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Disaster Preparedness

A Quick Guide to Disaster Insurance

As a home service professional, you most likely already have business insurance. Most commonly, small- and mid-sized companies have a Business Owner’s Policy (BOP) that covers property insurance, business interruption service and liability protection. These are baseline protections that can vary slightly depending on factors like which insurance company you choose and which state you live and work in.

To be prepared in a disaster, you may want to upgrade your existing policies to make sure you’re covered. It’s best to speak directly with an insurance agent to figure out what your existing policy covers, and whether you could use extra protection.

Here’s a look at available insurance add-ons to consider for your business.

Coverage TypeIn a BOP?CoversNotable Exceptions
TornadoYesWind, hail, rain damage.This policy does not cover flooding. You’ll need to buy an additional policy for that.
FloodNoFlooding, including from inland and tidal waters, runoff of surface waters, broken dams or levees, mudflows and more.Make sure you understand any exclusions in your flood coverage. For example, it may not cover mudslides, even though it covers mudflows.
HurricaneYesWind and rain damage.This policy does not cover flooding, even if that flooding is caused by a hurricane. You’ll need to buy flood coverage for that.
Business interruption due to disasterPartialExplosion, falling objects, fire, hail, ice, lightning, vandalism, weight of snow and wind.Not included are interruptions due to virus, bacteria, earth movement, flood, military action and war, mudslide or mudflow, nuclear reaction or radiation and offsite power outage.
PandemicNoBusiness interruption due to contagion.Though you may have business interruption insurance, it typically does not cover any interruption caused by pandemics. Talk to your agent about adding this onto your policy.
CyberattackPartialElectronic data replacement and restoration, associated legal costs, IT review assistance and credit monitoring.While some BOPs do include basic components of cyber coverage, your business may be higher risk than others depending on the type of work you do and the information you have access to. Talk to an agent about cyber vulnerabilities specific to your work.
Disaster-specific worker’s compNoWork-related injuries or illnesses.While your BOP may include worker’s comp, you should talk to your agent if you plan on doing disaster response work.
Business vehicles and driversNoVehicles and employees who drive them.This is an auto insurance policy that you’ll purchase separately from your BOP. The coverage changes depending on the type of equipment you haul and the value of your vehicles, so you’ll need to discuss the specifics with an agent.
LandslideNoLandslides caused by erosion or water accumulation.This is a separate type of coverage you’ll need to discuss with your agent. You may want to consider it if landslides could damage your property or interrupt your business.
EarthquakeNoDamage to your property caused by an earthquake.This is an important add-on if you live in an earthquake-prone area. It’s a policy that specifically covers property damage caused by seismic earth movement.
Volcanic eruptionNoProperty or economic damage caused by a volcano eruption.If you live in an area where there are active, dormant or extinct volcanoes, discuss the risks with an agent and talk about coverage you may need.
MudslideNoBusiness-related losses due to mudslide.Mudslides are considered an “earth event” rather than a “water event,” which makes them different from mud flows. As a result, they are not covered under flood insurance. Talk to an agent about whether or not you’re at risk for losses because of mudslide.
Terror eventPartialInjuries and deaths due to acts of terrorism.Generally, worker’s comp covers injuries and deaths due to acts of terrorism. You must buy an additional policy to cover any losses caused by terrorist acts, like damage to your property.

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