Business owners who operate near or on the coast are no stranger to coastal weather hazards. Commercial coastal properties are at a higher risk of perils such as flooding, power outages, window and roof damage and more. No one can predict where or when the next disaster may strike, but the impact of being caught unprepared can be devastating on a business. The best way to protect a commercial coastal property is through prevention and planning. Below are some tips to help business owners with disaster planning for their commercial coastal properties.
Review Insurance Coverage
The beginning of hurricane season is a good time for a coastal business to review their property insurance with their insurance agent. Insurers typically have restrictions on issuing new or updated policies, called “binding restrictions,” that go into effect when severe weather is predicted, so it’s better to review insurance coverage before there are any storms to be concerned about. Agents who partner with a dedicated coastal insurance agency that can provide tailored policies and lend their expertise, can ensure clients have the most comprehensive coverage possible before heading into hurricane season.
Prepare and Secure the Exterior of the Property
Loose branches and unhealthy trees pose a significant threat to buildings, especially in severe weather conditions. Even small trees can break through windows causing significant damage and allowing for water, debris, animals or unauthorized people to enter the building. Trimming trees on a commercial coastal property can make a big difference in the amount of damage a building sustains during a hurricane or windstorm. Not only does this reduce the amount of loose branches that break off and become projectiles during a storm, it also improves the overall health of the trees and lessens the chances of them becoming uprooted as well.
Any outdoor property including tables, chairs, umbrellas, signage or any other decorations that are easily movable can become a projectile during heavy gusts of wind, which can cause major damage to the building or other nearby property. Any item that isn’t secured to the ground or building with heavy reinforcements should either be secured or moved inside the building prior to a storm hitting to help prevent damage. Business owners should also have hurricane shutters for windows and doors either installed as a part of the building, or stored nearby for easy access. When a storm is on the way it can be impossible to run out and purchase shutters and other necessities.
Ensure the Building is Prepared for Flooding
Flooding is currently the number one natural hazard risk in the United States. While it’s nearly impossible to completely prevent flooding, coastal businesses can take steps to help prepare their commercial property and minimize their risk. Installing a professional drainage system can help to redirect the flow of flood water and heavy rainfall to reduce the likelihood of water entering the building, and a comprehensive commercial flood insurance policy can protect the business from the financial loss resulting from any flood damage that does occur.
About Wilmington Insurance Agency
Wilmington Insurance Agency delivers comprehensive coastal property solutions. We are a Managing General Agency and provide independent insurance agents with property and liability insurance solutions for residents and businesses primarily in Maryland and Virginia. We work alongside our sister company, Wilmington Insurance Company, established in 1996 and providing Property & Casualty commercial lines business, homeowners, and condominium insurance in the state of Delaware. To learn more about how we can help you to expand your book of business in the coastal market, contact us at (302) 231-2800.