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Business Interruption Insurance: The Basics

A windstorm causes major damage to your office roof. A fire destroys a portion of your warehouse. A flood reduces key pieces of your equipment to rubble. These and other disasters can strike your company at any time, preventing you from carrying on with business as usual. You now have a cash flow problem: you cannot sell goods or services until you’ve made necessary repairs and replacements, yet you still have to meet payroll and cover rent, taxes and other expenses. This is when you need business interruption insurance.

What is Business Interruption Insurance?

While your general business property insurance policy will cover the direct loss of property in the event of an accident or other disaster, it may not cover the income loss your business will experience while you’re making repairs and replacements. Business interruption insurance, on the other hand, will reimburse you for profits lost during a forced closing of your facilities.

Why do I need Business Interruption Insurance?

Losses without this valuable insurance product can be quite substantial. According to one small business insurance provider, the average claim is $1.36 million. That’s enough to put many companies out of business! The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) agrees. Its data shows 40 percent of small business owners never reopen after a disaster.

However, companies with business interruption insurance coverage can survive on the supplemental income they receive until their operations are back to normal. They can use this income to cover everyday expenses and operational costs rather than draining their bank accounts and—potentially—still coming up short.

Additional business interruption insurance coverage is available for companies who want protection from the costs associated with reopening their business after the disaster (such as overtime and extra equipment) and those who worry about interruptions caused by their suppliers. Insurers generally label this add-on product as contingent business interruption coverage.

Where do I get Business Interruption Insurance?

If you purchase an insurance package that bundles business property insurance and general liability insurance together, your insurer may include business interruption insurance coverage. Confirm with your insurance agent that this is the case for your company. If not, or if you need more coverage than what your business insurance package currently provides, consider prioritizing this investment. It could be the only thing standing between your company and bankruptcy should a disaster cause an extended emergency shutdown.

Remember, whatever your business insurance needs, we’re here to help! Please don’t hesitate to call or email us your questions and concerns.

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