By: Jarrett Wagner, Society Insurance Risk Control Representative. Originally published in Colorado Biz on June 3, 2020.
With so many uncertainties in the restaurant and bar industry, there’s one consistent hazard in Colorado every spring – the return of hail season – and your business should be prepared.
Colorado’s infamously dangerous and costly hail season begins mid-April, running throughout the summer and into September. Colorado is one of the most hail-prone states in America with 380,066 hail loss claims between 2017 and 2019, according to a National Insurance Crime Bureau Hail Report. That’s 14% of all hail claims in the United States. In fact, of the top five U.S. cities with the most hail loss claims, two are in Colorado – Colorado Springs and Denver. And the financial impact can be tremendous. In May 2017, a powerful storm accompanied by hail resulted in $3.6 billion in damages across Colorado.
While you can’t predict the unexpected, restaurants can better prepare themselves with annual preventive measures against these dangerous storms. At Society Insurance, we have compiled best practices for bars and restaurants to protect their businesses against hailstorms and other natural seasonal disasters to avoid costly storm damage insurance claims.
Inspect your Roof Every Year or Two to Prevent Indoor Storm Damage
Not only does a regular roof inspection extend the life of your roof, saving you money long-term, it allows you to troubleshoot and remedy any issues such as split shingles, loose or broken roofing material, rusty metal and sagging. It is much easier to fix a small roof problem than a collapsed roof or burgeoning leak that can cause even more damage inside.
Address Drainage Problems Prior to Storm Season
Check your gutters and building drainage before the storm season begins. If your gutters are due for a cleaning, contact a local gutter company to complete the job. Additionally, if your roof has been damaged, your gutters have probably been damaged, too. Neglected gutters spell disaster as they accumulate debris and standing water. Standing water can easily overflow into your foundation, potentially flooding the basement and shutting down your establishment.
Secure Outdoor Items to Prevent Wind Damage
Grills, picnic tables and lawn furniture can become projectiles in high wind scenarios. ‘Batten down the hatches’ as they say—you don’t want your patio umbrella to go spiraling through the air during a summer storm. Consider securing patio furniture with steel security cables if you cannot safely store furniture.
Trim your Trees to Prevent Storm Damage
While dead trees and dead branches are a liability all of the time, dead branches are more likely to fall during heavy storms and gusting winds. This can be hazardous to you, your employees, patrons and the building. From tree limbs falling on the roof to dead branches getting tangled in power lines, a well-maintained property will, again, help you avoid costly storm damage insurance claims.
Research What Insurance Company and Policy Fits You Best
Like with cars and apartments, you should shop around for the insurance policy that fits your business best. Society Insurance specializes in protecting the hospitality industry. Understanding the unique needs of your restaurant or bar means knowing where the risks are and helping you control them to minimize loss. Policyholders gain the collaborative and consultative partnership of risk management experts who can help you address liability and safety challenges. Additionally, policyholders benefit from access to exclusive safety resources and discounted services to help keep your business safe and profitable.
Colorado’s Front Range receives the highest frequency of large hail in North America. Residents can expect three to four catastrophic hailstorms every year, defined as at least $25 million in insured damage. Restaurant owners can lessen the damage to their building, payroll and bottom line if they invest a little bit of time every year into preparing for the season.
Contact us to discuss your coverage options in Colorado or read through our case studies and white papers to learn more about how Society steps-in to piece things back together after disaster strikes.