Where the Wind Blows: Hurricane Preparedness Advice for Business Owners
Hurricane season began on June 1st and it will last until November 30th. After a 2017 hurricane season that was the most expensive ever, with over $202.6 billion in damages, many business and property owners may seem relieved that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has predicted a more average 2018 hurricane season. What does “average” mean exactly? They forecast 10-16 named storms, 5-9 hurricanes and 1-4 major hurricanes. (To put this into perspective, 2017 brought 17 named storms, 10 hurricanes and six major hurricanes.) However, hurricane preparedness is still very important.
Hurricanes pose the greatest threats to the southern East Coast and Gulf Coast regions, but the effects of these storms can – and have – reached the Northeast more frequently over the past few years. Strong winds and heavy flooding can cause power outages, wind and water damage and other storm-related damages to your commercial properties.
In order to get ahead of the storm, it is a great idea to anticipate, understand and manage the potential types of hurricane and flood risks and how they may affect your business and properties. Preparation for hurricane season includes reviewing your business insurance policies to make sure you are covered for both wind and rising water.
Beyond that, also consider your home and other personal properties. The NOAA says many of the nation’s top hurricane experts are buying flood insurance for their homes. FEMA says that 1 in 4 federal flood claims occur outside of risk areas. So, while many with required flood insurance have it, others do not. The National Weather Service says there is a 1 in 4 chance your home floods at least once over a 30-year mortgage and a 55 percent chance over an average lifetime. Knowing your risk is helpful when making the decision to purchase personal lines flood coverage.
Also, don’t forget about business interruption! Selective Insurance says that it is a good idea to develop a business continuity plan designed to help your business plan for any interruption – including a natural disaster. The Insurance Institute for Business Safety provides a template to help you create one.
Rose & Kiernan is happy to assist with a review of potential risks that flood and hurricane damage can cause at each of your business locations and personal properties. We maintain strong relationships with carriers that have the ability to respond to these catastrophic exposures and can help determine which policy is a smart choice or necessary investment for your business.