I was reading a great article in the January/February issue of Contractor’s Magazine regarding theft prevention specifically targeted to contractor equipment dealers. While the tips may be geared to that industry, they tend have more universal appeal. The concept of loss prevention is one that any business owner should take seriously. The disruption that a claim brings is not something that most business owners want to go through – but sometimes must. When your broker speaks to you about additional coverage available or of loss prevention techniques, they generally have your best interest in mind. The mindset that, “it will never happen to me” is definately the wrong one to have.
Theft is a problem that can affect any business. For example, in the construction industry, the theft of major machinery can be a very big problem. Living in a new subdivision, further concerns like material theft and trespassing are of concern to the builders. The risks to the business are not just property damage and theft risks but liability risks. Strangely enough, we have a duty of care to trespassers that is upheld by law. So that being said, here are a few ideas that can help a diverse number of businesses with loss control:
- Building Security – Deadbolts, Interior Door Hinges, Fully monitored Fire & Burglar alarms,Bars on windows etc., are all tools that will help keep thieves out by making your shop as hard a target as possible to steal from. The harder their job is, the more likely they will get caught.
- Guard Dogs – A guard dog is something that can be used in certain situations. The problems that arise with the dogs is the liability that you incur as a result of the dog biting the trespasser. Remember that while you owe a trespasser a minimal duty of care, you still owe them some care. A lawyer should definately be consulted if you are using this measure of protection.
- Lighting & Video Surveillance – play a huge part in loss prevention. Thieves definately don’t want to steal in broad daylight (unless they are gutsy) and the video will catch any thieves or vandals in the act and enable the police to find them faster.
- Communication & Training – Your employees, your security personnel and your management are your eyes and ears. It is important that they communicate fluidly amongst each other. Teaching them how to identify suspicious characters or why communicating even the smallest oddity is so important for the company.
Risk control is something that you should undertake especially with your broker partner. Together, you can find solutions that help to control your exposure to losses so that when a claim does occur, the insurer knows that you are doing your part to prevent such occurrences from happening and your rates won’t be affected as drastically (or at all) as the business who does nothing to prevent losses.