Disaster Preparedness

Lindsay Donelson explains how brokers can prepare clients for flood season. (Runtime: 2 min, 45 sec)

Size: 4 MB,   Time: 2 min, 45 sec   Text transcript  Download

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Lindsay Donelson of FirstOnSite Restoration discusses how brokers can best prepare their personal and commercial lines clients for flood season.

Related Article: February floods in Ontario, Quebec caused more than $57 million in insured damage: CatIQ

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Text Transcript

Lindsay Donelson, FirstOnSite Restoration, vice-president of national broker and Lloyd’s portfolio.

The general advice I would give brokers as they enter this flood season is, in my experience as an insurance broker and now on the restoration side of the business, understanding the client and their unique needs is absolutely key.

Different types of buildings have different risk profiles, so clients need to know what their specific risks are and make sure they have the insurance product that is best suited to their needs.

Brokers can help property owners understand their unique risks and ensure they have the right insurance for their property. They can also help clients understand their policy and what they are and are not covered for.

The advice that FirstOnSite can give brokers for personal lines clients is that it’s important to articulate that clients must know their property and purchase the most appropriate insurance product.

Make sure you always unpack boxes after a big move or major renovation. If a homeowner decides to go on vacation, he may want to make sure that a family member or a neighbour can take a look at their property and make these necessary arrangements.

For commercial lines clients, as we approach the flooding season, the risk is more geared toward business interruption. The cost of not being in business for a day or a week can be devastating. For example, the average midsize company loses $70,000 per hour for every hour that they’re not in operation.

FirstOnSite has had an increase in commercial customers who get a lot of risk assessments on their properties and have a plan in place, but it’s still not necessarily enough. The better prepared a customer is for a disaster, the smoother the restoration process goes.

Our suggestion to brokers is to help your clients understand the importance of planning for a disaster event. An example further would be to do a mini site inspection and determine any pre-existing conditions.

Have a disaster recovery plan in conjunction with a health and safety plan internally for all employees. Backup documentation is also key. This includes not leaving key commercial software or paper files on the ground.

Have backup options and systems ready for residential and commercial properties. Things like sump pumps and power generation are also key.

Always prepare for the worst-case scenario. Internally, have a list of key personnel to contact in the event of any emergency, and partner with a restoration company before a disaster occurs.

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