National Insurance Awareness Day takes place on June 28th of each year. While experts aren’t sure who originally created it, it has now come to serve as an annual reminder for individuals and businesses to review their insurance coverage. In honor of this year’s Insurance Awareness Day, we are sharing the top four questions that you should ask yourself when reviewing your business coverage.
How has my business changed in the past year?
A lot can change over the course of a year! What may have been right for your business last year may not be right for your business now. Take this opportunity to sit back and reflect on any major changes or upheavals that your business experienced over the past year. The coverage you had may now be inadequate to cover you or perhaps you now have coverages that are no longer necessary.
Have I addressed the changing risk factors?
There is no doubt that business risk is looking very different from this time last year. Here are three risk areas that you may want to pay close attention to when evaluating your current coverage:
- Cyber Risk: Cyberattacks are at an all-time high and businesses of all sizes are being impacted. This risk area encompasses many factors and is constantly evolving. You should consider your liability and explore what cyber insurance options are available to you. This is particularly important for businesses that store any type of personal information (employee or customer), utilize e-commerce, or store the bulk of your data online.
- Employment Practices Liability Risk: The #MeToo movement has thrust Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) into the spotlight. It seems like every day a new case appears of alleged harassment. The fact of the matter is that dealing with any type of harassment lawsuit can be costly — regardless of whether the allegation is valid or not. These allegations could include sexual harassment and discrimination. EPLI helps protect employers by covering the legal costs related to these lawsuits.
- Weather-Related Risk: Mother nature wreaked absolute havoc across the globe in 2017. Hurricanes, extreme flooding, fires…it seemed like no area of our country escaped scot free. Even if your business doesn’t reside in a high-risk area, it is still worth it to explore what options are out there. Coverages that could help keep your business afloat if a natural disaster strikes include flood insurance and business interruption insurance. Don’t be left up the creek without a paddle…literally.
How solid are my internal policies and guidelines?
When was the last time you reviewed your company’s internal policies and guidelines for employees? These could include documents such as safety procedures, drug testing, harassment policies, social media policies, and sick leave. If it has been a few years (or perhaps you never created any), there is no time like the present to take a closer look at them. Solid policies and guidelines can help minimize confusion and deter accidents or situations before they occur. They can also help strengthen your case if a lawsuit were to arise.
Specific examples you may want to check include:
- Your company’s stance on social media. Many companies are now reserving the right to terminate an employee based on their social media presence. In today’s society, what an employee says online can affect their employer’s reputation.
- Your expectations regarding distracted driving. If you have employees who are constantly on the go from the warehouse to the job site or from meeting to meeting, it may be wise to include a statement regarding distracted driving. It is far more common than we’d like to admit that employees take conference calls while driving, check their emails at stoplights, or even text while driving. Make it known that distracted driving is by no means company-encouraged but rather actively frowned upon.
- A zero-tolerance policy regarding safety. This can include a number of things including expectations, standard procedures, and even the usage of opioids or other mind-altering substances.
As with all policies, it is important that you not only write them but enforce them. While these policies may not directly impact your insurance coverage, they can help minimize your risk and reduce your number of claims, which in turn keeps your premiums from rising.
What is my business plan for the next year and how could that impact my overall risk and insurance needs?
Now is the time to think about how your business plan and aspirations could impact your overall risk and insurance needs. For example, if you are thinking of expanding to a new market or city, you need to consider how this could change your insurance risk and what policies you might need. You don’t want to be adding on or changing your policies at the last minute if you can avoid it. We recommend sitting down and talking with your agent if you are anticipating any large-scale changes in the coming year.