrophe that strikes without warning. Getting the right business insurance is an important first step, but there are many practical things you can do to be prepared and to lower the cost and impact of a disaster.

Consider the following as you prepare your organization for a disaster:

1. Prepare safety equipment, including:

  • Fire extinguishers
  • Fire-fighting equipment
  • Personal protective equipment that includes steel-toe and slip-resistant footwear, hardhats, eye protection, high visibility clothing, gloves, hearing protection, dust masks or respiratory protection
  • First-aid kits
  • Wireless communication equipment

2. Engineering controls

Escape paths, lockout tag-out controls, shut-off valves, guardrails, and exhaust ventilation that will minimize exposure to airborne hazards must be planned and inspected. Battery-powered emergency lighting, strategically placed, must be set up to go on immediately after you lose power.

3. Maintain emergency equipment

  • Check and test the emergency generator
  • Check fuel levels regularly on generators and fire pumps
  • Check all roof-mounted equipment to ensure that it’s securely connected
  • Check roof drains to make sure they are clear and able to handle heavy rains
  • Check the roof and make any repairs, no matter how minor

4. Provide training

Establish an emergency response team with participants from all parts of your organization. Then, conduct disaster management drills to ensure all members of the emergency response team and all other employees know their responsibilities. Conduct daily safety briefings that discuss hazards and controls. Identify and eliminate or control existing or potential dangers that you discover after any disaster. Job performance appraisals should be tied in with compliance on all employee training.

5. Secure your data

  • Copy your valuable papers and records, and put them in a safe place.
  • Make sure that back-ups of computer records are current and kept in a safe location off-site.
  • Confirm that any of your third-party vendors or cloud providers are also prepared for any natural or man-made disasters.

6. Work with your local government before a catastrophe hits

File a copy of your emergency response plan with local law enforcement officials, and provide them with new versions as you update them. Make sure that the local government’s emergency response team has contact information for your company. Give them updates whenever anyone on your team leaves the company or changes roles.

7. Patrol your facility during the emergency

As long as it’s safe to be there, your emergency response team should be patrolling the facility. The team should be concentrating on the following:

  • Make sure all equipment is functioning properly.
  • Repair any structural damage, if possible 
  • Correct any potential fire hazards 
  • Monitor the water pressure for your sprinkler heads.
  • Deploy sandbags if flooding seems imminent.

8. Emphasize workplace safety after the disaster

Once your business has resumed normal operations, it’s important to reinforce standard safety measures:

  • Ensure that your employees are using proper lifting techniques, and provide material handling equipment to keep manual lifting to a minimum.
  • Limit the amount of employee exposure to hazardous conditions. 
  • Minimize exposure to dangerous situations by rotating employees.
  • Make personal hygiene and sanitation your company’s priority, and give workers an area where they can clean up after each shift.

Get the Right Insurance Protection for Your Business - Contact Us to Learn More

Contact us for the right commercial insurance protection for natural disasters and other events.To learn more about preparing and protecting your business with the right types and amounts of commercial insurance, contact American Insuring Group online or call us at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848.

Tags: Commercial Insurance, Business Insurance, commercial property insurance, Disaster Recovery Plan

Major Disaster? Have Business Interruption Insurance?

Posted by David Ross on Mon, Mar 28, 2016

Sobering Statistics on Business Interruption Insurance

Business-Interruption-Insurance-350.jpgA recent national survey of small businesses yielded some sobering statistics. It found that 66 percent of these businesses do not have business interruption insurance—even though an estimated 25 percent of them will not be able to reopen following a major loss, such as a fire, a break-in, or a storm.

That same survey also revealed that three out of four small business owners do not have a disaster recovery plan, yet more than half of them admit that it would take at least three months for them to recover from a disaster.


Most small business owners are at risk of disaster, but they are least likely to have disaster recovery insurance or a plan in place to help them recover. About a third of the owners say it is not important for their business to have a disaster recovery plan, and they give interruption insurance a low priority.

Business interruption insurance can be as vital as fire insurance

It’s unlikely that anyone would ever consider opening a business without buying insurance to cover damages from fire or windstorms. But many small business owners don’t give serious consideration to how they would survive if a fire or other disaster damaged their business premises and rendered them temporarily unusable. A business that has to close down completely while their buildings are being restored may lose out to competitors. A quick resumption of business after a disaster is essential.

A few key points about business interruption insurance

  • Business interruption coverage is not sold separately but is added to a property insurance policy or included in a package policy. 
  • It compensates you for lost income if your company has to vacate the premises due to disaster-related damage that is covered under your property insurance policy.
  • Business interruption insurance covers the revenue you would have earned, based on your financial records, had the disaster not occurred.
  • The policy also covers any operating expenses that continue even though your business activities have temporarily stopped.
  • The price of the policy is related to the risk of a fire or other disaster damaging your premises.


A disaster could halt your business—even if your property remains undamaged

You have purchased a standard loss of business income policy, and you may think that you are totally protected from a disaster. Unfortunately, most policies do not cover utility interruptions—power, water, and communications--that originate away from your premises (for instance, the utility generating station may have been damaged or transmission lines could be down).

Losing these services for an extended period can be financially devastating. The first step is to evaluate the exposures facing your company. Will being out of power for hours or days adversely impact your operations and profits? If you come to the conclusion that it will, you should consider an endorsement that extends your coverage to include utility services interruptions.

Get back in business quickly with a Disaster Recovery Plan

In addition to the right insurance, a Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) - a plan that describes how work can be resumed quickly and effectively after a disaster – is another element to ensure that a disaster doesn’t shut your business down. It consists of the precautions taken so that the effects of a disaster will be minimized and the organization will be able to either maintain or quickly resume critical functions. Typically, disaster recovery planning involves an analysis of business processes and continuity needs; it may also include a significant focus on disaster prevention.

Plans vary from one type of business to another, depending on the processes involved, and the level of security needed. Disaster recovery planning may be developed within an organization or purchased as a software application or a service. It is not unusual for an enterprise to spend 25% of its information technology budget on disaster recovery.

Contact Us for Help with Your Business Interruption Insurance Needs

A DRP, along with business interruption coverage, constitutes the business continuity planning that could rescue your business after a disaster. Depending on your particular business, properly planning for your business interruption insurance needs can be complex, but the well-trained staff at American Insuring Group can help. Click here to contact us or give us a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848.

Tags: Business Insurance Reading PA, Commercial Insurance Allentown PA, Commercial Insurance, Business Insurance, Commercial Insurance Philadelphia PA, commercial property insurance, Business Interruption Insurance, Disaster Recovery Plan