QBE North America Shares Top Tips to Help Business Owners Prepare for Spring
NEW YORK, NY, March 20, 2023 — This spring is predicted to bring an increase in weather events, from heavy rain and thunderstorms to potentially severe events like tornadoes and hurricanes, according to The Farmer’s Almanac Spring 2023 weather forecast. QBE North America is sharing best practices to help U.S. business owners predict, prepare and protect themselves from potential risks throughout the season.
“As we shake off winter, now is the time to identify potential risks, address vulnerabilities and evaluate the current state of your business,” said Mark McCormick, Vice President, Risk Solutions, Eastern Region, QBE North America. “Having a plan in place at the start of each season can help minimize loss and ensure a quicker recovery if something goes wrong.”
QBE North America suggests the following to help business owners ready their property and employees this spring:
• Locate, map and label indoor and outdoor shut-off valves (water, sprinkler, gas, etc.) and know how and when to use them.
• Create an emergency plan and review and practice it with employees.
• Review and update your business continuity plan. Identify alternate suppliers to keep your business up and running and recover faster if a major disruption occurs.
Inspect and Test
• Perform fleet maintenance, including inspecting vehicles, and checking wiper blades, tire pressure, treads and oil filters.
• Inspect any exterior foliage and trees and trim as needed to prevent potential property damage and incoming power supply interruption.
• Assess pipes for damage or substantial wear to avoid leaking pipes.
• Check concrete, sidewalks, decks and any other walking areas where hazards may have resulted from winter weather and address as needed.
• Perform necessary maintenance on any power equipment, including emergency generators, outdoor lighting and grills.
• If your facility includes playgrounds, recreational equipment or a pool, perform necessary inspections and maintenance.
• Inspect and test all sump pump and de-watering equipment.
• Test your fire and smoke detection systems.
• Remove any unwanted clutter and debris from the interior and exterior of the property.
• Review stored flammable and combustible liquids, such as old paints, and discard any materials not used within the last year.
• Clear gutters and downspouts and conduct roof inspections. Check with your property manager on making those updates and fixes beforehand.
• Clear any surface drains and grates. Check for site erosion or changes to drainage paths.
• Clean or replace HVAC air filters and schedule service if needed.
• Clean and safely store any winter-related power equipment and secure flammable fuels properly.
In the event of property damage, there are steps businesses can take to get the problem solved as quickly as possible and ensure the facility is safe from another catastrophe. Here are tips from QBE if a disaster occurs:
• Conduct a damage assessment as soon as the area is safe to enter.
• Inspect all fire protection equipment for physical damage, including sprinkler heads, valves, pipes, hoses and portable extinguishers.
• Take photos or video of any damage prior to clean-up and any restoration.
• Have damaged equipment cleaned, dried out and the electrical insulation tested.
• Service heating equipment by a qualified technician before returning it to operation.
• Monitor portable and emergency generator use for carbon monoxide buildup, power back feeds and improper fueling.
“Some losses are unpredictable, no matter how prepared you are,” said Monique McQueen, Vice President, Property Claims, QBE North America. “We recommend business owners review their insurance policies at the start of spring to ensure they have the correct coverage, and note if there have been changes to operations, property, staffing or the working environment.”
QBE North America’s Risk Solutions team are experts in identifying risks, delivering loss prevention recommendations and providing innovative loss protection tools and services. Their focused commitment to service and technical acumen helps customers identify, evaluate and reduce their potential for losses and business risk. By getting to know their customers, their business operations, priorities and concerns, they can help deliver the best possible outcomes. To consult with Risk Solutions or for any questions, QBE customers may call (888) 560-2635 or email RSC@us.qbe.com.
About QBE North America
QBE North America is a global insurance leader helping customers solve unique risks, so they can stay focused on their future. Part of QBE Insurance Group Limited, QBE North America reported Gross Written Premiums in 2022 of $7.27 billion. QBE Insurance Group’s results can be found at qbe.com. Headquartered in Sydney, Australia, QBE operates out of 27 countries around the globe, with a presence in every key insurance market. The North America division, headquartered in New York, conducts business primarily through its insurance company subsidiaries. The actual terms and conditions of any insurance coverage are subject to the language of the policies as issued. QBE insurance companies are rated “A” (Excellent) by A.M. Best and “A+” by Standard & Poor’s. Additional information can be found at qbe.com/us or follow QBE North America on LinkedIn and Facebook.
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