On Friday of last week, a meteorite crashed into Russia, damaging land and property near the city of Chelyabinsk and hurting hundreds of people. The incident prompted many of us to ask just how likely we are to be hit by rocks from outer space – and what the impact might be if we are.
The answer, according to scientists, is “pretty unlikely.” Even though small space rocks make contact with the planet’s atmosphere on a daily basis, few of them make landfall – which is why last week’s event made the news.
Still, the question of damages is on everyone’s mind, so here’s a look at how your business liability insurance would respond if your business were affected by a space rock slamming into earth.
Business Insurance for Falling Space Objects
The two types of business insurance most likely to be affected by a meteor collision are Property Insurance and Business Interruption Insurance.
- Property Insurance, which offers protection for your business property, including your premises and your equipment, would be the policy that would compensate you for damage done to your place of work by a meteorite landing. Many Property Insurance policies have a provision that protects against falling objects, but often that protection only extends to events that involve objects falling directly onto your property. Translation: if a meteor fell onto the business next door and the impact hurt your shop, you may not be protected. (Word of warning: if you’re really worried about meteorite coverage, check with your insurance agent. Most policies cover events unless there is a specific exclusion listed in the policy.)
- Business Interruption Insurance, which is often included in a General Liability policy or a Business Owners Policy, would provide income in the event that your business was temporarily unable to operate because of a falling meteor. Whether that meteor hit you or your primary supplier out in Russia, your insurance would potentially pay you what you were unable to earn during the post-impact rebuilding period.
More Space Hazards & Your Business Insurance
While the meteor was the main space hazard in the news this week, we thought we’d offer our analysis of a few other space hazards and whether your business insurance would cover them.
- A customer moonwalks across your store and trips, breaking his leg. (Yes, under your General Liability policy.
- Cleaning after her shift, a waitress accidentally ingests some Comet and becomes sick. (Yes, under your Workers’ Comp policy.)
- While stargazing after work one night, you come up with a brilliant idea that will bring in millions of dollars of new revenue. You plot out a scheme of how you will hit it rich, retire early, and move to Hawaii with a boat and a closet full of Tommy Bahama shirts. You doze off happy, but when you wake you can’t remember your brilliant idea and have no written record of what it was. (No… sorry.)
Any other questions about space perils covered by business insurance? Post them below!