Don’t get snowed in – best practices for winter weather threats
As we continue to dig out from the Blizzard of 2015, it’s more important than ever to review risk management techniques for managing snow and ice buildup during the winter months. From collapsing roofs to freezing pipes and power outages, the consequences from severe ice and snow storms can lead to major disruptions. Thinking ahead is key, and organizations that ensure their facilities are properly equipped to handle winter storms will have the best chance of protection against property loss.
FM Global’s Winter Storm Protection guide discusses three major winter storm threats and how to reduce your vulnerability and exposure to them. Roof collapse from the accumulation of heavy snow, freeze ups that cause mechanical and electrical breakdowns and floods that stem from melting snow runoff are all serious problems that are often overlooked during the winter. Conduct regular facility inspections and develop an emergency response plan that addresses any and all issues that may affect business continuity. Emergency plans should also be clearly communicated and distributed to all staff and employees working at the property.
It’s also important to seek outside counsel from property specialists. In some property policies, there is a Sue & Labor provision or a Preservation of Property provision that allows the insured to take measures to protect their property from imminent danger. For example, depending on the wording, this coverage may help assist with the financial costs of things like snow removal expenses. In this situation, an engineer or some other roof expert would have to deem the roof to be in a situation where it will collapse if the snow is not removed. WGA’s Winter Weather Claims Resources page provides numerous resources and links to important articles and helpful tips for protecting against winter storm threats. In addition, WGA Claims Consultants are available to provide claims assistance in the event of a winter weather-related loss affecting your home or business, and to give you information on winter storm recovery efforts.
About the Author
Mary Broderick is a Senior Vice President and Leader of WGA’s Property Practice. Ms. Broderick is responsible for the design and implementation of complex property insurance programs for WGA’s corporate clients’ and has many years of experience working with complicated Business Interruption (BI) and Contingent Business Interruption (CBI) issues.