Winter has approached: companies at risk?

Reading time: 3 minutes

The cold season has approached: we are fine with winter inspection of our car. And what about our company? Are we sure that it is enough protected against the bad weather coming?

Christmas holidays are on the way and joking with the cold is forbidden: the 2006 tragedy in Poland -not so far from Katowice, which killed dozens of people- teaches us that nature treats everyone without doing any difference.

Companies, production facilities, warehouses, shopping centers are all exposed to the same risk: the arrival of a severe frost followed by a major snowfall may expose the existence of things and people to danger. And the price to pay is always very salty.

The claims statistics happened from the ’80s to today (see the graph below) show a rapid increase of particularly intense atmospheric conditions: if tsunamis and volcanic eruptions do not occupy a prominent place, winter storms, frost, floods rank among the most frequent and devastating weather events.

Munich Re statistics 1980-2012

Production sites, warehouses, logistics centers are increasingly exposed to natural risk. If companies do not prepare themselves in time to face this climate change, they may face serious economical consequences: high reparation costs of warehouse and machineries, unexpected production stop, impossibility to deliver the goods on time, loss of market shares are all to be considered as inevitable consequences of a sudden and unexpected event.

How can we manage these risks before there is an accident?

Here there are three main recommendations to follow:

1. Book a visit at your firm with your risk manager and insurance company.

  • It is very important to identify, reduce and eliminate risks. Insurance companies may reward those clients which produce an updated risk assessment every year, offering more favorable insurance prices.
  • You may save money on your insurance premium: less risk, less claims. “Virtuous” companies  -which reduce their risks in absence of losses-may enjoy an attractive yearly discount on the insurance premium.

2. Let’s prepare an emergency plan.

The plan should consider the following tasks:

  • to remove snow from the roof and skylights (if snow accumulates in large quantities, may cause its collapse: goods and equipment are at risk of wetting);
  • to reduce the amount of ice of the cargo area / unloading of the goods, and all points of access to warehouses and of the external equipment control valves;
  • to inspect culverts, bridges and moats all around the company site to prevent the overflow of river basins and the regurgitation of sewage systems from clogging.

3. Double check what your business insurance covers.

We recommend:

  • to update the sums insured of buildings and machinery and prevent unpleasant under-insurance (only partial compensation of the damaged property);
  • to check whether the policy covers the reimbusement of first emergency expenses, debris removal, rebuilding of damaged facilities;
  • to conclude an insurance against financial damages from business interruption by fire / weather events.

Send this to a friend