Protecting your business property from loss
A five year study of claims reported by Markel Martial Arts policyholders found that nearly 28% involved business property. Key drivers of these claims include lightning, water damage, and theft and vandalism. While you cannot prevent the storms that cause the destruction of property, you can take actions to protect your business property from other potential damage.
Preventing loss from lightning
Power surges are a leading cause of claims for electrical equipment failure. The most obvious culprit is lightning, but surges come from a variety of sources. They enter buildings through phone and cable lines, satellite systems, and network cables. All electrical equipment, including data line connections, should be plugged into surge protectors. Without them, power surges can damage all of your 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.
Preventing loss from water damage
- Check the roof after storms for damage that can result in future leaks. Keep your roof drainage and ventilation systems free of debris.
- Inspect flashing and sealants for brittle or noticeable gaps. Reseal or apply new caulk as needed.
- Inspect foundations and exterior walls for cracks and gaps in expansion joints.
- Check interior walls and ceilings for humidity, stains, and moisture—signs of potential roof leak.
Don't forget to protect electronic equipment at the close of business as a routine procedure. Dust covers for computers, telephones, and other sensitive electronics provide protection should a roof leak or pipe burst. It is also recommended to keep computer equipment above ground level.
Preventing loss from theft and vandalism
You can use the following methods to control unauthorized access and vandalism:
- Increase lighting around your building. Consider installing motion-sensitive floodlights to illuminate dark areas of your property, such as under stairways, behind shrubbery, and on the roof. Install these lights so they are difficult for thieves to reach and disarm. The brighter the light, the better.
- Install shatterproof glass on windows that allow easy access to your building, such as exterior door windows, windows within 40 inches of the doorknob, basement windows, and office door windows. Burglary-resistant glazing comes in many varieties, so consult a glass installation expert for a solution to fit your needs.
- Keep your premises free of debris that can be used as a tool to gain access to your building. Trim trees away from buildings so burglars can’t climb them to gain access to windows or the roof. Keep shrubbery low and clipped, so it offers no hiding place for perpetrators. Store ladders indoors or on their sides and securely anchored when not in use.
- Install double cylinder deadbolt locks with 2-3/4 inch deadbolts on exterior doors.
- Lock doors to rooms where electronic equipment and cash is stored. Make electronic equipment difficult to steal by bolting the item’s base to the floor or a desk. Etch or paint your gym’s name on equipment.
- Join a business watch program. Contact your local police department for information on these programs in your area.
*Markel Specialty is a business division of Markel Service, Incorporated, the underwriting manager for the Markel affiliated insurance companies.