Franchise Insurance

Franchise insurance

Reduce your risks and work with an industry-dedicated insurance company

to safeguard against natural and man-made disasters.

By Bill Strout

Hurricane Harvey. Delivery driver accidents. California wildfires. So much puts franchises at peril, yet so few business owners have the time to properly research and safeguard their investments against these risks.

Luckily, there are insurance companies with a focus on franchises that are extremely familiar with these dangers and the best way for franchise owners to protect against them, or at least minimize their impact. Here are tips and checklists to help you protect yourself.

Choose a Specialist

First, franchise owners should look to an insurance partner who specializes in their industry. These teams understand the trade as well as owners do. They can suggest common additional coverages and won’t sell owners something they don’t need. Moreover, they are closely familiar with a franchise’s FD&D insurance requirements and will automatically quote those mandatory coverages.

Finally, look for an industry-specific company that works directly with an insurance provider. Placing insurance with a direct, as opposed to traditional independent agency, can save time and money – as much as 15 to 20 percent on average – over traditional insurance agencies.

Weather the Weather

From tornadoes to hurricanes, natural disasters are a major risk to franchises. As population centers continue to sprawl, more and more businesses are being effected by “acts of God.” To best prepare against these disasters, franchise owners should work closely with their insurance partners to identify risks to their locations’ exact geographies. Insurance companies can recommend what coverages are beneficial to that area, considering historical and forecasted data.

In the event of a natural disaster, owners should quickly file claims with their insurance companies and communicate any dangerous conditions. This could help expedite the cleanup and reconstruction stages at a time when contractors will be a at a premium during community rebuilding. It’s also a good idea to take pictures of damage and keep receipts of repair costs. Insurance partners usually prioritize the claim if the damage is major.

Avoidable Threats

Although certain coverages protect against natural disasters, franchise owners can also set guidelines to reduce avoidable threats. Three common risk exposures for franchises are auto accidents involving delivery drivers; customer slips, trips and falls; and workers’ compensation claims. 

Delivery Dos and Don’ts – A relatively inexperienced workforce leads to many on-the-job safety risks, especially when behind the wheel as a delivery or service driver. Be thorough when selecting drivers and consider the following checklist:

  • Review motor vehicle records (MVRs) to ensure they meet your insurance company’s standards.
  • Require a minimum of two years’ driving experience.
  • Request a valid certificate of insurance for their automobile.
  • Inspect the driver’s vehicle with a safety and appearance checklist.
  • Establish a formal cell phone use policy, like the one recommended by the National Safety Council.

Customer slips, trips and falls – These are the second-leading cause of injury, after auto accidents. The most common causes are liquids on walking surfaces, debris and objects on floors and weather conditions. Use this checklist to prevent it from happening in a store or office:

  • Identify and clean spills and items on the floor, both inside and outside the restaurant.
  • Use wet-floor caution signs to alert customers of hazards on the floor.
  • Place nonslip mats or rugs in areas that may get wet, like self-serve beverage areas.
  • Keep walkways and work areas free of clutter.
  • Slow down and stay alert to possible slip, trip and fall hazards.

Protecting workers – With high speed and repetitive work come the risk of workplace accidents. Consider the following tips to reduce or even eliminate workplace disasters:

  • Work with managers and employees to identify hazards in kitchens and dining rooms. Create a plan to mitigate their dangers.
  • Encourage employees to familiarize themselves with basic first aid skills and keep a stocked first aid kit accessible to all employees.
  • In restaurants, place rubber mats near sinks, stoves and dishwashers to prevent employee slips, trips and falls.
  • Emphasize proper lifting techniques to prevent painful neck, back and shoulder strains.
  • In kitchens, keep knives sharp, require use of cut-resistant mesh gloves and teach proper slicing techniques to prevent cuts and lacerations.

With an endless to-do list and mounting outside pressures, don’t let business insurance fall short. Work with industry-specific companies. They are personally familiar with an owner’s industry and recommend natural disaster and workplace coverages unique to that trade. They also work with franchises to enact safety guidelines for that line of work. And choosing a direct provider can save businesses 15 to 20 percent on average.

Don’t let a storm or accident be a dark cloud over your business.

Bill Strout is president of Intrepid Direct Insurance, a direct online, comprehensive franchise business insurance company.

 

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