We may be an insurance agency, but we don’t want our clients to have to file a claim—especially if it can be avoided by giving some simple advice. Here are just a few of the many ways that your business can avoid the topmost common insurance claims.
To avoid fire-based insurance claims, it is important to take the necessary precautions. This includes having a working smoke detector and fire extinguisher, prohibit smoking indoors, and ensuring that all electrical appliances are in good working condition. It is important to be cognizant of any open flames that are left unattended, such as candles, stoves, blow torches, or other equipment your business may use.
Additionally, one should never leave any combustible materials near a heat source, such as a stove or a space heater. You can also make sure that the landscaping around your business is well maintained to reduce the spread of a fire. Taking these precautions can help to prevent a fire-based insurance claim.
When it comes to avoiding water damage insurance claims, prevention is key. It is important to routinely inspect and maintain all plumbing, appliances, and HVAC systems in the building to ensure they are in good working order. Additionally, it is important to check your business office/structure for any signs of water damage, such as water stains, mold, or mildew. It is also important to be aware of potential sources of water damage such as heavy rain or snow, clogged gutters, leaking roofs, or broken pipes. By staying on top of these potential issues, business owners can avoid costly water damage insurance claims.
Florida is known for its rain and hurricanes, so outdoor prevention and maintenance is also vital to protect your business against water damage. Be aware of any part of your business property that may hold water. A simple puddle after a rainstorm can become problematic during a bigger storm. You can also check FEMA’s website to see if your office is located in a flood zone and purchase adequate insurance for flooding.
First and foremost, it is important to make sure your place of business (and its contents) is secure and that you have a good security system in place. This could include deadbolt locks, window alarms, and motion-sensing lights. If your business is on a dark road, install outdoor lighting or hire security personnel to keep your property and employees or clients safe come nightfall. Installing blinds or having a tinted storefront can also greatly reduce the risk for a break-in but keeping valuable items out of sight may help divert tempted individuals. You should also to keep track of serial numbers for any equipment or business property if the object has one in case of theft. Encourage employees to report any suspicious activity to the police and to document any contact with law enforcement.
Hail may be uncommon, but it can happen during particular storms and wind can cause more damage than you may think possible. Aside from knocking things over, wind could potentially blow large debris through your business window, causing the need for costly repairs.
Inspecting the grounds following a storm may increase the odds of identifying an issue before it becomes a larger issue and proper maintenance of landscaping can help reduce how these features of your business property are affected in such a storm.
If your business creates or sells any product on the market, make sure that is properly tested for the “real world”. Product liability claims can arise from “intended uses” of the product, not just its primary use. Make sure directions are clear and understandable when listing directions or how to use (or not use) the product. Be sure to include any necessary warnings on the products you distribute.
Have you ever seen an employee get fired after posting something on social media or taking part in an event outside of work? That’s because the people you hire to work for your company represent your business while they are at work, in uniform, and during non-working hours. An employee’s actions can speak loudly against your company, putting your business at risk for reputation harm. To avoid this, be sure to cover all expectations and social media limitations or restrictions during training.
Whether it is a slip and fall, a display falls apart and injures a customer, or damage is done to your property, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself.
A well-maintained vehicle can help keep your driver safe while on the road. Ample tire tread and a good braking system can make a big difference in avoiding an accident. Also, if your business relies on employees to do any commercial driving always:
A licensed business insurance agent can help you review your company's risks and build a policy best suited to protect your business (and even personal assets) from becoming intertwined in a lawsuit or insurance claim and protect your company from the most common claims for your industry.