Is your business susceptible?
The most common small business claims are for burglary and theft. The most costly claims, however, are for reputational harm, such as libel, slander, or violating privacy. A report by the Hartford revealed that more than 40 percent of small businesses will file a property or liability claim within the next 10 years.
The chances of your business falling within that 40 percent are pretty good.
The Hartford report is based on an analysis of five years of data collected from more than a million property and liability claims. The top 5 types of claims are listed in the table below.
Top 5 Property and Liability Claims
|Burglary and Theft||20%||Reputational Harm||$50,000|
|Water and Freezing Damage||15%||Vehicle Accident||$45,000|
|Wind and Hail||15%||Fire||$35,000|
|Slip and Fall||10%||Customer Injury or Damage||$30,000|
Business owners can lower the risk of accidents and property damage with modifications to their operating procedures and by incorporating safety measures.
Deterring burglaries and theft:
- Conduct pre-employment background checks.
- Install devices that control unauthorized entrance into your business.
- Install fencing and gates around your parking lot and building.
- Install exterior lighting.
Avoiding reputational harm:
- Avoid criticism of your competitors.
- Avoid copyright violations by obtaining permission to post photos and other content on your website and advertisements.
Preventing damage from water and freezing:
- Keep heat on during extremely cold weather, even at night and when away.
- Keep roofs and eaves clear of excessive snow and ice.
- Make sure key personnel know where the water shut-off valve is located.
- Create and familiarize employees with an emergency plan and evacuation route.
- Mark evacuation route clearly and conduct fire drills.
- Test and maintain all fire and life safety equipment per fire codes.
Avoiding wind and hail damage:
- Prune trees and clear broken limbs..
- Conduct regular survey of grounds, moving any objects indoors that could become projectiles in high winds.
- Anchor outdoor equipment that could be moved by high winds.
Avoiding vehicle accidents:
- Screen driving records of employees who drive for business purposes.
- Never offer driver incentives for fast deliveries.
If you have questions or concerns about the liability risks of your business, call us at 800-622-7370.