The complexities of business insurance: review your insurance policy annually to make sure you have the coverage you need.

Author:Bonham, Nicole
 
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So you've built the company into a smoothly operating machine, having paid attention to all the little operations details a streamlined supply-chain management, the latest whiz-bang technology, sound and tested policies and procedures, an efficient organizational structure. Now, what are you doing to protect it?

Adequate and appropriate business insurance is at least as important as any one of those milestones mentioned above. Many would argue that it's more important even, and should be prioritized before the first cornerstone real or virtual-is laid.

FOR CONTINGENCY'S SAKE

Though Sept. 11, 2001, cost the nation an arguably unequaled emotional toll, it also affected corporate operations like perhaps no other single catastrophic event in the country's history, save the Depression. For years after the dust cleared, American's corporate structure will continue to feel the impact of that single autumn morning. The insurance battles linger, reminding every responsibly minded CEO that business insurance is critical and should not be postponed.

Whether the loss is to a massive, multi-national company, or to the tiny morn and pop market on the corner, it occurs by scale, by perspective. So, whatever the dollar figure-whether in the billions for the corporate giant, thousands for the neighborhood market, or hundreds to the telecommuter-the ramifications of an unexpected (and unplanned for) loss effectively reverberate through out the business and the lives of its owners and employees.

The secret to mitigate such impact? Plan. Plain and simple. A few hours now can save you immense time, money and heartbreak later.

To assist, Inc. magazine, in the weeks after 9-11, published a 12-point list on its Web site Inc.com, as a working rubric for CEOs and business managers to consider when planning for the unexpected. We asked Mike Padden, manager of the Juneau branch of Davies-Barry Insurance, to elaborate on several points of the Inc. list, providing information custom to Alaska and the local businesses that make it hum.

"Do Your Homework--Before You Need to Make a Claim. Get your records updated, duplicated and organized-and keep them that way. Maintain detailed records of all your business transactions, not just your insurance policy."--Inc.com, October 2001

* Padden encourages companies to come to the table organized-the first step to establishing sound coverage. "I think most people forget to do it," he says. "It's awfully easy to let that slide. It's something that brokers and agents need to remind their customers of at least...

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