Business Continuity Tip of the Month

Don’t blow your cover

The subject of insurance often comes up when considering our risk management and business continuity strategies and plans – partly because insurance can be an important mitigation measure and partly because there may be significant implications at the time of a “disaster” or major incident that need to be considered and, therefore, planned for.

It’s one thing to understand what’s covered by our various policies (which, it has to be said, many of us don’t), and quite another to understand the mechanics of the post-incident claims process. For instance, there may be certain actions in your business continuity plan that require approval from your insurers before you can carry them out – like sourcing new premises or plant or equipment. Failure to understand how the process works could have serious financial implications or significantly delay recovery, or both.

One thing to consider is that the insurers will almost certainly appoint a loss adjuster. Indeed, the loss adjuster may well be one of the first people on the scene after the emergency services. It’s as well to bear in mind who they’re working for – and that isn’t you! And there’s a big clue in the name : loss adjuster. Their primary objective is “adjust”, i.e. reduce, your claim; to minimise the insurer’s losses, thus increasing yours. And, because that’s their raison d’être, they tend to be pretty good at it.

So you could do a lot worse than to appoint your own loss assessor – someone with expert knowledge of the insurance claims minefield to work on your behalf. Someone to fight your corner in an effort to maximise, rather than minimise your claim. And because you may need them very quickly, it makes sense to find one now, rather than waiting until a loss adjuster makes an appearance.

Appropriate levels of insurance are undoubtedly important. But in order to gain the greatest advantage from our insurance, we need to know what we’re covered for and what’s likely to happen if we’re unfortunate enough to need to claim.