Business property insurer FM Global is urging property owners to take active measures now to help prevent potential storm losses as the peak of hurricane season approaches.
“A big lesson from Hurricane Sandy is that remaining resilient during natural disasters is essential in order for businesses and communities to overcome nature’s forces and be able to recover quickly,” said Brion Callori, senior vice president, engineering and research, FM Global.
“Property owners in wind-and flood-prone regions should take actions themselves, right now, to understand and address their vulnerabilities. Hurricane experience proves that complacency contributes to destruction and being reactive, rather than proactive, especially this time of year, can have devastating effects.”
FM Global said its data shows that commercial and industrial clients who spent an average of $7,400 on hurricane preparedness measures recommended by the insurer ahead of Hurricane Katrina, prevented an average of $1.5 million in hurricane-related damages per location. Those who were ready for the storm reduced their losses by 85 percent compared to those who were not fully prepared, the insurer said.
“Hurricane preparedness doesn’t have to be costly or take much time to be valuable, as long as you know the right steps to take,” said Callori.
“Well-prepared businesses continue to prove that the majority of property loss is preventable — whether it’s by raising elevators off the ground floors prior to flooding, installing flood doors or ensuring back-up power is available.”
FM Global said the approach has proven successful and cited an example from one of its clients. The carrier said one Wall Street client, through inexpensive but strategic flood mitigation prior to Sandy, likely prevented a $10 million loss. Furthermore, FM Global said, the client’s downtime was only 12 days compared to 6 to 12 months had steps not been taken to reduce flood exposure.