4 Critical Disaster Preparedness Considerations for Your Agency

When disaster strikes, insurance agents can expect to get phone calls, emails, and filed claims. Your clients will be anxious to get paid and start rebuilding their lives. But what if your insurance agency has been affected by a catastrophic storm or other disaster? Without proper planning, it may be days or even weeks before your agency is fully operational.

If you own an insurance agency, it’s important to be prepared for anything that may come your way. Agents can make sure that they are there for their clients by becoming more self-sufficient in preparation for times of trouble. Your agency needs to get a game plan that will make it possible to quickly access the data needed to reach out to clients and provide them with necessary results. Whether you serve ten clients or two hundred, it’s important to have a plan in place so that you can help them through anything that comes their way.

Before you start getting your disaster plan together, it’s important to ask yourself these important questions:

1. Operations

If you were unable to get into your office tomorrow, what would you do? Depending on the disaster, traveling to your office may not be a possibility. If a major ice storm were to hit, how could you help your clients? Rather than just saying “too bad” and enjoying a snow day, it’s important to have a plan of action in place. Will you and your employees be able to work from home, or will it be impossible considering distractions, internet connection problems, and a lack of motivation? Talk to your team and get them on board with a plan to keep serving clients regardless of the office situation.

2. Electricity

If your area was to experience a long-term lack of power that lasted days or weeks, how would you continue to help clients? Blackouts are often a reality following thunderstorms, tornadoes, construction problems, automobile accidents, and blown transformers. Rather than trying to work by candlelight, put together a plan to secure at least one generator so that you can continue to operate your organization.

3. Technology

How vital is your computer technology and equipment? It’s almost impossible to envision a world without technology; however, we don’t actually need all the devices and equipment that we use. Make a list of the equipment that is crucial to your daily work and figure out how long you would be able to operate your insurance organization if you were unable to access important data such as your agency management system. Once you discover which equipment is truly vital, make plans so that you can replace valuable pieces such as PCs, servers, printers, and software.

4. Communication

What will you do if you have no options for communication? If your phone or internet service is out, how will you continue to process claims, renewals, and take on new clients? It’s important to have a plan in place so that you can continue serving walk-ins and those who aren’t impacted by the disaster. Put together a plan that will make it possible for you to re-route your phone lines to a cell phone or voice mailbox, also making sure your email and social media are functional.

When disaster strikes, you don’t want to be hampered. Instead, put together a plan now so that you can stand out from the competition and prove to clients that you are there for them no matter what!

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