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What if your roof collapsed tomorrow?


connecticut winter storm 2011Most contractors don't have major property insurance concerns for their own building.  Usually it's extremely large or ornate, because most of the time their employees are out in the field. Building, repairing, servicing, grading, driving, digging, and climbing; rather than working from the office.  In my time in the insurance industry, I don't think I've ever said to a client or prospect "What would happen to your company if your roof collapsed tomorrow?"  Most of the time, the line of questioning goes something like:

"What would happen to your company if you had a hostile fire that burnt your building to the ground?"

More often than not, the response is something like:

"Total loss is impossible, the building is brick." 

"Not a concern, we have an up to code sprinkler system."

More often than not, it doesn't seem worthwhile to push back on either of these objections because historically, these types of losses are extremely rare.  This winter in Connecticut, things are a little different.  I've lived in Connecticut for most of my life, and can't remember when the potential for roof collapse from snow load has been greater. (I wasn't born yet when the Civic Center's roof collapsed) There have already been established businesses and recently built homes that have already had collapses.  The governor has already advised residents and business owners to clear snow from their roofs prior to the winter storm event that is underway as I type this post.

So, what if the roof on your construction company collapsed tomorrow because another two feet of snow fell on it?

Do you have your plans, drawings, blueprints, invoices, change orders, etc backed up somewhere off-site?

Do you have your computers and building contents insured to value?

How long would it take to get a roofing contractor out to rebuild your roof?

Do you have enough cashflow and a long enough backlog of work to sustain the company during this time?

Do any of your employees have the ability to work from home?

How many employees would you lose during the reconstruction?

Disaster recovery plans are often overlooked and not seriously contemplated by business owners due to the low probablity of a major disaster actual crippling their business and because they purchased business interruption insurance (the coverage with the fun worksheet). But if something did happen, wouldn't you want to be up and running as quick as possible in order to save your business and keep all of your clients from going to a competitor?

We've found Agility Recovery Solutions to be an affordable solution to these daunting questions.

As some final food for thought, what if you're a roofing contractor and you start seeing completed operations claims for roof collapses on roofs you built or serviced?  Does your umbrella follow form on your GL policy?  Does your GL policy have the right completed operations endorsement? 

Update from the Hartford Courant

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