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What’s with the Weather (Part 1 of 2)

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(Photo:©iStockphoto.com/clintspencer)

Ann Hawkins |

ST. LOUIS, Mo. — I’m no meteorologist, but I can see what’s been happening since the year began: We’ve been hit with record ice and snowstorms in places that rarely receive it.

And this troubling weather “report” doesn’t end there. The country has experienced more than double the usual number of tornadoes, record-breaking rainfalls and hailstorms, and flooding. And hurricane season only recently began!

Since we have no idea if these weather occurrences will continue or subside, it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to taking care of your self-service laundry.

Have you thought about cutting back on your insurance due to economic conditions? Well, now may not be the time to make any insurance changes.

If you’re thinking about cutting back on insurance, here’s a question that needs to be asked: What would you do if one of these disasters hit your community and you lacked the proper insurance coverage?

Three Items to Review

If you want to feel a bit more secure about your store as it pertains to dealing with a potential disaster, take a look at your policies and check these items: policy limits, deductibles (including any special deductibles for wind or hail), and exclusions.

Now decide if you can live with the coverage you have.

Let’s start with limits. Insure your building and personal property for replacement cost. If your limits are too low, you will be out-of-pocket on a loss. A few dollars in premiums can get those limits up, and save you thousands in the long run.

Regarding deductibles, you may think you will save a great deal of money by increasing your deductible, but that is not always the case. Of course, explore this with your agent, but don’t be surprised if the savings aren’t what you had anticipated.

Remember, with wind/hail deductibles, the percentage applies to the limits, not the loss. So, for example, with a 5% wind/hail deductible, if you have a $100,000 wind/hail loss on your $500,000 building, your deductible will be $25,000, not $5,000. Many people do not realize this until after the loss.

Regarding exclusions, read them over so you know what property and what perils are not covered. If you have any questions, call your agent. If you want coverage that is excluded, ask your agent to supply a quote. You will discover that many exclusions can be covered for an additional premium, and sometimes that additional premium is not as expensive as you might think.

If you’re looking for an example of exclusions, consider a fence around your self-service laundry. Did you know that fences are not covered? However, you can add them to your coverage for a small, additional premium.

Tomorrow: Loss-of-business coverage is not enough…

About the author

Ann Hawkins

NIE Insurance

Vice President

Ann Hawkins is vice president of NIE Insurance, which has insured self-service laundries for more than 35 years and serviced the drycleaning industry since 1915. Contact NIE at 800-325-9522 or visit www.nie.biz.

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