Small or independent business owners face so many challenges, and an important consideration is disaster or emergency prevention and planning.
After a major emergency, approximately 85% of all small and medium businesses fail within three years when no preparedness plan is in place.
What constitutes a workplace emergency or disaster?
- Weather based situations such as heavy snowfall, tornadoes or flooding
- Environmental occurrences such as fires or earthquakes
- Technological problems such as data breaches or communication failures
- Health-based emergencies such as a flu outbreak
All business owners need to have an emergency plan in place to deal with climatic, technology and other threats within and outside the business.
Where to begin?
- Identify risks and create a basic plan to deal with each situation: Be certain to consider that some key employees may not be able to perform their regular duties.
- Review expectations and communications plan with staff members: What if your employees are not able to make it into work? What if your business had to close for a few days? What if a major supplier is unavailable? What happens if the phones are down? Establish a plan to deal with all possible scenarios.
- Encourage personal preparedness: Employees who are personally prepared for disaster will be more likely to function normally in the event of a workplace emergency.
- Technology considerations: Keep your technology systems secure and up to date. Properly maintain and dispose of sensitive information and perform regular backups.
- Regularly audit emergency systems: Review power backups, safety equipment, evacuation routes, communication protocols and establish meeting places to best prepare for disaster.
Evaluate and review your business’s emergency preparedness plan with your staff on a consistent schedule to help ensure continuity and business health.
As your business grows and evolves, so may your insurance needs. Having the proper insurance coverage in place will help your business better recover in the event of an emergency. Keep in regular communication with your insurance professional to help ensure continued business health and profitability. If we can help your business, please reach out to us: 519-736-8228
The use of drones for photography and video purposes has grown dramatically in the last few years, as the technology has decreased in price.
Drones have been used in Windsor and Essex County to survey properties and farms, capture beautiful images of our waterfront, parks, golf courses, wineries and real estate. Drones have become a popular method to record festivals, charitable and community events, weddings and sporting events.
For business or an evolving hobby that may become a business, commercial operators of drones need to purchase a commercial drone insurance package, known as UAV insurance (unmanned aerial vehicle).
If a drone malfunctions, damage to the drone and/or its parts, a vehicle or property may be minimal – perhaps amounting to only a few thousand dollars; but injury to a person may be significant and financially devastating to the operator.
Liability insurance not only protects your company, it’s a requirement of Transport Canada. It’s also important to be familiar with the limitations of UAV insurance, such as fines relating to provincial, federal or municipal laws.
UAV insurance coverage options include:
- Damage, loss or vandalism related to the drone.
- Liability in the event your drone causes damage to a property or vehicle
- Liability for bodily injury
- Packages can be tailored to meet your specific business needs including coverage for employees and equipment related to the operation of a drone.
Read drone safety and policies here. To learn more about commercial drone insurance, please reach out to us: 519-736-8228.
Tourism is on the rise in Windsor and Essex County due many factors including the growth of the wine industry, numerous outdoor attractions and the high value of the American dollar.
Many are taking advantage of opportunities tourism provides, including renting out rooms, condos, homes, cottages or opening a B&B to travelers.
The explosion of companies like Airbnb, VRBO (Vacation Rentals by Owner) and B&B associations, makes it easy for all homeowners to promote their properties to interested visitors to Windsor/Essex. Travelers often prefer this type of rental over traditional hotel rooms as it can be more affordable, flexible and with added amenities.
If this is a consideration for you or someone you know, it’s essential to know that when you use your home or cottage to generate an income – any income – you start to get into a very complicated area regarding insurance.
It is an absolute must to clearly discuss your intent with an insurance professional before committing to rent out your any part of a home or property which you own or lease, as there are unique and distinct risks involved and specific criteria to be met.
While the company you may choose to advertise your property may offer insurance for minor damage, it’s important to note that a “normal” home owner’s policy will not cover even a modest claim related to the business operation; which could result in financial devastation to the property owner.
Speak to an insurance broker who is well versed in this unique type of coverage. If we can help you, please reach out to us: 519-736-8228
A slip and fall accident could be financially devastating for a business owner.
Customer slip and fall accidents are the most common type of liability claim. Consider your business from the perspective of the customer…
- Are the exterior parking areas and walkways well lit, level and free from standing or occasional water?
- How is the drainage around your business? Are there areas prone to ice accumulation?
- Are the handrails secure?
- Are the walkways clear and wide enough for two people?
- Are there tripping hazards inside your business? Slick glazed floors, carpet in need of repair or poorly marked walkway transition areas?
Here are some recommendations from Traveler’s Insurance.
Creating a Safe Passage
- Routine inspection and maintenance should be a regular part of your safety program to help prevent falls for both your visitors and employees.
- Design your entrances and walkways to accommodate the expected volume of foot traffic through your business
- Conduct periodic walkthrough surveys of your premises to help ensure your property is kept in safe condition
- Ensure all walkways are properly lit
- Maintain all flooring surfaces at all times
- Use slip-resistant floor treatments, especially in areas proven to be wet
- Apply floor treatments to manufacturer’s instructions
- Use “wet floor” signs to warn of known hazards
- Schedule maintenance of floor surfaces during times of low traffic
- Have spill cleanup supplies readily available
- Ensure that entry areas are properly maintained and any mats are secured
- Promptly investigate incidents, and document findings if an accident and/or injury occurs
To be best prepared for an unfortunate incident, create a business system and share the process of handling accidents with all employees, as example:
- Remain calm and determine if emergency help is necessary
- Record all contact information from the injured as well as all the witnesses
- Take photographs and videos of the area
- Document or video record statements from the injured and the witnesses
The better your business is prepared for unfortunate events, the less likely they are to occur.
If you have questions regarding your business insurance needs, please feel free to give us a call. 519-736-8228.
What is Cyber Liability Insurance?
Cyber Liability Insurance protects your business from losses or liabilities due to a data breach.
Cyber insurance is not just for large corporations or businesses with e-commerce available on their website. It’s for every business that utilizes the Internet.
Cyber Liability coverage is affordable, flexible, comprehensive and scalable for your business type, size and risk potential. Coverage includes damages for direct losses, such as business interruption and out of pocket expenses, such as coverage for damages as a result of a legal claim.
A Statistics Canada survey reported that 6% of 17,000 businesses surveyed had experienced an Internet security breach in 2013 – and that number could be higher as breaches can go undetected. These breaches included data accessed without authorization, corrupted or stolen client and/or proprietary information. The results of these breaches can be financially devastating to a business.
Protect your business from a possible data breach
- Discuss with your IT person the software and hardware that can best reduce your business’s risk.
- Include potential costs of security upgrades to your business’s financial planning.
- Regularly review your business’s risks and potential exposure to threats.
- Discuss your risk and insurance needs with an insurance broker well versed on Cyber Liability Insurance.
Please call us to review your business’s need for Cyber Liability Insurance. We’ll help ensure that your business is protected – 519-736-8228.
As a business owner, you might be caught up in the day to day running of your business. It might not be on the top of your extensive ‘to do’ list; but for you, your family, your partners’ and your business’s sake, it’s essential to sit down and spend time ‘on’ your business.
Considerations for business owners
If you own a business with a physical location, take the time to evaluate your business; walking in the shoes of your employees and customers.
- Review parking safety issues, such as lighting, surface, and inclement weather issues.
- Review potential access, entryway, location concerns and potential slip and fall causes such as poor drainage, slippery surfaces, etc.
- Create a system to document any issues that may arise with responsiveness, videos, photographs, witness and employee statements.
Every business needs a continuity plan
If you’re unable to run your business, will the business still be able to operate effectively? Consider documenting and creating a continuity plan for the following:
- Information regarding suppliers, customer information, customer service and dispute resolution, guarantees, delivery, key resource providers, financial information and access.
- All essential communication issues, such as phone numbers, addresses, log in and password information.
Employee health and safety
- With regard to employee health and safety issues, it’s always best to consider ‘prevention’ rather than ‘management’.
- Create and review your business’s driving policy.
- For complete information on employee health and safety, please utilize the resources available via the Ontario Ministry of Labour
Protecting your business
- Is your business’s inventory, vehicles and location properly insured?
- Is your liability insurance sufficient?
- Has your business experienced recent growth or expansion?
Create a system for ‘in case of’ emergencies
- Power outages and/or natural disasters
- Computer or connectivity failure
- Owner or employee absence – Can the duties of one employee be easily assumed by another? Can your business adequately operate without you?
Consider cross training your employees to ensure that all aspects of your business is covered in case of emergency.
Creating systems can be as easy as documenting with paper files and/or secure online videos of ‘what to do in case of…’ For help creating safety, continuity or time saving business systems, please feel free to contact The Business Therapist® for available resources.
It’s recommended that all the above suggestions are tested and reviewed on a minimum yearly basis or according to personal or relevant changes in your business.
If you have questions regarding your business’s insurance needs, please reach out to us at 519-736-8228, we’d be pleased to help you.