According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season will be a mild one. The NOAA is predicting of between six and 11 named storms with winds of 39 mph or higher. However, businesses in hurricane-prone areas should still make sure they are taking the necessary precautions to mitigate the potential losses from a storm.
Insureds should consider these best practices for hurricane preparedness:
Have your buildings inspected and complete maintenance necessary to ensure they can withstand severe weather. Sand, plywood and generators should be purchased well in advance of storms.
Review Your Insurance Program
Review your policies to ensure appropriate limits and deductibles are in place and evaluate coverage gaps. Your current program may not cover mold damage from flooding. Most property policies have exclusions or extreme sublimits with respect to mold remediation, and you may want to consider a pollution policy.
Review Reporting Requirements
While every policy is different, most require you to notify the carrier immediately. Take reasonable steps to protect your property from further loss and submit a “proof of loss” within a certain time period.
Create a List of Emergency Vendors
Ideally, vendors responsible for handling the aftermath of flooding, fire or a power interruption should be recognized as preferred vendors by your carrier. Pre-negotiated rates and availability guarantees should be built into contracts.
Review Business Continuity Plans
Make sure appropriate employees have an up-to-date plan with how internal communication and business operations should continue in the event of a disaster. Verify that your plan includes accurate contact information for your broker, carrier and emergency vendors.
While the outlook for this year’s hurricane season is a mild one, you shouldn’t let down your guard. Working with your broker, implement the above best practices to mitigate risk and keep your business on track.
Philadelphia, PA, 19102