Hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30. The good news? USA Today reports that Colorado State University forecasters expect a slow season and that only three out of nine predicted tropical storms will turn into hurricanes. The bad news? We’ve seen the first of those hurricanes already.
Hurricane Arthur rocked the East Coast last week, becoming the first hurricane to make landfall in the continental United States since Isaac in 2012. When Arthur reached the coast, it was a Category 2 hurricane with winds reaching 100 mph.
This kind of storm can destroy a small business that doesn’t have the proper protection. That’s why it’s never too early for business owners to build an emergency plan.
Emergency Plans: How Small Businesses Can Survive the Storm
Hurricanes leave a path of destruction in their wake. In addition to wind damage, small-business owners must also contend with flooding and water damage. The cost to repair a damaged building can soar into the thousands of dollars – a sum most small-businesses don’t have on hand.
So what can you do? Build an emergency plan. Here are the basic steps:
- Analyze your risk. Do you know if you live in a hazard area? Hurricanes don’t just affect coastal areas – they can wreak havoc on inland regions, too. Check out FEMA’s hazard mapping platform to better understand your exposure.
- Make a plan. Depending on your risks, there are several steps you must take before, during, and after a storm. For starters, write out an emergency plan, and make sure every employee understands protocol. You need a guide that details what to do when employees can’t go home and the supplies you might need to weather the storm.
- Secure your finances. Your emergency plan can keep you and your employees safe during a storm, but it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to avoid all storm damage. That’s why insurance companies offer policies that cover the cost of rebuilding your office and replacing your gear.
What Kind of Small Business Insurance Covers Hurricane Damage?
If you have a standard Property Insurance policy, you may think that you already have hurricane coverage. Although Property Insurance does include coverage for some types of storm damage, the flooding damage that accompanies hurricanes is almost always excluded from Property Insurance policies.
Why? Most small-business owners in America don’t need to worry about hurricanes and flooding, so Hurricane Insurance isn’t considered a standard coverage. Fortunately, business owners who operate in hurricane risk zones can add a Hurricane Insurance rider to their Property Insurance policies.
A Hurricane Insurance rider provides your business with the flood and water damage protection it needs. Without it, you’d be responsible for repairing that kind of damage on your own.
For more information on Property Insurance and Hurricane riders, contact one of our small business insurance agents.