small business winter weather injury
The winter months are upon us, and while the snow can be beautiful, it can also bring the possibility of hazardous conditions and the potential for costly liability for your business. You can’t predict the weather, let alone control it, but what you can do is be prepared and have a plan in place. This shouldn’t be cause for alarm if you plan ahead. For every issue, there is an insurance policy to help protect you.

Here are some liabilities to keep in mind when you’re entering the winter season, and the insurance policies that can help protect your business.

Property Damage from Cold Weather

The first step is to check your business vulnerabilities so you can decide what works best for you. For example, if you live in a place where it snows, rains, or gets very cold during the winter months, then there is a possibility your building can flood or your pipes can freeze and burst.

This kind of damage can be covered by Commercial Property Insurance or a Business Owner Policy (BOP). Commercial property insurance protects a building, its contents (inventory, computers, equipment, etc.) and even exterior fixtures such as your outdoor signage. This type of insurance is intended to help business owners protect their company’s physical assets. Even if you don’t own the building you’re in, it makes sense to protect the things you own inside the building from being damaged due to harsh winter weather.

Slips, Trips, and Falls

In the wintertime, safety hazards such as trips and falls can increase due to the build-up of ice, water, and snow on walking surfaces. The space in front of your building can become slippery, as well as the inside of your building as people track in water when they enter.

This environment poses a hazard not only for your customers and guests, but your employees. During the winter months the number of slip-and-falls increases, and according to the National Floor Safety Institute (yes, that’s a real organization), falls are the leading cause of lost days from work.

Having Workers’ Compensation Insurance protects both your employees and your business. It can cover medical costs and lost wages for employees that are injured on the job. Nearly every state requires a business to have workers’ compensation insurance if it has one or more full- or part-time employee. Commercial General Liability can help protect your guests and your business should they injure themselves while on your property or at your place of business.

These insurance coverages protect your business year-round, but winter weather introduces an increased liability for your business. Protect your investment and be sure you’re covered.