How can insurance agents support small business clients who face property damage from vandalism?
Vandalism can have significant effects on small businesses, both financially and emotionally. The cost of repairs alone can be substantial and can put a strain on the business’s finances. Disruption to business operations only adds to the stress.
Additionally, vandalism can have emotional effects on small business owners. They may understandably feel violated or distressed by the damage to their property and saddened by the impact an act of vandalism has on their larger community.
Even though insurance coverage can’t take away the emotional toll of being vandalized, it can hopefully help business owners regain their financial footing. As an insurance agent serving small business clients, there are a few things you can do to help your clients reduce their risk and feel more prepared if their business is targeted.
Help clients take steps to prevent vandalism at their small business
You can help your clients prevent vandalism at their small businesses by providing them with information and resources that will help reduce their risk. Some of these may seem obvious. For example, installing a security system. But it’s also possible that your business clients know what they need to do, and haven’t acted. Or maybe they think their current methods are good enough, but it’s been years since they’ve evaluated other options.
One way you can be helpful is by recommending the right type of system and security setup for your client’s specific business needs based on your deep knowledge of their operations. It doesn’t hurt that having 24/7 monitoring in place could save clients money on their insurance premiums.
Besides a security system, there are plenty of other tips agents can provide their clients to help ensure their small business is not an easy target. For example, keeping the lights on even during off-hours can help discourage thieves and vandals from trying to commit an act of vandalism. Another way small business owners can deter vandals is to make sure windows and doors are properly locked at all times and that any old building materials are updated or reinforced to prevent a break-in.
Here are a few more tips for preventing vandalism at a small business that you can share with your clients:
- Keep property clear of rocks, bottles, and other items that vandals could use to break in
- Use fences or walls to limit access to property
- Keep company vehicles and equipment locked and in secure, well-lit areas
- Remind all staff to stay alert and report any suspicious behavior to local authorities
- Keep expensive items out of public view
How to help your small business clients prepare for a possible act of vandalism
While preventative measures like a security system and reinforced windows are a great way to reduce the risk of theft or vandalism, a break-in could still happen. It’s important for small business owners and their employees to know what to do if a crime does occur. As an insurance agent, you can remind your small business clients to include security training and vandalism protocols in their employee onboarding procedures and in periodic refresher training.
Vandalism can result in business interruption and expensive repairs. When an act of vandalism occurs, immediate safety and recovery are at the top of any small business owner’s mind. Remind your clients that vandalism is a crime and they should report any acts to the police first, before filing a claim. Once everyone is safe and they’ve filed a police report, the business owner can contact their insurance agent and begin filing a claim.
Agents can support their small business clients through vandalism claims and recovery
Being the victim of an act of vandalism is costly from a financial and emotional perspective. One of the best ways you can help your small business clients recover at this time is by being supportive and helpful as they navigate the claims process. You can not only remind your clients, but assist them in properly documenting property damage with pictures, videos, and inventory reports. At a time when your client’s mind might be clouded with a hundred different things, you can help make sure they account for all lost income and expenses caused by vandalism.
You can also remind your clients that vandalized property is more likely to be vandalized again. Oftentimes, vandalism damage creates an easier target for additional acts. Clients can mitigate any further property damage or theft by securing their property and doubling down on security measures until the damage is fixed.
No matter how well-prepared a business is, vandalism can still occur
Even businesses with the best security practices can still be vandalized. As you provide your clients with tips on the best preventive measures, your true role as their business insurance agent is to make sure they have comprehensive commercial insurance coverage, so they aren’t stuck paying out of pocket if their business is vandalized. Partner with Pie to offer excellent workers’ comp coverage for your clients!