Keep posted, keep informed.
The upcoming winter months bring more than snow and cold winds; they bring significant storms resulting in hazardous risks related to snow and ice buildup. This severe weather means a heightened risk and a potential for costly liabilities for property managers and clients in the habitational business industry.
Clients in the commercial or residential property industry must know about the unique hazards they face during the winter and how to prevent them or limit the extent of their damage. To avoid these problems and litigation resulting from winter injuries, your clients need to have a basic winter risk management plan in place.
Always Start with Insurance
Commercial property clients are responsible for the property itself and the people who reside there. Habitational Insurance provides Property and Liability coverage in the event of a tenant injury and losses caused by fire, theft, storms, vandalism, malicious damage, and wind.
This coverage protects clients of commercial and residential properties, such as condos and apartments. While policies vary in scope, most include coverage for property and general liability. Some coverages are standard, but additional policies can be added in to boost their benefits, such as an Excess liability policy if higher liability limits are required.
Recognizing & Preventing Winter Hazards
Winter presents several hazards that property clients need to prepare for. However, slips and falls are still the most common injury during winter conditions. Having snow and ice removed regularly is advised, keeping walkways and parking lots clear of slipping risks. Clients need to arrange to have snow removed quickly after storms and salt walkways regularly to keep ice from forming.
Not all winter weather hazards come from under our feet, however. Icicles, for example, can form along overhangs and windowsills, creating a potential for injury. These icicles need to be removed regularly as well to limit their potential harm to others.
Another step to take is to have a good offense during the other seasons. Performing preventative maintenance during the summer, for instance, can keep clients prepared for winter storms. They need to ensure eaves are appropriately installed and check that downspouts aim away from entrances, exits, and walkways. If eaves leak, the snow that melts in the heat during the day can drain and create a slipping hazard when it freezes again overnight.
Keeping Snow Removal a Priority
While contracting snow removal can help save time and costs, your habitational clients must choose the right service for their needs. Cheaper and/or faster are not always better.
First, clients need to make sure the contractor they choose has sufficient resources to meet their demands. Ideally, they can be onsite quickly following a snowfall to ensure all walkways and parking lots are cleared before workers, residents, or customers begin pouring in or out. It’s also crucial that they have the right equipment and workforce to quickly finish the task to cut down on any disruption to peoples’ lives or businesses.
Next, they need to ensure the company they work with for snow removal carries adequate insurance, covering both its operations and its employees.
If the hired company provides less than satisfactory service, the habitational client is still responsible for any injury that comes from winter hazards, such as snow or ice. Your clients need to ensure they work with reputable companies they can trust to do a good job and always have a plan of action of their own if they cannot complete the work as quickly as needed.
About Mavon Insurance
At Mavon Insurance, we pride ourselves on our unique approach to insurance. We focus on integrity, communication, professionalism, respect and gratitude to help our clients succeed, and place business in specialized markets. For more information about our products, or to become an agent, contact us today at (855) 248-1480.