Hindsight is 20/20. It is easy to know after an accident how it could have been avoided. Avoiding an accident or claim event is both the challenge and the potential of Loss Prevention.
The tool for avoiding a future claim, injury or lawsuit is the “Best Practices” learned by experience. The bruises you received after slipping on a wet floor will teach you quickly to mop spills and becomes your “Best Practice”. A loss prevention specialist brings the lessons from the insurance industry’s prior experience and applies those “Best Practices” standards to guide your business to avoid potential claims.
Your business pays for your insurance policies every day. One of the benefits of Loss Prevention is often your improvement can be a one-time cost rather than a repeated expense. For example, buying a floor mat for your front business entrance is a proven way to reduce the risk of a trip & fall injury to a patron and reduces your risk from public liability. It helps keep your floors clean & dry and less slippery. A quality floor mat might cost $100 but avoiding a liability claim will reduce your long term insurance cost.
Employees are your most valuable assets. Keeping your workers safe while on the job should be a priority for any business owner. A “Best Practice” for any employee is training to use the right tool with the right protective gear. An example: carving in a restaurant kitchen is done by a qualified chef (training) with a quality sharp knife (right tool) while using a mesh glove (protective gear) to protect the hand and fingers of the chef. Since Worker’s Compensation Insurance is rated in part based on your own individual business’s loss experience, having a safe workplace provides a direct impact on your profitability.
A business risk that is often overlooked is an employee driving on company errands. Unsafe driving habits, such as driving tired or using cell phones can lead to traffic accidents that risks lives, injuries and damage to company vehicles. A “Best Practice” would be to set rules about driving company vehicles focused on safety. Another proven loss prevention strategy is for a business owner is to check for traffic violations on both newly hired drivers and annually for current drivers by checking their Motor Vehicle Records. You don’t want to entrust your company vehicles and expose your business to increased auto liability risks without knowing that your employee is a responsible driver with a valid license. A higher incident of accidents can also directly impact your Business Auto Insurance costs.
The duty to have a safe premise is a burden for any business open to the public. Avoiding a customer being injured while shopping at your store or a client visiting your office is important as the resulting lawsuit can threaten your business profits and drive higher liability insurance costs. Public Liability can be managed to reduce your lawsuit risks by viewing your business location from the perspective of the public.
Reducing your business risks from fire, burglary and other physical threats is also an aim of Loss Prevention. Are your fire extinguishers inspections current and tagged? Are your door locks strong and your premise well lighted at night to deter burglars? Is your storage of flammable liquids in safe containers? Many of the physical threats of loss can be overcome with modest investment and application of “Best Practices”. Reducing your risks to your important Business Property is important to your overall profitability.
A Loss Prevention visit from your insurer can be a real eye-opener. The best way to approach the list of “Recommendations” (read – required changes) provided is to see them as an opportunity to save your business from the consequences and costs of potential losses. It is the insurance company being pro-active and showing you what can be done better. The “Best Practices” prescribed are a benefit to all concerned.