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Business strategy for 2017: Plan for 3-day waiting period for business interruption insurance

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During hurricane season, emergency preparedness professionals suggest that people have enough food and water around to last three days. Business owners need to plan for three days on their own, too. But it’s not about food and water; it’s about cash reserves.

One important coverage for a business owner to consider is business interruption insurance. It is triggered due to a slowdown or suspension of a business’s operations due to a covered peril, such as a fire or hurricane. And, it has limitations that must be recognized, with the most important being the typical waiting period of 72 hours before coverage kicks in.

Why is there a waiting period? It exists to lower the cost of insurance coverage and to encourage the business to take necessary, immediate steps to minimize business losses. There are ways to reduce or remove that waiting period, at an additional cost. However, knowing the coverage does not go into effect the moment the lights go out is the first step to planning for it. Many small businesses do not do that. After every natural disaster, they learn about it too late.

Business owners should find insurance coverage that matches their business size, that suits their particular needs, and they must remain confident in their understanding of how a commercial insurance policy works. Now is the time for small-business owners to take a hard look at their risks and make a plan for 2017.

According to the Small Business Administration, 99.7% of all businesses are small. If that sounds surprising, understand the SBA defines “small” as a business with fewer than 500 employees. About 80% of businesses are VERY small, as in under 10 employees. Thinking big is a success strategy as necessary for the sole proprietor as it is for the CEO of a giant corporation. It includes thinking about how to make it through the first 3 days after disaster strikes. With a well-conceived plan, the disaster itself may certainly ruin your day (or month), but it won’t ruin your business.

Businesses affected by recent flooding may get loans, not handout

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Residents of the Tampa Bay area, particularly in parts of Pasco County, experienced the unfortunate impact of flooding last week. Days of rain and a saturated earth around the Anclote River created circumstances that a local newspaper described as a “rinse-and repeat routine.” Parts of neighborhoods have been slogging through water for more than two weeks.

Businesses have suffered too. And, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity is asking businesses how the flood affected them by inviting business owners in five affected counties to take an online survey to help the department decide which get immediate aid.

Business owners: Review insurance coverage before hurricane season

At the Governor’s Hurricane Conference this week, we delivered a presentation on what small-business owners need to know about insurance. It was titled “Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda” because, unfortunately, that’s a lament heard after disaster. If you own a business, do everything you can now to put your business in a position to survive.

There are dozens of business insurance coverage options, and a small business probably doesn’t need them all.

Life insurance is a lifeline for small business

If you own a small business, there is a lot riding on you. And, if the business has a few key employees, they may be equally irreplaceable. Every one of you has prime value to operations, and losing one highly valued individual may cause a major setback. That’s why it’s part of a smart business strategy to make an investment in life insurance. Losses from the death of a key employee are insurable.

Building a Plan B Mindset for Business Continuity

Does everything in your life work out exactly as you planned? Mine neither. Seems that life is nothing but Plan B—or something nearer the end of the alphabet. There are professionals who make a living planning for events other than the Perfect Day. I got to deliver a presentation on the Florida insurance market and business preparedness to a group of them recently, the Tampa chapter of the Association of Contingency Planners (ACP).

Cyber Risk: A threat to businesses and their customers

Santa checks his list twice, and so should you. Check your lists of credit cards and debit cards expenditures monthly to verify that purchases listed are yours alone—because some security experts suggest that data breaches will get worse before they get better.