What Hurricane Sandy can teach us in Saint Louis, MO

Let’s face it; it seems there has been an inordinate amount of catastrophes across the country and the world that are impacting us everywhere.  Here in Saint Louis we have had our share of tornado devastation from Joplin, Mo to Saint Louis not to mention some major Hail Damage and flooding too.  So, how that impacts us from an Insurance standpoint is still hard to determine.

Long before Sandy made landfall, insurance companies were feeling the effects. Shares were down for several major insurers last week in anticipation of the storm and what it would do to their bottom line. What insurers are taking a hard look at now is extreme weather and how that will impact their exposure and what they will want to do to help minimize that exposure.  Say, you are a home owner and you want to be covered.  The insurance company could potentially come in and recommend that in order for you to be covered you have to replace your roof so your house doesn’t get totally destroyed.   Other insurers, depending on the market, are simply pulling out of areas they feel have high exposures.

Now, we, the homeowner or business owner, can’t control what the insurers will do but we can give consideration to what we should do.  That is why I recommend that everyone has a Disaster Plan in place to help minimize losses.  Preparing for the worst can help minimize your risks.

  1. 1.     Review Insurance Policies- When it is your business it is always a good idea to confirm that your policy will cover the cost of replacing damaged or destroyed equipment or buildings.  Give thought also to interruption insurance which can cover lost income in the event that your business is forced to shut down temporarily.
  2. 2.     Develop a contingency plan-    as a business owner you should consider alternative work sites so that you can keep operating.  Make sure there is a backup list of vendors or suppliers.  Make a 24-hour list of emergency numbers for all your employees.  Also, consider lines of communication that will quickly and efficiently inform your employees.
  3. 3.     Back it up-Make sure that any important or critical records are backed up and easily accessible outside of the office.  These records could include employee information, accounting and customers’ lists.  Using online data backup services is a good idea.

I am happy to speak with anyone struggling with reviewing their current insurance or may have additional questions around preparedness.  Please feel free to email me at info@davewenzel.com or call me 636.394.9070.