Winter Risks Facing Commercial Buildings

Winter exposes commercial buildings to various risks, and your client has to understand these risks to come up with the best solutions. Here are the winter risks they need to watch out for and some tips to solve or reduce the damage it may cause to commercial buildings.

Slip and Fall Injury

Snow, slush, and ice on pavement can make the surrounding premises slippery. When your clients don’t do anything to prevent these things from occurring, employees and customers are at risk of slipping and falling.

A liability could happen at an unexpected time, as it’s a ticking bomb that could be costly. Thus, your client should include these safety precautions in their slip and fall liability plan:

  • Salt the sidewalks, stairs, and pavement leading to the shop before the forecasted snow happens. When snow falls, shovel it out before it piles, melts into slush, and becomes ice.
  • Encourage neighboring business owners to do the same to prevent accidents. Your client wouldn’t want grey-area situations. Grey areas cast uncertainties to whose property is the place of the incident and who is liable for damages.
  • Display signages on visible areas both indoors and outdoors without obstructing customers and passersby.
  • Create a plan for immediate response when someone slips and falls within or near the commercial property. Thus, your client should designate an accredited first aider who will ensure appropriate medical attention is provided to the injured.
  • Provide ample lighting, so customers and employees notice slippery and slushy areas on the pavement or sidewalks.
  • Get a Commercial Package Policy Insurance and review it regularly to ensure adequate coverage.
  • Place a high-quality doormat on the building’s entrance and weatherstrip the windows. Mats reduce the risks of slippery floors.

Criminal Activity

Criminals have more opportunity to break into your client’s buuldings when it’s dark. The days are shorter during the winter, and this exposes commercial properties to increased criminal activities due to a lack of natural light. Solutions you can discuss with your clients include:

  • Encouraging adequate lighting during closing hours
  • Activate a surveillance system and ensure all cameras are working
  • Remove valuable items from display windows.
  • Obtain insurance in case of a break-in or vandalism

Cyber Crime

During the winter season, most people transact businesses online. They avail of delivery services from food to gadgets. Thus, digital transactions are high during this season. At the same time, cybercrime is just around the corner.

If your client has a website for ordering and delivering services, they are at risk of cybercrime. Cybercriminals won’t hesitate to steal information from businesses, regardless of the size. According to studies, small businesses closing its doors altogether after a cyberattack is high.

Thus, you need to explain to your clients the importance of insurance against cybercrime. The policy doesn’t protect your clients from the crime, but from the damage it can cause.

Customers, employees, or anyone who interacted with your client’s website can sue for damages due to stolen data. This situation is where your client is most vulnerable. Litigations are costly and would affect business operations, especially for small to medium businesses.

Part of getting insurance against cyber liability is to revamp the cybersecurity plan of your clients. This plan is useful during cyberattacks. Your clients will know when and who to call during a cybersecurity breach.

Equipment Breakdown

Aside from floods and hurricanes, winter can cause devastating damage to commercial property and equipment. Snow, wind, rain, sleet, and snow can cause a pipe to burst, equipment to break down, or power outage.

These risks can hamper your client’s operation. Your client can do these preventive actions.

  • For power outages, a back-up generator is a great investment.
  • For burst pipes, an effective heating system can minimize frozen water down the water lines.
  • For equipment breakdown, your client can protect their business with insurance coverage.

Every risky situation has solutions. A plan and proper maintenance of equipment can reduce the occurrence of these risks. But, if your clients own sophisticated and expensive equipment, they are better off with coverage that can help them rebuild and repair.

Risks, regardless of season, are common for commercial businesses. They are inherent in every business. No matter how cautious they are, your clients cannot possibly predict every accident. With the right insurance protection, they are afforded peace of mind for their hard-earned business.

About Snyder Specialty

Snyder Specialty, LLC is a New York-based underwriting facility that provides a range of property and liability solutions for personal and commercial lines. Specializing in coastal properties and hard-to-place risks, Snyder Specialty expands your current capabilities with proven solutions for complex risks. Find out more about the company’s range of services by calling (718) 362-8039.