Protecting your business personal property: A crisis averted

Clothing store owner businesswoman

The loss of business personal property due to disaster or theft can result in significant replacement and lost opportunity costs. Business personal property typically includes items such as computers, phones, furniture, and a variety of other equipment and tangible assets that are a part of your business.

Loss control strategies are as numerous as the potential events that can cause the loss.


Key guidelines to consider.


  • Keep a current inventory of your business personal property.

    Maintain receipts, serial numbers, and manufacturer’s information for easy identification in the event an item becomes damaged or stolen. Consider taking pictures or a video of your inventory and store in a secure, off-site location. If you need to file a claim, this will facilitate the process and aid in the recovery of stolen items.


  • Protect your electronic equipment.

    All electrical equipment, including data line connections, should be plugged into surge protectors. Without them, power surges can damage equipment and create unwanted downtime. It is important to install surge protectors properly. Keep cable lengths short and straight, and push plugs completely into sockets. Some surge protectors have indicators to show the circuit is grounded and operating properly. Consult with a licensed electrician to ensure that your electrical distribution system is grounded correctly.Place computers, telephone switchboards, and other sensitive electronics above ground level, and utilize dust covers to protect against a roof leak or burst pipe.If you own laptops, invest in computer tracking technology to assist in recovery, should they be stolen. A loss of this equipment can quickly create a crisis.


  • Maintain your facility’s equipment.

    Inspect equipment frequently and follow maintenance practices according to manufacturer’s guidelines. This will help ensure the safety and longevity of your equipment.


  • Safeguard vital records.

    Properly preserving your records makes it easier to get your organization up and running after an emergency. Vital records include financial and insurance information, personnel and client files, administrative and collections information, and engineering plans and drawings.


  • Store records in a secured location.

    Personnel and vital records should be kept in a secured, fire-rated file cabinet or safe. Store critical electronic files and equipment in areas where they can be quickly evacuated, along with staff. You can easily save critical information on a compact disc or external storage device for easy retrieval. Also, ship your data to off-site locations or storage facilities located away from coastal areas and flood plains.


  • Establish and practice a crisis management plan.

    Assign specific responsibilities to staff members so there is no confusion about who should evacuate employees, records, and crucial business equipment. Very importantly, have a backup plan in case critical personnel are out at the time of a catastrophe. Know ahead of time what you need to take with you in an emergency. Identify alternate power sources, and evaluate the crisis response capabilities of your vendors.

Clothing store owner businesswoman
This document is intended for general information purposes only, and should not be construed as advice or opinions on any specific facts or circumstances. The content of this document is made available on an “as is” basis, without warranty of any kind. This document can’t be assumed to contain every acceptable safety and compliance procedures or that additional procedures might not be appropriate under the circumstances. Markel does not guarantee that this information is or can be relied on for compliance with any law or regulation, assurance against preventable losses, or freedom from legal liability. This publication is not intended to be legal, underwriting, or any other type of professional advice. Persons requiring advice should consult an independent adviser. Markel does not guarantee any particular outcome and makes no commitment to update any information herein, or remove any items that are no longer accurate or complete. Furthermore, Markel does not assume any liability to any person or organization for loss of damage caused by or resulting from any reliance placed on that content.

*Markel Specialty is a business division of Markel Service, Incorporated, the underwriting manager for the Markel affiliated insurance companies.
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