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Civil Unrest and Your Business

As civil unrest has unfolded across the country with some protests turning to violence and destruction, business owners have good reason for concern, especially as many are just beginning to recover from the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

There are steps you can take to protect your business in these unpredictable situations. Here are some suggestions:

Make sure you’re covered: First and foremost, talk to your risk advisor and be certain that your commercial coverage is adequate. While rioting, civil commotion and vandalism are generally covered perils in a standard commercial policy, you don’t want to find out after the fact that your limits were inadequate.

Assess vulnerabilities: Survey your business and the surrounding area for likely avenues of approach. Deploy video surveillance, alarm systems, glass-break detectors or even security guards, in the combination that makes the most sense for your business and its location.

Prepare now: Don’t wait for violence to approach your area. Have a plan to evacuate employees and customers from your premises if necessary, and a clear set of responsibilities for boarding up windows, locking doors or other protective measures prior to leaving. Consider abbreviating your hours of operation … but make sure employees and customers are aware.

Remove high-value items: To the greatest degree possible, cash or high-value merchandise or supplies should be moved off the premises to somewhere safe. Put up prominent signs to let potential thieves know that there’s nothing of value on site. And consider relocating your vehicle fleet if appropriate.

Stay tuned: Keep in touch with local authorities and news outlets. They should be monitoring social media and other online communications, and may be able to give warning when trouble is headed your way.

Don’t engage: If the worst happens despite your best efforts, remember that no property is worth injury to yourself or an employee. Avoid confrontation and get to safety. Train your employees to do the same.

Questions about protecting your business? Contact Consolidated Insurance.


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