Natural disasters are getting more costly for businesses—and scientific studies suggest these disasters will only be more prevalent going forward, with this century forecast to see a 40 percent increase in tropical storms rated Category 3 to 5. The best way to protect your business assets from a natural disaster is to purchase sufficient business insurance—and this means getting your industrial equipment appraised. Find out how industrial equipment appraisals protect your valuable assets during a natural disaster.
If you don't have insurance that covers your industrial equipment, you will be forced to pay for replacement equipment out of hand. Many businesses are forced into bankruptcy after a devastating event, such as a fire or flood, because they do not have the capital to replace the equipment they need to fulfill orders. Studies estimate that 40 percent of small business never reopen after a natural disaster.
Before you can purchase insurance for your assets, you need to understand your risk. What types of natural disasters occur where you do business? Are there other incidents that are uncommon, but may happen?
Consider that hurricanes typically affect coastal areas, but they don't always stick to the seaboard. While you may be at low risk of a hurricane, since these storms are relatively rare, it may make sense to buy hurricane protection because a single storm could wipe out your facility overnight.
Next, determine your tolerance level for risk. Would you prefer to protect your business against all foreseeable hazards, or do you want to stick with coverage for the most common incidents that affect your area?
Review your insurance coverage, paying special attention to policy exclusions. Insurance policies often exclude earthquakes for facilities that lie near fault lines. With hurricanes, some damage may be covered by business property insurance while other types of damage are excluded. For instance, policies treat hurricane rain differently when it's falling and on the ground. Once rain hits the ground, insurance companies consider it flood water, rather than part of the hurricane. They may then refuse to cover damage to your industrial equipment unless it was damaged before the rain hit the ground (for instance, if it came through a broken window).
You may purchase supplementary insurance to cover these gaps or exclusions, safeguarding your assets and ensuring replacement in the event of disaster.
To buy insurance, however, you need to know how much insurance you need—and that's where the industrial appraisal comes in. An industrial appraisal provides an accurate valuation for your equipment so you know exactly how much it would cost if you needed to replace, say, a hoist.
There are different ways to value equipment. An appraiser might determine what it would cost to replace your industrial equipment by comparison shopping for used equipment of a similar make and model or by gauging the new replacement cost of a similar asset, then factoring in the indirect costs of ownership (e.g. maintenance, labor, and tax).
Recent sales transactions shine a light on market value for a given item, so some appraisers take the market value by looking at recent sales databases or auction houses.
Any method that delivers an accurate cost estimate of your critical equipment is acceptable.
You never know when your area will be hit with fires, floods, or storms. To be safe, get all of your mission critical industrial equipment appraised as soon as it's convenient to get losses covered during the next natural disaster that affects your area.