Getting Back In Business After a Claim

How to Get Back in Business after a Disaster
Rebuilding after a fire, earthquake, or other major event? Your insurance policy’s got it covered. Thanks to a claim to your insurance carrier, you’ll be back in business before you know it.

But what about that time lag between the disaster and the grand reopening? Even with the funds to rebuild, the recovery process takes time. Not only will you have to reconstruct, but you’ll also need to replace equipment. And a few weeks – or even a few days – with a “Closed” sign in front can pose a real problem for most businesses.

It’s for this crucial time period that insurance providers offer business interruption (BI) insurance. BI insurance will compensate you for the income lost while your business is shut down; based on your financial records, you’ll receive the equivalent of the income you would have earned if the disaster hadn’t happened. BI insurance also covers operating expenses, such as electricity bills, that don’t stop while you’re rebuilding after a disaster.

Coverage is typically available as an add-on to your property insurance policy or as part of a package. You may need coverage for more than a few days, so choose a policy that is sufficient for your revenue stream, expenses, and potential downtime. Your agent can help ensure you have the proper coverage with the right policy limits for your business. With this buffer in place, your business can recover if disaster strikes.

The damage will be an interruption, not an end. And you can change your sign from “Closed” to “Reopening Today.”

The Decision-Making Process: Is It Algorithms vs. Humans?
Human Math

Too often, business people make poor decisions. Or so says Nobel economics laureate and psychologist Daniel Kahneman.

In a recent article in Knowledge@Wharton, Kahneman suggests: “We’re fundamentally overconfident in the sense that we jump to conclusions…so we misunderstand situations.” In other words, we’re driven by our emotions.

The cure? Algorithms, which can moderate our emotional responses by introducing “disciplined thinking.”

As explained by writer Kendra Cherry in, “In mathematics, an algorithm is a defined set of step-by-step procedures that provides the correct answer to a particular problem…the same type of process can be followed to ensure finding the correct answer when solving a problem or making a decision.”

The use of algorithms may not be new, but algorithms have become something our society craves and needs, says Panos Parpas of Imperial College, London: “They’ve been used for decades – back to Alan Turing and the codebreakers, and beyond – but the current interest in them is due to the vast amounts of data now being generated and the need to process and understand it. They are now integrated into our lives.”

According to Michael C. Mankins and Lori Sherer in Harvard Business Review, “The use of analytics can hugely improve the quality of your decisions and can increase decision process efficiency by as much as 25%.”

Fortunately, the human factor is likely to remain key. Someone has to identify the problem and ask the right questions. Otherwise it’s garbage in, garbage out. So…people 1; algorithms 1. It’s a win-win.

Harness the ‘Latent Power of Connection’ to Succeed

As a society we face a dramatically changing – and frequently disturbing – world, and many say we lack the understanding (or the smarts, or the vision) to handle the economic and political crises that shake our world daily.

Joshua Cooper Ramo disagrees. It’s the connections between these crises we’re missing.

In a recent LinkedIn article, author and consultant Ramo introduces us to his newest book, The Seventh Sense. Here he examines these continuous crises and explains how they’re caused by the same underlying dynamics.

Ramo sees the world through interlinkages. While invisible to most of us, these interlinks can be used to explain everything from explosive technological changes to viral videos to far-off coups d’état. Eventually, we will learn to adapt to the reality of these systemic connections, and be able to deal intelligently with them.

A network, according to Ramo, is any collection of linked nodes. The most obvious network is, of course, the Internet, but there are also expansive and powerful networks of trade, finance, DNA, knowledge, and people. The ability to recognize the connections that are at play in any given context is what enables one to disseminate a new idea, a brand, a trend, or even a revolution.

To leverage these latent connections, ask yourself: “What connections can I find that will help me grow my business, solve business problems, or confront looming challenges?” Ultimately, it will be these connections and our ability to perceive, access, and utilize connected systems that will determine how powerful and influential we are.

How to Avoid the Fallout from Slips and Falls
With winter on its way, business owners may need to refocus on liability risks. Poor weather conditions due to storms bring the added potential for a “slip and fall” accident.

What is a slip and fall? This fairly common scenario occurs when a person slips, falls, and is injured on your property. If one of your customers slips on a wet walkway and breaks a limb, he or she might file this type of claim, which falls under the category of “premises liability.”

Is it your fault? Determining fault in a slip and fall case can be somewhat tricky. Each case must be evaluated individually, and the conditions surrounding the particular incident carefully considered. Generally, two questions must be answered to determine if you will be held liable for the injury:

  • Were you – the business – acting with care to make slipping or tripping less likely to occur?
  • Was the customer careless by not seeing or avoiding whatever caused the fall?

If the answer to both questions is no, our business will likely be responsible for expenses associated with the injury. However, one or more things must be shown in order for there to be a “no” answer to the first question:

  • You caused the dangerous condition.
  • You knew about the hazard, but did nothing about it.
  • You should have known about the hazard, because it falls under your responsibilities for taking care of the property, so you should have discovered and removed or repaired it.

If any or all of these are true, the customer can establish that you knew of the dangerous condition and therefore either caused the injury or could have done more to prevent it.

For example, you can’t control hurricanes or snow storms, so a customer won’t be able to blame you for windy, rainy, or icy conditions. However, if you don’t make an effort to create a safe property, and/or post warnings that an area may be slippery, your customer could be within his or her right to say that you’re liable for the broken limb.

How can I prevent slips and falls? Business owners can take simple steps to prevent these costly incidents:

  • Make a habit of checking for potential hazards daily. Look for floor issues, slippery surfaces, bad lighting, clutter, and cords.
  • Ensure any problems are dealt with promptly.
  • If you discover a hazard you can’t remove immediately, place warning signs around it.
  • Train employees on how to respond to and report potentially hazardous situations.
  • Remain particularly vigilant during inclement weather.

Coverage: The fallout from a slip and fall ranges from minor expenses to major losses. To ensure your business is covered, ask your insurance agent about business liability insurance. This will cover slip-and-fall claims.

Additional areas to consider include workers’ compensation coverage (if the slip and fall is by an employee), and a business umbrella policy (which provides additional protection if the liability claim exceeds your base policy limits).