Disaster Planning Insurance – Part One

Is your business prepared for a disaster?(This is an installment of Risk Management 101, a series of blog posts exploring AssuredPartners NL’ Risk Management offerings. To learn more about AssuredPartners NL’ approach to Risk Management, please click here.) 

One a scale of one to 10, how prepared is your organization for a disaster? Imagine for a moment that your organization has just been through a disaster. You put your procedures and drills into practice to protect your employees, residents and building, but what about after the danger has passed and it’s time to get normal operations back in place. Does your insurance program provide the resources you need to recover fully and quickly?

Discuss these coverage areas with your insurance agent before your next insurance renewal to make sure your business is prepared: 

1. Are evacuation expenses covered?
When you need to evacuate your building, you don’t have time to shop price, service or payment terms—you need to get everyone to safety immediately, regardless of cost. In the past, this was just a cost of doing business.  Today, a small but growing number of insurers, both property and liability, offer this coverage enhancement. Limits are typically $10,000, $25,000 or $50,000. Does your current insurer provide this coverage?

2. Are legal and media expenses covered?
Not all disasters involve Mother Nature. Sometimes the disaster is limited to just a single business or building. This could involve widespread food poisoning, theft or abuse perpetrated by an employee, a fire, a natural gas leak, discovery of mold, or resident injury or death. The event itself is bad enough, but media attention could make it a disaster. The media serves a vital purpose in our society, but at times, can paint an unflattering and inaccurate picture of a situation. If your organization is the subject of such scrutiny, will your insurance respond with expert help to develop a response to the story? Today, several insurers offer this coverage enhancement. Limits are typically $10,000, $25,000 or $50,000.

3. Is flood damage covered?
It’s scary to admit but most flood damage was never predicted or expected. Flood damage may result from a combination of events that were not anticipated. Even if your building isn’t in a designated flood zone, you could still find yourself a flood victim. Property insurance does not protect you against flood damage unless you purchase an endorsement. A number of property insurers will offer this coverage to you if your building is in a low-risk zone. For those in high-risk zones, the National Flood Insurance Program is a must. Do you have this protection?

4. Is earthquake damage covered?
The earth shifts all the time but we rarely feel it. When a sizable quake hits a low-risk area, the damage can be severe and building codes may not anticipate the exposure. Property insurance does not protect you against earthquake damage until you purchase an endorsement. Do you have this endorsement?

5. Are environmental expenses covered?
Do you have emergency generators for power backup? Damage from a leaking diesel storage tank is excluded from your liability policy. So are leaks from any other kind of tank. Malfunctions in building heating or cooling equipment can cause mold and illness. Waste from your operations can end up where you least expect it. The Environmental Protection Agency could deliver a very expensive mandate if any of the above happens to your business. Environmental insurance can address these significant exposures to financial loss, and the cost of defending claims. 

The above coverage enhancements are just a few disaster considerations you can discuss with your agent. How has your organization prepared for disaster recently? To learn more about protecting your business or to contact an agent, visit: AssuredPartners NL CORE Solutions.

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