September Is National Preparedness Month; Use I.I.I. Resources to Make Sure Your Business Is Disaster Ready


New York Press Office: (212) 346-5500;


NEW YORK, September 3, 2015 — Disasters come in all shapes and sizes, from natural catastrophes like a hurricane, flood or wildfire, to man-made events such as civil disorder or a terrorist attack. But one thing is certain—a disaster can devastate your business if you’re not properly prepared, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.).


“Businesses that prepare for a disaster—which includes purchasing the proper insurance coverage—stand the best chance of financially surviving,” said Loretta Worters, a vice president with the I.I.I.


In fact, 40 percent of U.S. businesses do not reopen after a disaster and another 25 percent fail within one year, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). And even smaller events can have a real impact—the Small Business Administration notes that nearly 70 percent of all businesses will lose power at some point in the next 12 months.


To support FEMA’s Ready Campaign, during National Preparedness Month (NPM), the I.I.I. is offering both business insurance information and commercial insurance expertise.


A good place to start is with the I.I.I.’s guidelines for effective disaster preparedness and the animated video, The I’s on Insurance: (Not So Risky) Business. And the following resources are available for each NPM week’s theme:


Week 1 (9/1 – 9/5): FLOOD

Flooding is not covered under standard business insurance policies but can be purchased from the National Flood insurance Program and a few private insurance companies. The NFIP offers $500,000 in coverage for property damage and $500,000 in contents. For additional coverage, excess flood insurance is also available from private insurance companies.


Week 2 (9/6 – 9/12): WILDFIRE

A standard business policy can help pay the costs of rebuilding or replacing damaged property in a wildfire, but what about losses resulting from the inability to operate because of property damage? For this type of loss, you’ll need business interruption insurance (BI). BI covers revenue lost due to closure; fixed expenses such as rent and utility costs; and expenses relating to operating from a temporary location. A BI policy may also cover additional expenses associated with the disruption—for instance, advertising to announce a new temporary location. 


Week 3 (9/13 – 9/19): HURRICANE

Damage from wind damage, including hurricanes is typically covered under a Business Owners Policy (also known as a BOP) or a standard commercial policy. But it’s also important to take proactive steps to mitigate the impact on your business should a hurricane strike.


Week 4 (9/20 – 9/26): POWER OUTAGE

Most businesses would be unable to function in the event of a power outage. However, if you have a Utility Services-Time Element endorsement under the business interruption section of your policy, it will protect your business when damaged utilities prevent you from conducting business. Your utility services endorsement should also include Utility Services-Direct Damage, which takes care of repairing or replacing items damaged as the result of a power outage.


Week 5 (9/27 – 9/30): Lead up to NATIONAL PREPAREATHON DAY (September 30)

Coverage for man-made disasters such as an act of terrorism are often not included in a BOP or commercial policy. Terrorism insurance is offered separately or as an endorsement or rider to a standard commercial property insurance policy.


“There are other, more insidious, disasters such as identity theft and cybercrime that can cripple a business,” said Worters. “So, evaluate your business risks—What inventory and equipment do you own? Do you have employees? What is the nature of your business—so that your insurance professional can provide recommendations for the types of coverage your business needs.”


And, remember, carrying adequate insurance coverage is the key to helping your business “get back to business” quickly.


Visit the Business Insurance section of the I.I.I. website for more information.


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Other Resources


The I.I.I. has a full library of educational videos on its You Tube Channel. Information about I.I.I. mobile apps can be found here.


Insurance Information Institute, 110 William Street, New York, NY 10038; (212) 346-5500;

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