Last week’s east coast storms came as a shocking surprise to many of us living near the Chesapeake Bay. High winds toppled trees like dominoes, lightning zapped out the power, and a tidal surge flooded the marinas. Mother Nature was not in a good mood last week, and your employees may have been on the receiving end of her wrath. Whether it was a tree hitting Bob’s roof, lightning causing an electrical surge that fried Kenny’s electronics, or churning water causing damage to Sue’s cabin cruiser, you might not even be aware of the extent of the damages that your workforce may be facing and the financial hardship these repairs could cause.
Insurance adjusters are working overtime as they assess the damages to pay claims for those employees who have the right type of property insurance. Unfortunately, there could also be some who are finding out the hard way that they DON’T have the proper insurance coverage. I spoke to a homeowner who has owned her condo for the past 15 years, and a lightning strike took out her A/C unit. The repairman suggested she put a claim in to her insurance company, so she had called me to ask which type of insurance he had been referring to. Her condo association has a master policy, but damages to anything on the interior of her condo (including her A/C unit) isn’t covered. Years ago, she had a homeowner’s hazard policy, but when she switched her auto insurance coverage to another carrier, she didn’t renew the homeowner’s coverage and the coverage lapsed. This was bad news for her, since that meant that the $3,000 replacement cost of her air conditioner would have to come out of her own pocket. Are any of your employees exposed, too?
If your company is part of the 10% of companies that now offer group auto and homeowner’s coverage, that’s a good start to giving your employees the opportunity to take advantage of group discounts and payroll deduction for the premiums. According to the 2012 SHRM Employee Benefits Survey, an additional 1% of companies are considering adding this benefit over the next 12 months. Even more importantly, employees need access to financial education on the basics of insurance, since there are many common misconceptions about property and casualty coverage.