Thursday, August 6, 2015

Top 5 Business Insurance Claims

According to an analysis of The Hartford's Small Business Claims, 4 out of 10 small businesses are likely to experience a property or general liability claim in the next 10 years. While the most common business claim is burglary, the most costly claims fall under reputational harm. Here are the top business insurance claims based on frequency and cost to the business, plus some ways to try and avoid them.


1. Burglary & Theft  

To help deter burglaries and theft, be sure to conduct pre-emplopyment background checks on all employees. Drug testing is also another option for minimizing theft within the company. To prevent outside burglars from entering  your business, consider installing devices that prevent unauthorized entrance into your building, installing fencing and gates around your parking lot and building, and installing exterior lighting and cameras.

2. Water & Freezing Damage  

To prevent water damage, be sure to keep the heat on when it's extremely cold out, even at night and while you're away. Keep your roofs clear of excessive snow and ice. Also, make sure that key personnel know where the water shutoff valve is located.

3. Wind & Hail Damage

Damage to your building caused by wind often involves dead tree limbs. Be sure to prune the trees around your building and remove any dead or broken branches. You should also conduct regular surveying of the grounds, making sure to move anything that could become a projectile during high winds. You also want to anchor any outdoor equipment that could be damaged or carried away by high winds.

4. Fire 

Be sure to create and familiarize employees on what to do in the event of a fire. Go over the emergency plan and test the evacuation route. Mark the evacuation route and practice fire drills regularly. Make sure the building is up to code, and test all fire and life safety equipment.

5. Customer Slip & Fall 

Slips and falls account for a significant number of injuries to customers and employees every year. From wet or greasy floors, clutter and debris, to uneven surfaces, improper cleaning, and lack of hazard identification, slips and falls are the most preventable accidents that occur in the workplace. Check out one of our previous blogs on slip and fall prevention.


1. Reputational Harm 

Reputational harm claims include financial damages from libel, slander, defaming products or services, or violating privacy. While sometimes avoiding reputational harm can be out of your control, there are some things you can do to try and keep your reputation in great shape. Firstly, avoid criticism of  your competitors. Also, avoid copyright violations by either obtaining permission to use others' photos and content, or taking your own photos and writing your own content.

2. Vehicle Accident 

If you use a company vehicle to do any type of work, for example deliveries, you need to do everything possible to minimize the risk of an accident. Be sure to screen driving records before allowing any employees to drive the company vehicle. You should also never offer incentives for those who can deliver the fastest. You don't want anyone causing an accident based on somehting you told them to do for their job.

3. Fire 

In addition to making sure all employees know what to do in the event of a fire, you should also do everything you can to prevent a fire hazard. This includes checking your fire detectors regularly, securely storing flammable supplies, and never leaving cooking food unattended.

4. Product Liability 

Product liability insurance protects the business from claims related to the manufacture or sale of products, food, medicines or other goods to the public. There are generally three types of products "claims" a company may face: manufacturing or production flaws, design defects, and defective warnings or instructions. Often times these claims are also unavoidable, but you can have checks and balances in place to ensure that you're providing a great product to the public, including testing the products before distribution.

5. Customer Injury or Damage 

If you welcome customers to your office or store location, make sure that you have insurance coverage for both property and injury claims. As a business owner, you should do everything you can to make your store hazard-free and as safe as possible for your customers. However, with thousands of customers coming and going, there's bound to be an accident and many of those are caused by some form of negligence.

Unexpected events happen more often than small business owners realize. Making sure you have proper Lake of the Ozarks insurance coverage is vital to any business no matter the size. Contact Insure the Lake today to take a look at your coverage and make sure you're prepared for the unexpected.

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About the Author: Steve is a double back-flip insurance ninja. He was named Young Insurance Agent of the Year by the Missouri Association of Insurance Agents in 2010 and is a Certified Insurance Counselor. When he is not helping customers, he enjoys community service, Latin dancing with his beautiful wife and going on adventures with his two awesome sons.

Steve Naught, CIC
3736 Osage Beach Parkway
Osage Beach, MO 65065
Next to Golden Coral