Types of Coverage

Business Income Coverage: Designed to replace income that would otherwise have been earned by the business had no loss occurred. Business income is generally defined as the net profit or loss before taxes, plus continuing normal operating expenses, including payroll. This insurance definition contrasts with the accounting definition of net profit (or loss), which is the net profit after taxes. Coverage is generally limited to the loss of income sustained until the property is restored or for a specified period of time following the physical loss or damage. Other limitations apply to the period for which “ordinary payroll” coverage is included (often 60 days).

Extra Expense Coverage: Designed to pay for necessary expenses incurred during the period of restoration of the property because of the loss or damage to the property. Extra expenses include those necessary to continue operating the business at its original location or at a temporary replacement location until the original location is repaired. Extra expenses may also include expenses that minimize the time your business is unable to operate or those necessary to repair or replace damaged property or valuable papers and records.

Contingent Business Interruption Coverage: Designed as an extension of coverage to cover loss of income incurred due to a property loss at key supplier or customer location. For example, if a key supplier experiences a fire at its plant and is unable to deliver parts or goods necessary for the continuation of your business, you may have a claim for a contingent business interruption loss.

Civil Authority Coverage: Covers loss of business income and extra expense due to the government’s denial of access to property or due to a covered loss at a location owned by others. A waiting period may apply before coverage begins, and coverage generally applies only for a few weeks.

Ingress/Egress Coverage: Coverage may be provided for loss of business income and extra expense when you cannot gain access to your property without the government action required under the coverage for closure by a civil authority.

Miscellaneous Related Coverage: Other related coverage may include dust and debris removal coverage, event-cancellation coverage, valuable-papers coverage and service-interruption coverage.

Possible Coverage Adjustments

Extended Period of Indemnity: May extend period for loss of income coverage for a specified time beyond completion of repairs.

Definition of “Suspension”: May determine whether a complete or partial cessation of business is needed to trigger coverage.

Resumption of Operations: May limit business interruption loss to the point at which operations can be even partially resumed, even though the business may not be able to fully sustain itself.

Coinsurance Provisions: Requires that policyholders must pay a share of business income loss if the actual loss sustained is substantially higher than the estimated income established at the time insurance was purchased.

Agreed Value: Establishes in advance a maximum for recovery in any given month.

Covered Locations: Identifies what locations are covered. There may be extensions of coverage for “newly acquired locations” to cover property recently acquired and for property at locations not owned by the insured.

Building Ordinances: May provide coverage for the additional time to rebuild due to compliance with building ordinances.

Electronic Media and Records Limitation: May limit replacement period for electronic data and documents.

Typical Exclusions

Idle Periods: Coverage is generally excluded for periods when operations would have been idle.

Interference: Additional costs for rebuilding due to labor unrest may be excluded.

Loss of Contracts: Income loss on long-term contracts may be limited to period ending with completion of repair or replacement.

Consequential Losses: Coverage for consequential losses may be excluded; however, business interruption policies may contain an extension of coverage for such losses.

Utility Service Interruption: Precludes coverage for interruption of services from utilities.

Finished Stock: For manufacturing operators, recovery for lost profits on finished stock may be covered under physical damage to property rather than under interruption.

DO NOT DELAY in contacting your insurance company. Give notice quickly to avoid penalty or voided coverage. Refer to the steps listed above in making a property insurance claim.

Insurance FAQ

I own a business. What kinds of insurance coverage could I have for claims made against me or my company?
Workers’ compensation claims can be brought against you by injured employees or their families for disability and lost wages. Injured visitors or those employees who are exempt from workers’ compensation may have claims under health insurance, short and long-term disability and travel accident policies. You may be covered by commercial general liability policies for lawsuits brought against you for bodily injury or property damage. Commercial and personal umbrella and excess policies may provide additional coverage.

My insurance company has denied me coverage or has offered me less than I think I should receive. What can I do?
Insurance companies are required to acknowledge receipt of claims, communicate their decisions on claims and pay claims in a timely manner. In general, insurance companies should acknowledge receipt of your claim within 15 days of receiving notice of your claim and should communicate decisions on claims within 40 days of receiving your claim. Payouts should occur within 30 days of your acceptance of their offer.

If coverage is denied, in whole or in part, ask the insurance company to provide you with its reasons in writing, as well as whether it has an appeals process. You should ask for any reports prepared by the insurance company in assessing your property or evaluating your claim. You may also want to seek an advance of the undisputed portion of your claim, if you can do so without giving up your rights to the disputed portion. Contact your state department of insurance if you feel your claim has been wrongfully denied. You may want to seek help from an attorney, but be aware that their fee often will reduce your total recovery.

Most insurance policies have a one-year statute of limitations from the date of the occurrence of the damage for bringing a lawsuit against the insurance company for failure to pay a claim. If you do not file your lawsuit within this period, you may be prevented from doing so. You should read your policy and check the applicable law for the statute of limitations.

I am not happy with the way my insurance company has treated me. What should I do?
Contact the Oklahoma Insurance Department

Oklahoma Insurance Department (OKC)
800-522-0071 or 405-521-2828
Five Corporate Plaza
3625 NW 56th, Suite 100
Oklahoma City, OK 73112-4511

Oklahoma Insurance Department (Tulsa)
918-295-3700
7645 E 63rd St, Suite 102
Tulsa, OK 74133

Insurance Claims

For direct property damage, including collateral damage, and for indirect property damage, including business income losses; extra expenses; and computer, valuable records and data processing losses, you can look to the following types of policies:

  • All risk policies
  • Named peril policies (fire, etc.)
  • Building and personal property policies
  • Business owner property policies
  • Boiler and machinery policies
  • Computer policies
  • Commercial inland marine policies
  • Causes of commercial loss policies
  • Condominium commercial property or owner policies
  • Homeowner/renter policies
  • Ordinance or law commercial property policies
  • Jewelers block policies
  • Flood policies
  • Valuable papers and records policies

If your business was closed by damage or governmental action, in addition to being covered by the policies listed above, you may be covered by business income (an extra expense) and cancellation policies. If you suffered damage to vehicles such as automobiles and boats, you may be covered under business or personal automobile policies, truckers’ policies, motor carrier policies, mobile equipment policies, garage coverage and marine policies. If you or your employees were injured, you or they may be covered by your workers’ compensation policy. If not, which may be the case if you are a sole proprietor, director or officer, you can look to health insurance policies and short-and long-term disability policies (group and individual).

Submitting Your Claim

STEPS TO TAKE IMMEDIATELY

Step 1
Find your business insurance policy. Be sure to read the policy carefully to clarify what losses your insurance company covers and what losses are your responsibility.

If your insurance documents were destroyed in the disaster, do not panic. Call your insurance agent or insurance company and request a copy of your policy. Ask for the entire policy — not just the cover page or the declarations. If you do not know the name of your insurance company or insurance agent, check with your mortgage lender or with your bank. They may have records of your insurance information. If those options are unavailable, call the Oklahoma Insurance Department at 1-800-522-0071 (Toll-Free), 405-521-2828 (Local) or online at http://www.ok.gov/oid.

Step 2

You should contact your insurance agent or insurance company IMMEDIATELY to begin the claim process. Most policies require that the business owner promptly notify the insurance company of damage or losses. For that reason, it is important that you begin the claims process as soon as possible. You should contact your insurance agent or insurance company even if you do not know if you are covered or if your claim may not exceed your deductible. If you have separate flood insurance, also call your flood insurance agent to report your claim. Your insurance agent will prepare a Notice of Loss form, and an adjuster will be assigned to assist you.

Most insurance carriers and state departments of insurance offer a toll-free telephone number to facilitate the claim filing process. Section 11: Contacts and Resources of this guide includes the contact information for most of the nation’s insurance companies.

When you call your insurance agent or insurance company, be prepared to provide:

  • The name of your insurance company (your agent may write policies for more than one company)
  • Name and address of insured
  • Your policy number
  • Contact name, phone and fax number
  • Location of loss
  • Date and time of loss
  • Brief description of loss

When you contact your insurance company, ask when an insurance adjuster (a person professionally trained to assess the damage to your property) can be expected to visit your property so that you can plan for the visit. Also ask the insurance company for the specific information required for the proof of loss. Some companies may have a detailed list of documents they seek or require you to fill out a particular form. A proof of loss provides details identifying the property destroyed or damaged and documents the amount of loss incurred.

Keep your insurance company informed of your current contact information. If you are in a shelter or cannot easily be reached, make sure to give your insurance company or agent the contact number of a friend, relative or someone else who knows how you can be reached.

When dealing with your insurance company, document every conversation. Be sure to write down the name of the person with whom you speak the date and the substance of your call and your claim number. It may be helpful to keep all of this information in a notebook so that it is in one place. This will help in future dealings with the insurance company.

Step 3
If reasonably possible, protect the property from further damage. Damaged property that presents a health hazard or that may hamper local clean-up operations should be disposed of. Be sure to adequately describe and photograph discarded items so that when the adjuster examines your losses and your records, these articles are included in the documentation.

Photograph the outside of the premises, showing any damage or flooding. Photograph the inside of the premises as well, showing the damaged property and the height of the water if your property was flooded. However, do not enter your property if it is not safe to do so. Separate the damaged from the undamaged property, and put it in the best possible order for the insurance adjuster’s examination.

Collect and organize backup documents. Gather additional information and documents for the proof of loss. Generally, any information substantiating the claim (photographs, receipts, records) can become proof of claim. Gather vital records, ledgers and other proof that supports valuation.

Prior to signing an agreement/contract with a cleaning, remediation or maintenance contractor, consult with your adjuster or insurer concerning coverage.

Step 4
List the areas that have structural damage. As you look over your property, make a list of structural damage you want to point out to the insurance adjuster.

If you’ve purchased contents coverage, make a list of damaged property. List the quantity of each item, a description, brand name, where purchased, its cost, model and serial number (if appropriate) and your estimate of the loss amount. Attach your bills, receipts, photos and any other documents. Good records speed up settlement of your claim.

Can I make temporary repairs?
Before making any repairs, get permission from your insurance company. Once you have that permission, even if the adjuster has not visited yet, make all necessary temporary repairs such as boarding up windows and repairing holes in the walls or roof. Move your personal property to a protected area. Do not dispose of items you believe are a total loss until the insurance adjuster has inspected them or unless you are instructed to do so by local officials. If you must dispose of damaged items, photograph them and take a swatch or sample. Take photographs before you begin repairs or cleanup, and keep all of your receipts for your expenses.

Can I hire someone else to make emergency repairs?
Usually you can hire someone else to make temporary or emergency repairs, depending on the coverage your policy provides. Such policies usually cover materials and reasonable labor expenses for temporary and emergency repairs in addition to final repairs. Get several estimates. Also, contact your insurance company to find out if you will be reimbursed for repairs you conduct yourself. Keep all of your receipts for your expenses.

Handling Your Claim

If an adjuster is not assigned to you within several days, contact your insurance company or the state department of insurance. It is a good idea to make the request for an adjuster in writing. Keep in mind that an adjuster will not be able to visit your property until officials declare that is safe.

Working With Your Adjuster
Generally, your adjuster will contact you within 24-48 hours after receiving your notice of loss. However, depending on local conditions and the severity of the disaster, it may take more time. Once the adjuster contacts you, a time will be set for the adjuster to view your property. You may ask the adjuster for an advance or partial payment.

During the initial visit to your property, the adjuster will take measurements and photographs and note direct damage. This is called “scoping” a loss. Be assured that your adjuster will be an experienced claim professional and will notice many points of damage you could overlook. You are, however, encouraged to point out all damage you have noticed. After the “scope” is finished, the adjuster will give you a local contact telephone number and will tell you whether any additional visits are needed.

The adjuster then uses the evidence from the visit(s) and the documentation you have provided to complete a detailed estimate of damages. You will get a copy of the estimate. Use it as a guide when you ask for bids for repair work from licensed professional contractors.

You can also ask your insurance company for an advance on your insurance proceeds. Funds disbursed in the form of an advance will be deducted from the final settlement. If you have a mortgage, your bank will need to sign the advance check.

You may also be eligible for expedited assistance from the federal government through FEMA. You can apply for such assistance through FEMA on line at http://www.fema.gov, or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), TTY 800-462-7585. FEMA representatives typically visit disaster assistance centers.

Your official claim for damages is called a Proof of Loss. This must be fully completed and signed and in the hands of your insurance company within 60 days after the loss occurs. The Proof of Loss includes a detailed estimate to replace or repair the damaged property. In most cases, the adjuster, as a courtesy, will provide you with a suggested Proof of Loss. However, you are responsible for making sure that it is complete, accurate and filed in a timely manner. Be sure to keep a copy of the Proof of Loss—and copies of all supporting documents—for your records.

Payment of Claims

Your claim is payable after:
You and the insurer agree on the amount of damages.
The insurer receives your complete, accurate and signed Proof of Loss.

In general, insurance companies should acknowledge receipt of your claim within 15 days of receiving it and should communicate decisions on claims within 40 days of receiving them. Payouts should occur within 30 days of your acceptance of their offer. More information on claims payment is in your policy.

Business Interruption Losses

Business interruption coverage is a typical and important part of most businesses’ property insurance programs. Business-interruption coverage is purchased to cover the loss of business income and at least some of the extra expenses associated with restoring business operations.

Step 1: Review Your Policy
The following types of coverage are typical in business interruption insurance policies. It is important for you to review these to ensure that you maximize your ability to continue operations with minimal disruption.

Calculating Business Interruption Losses

Business interruption claims can become more difficult and even contentious when differences of interpretation emerge about the reliability of projections or the meaning of policy provisions. A successful claim entails maneuvering through the gray areas inherent in business interruption, including financial projections, consumer demand and policy interpretation, to reach a number that’s reasonable, credible, defensible and well-supported.

The following is a common example of a worksheet that can be used to calculate your business-interruption loss:

SAMPLE BUSINESS INTERRUPTION WORKSHEET
1. Gross Sales $______________________

2. Adjustments to gross sales (includes discounts given, returns $______________________ andallowances, bad debts, freight)
3. Net Sales (1 minus 2) $______________________

4. Other income that would be lost if operations were interrupted $ _____________________

(includes rent, interest, service fees)
5. Total revenues (3 minus 4) $______________________

6. Merchandise or materials consumed
a. Purchases during the year $______________________
b. Changes in inventory
Beginning inventory $______________________
Ending inventory $______________________
Change (beginning minus ending) $______________________
c. Total (a plus b) $______________________

7. Gross earnings (5 minus 6c) $______________________

8. Discontinuing expenses (includes
payroll that would not continue, rent, $ _____________________
heat, light, delivery, advertising,
maintenance cost, etc.)

9. Gross Earnings Discontinued
Expenses (7 minus 8) $ ____________________

Adjust Gross Earnings After Discontinued Expenses for period or Interruption Expected

Insurance Needed
1 year: Line 9* 1.00 = $______________
9 months: Line 9*0.75= $______________
6 months: Line 9*0.5 = $______________

Supplemental Claims

If you notice additional damage to your building property or personal property after filing your claim, you may file a supplemental claim. This means, essentially, that you must repeat the documentation and filing process for your original claim — including a proof of loss — but only for the newly discovered damage. Supplemental claims should start with immediately notifying your adjuster, agent and/or company representative. Once you have completed documentation, present it to your adjuster, who may need to make another property visit to verify your loss.

Once you receive the letter stating that the cost to repair damage to your building is 50 percent or more of its market value, you may file an increased cost of compliance claim (ICC). You should contact your adjuster or your insurer’s claims representative to file the ICC claim. You have four years from the date of the letter declaring the building to be substantially damaged to complete your chosen mitigation activity under the terms of the standard flood insurance policy. Your insurer will provide you with additional information to assist you in completing your ICC claim.

Insurance FAQ

I own a business. What kinds of insurance coverage could I have for claims made against me or my company?
Workers’ compensation claims can be brought against you by injured employees or their families for disability and lost wages. Injured visitors or those employees who are exempt from workers’ compensation may have claims under health insurance, short and long-term disability and travel accident policies. You may be covered by commercial general liability policies for lawsuits brought against you for bodily injury or property damage. Commercial and personal umbrella and excess policies may provide additional coverage.

My insurance company has denied me coverage or has offered me less than I think I should receive. What can I do?
Insurance companies are required to acknowledge receipt of claims, communicate their decisions on claims and pay claims in a timely manner. In general, insurance companies should acknowledge receipt of your claim within 15 days of receiving notice of your claim and should communicate decisions on claims within 40 days of receiving your claim. Payouts should occur within 30 days of your acceptance of their offer.

If coverage is denied, in whole or in part, ask the insurance company to provide you with its reasons in writing, as well as whether it has an appeals process. You should ask for any reports prepared by the insurance company in assessing your property or evaluating your claim. You may also want to seek an advance of the undisputed portion of your claim, if you can do so without giving up your rights to the disputed portion. Contact your state department of insurance if you feel your claim has been wrongfully denied. You may want to seek help from an attorney, but be aware that their fee often will reduce your total recovery.

Most insurance policies have a one-year statute of limitations from the date of the occurrence of the damage for bringing a lawsuit against the insurance company for failure to pay a claim. If you do not file your lawsuit within this period, you may be prevented from doing so. You should read your policy and check the applicable law for the statute of limitations.

I am not happy with the way my insurance company has treated me. What should I do?
Contact the Oklahoma Insurance Department

Oklahoma Insurance Department (OKC)
800-522-0071 or 405-521-2828
Five Corporate Plaza
3625 NW 56th, Suite 100
Oklahoma City, OK 73112-4511

Oklahoma Insurance Department (Tulsa)
918-295-3700
7645 E 63rd St, Suite 102
Tulsa, OK 74133

20 Questions to ask your agent

  1. If I don’t already have one, am I eligible for a BOP policy?
  2. What deductible do I have and how does it apply?
  3. Do I have a copayment and/or coinsurance?
  4. If I have coinsurance how does it work? (Example)
  5. Is my property coverage on an actual cash value basis or a replacement cost basis?
  6. Is my personal property and building coverage on the same basis (replacement cost vs. actual cash value)?
  7. Do I have/need a peak season endorsement on my inventory?
  8. If my policy is a “named perils” policy, what perils are covered? Are there any possible causes of loss that could impact my business that are not covered? Would an open perils policy cover those types of losses?
  9. What types of losses are excluded under this policy? Which ones might be particularly relevant to my business?
  10. What are my policy limits and how do the limits apply? Do I have/need an inflation guard?
  11. If I increase my deductible, how much does my premium go down?
  12. If I increase my limits, how much does my premium go up?
  13. Would a blanket policy (for multiple locations) be helpful to me?
  14. Are there any premium discounts that I could be eligible for? Is there anything I can do to get [additional] premium discounts?
  15. [If you are working with an independent agent] How many carriers do you work with that underwrite my type of policy? Why did you choose to place my business with the company you selected?
  16. Have you “shopped” my insurance recently?
  17. Is my insurance through the surplus lines? What does that mean for me?
  18. What is my company rated by AM Best and/or Standard and Poor? How does that compare to other insurers?
  19. Do you conduct free, regular risk assessments? How often? (If not, you might consider working with an agent who does) Is there any exposure that you are aware of for which I do not have insurance?
  20. Should I consider getting a claims-made basis liability policy instead of occurrence?

Insurance

Why do I need insurance and what types do I need?

You’ve worked hard to build your business. You work every day to be successful. You want to be sure that your business is protected. Accidents and disasters can and do happen, and if you aren’t properly insured, it could leave you in financial ruin. You need insurance to protect your lifestyle, your business, your assets and your income.

It is critical that you are adequately covered with the right types of insurance. You need to think about business income interruption and income replacement insurance. You may need a key man policy. Flood insurance may be very critical for covering your contents if you don’t own your building. You need to have a basic understanding of insurance.

Below are listed various types of insurance and what they cover. Also included are FAQ’s about insurance.
Finally we highly recommend that you work with a trusted agent to insure you have the right insurance at the right price.

20 QUESTIONS TO
ASK YOUR AGENT

TYPES OF COVERAGE
INSURANCE CLAIMS

Risk Management Resources

 

Risk Management (General)

Understanding Risk Management
http://www.allbusiness.com/print/820-1-22eeq.html

How to Manage Risk in Your Small Business
http://www.smallbusinessnotes.com/operating/finmgmt/htrisk.html

What Should I Know About Risk Management
http://www.iii.org/smallbusiness/riskmanagement/

 

Risk Identification

Risks That Small Businesses Face
http://ezinearticles.com/?Risks-That-Small-Businesses-Face&id

What OSHA Regulations Apply to Small Business?
http://www.allbusiness.com/print/11509-1-22eeq.html

Problem Investigation in High-Hazard Industry (academic article)
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=305719

 

Risk Control (Including Disaster Recovery)

Disaster Safety
http://www.disastersafety.org/ididit/view/asp?id=140&category=1170

Ready Business
http://www.ready.gov/business/index.html

Fish Toss or Safety Training: You Decide: Risk-Management for the 21st Century
http://www.allbusiness.com/labor-employment/workplace-health-safety/12361402-1.html

Are Auto Accidents Driving Your Losses?
http://www.allbusiness.com/labor-employment/workplace-health-safety/6597654-1.html

Employee Risk Management: Reduce Your Workers’ Compensation Costs
http://www.allbusiness.com/print/3779084-1-22eeq.html

Required 2009 OSHA Injury & Illness Recordkeeping Requirements
http://www.hrtrainingcenter.com/showWCDetails.asp?TCID=1002519

OSHA Handbook for Small Businesses
http://www.osha.gov/publications/osha2209.pdf

OSHA Small Business Assistance: OSHA Benefits for Small Business
http://www.osha.gov/dcsp/smallbusiness/benefits.html

OSHA Small Business Assistance
http://www.osha.gov/dcsp/smallbusiness/sbrefa.html

 

Insurance for Small Businesses (General Information)

Small Business Insurance Essentials
http://sbinformation.about.com/od/insurance/a/insurancestart.htm

Small Business Insurance Basics
http://www.iii.org/smallbusiness/basics/?printerfriendly=yes

Small Business Property Insurance
http://www.iii.org/smallbusiness/property/?printerfriendly=yes

Insuring Your Business: Small Business Owner’s Guide to Insurance (A Book that Can Be Purchased for a Small Fee and Membership)
http://www.iii.org/smallbusiness/intro/

Business Insurance 101: What Types of Coverage Do You Need?
http://www.allbusiness.com/print/10904-1-22eeq.html

What Business Insurance Do I Need?
http://www.allbusiness.com/print/11022-1-22eeq.html

Elective and Required Types of Small Business Insurance
http://www.allbusiness.com/print/2607-1-22eeq.html

Do I Need Business Interruption Insurance?
http://www.iii.org/individuals/business/basics/interruption/?printerfriendly=yes

How to Determine How Business Interruption Insurance Protects for Flood
http://www.ehow.com/how_2163979_determine-how-business-interruption-insurance.html

Managing Contractual Insurance Requirements a Necessity
http://www.allbusiness.com/insurance/insurance-policies-claims-insurance/12278331-1.html

Property and Casualty (BOP) FAQ’s
http://www.schinnerer.com/industries/design-firms/Pages/AEC-PC-BOP-FAQs.aspx

Commercial Lines Insurance
http://save001.com/page70.html#BUSINESSOWNERS

Time to Review Your Business Insurance
http://www.allbusiness.com/print/10898-1-22eeq.html

Property Insurance Basics
http://www.allbusiness.com/print/1248-1-22eeq.html

Understanding General Liability Insurance
http://www.allbusiness.com/print/389-1-22eeq.html

Quick Guide to Insurance
http://www.entrepreneur.com/management/insurance/article31680.html

Choosing Your Specialty Insurance
http://www.nfib.com/tabid/56/Default.aspx?cmsid=20385&v=1

Insurance Selection Toolkits
http://www.uschambersmallbusinessnation.com/toolkits/insurance

 

The Small Business Owner’s Policy

Business Owner’s Insurance Policy (BOP) – What is it?
http://insurance.freeadvice.com/insurance_help/php

What Does a Business Owner’s Policy Cover?
http://www.iii.org/individuals/business/basics/bop/

 

Managing Your Insurance Coverage and Making Claims

Ways to Lower Your Small Business Insurance Premiums
http://www.allbusiness.com/print/2606-1-22eeq.html

Will Insurance Costs Decrease Or Increase As My Company Grows?
http://www.allbusiness.com/print/1095-1-22eeq.html

Making A Business Insurance Claim
http://www.allbusiness.com/print/2605-1-22eeq.html

Understanding Commercial Property (from the Louisiana Citizens, the State’s Insurer-of-Last- Resort)
http://www.lacitizens.com/AboutYourPolicyCommercial.aspx

Business Insurance Checklist (Also Can Get Quotes at this Website)
http://www.2insure4less.com/info/business-insurance-checklist.htm

 

Selecting/Evaluating Your Insurance Agent

How Good Is Your Insurance Agent?
http://www.allbusiness.com/insurance/insurance-policies-claims-insurance/11761171-1.html

What Is An Insurance Broker And How Many Do You Need?
http://www.allbusiness.com/print/2975925-1-22eeq.html

Does One Insurance Agency Sell All Types Of Insurance?
http://www.allbusiness.com/print/423-1-22eeq.html

 

Special Topics

AARA and A Green America: Understanding the Small Business Opportunity
http://www.allbusiness.com/energy-utilities/renewable-energy-solor/12278446-1.html

Zurich North America Commercial Announces New Risk Retention Groups
http://www.allbusiness.com/insurance/insurance-policies-claims-insurance/12331769-1.html

Zurich Creates Two New Insurance Policies to Support Green House Gas Mitigation Technology
http://www.allbusiness.com/insurance/insurance-policies-claims-insurance/11755235-1.html

 

Useful Insurer Websites and Articles

Amerisafe Focuses On High-Hazard Comp
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3615/is_200111/ai_n8954028/

10 – Point Components Of A Safety Management Plan
http://www.stonetrustinsurance.com/pdfs/SafetyProgramsComponents.pdf

Education and Training Webinars Focused On Risk Control from Travelers Insurance
http://www.travelers.com/business-insurance/risk-control/

Interactive Guide to Types of Insurance You Need From The Hartford
http://www.thehartford.com/business/

 

Helpful Associations’ and Governmental Homepages

Scan these home pages to find meetings, conferences, training sessions, articles, texts, webinars that might be of interest. Some are free and others have a charge.

The Louisiana Small Business Development Center
http://www.lsbdc.org/

-There are numerous links here to help you develop a business continuity plan including a set of easy to follow videos developed in cooperation with the ULM Risk Management and Studies Center.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency
http://training.fema.gov/

-FEMA is the agency charged with The National Preparedness Directorate (NPD). At this site you will find the online Course Catalog which provides “searchable, integrated information on courses provided or managed by FEMA’s Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP), Emergency Management Institute (EMI), and National Training and Education Division (NTED)”. While it is disaster focused, it is not strictly “flood focused”.

Public Entity Risk Institute
https://www.riskinstitute.org/peri/

-Geared primarily to public entities, this organization does also seek to provide risk management assistance to businesses.

-Go to their “Resource Library” and select “Small Business” as the Audience and you will find numerous articles, books and risk management checklists that might be of interest for a reasonable price. The PDF format is also available online.

The Insurance Information Institute
http://www.iii.org

-This website has an abundance of information about insurance products, the insurance industry and issues such as toxic mold and hurricane preparedness related to insurance. Many of the sections related to small businesses are referenced above but the website is regularly updated so you might find something new each time you check it out.

The Risk and Insurance Management Society
http://www.rims.org

-This Society is mostly geared to helping corporate enterprises. Some larger “small businesses” might find the many risk management resources and educational tools very useful.

The Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America
http://www.iiabl.net

-Geared primarily to their insurance agent/broker members, but there is useful information at the “Consumer Information” tab, primarily on how to select a good agent. -Also can find an agent from here.

The Business Continuity Institute: (London)
http://www.thebci.org/

FAQ Disaster Assistance in Oklahoma

Fact Sheet Questions and Answers About State and Federal Disaster Assistance Available For Oklahoma

Q: Who is eligible to register for state and federal disaster assistance?
A: You may be eligible if you live in a federally designated county and incurred damage from severe storms, flooding and tornadoes May 18 through June 2. The six counties now designated for Individual Assistance are Canadian, Cleveland, Lincoln, McClain, Oklahoma and Pottawatomie.

Q: If I had damage from the severe storms, flooding and tornadoes May 18 through June 2 but live in a county that has not been designated for Individual Assistance, should I register anyway?
A: Yes. Homeowners and renters outside the six designated counties may report their damage. The damage reports will help OEM and FEMA ensure all impacted areas are identified and documented.

Q: What is Individual Assistance?
A: Individual Assistance may include:

  • Grants to help pay for temporary housing and home repairs.
  • Grants to help pay for personal property replacement or disaster-related necessary expenses—such as uninsured medical and dental costs, damaged vehicle replacement, lost work tools, and moving and storage fees related to the disaster.
  • Low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

Q: Isn’t an SBA disaster loan only for businesses?
A: No. SBA provides low-interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes (including landlords) and private nonprofit organizations for disaster damage not fully covered by insurance or other compensation.

Q: I don’t think I can afford an SBA low-interest disaster loan. Should I fill out the SBA application anyway?
A: Yes. If you received an SBA application, it’s a good idea to fill it out and return it to SBA. If you don’t qualify for a loan, SBA may refer you for a FEMA grant to help replace disaster-damaged essential personal property such as damaged or destroyed major appliances.

Q: How do I register for disaster assistance?
A: There are three ways you can register for disaster assistance. Call 800-621-3362; TTY 800-462-7585; online, visit DisasterAssistance.gov or go to m.fema.gov via web-enabled phone. Users of 711-Relay or Video Relay Services should call 800-621-3362.

Q: Can I register for assistance if I have insurance?
A: Yes. Even if you have insurance, you should apply. You may be eligible for disaster assistance for the uninsured and underinsured losses and damage.

Q: If I am a renter, can I get FEMA disaster assistance?
A: Yes. If you are a renter and your house was made unlivable by a disaster, you may be eligible for disaster grants for rental assistance and other serious disaster-related needs.

Q: If I am a renter, how do I use the temporary housing funds I receive?
A: FEMA leaves the rental choices to survivors. For example, you may use your rental assistance to rent an apartment, a house or a recreational vehicle (RV). RVs can include travel trailers or other prefabricated dwellings.

Q: When I register, do I qualify and receive payments from FEMA?
A: After you register, your completed application is reviewed, and an inspector may call to schedule an inspection at your damaged dwelling.

If you are eligible for assistance, FEMA’s Households and Individuals Program will send you a U.S. Treasury/state check or a direct deposit to your bank account if you signed up for it. Other types of assistance may be provided later, based on specific eligibility and need.

Q: If I receive FEMA assistance, could it reduce my Social Security or other benefits?
A: No. State and FEMA disaster assistance will not affect your Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, supplemental nutrition assistance or similar benefits you receive.

Q. Do I have to repay any Individual Assistance funds I receive for my recovery?
A. No. The funds are grants that do not have to be repaid.

Q: Do undocumented immigrants qualify for federal assistance?
A: Applicants must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national or a qualified alien to be eligible for FEMA assistance. However, assistance may be available to a household if someone registers on behalf of a minor child in the home who is a U.S. citizen or a qualified alien under 18.

Q: If I received a letter from FEMA with an ineligible determination, does that mean that I will not get any assistance?
A: Receiving such a letter does not necessarily mean that you are not eligible for disaster assistance, even when the letter states “ineligible” or “incomplete.” It can be an indication that further information is needed, or that your insurance claim needs to be settled first before disaster assistance can be granted.

Q: I need information on the status of my application, and I have a few questions about FEMA’s disaster programs. What should I do?
A:  Please call 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585) or go online at DisasterAssistance.gov. You can call as often as you like to get your questions answered. You can also ask about the location of disaster recovery centers, where you can meet face to face with disaster specialists.

For more information on Oklahoma disaster recovery, click fema.gov/disaster/4117 or visit the OEM site at oem.ok.gov. The fema.gov website has a link to a Rumor Control Page, which clarifies disaster-related rumors.

Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status.  If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585.

The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) prepares for, responds to, recovers from and mitigates against emergencies and disasters. The department delivers service to Oklahoma cities, towns and counties through a network of more than 350 local emergency managers.

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards. Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/femaregion6 and the FEMA Blog at http://blog.fema.gov.

SBA is the federal government’s primary source of funding for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes, and private non-profit organizations fund repairs or rebuilding efforts, and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover uninsured and uncompensated losses and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations. For information about SBA programs, applicants may call 800-659-2955 (TTY 800-877-8339).

Getting Disaster Help From SBA

 

What You Need To Know

  • If you are a homeowner or renter, FEMA may refer you to SBA. SBA disaster loans are the primary source of money to pay for repair or replacement costs not fully covered by insurance or other compensation.
  • SBA offers low-interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private, non-profit organizations.
  • Homeowners may borrow up to $200,000 to repair or replace their primary residence.
  • Homeowners and renters may borrow up to $40,000 to replace personal property.
  • Businesses may borrow up to $2 million for any combination of property damage or economic injury.
  • SBA offers low-interest working capital loans (called Economic Injury Disaster Loans) to small businesses, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private, nonprofit organizations of all sizes having difficulty meeting obligations as a result of the disaster.

 

What You Need To Do

  • Begin by registering with FEMA, if you haven’t already done so, call (800) 621-3362.
  • Homeowners and renters should submit their SBA disaster loan application, even if they are not sure if they will need or want a loan. If SBA cannot approve your application, in most cases they refer you to FEMA’s Other Needs Assistance (ONA) program for possible additional assistance.

 

Three Ways To Apply To SBA

After you register with FEMA

  • Apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure Web site at: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.
  • Apply in person at any Disaster Recovery Center and receive personal, one-on-one help from an SBA representative. For additional information or to find a location near you visit our Web site at: http://www.sba.gov/content/current-disaster-declarations or call SBA at (800) 659-2955. Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call (800) 877-8339.
  • Apply by mail: complete a paper application and mail it to SBA at: 14925 Kingsport Rd., Ft. Worth, TX 76155-2243.

Could You Survive a Disaster?

Directions:
Given the following scenario, please answer the questions below.

Scenario:
Your building has been totally destroyed, you didn’t get anything out and you can’t go back in. For the purpose of these questions, the reason doesn’t matter.

Questions

  1. How long would it take to replace your building (or move to a new location), replace your critical equipment and reopen?
  2. With your building destroyed, your income stopped and given your answer to question 1, how long could you survive with the funds you have now?
  3. Do you know what insurance(s) you have, is it/are they enough to restart your business and how long would it take you to get those funds?
  4. Do you have pictures of your current facility, a complete inventory of equipment and copies of your insurance policies stored off site to facilitate your claim for damages?
  5. Do you have the names and contact information for the parties needed to rebuild your facility, replace your equipment and restart your business?
  6. Do you have a way to inform your customers and others who need to know what happened, and what do you tell them?
  7. What legal documents, vital records and special forms do you need to operate your business, and how soon could you replace them if destroyed?
  8. Do you have backups of your PC data stored off site, how long would it take you to get new hardware and do you know how to restore your data on new hardware?
  9. Do you have a written plan for how to recover from this or other disasters?
  10. Where do I go for help?

For the answer to Question 10, call (580) 745-2877.

Business Continuity Planning

If your business is disrupted, it will cost you money. Lost revenues plus extra expenses mean reduced profits.
While Insurance is critical, it will not cover all costs and cannot replace customers that defect to the competition. To help you survive a disaster and reopen as quickly as possible you need a business continuity plan. A properly written and practiced plan is essential.

Development of a business continuity plan includes four steps:

  • Conduct a Risk Analysis to determine your most likely disasters and how best to mitigate them, i.e. know what could happen to you and figure out how to lessen the impact.
  • Conduct a business impact analysis to identify and document time-sensitive or critical business functions and processes and the resources that support them, i.e. figure out what you do and what is critical to do it.
  • Organize a business continuity team and compile a business continuity plan to manage a business disruption.
  • Conduct training for the business continuity team and testing and exercises to evaluate recovery strategies and the plan.

Finally, information technology (IT) includes many components such as networks, servers, desktop and laptop computers and wireless devices. The ability to run both office productivity and enterprise software is critical. Therefore, recovery strategies for information technology should be developed so technology can be restored in time to meet the needs of the business. Manual workarounds should be part of the IT plan so business can continue while computer systems are being restored.

Have a plan that meets your company’s needs and risks, practice the plan, keep plan updated, and prepare your IT by having data backuped off site.

SHORT FORM PLAN
DETAILED PLAN
ASSESSMENT + TOOL

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxE940f7iq0