Survey shows many small businesses vulnerable

Although the official hurricane season runs from June 1 through Nov. 30, the greatest likelihood for hurricanes comes in September and October. Is your company prepared to handle the business interruptions that can occur when a storm or other disaster hits?

According to a recent Travelers survey, not enough small businesses are. Approximately 57% of the 300 small business owners polled felt only somewhat or not very confident that they have the appropriate insurance coverage to protect against insurable risks that can result in significant financial losses or cause them to close down. And 52% do not have a written business continuity plan or disaster recovery document that identifies and mitigates potential threats to their business, employees, and customers.

"The results demonstrate the need for small business owners to increase awareness of the risks facing their businesses," says Marc Schmittlein, president and CEO of Travelers Small Commercial Accounts.

Travelers recommends that small business owners take the following steps to prepare for storm season and prevent damage when things do go wrong.

  • Create a business continuity plan and establish an emergency file. Review existing plans and communicate emergency evacuation and business interruption instructions to employees.
  • Develop a hurricane emergency plan. Identify how you will prepare, respond to, and recover from the threat of a hurricane.
  • Back up your business. Consider keeping a backup generator and plenty of batteries on hand. Back up critical data and computer records off-site to ensure operational continuity. Having backup accounting documents and a record of business contents (inventory, equipment, etc.) can assist in quickly moving the claim process for business interruption coverage.
  • Review your policies. Understand insurance policies and make sure your company is properly covered for potential hurricane-related losses from wind, flooding, and an interruption in business.

Click here for more information about disaster planning for your business.