If you were a business owner somewhere between Minnesota and Maine this winter, there is a likelihood that your power was interrupted due to the massive ice storm that swept the Midwest and East Coast. If you were able to open, did large icicles hang perilously from your building putting your customers in harm’s way? Don’t forget about that slippery sidewalk and parking lot! What if an employee slips and falls while taking out the trash? What if a customer walks outside and gets hit in the head with an ice chunk or falls down and fractures their hip? Will they (or their lawyer) say that you didn’t properly clear the sidewalk, which caused them to fall? Most importantly, how will that affect your reputation as a business owner? Ice storms can wreak havoc this time of year!
Mother Nature helped coin the phrase “April showers brings May flowers”. However, Jack Frost rules the winter months nipping at your nose and potentially your wallet. An employee or patron who is seriously injured outside your building and files a claim may cause your insurance company to consider non-renewing your policy the following year. Worse yet, a massive ice storm could knock out power for several days. What if you had booked holiday events? Will your customers go elsewhere?
Here are some interesting statistics of how truly dangerous an ice storm can be:
- Ice can increase the weight of branches by 30 times.
- A half-inch of ice accumulation on power lines can add 500 pounds of extra weight.
- An ice storm in 2009 centered from northern Arkansas to the Ohio Valley knocked out power to 1.3 million people.
- In 1998, an ice storm in northern New York and northern New England damaged millions of trees and caused $1.4 billion in damage. Accumulations were up to three inches thick!
The sheer weight of ice can bring down tree limbs and overhead power lines. It could take days for the power company to assist and get your power restored. Without heat in your building, could a pipe freeze and explode? The potential risks go on and on.
For any small business affected by the massive ice storms this year, we hope you had proper insurance protection with no waiting period on your business income coverage. While some insurance companies require three days to pass before coverage kicks in, Society Insurance understands these difficult regional weather-related risks and the importance of protection for lost revenue from the moment your power goes down. Don’t be left in the cold without proper protection!