All posts filed under

General

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

open_for_business_still

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.

Don’t want your car stolen? Take the keys!

how-to-avoid-car-theft

Car thieves love Honda Accords. They are also rather fond of the Honda Civic. Both models are ranked as the top two most-stolen cars in America. The fact they are also among the most popular cars has a lot to do with it, of course. The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) keeps track of this data, and there’s quite a lot to keep up with since a car is stolen about every 46 seconds.

Matthew Recovery: 40,000 insurance claims so far

hurricane-matthew-damage-florida-coast-677677

As of this morning, there have been nearly 40,000 insurance claims filed due to damage from Hurricane Matthew. Those numbers will surely rise in the coming days as people continue to find damage to their property related to the storm that hit Florida a mere four days ago.

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation released Matthew claims data on October 12.  About 90% of the claims were for residential property damage. So far, there have been 1,800 flood claims reported by people with flood policies through the National Flood Insurance Program, and 28 claims for private flood insurance, which is coverage outside the government program.

If a tree fell, now what?

Tally tree

Now, we know how mean Hermine was. It’s over, except for the cleanup and the lessons learned. Hopefully, residents in the northern parts of Florida learned renewed appreciation for the power of even a Category 1 hurricane. Winds of 75 miles an hour are nothing to disregard.

Tallahassee took a pounding. I bear witness. For more than four hours (seemed longer), the house took a beating, prompting a move to an interior room, away from the windows, in the wee hours of the morning. I heard one massive tree hit the ground with an impressive thud. The second tree must have been hit by lightning. I did not hear lightning last night, but thought a transformer blew since there was a huge flash of light, which burst bright against the darkened neighborhood. (Power went out two hours before the brunt of the storm arrived.)

Flood Myth: Not in my neighborhood

flooding-in-neighborhood-590x443 (2)

There are many myths about flood insurance, and the biggest myth is thinking you don’t need it. With a tropical weather system stalled over parts of Florida this week, the ensuing deluge should get you thinking about why you need this important protection.

A standard homeowners insurance policy does not cover flood insurance, and that’s been true for more than four decades. If you live in an area at high risk for flooding, the mortgage lender requires flood insurance. If you live in a low-risk flood zone, the lender does not require it. But that does not mean you don’t need it. Would you be motivated to consider flood insurance if you knew that nearly 25 percent of flood insurance claims are paid to people living in low- to moderate-risk flood zones? Well, now you know.

As of September 2015, there were 1.8 million flood policies in force in Florida. Yet, there are more than 3.1 million single family homes in our state. Many of those Florida flood policies are bought by people living in coastal condos. Do you need flood insurance if you live on the 9th floor of a high rise on the Gulf? Yeah, you do. Because if storm surge beats up the bottom floors of the condo making it uninhabitable, you won’t be able to retrieve your personal possessions as the building is likely to be unstable/condemned. Flood insurance would cover that loss.

Flood insurance statistics show about 68 percent of policies nationally cover single family homes, 21 percent cover condominiums, and 5 percent cover businesses and other non-residential properties. Two- to four-family units and other residential policies accounted for the remainder.

Earlier this summer, there was flooding in parts of Tampa Bay. The National Flood Insurance Program reported just 38 claims. That is not an indication of the minimal amount of flood damage; it is an indication of how few people have flood insurance.

Best job ever? Think insurance

careersA

Remember Ned Ryerson from the “Groundhog Day” movie? Most Millennials were not yet born when that 1993 film hit theaters. But a comical stereotype insurance salesman is NOT who we are (though we do get the joke).

Insurance is a field that offers solid career opportunities with the positive environment to help people thrive. There are mentors, continuing education, a place where people feel they fit in, growth and advancement, variety in duties and responsibilities. The Insurance Information Institute produced a video on the limitless career options in insurance, featuring the new generation of industry pros.