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R&R Insurance Blog

Disaster Planning | Be Prepared, Minimize the Risk

Posted by Wanda Ritter

There will always be circumstances beyond your control that can affect Are you ready caution sign.jpgyour business. Preparing for the worst can minimize the risk. 

A disaster is an event that would cause the inability to continue your normal business operations. Fortunately, these situations are rare, but overall billions of dollars have been on the repercussions of natural disasters. Not to mention all the revenue businesses have forgone while recovering from the disaster and getting their operations back up and running.

Some of the most recognizable disasters are:

  • Fire                                                    
  • Tornado                                           
  • Hurricane                                         
  • Flooding                                          
  • Severe Storms
  • Wild Fires
  • Power Failure
  • Riot / Civil Disorder

Indirect disasters can also be devastating. These trigger a domino effect that can be felt through all members of your operations and supply chain.

  • How would your business operations be affected if your biggest customer’s purchases were cancelled due to a disaster?
  • How would your customers be affected if your biggest supplier was down and you were unable to get your supplies and merchandise to fulfill purchase orders?

However, there are steps that can be taken to prepare your business for the worst, should disaster strike:

  • Review your insurance:
    • Know the value of your building, contents, and equipment.
    • Review your business interruption expenses. Can you meet payroll, pay vendors, pay rent/mortgage, purchase equipment and supplies?
    • Estimate the length of time it would take to rebuild or relocate to get the business functioning again.
  • Back-up your data.
  • Mark your main water shut off valves and fire extinguishers for quick access.
  • Discuss disaster planning with your management team. Be sure they know what steps each of them would be responsible for in the event of a disaster.

Up to 40% of businesses never recover after experiencing a disaster. However, only approximately 30% of businesses have a disaster plan. Don’t be caught unprepared. Start planning today.

Contact a Knowledge Broker to discuss how you can better protect your business in a time of crisis.

Additional disaster resource Information can be found at:



Topics: Disaster Planning, disaster

Business Interruption Coverage: Will You Sink or Swim?

Posted by Lisa Murawski

closed due to the stormRecent catastrophic events and natural disasters go beyond the initial devastation of a business; they bring new threats and lessons to be learned.

  • Sept 11, 2001, the United States suffered a tragic terrorist attack that led to restrictions of air travel both nationally and internationally; the access of electronic services were impaired for weeks; merchant shipments were stalled; and construction services were abandoned completely. Our Society – our world- changed that day and for insurance purposes, new coverages and exclusions to standard policies were devised.
  • August 2004, a series of 3 hurricanes made landfall on the West Coast of Florida causing $8 billion in damages and creating over 7 million power outages that took 6-8 days to restore.
  • October 2009 Superstorm Sandy hit Atlantic City and 48 hours later, approximately 5 million people in 15 states were without electricity
  • October 2013 the government shutdown caused business interruption losses to industries such as tourism, hotel and restaurant services, and government contractors.

Standard Business Income/Interruption coverage is normally triggered by unintended and direct damage to property (some forms require damage to occur to property owned by the insured). However, as seen in the cases above, some business can be significantly impacted by damage to property actually owned by others. These businesses should consider the need to purchase Contingent Business Income coverage for events that could impact their normal income caused by a direct damage loss to a supplier or key customer.

Other important business income coverages to consider are:
(note that key terms and conditions apply to each)

  • Off Premises Power Failure – losses caused by loss of gas, telephone, water or power service utilities due to direct damage that occurs away from the business premises
  • Civil Authority – losses caused by unexpected actions taken by the government, such as restricted access, curfews, and evacuations
  • Ingress-Egress – losses incurred when employees, suppliers, distributors, &/or customers are prevented from accessing the premises due to a covered cause of loss (fire, explosion, water, etc.)

What lessons can we learn? Standard coverage may not be enough. Business Income/Interruption coverage is a specialized coverage that requires a comprehensive risk analysis. Ask your agent how they can help you build a strategic plan for business continuity in the event of a loss that impacts your income – one that will respond effectively for your business.

Topics: Disaster Planning, Business Interruption, catastrophic damage, risk analysis, Business Insurance

Kentucky Mayors Relive 2009 Ice Storm - Agility Recovery Saved Lives!

Posted by Rick Kalscheuer

Kentucky Ice StormAssume for a minute a disaster strikes your community – a tornado – maybe a major ice storm – an industrial explosion – or a fire in a water/sewer facility.

What is your next step to keep your municipal operations functional?

Video IconTake a look at this heart wrenching video of Kentucky Mayors reliving the January 2009 Ice Storm – the largest to ever hit the state.

What do your residents want?

  1. Toilets that flush.
  2. Water pressure in faucets.
  3. Communication and information on what’s happening.
  4. Police and fire services.

The League of Wisconsin Municipalities Insurance Trust (Trust) has purchased a service (no cost to your community) that will do the following:

  • Arrange for priority delivery of emergency generators, communication equipment and temporary office space
  • Assistance in orchestrating logistics and connecting the equipment
  • All within 24 – 48 hours of the event

Yes – You may already have a contingency or disaster plan – but, does it include information on generator hook ups and vendors that guarantee equipment, fuel and service for you?

Yes – You have access to the County Emergency Disaster Coordinator – so do all the other county municipalities, schools and private businesses.

The Trust has teamed with a nationally recognized Disaster Recovery Service: AGILITY RECOVERY, which provides the assets and resources to service Wisconsin LWMMI Insureds, including generators, satellite voice and data connectivity, computers and portable office units. Maybe even more important, Agility will help your staff create or enhance your existing Disaster Plan, thereby ensuring the right pieces of the puzzle are in place during the chaos of a disaster.

What do you need to do? Direct your staff to contact Sandy Hagen or Dennis Tweedale at 608-833-9595 or sandra@lwmmi.org for more information. If you are not part of the LWMMI Trust program, contact knowledgebroker Rick Kalscheuer for more information.

The Trustees thank you for participating in the LWMMI Insurance Program. Our mission is to work together, ensuring Wisconsin Municipalities provide the quality services our residents expect.

More images from the 2009 Kentucky Ice Storms

Topics: Disaster Planning, Business Insurance, Municipalities LWMMI

Fire & Emergency Preparedness For Business

Posted by Jamie Vanderveldt

Fire_PreparednessOur hearts and prayers go out to the employees and families of Echo Lake Foods, located in Burlington, WI, and we hope that their lives get back to normal as quickly as possible.

It's times like these that make us reflect on the processes and procedures we have in place to make sure that there is minimal loss of property and absolutely no loss of life.

I have compiled an Emergency Preparedness Kit which can help to ensure that my clients and prospects have the knowledge and tools to keep them safe.

Emergency Preparedness involves having a process to prepare for any emergency that may affect the businesses or disrupt normal operations. A procedure should be implemented and tested to become part of the corporate culture by performing drills, providing training for involved personnel and continually evaluating the current plan for necessary changes.

Should you have any questions about fire preparedness, emergency plans or disaster planning, please contact me - I'd be happy to answer your questions, contact Jamie Vanderveldt, Account Executive, Construction Specialist.

Topics: Disaster Planning, Business Insurance