Imagine a mile-wide tornado coming through your area. It wipes out many of your clients. They are homeless and desperate. Of course, one of the first people they contact is their agent. But, what if you have also experienced a loss as a result of the storm. Your home has been destroyed, but it isn’t just a personal loss. Your office and your employees have suffered catastrophic losses also. Will you be ready to do business? This is the situation many agents found themselves in when hurricane Sandy struck the east coast. Insurance is all about protecting people from the catastrophic and devastating losses that can occur at any time. But, have we properly prepared ourselves and our business so that we can be there for our clients when they need us the most. This is the premise one of our newest classes, “Catastrophic Events.”
In April of 1974 148 tornados (seven F5’s and 23 F4’s) struck the Midwest. They covered a combined path of over 2,600 miles. There were 74 fatalities in Indiana alone. The F’5 that hit Indiana was reported to be one mile wide and stayed on the ground for 62 miles. Fortunately, it hit an area that was not as highly occupied as it could have been.
This raises two questions. First, are your clients adequately protected? Do they have appropriate limits? Do your commercial clients have adequate business interruption coverage? Half of businesses that experience a serious loss never reopen. The second question it raises is are you adequately prepared individually and as a business? Regardless of your personal situation, your clients are going to need your assistance in this emergency. Do you have an emergency plan in place that covers you, your business and the employees of your business?
The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (https://disastersafety.org) provides information for setting up an emergency plan. This plan can be used by your clients and by yourself. It is titled OFB-EZ (Open for Business). When putting together the Catastrophic Events class, I found this to be useful information that I would recommend to any business out there, including those in our own industry. How can we help our clients, if we can’t help ourselves?