Reducing Risk for Lumber-Related Specialty Insurance
From woodworking companies to sawmills, if you run a business that mills or uses lumber, you may be confused about your insurance options. The lumber industry has niche requirements, and a general insurance company may offer you a wide variety of choices, but none really cater to your specific needs. That’s where specialty insurance for the lumber industry bridges the gap.
When you need someone to understand your unique needs and requirements, a company like Lumber Insurance Services can provide you with understanding, knowledgeable service, specific to the lumber industry. With Lumber Insurance Services, you get a specialist in the Forest Product and Building Materials industry, and because insurance calculates risk, this post helps you understand how to reduce your risk and choose the policy options right for you.
Understanding Your Risks in the Forest Product and Building Materials Industry
Whether you’re a wholesaler or a retailer of building materials and products, you may share some characteristics with other businesses outside of the lumber industry, but you also have significant differences, differences that require the know-how and expertise of specialty insurance.
From disasters to simple accidents, as a business owner, you must focus on safety to help mitigate your risks. In this industry, safety processes are everything. Your best chance at mitigating risks is by developing and implementing solid safety practices. By following these tips, you can reduce your risk of experiencing the kinds of situations that lead to costly claims:
· Reduce your risk of fire: Although all businesses want to prevent fires, businesses focused on lumber and building materials should have safety plans and recovery plans that all employees know. Your plans should include a daily cleaning program for combustible, accumulating dust, a well-developed safety plan for hot-work situations, such as welding, and a regular electrical maintenance checklist that seeks to prevent electrical failures.
· Have a documented plan: If you developed a risk management plan, document the plan and distribute it to employees. Don’t just have employees read the plan. Make sure they know the plan and can work through it independently. From regular housekeeping tasks to mitigating disastrous events, informing your employees of the important role they have in keeping the workplace safe and your business open helps them to invest in the tasks they are assigned.
· Follow OSHA standards: OSHA doesn’t have specific lumber and building material industry standards, but many OSHA standards apply to your business. Whether you need employees trained on heavy equipment, need to understand how best to control air contaminants, or mitigate your employees’ exposure to occupational noise, OSHA has standards you need to meet. Ensuring you’re in compliance helps maintain a safe working environment.
· Develop a comprehensive fleet safety plan: From drug screening and background checks to physical exams and road testing, you need to keep your employees, products, and other people on the road safe. Your plan should also include regular maintenance and safety checks of your vehicles as well as a way to monitor your drivers while they’re on the road.
· Maintain a safe working environment: Establishing guidelines for best practices helps to prevent issues in the workplace, such as slipping and falling or getting injured by specialty equipment. From woodworking machines to heavy machinery, employees not only need to be trained on how to use such equipment, but they should also be trained on how to avoid getting injured on that equipment. When dealing with lumber and lumber-related products and machinery, the items can be unwieldy and awkward. Making sure you have solid guidelines that employees follow helps you maintain a healthy working environment.
Avoid Taking Risks with Your Insurance Purchase
You may understand your industry and your business like no one else can, but you may be lost when it comes to matching your needs to the right insurance product and options. An expert in specialty insurance can help you navigate through your options and find the best match for your unique situation. However, anyone in the lumber and building materials industry can follow this list of suggestions before you have a consultation with a specialist at Lumber Insurance Services. This list explains some of the decisions you may be tempted to make that risk you purchasing the wrong type of insurance and options:
· Don’t buy solely based on the price of the policy. If you’ve shopped around for insurance, you may be tempted to compare pricing and simply purchase the one that is the least expensive. However, you won’t be comparing apples to apples. Insurance companies and their policies differ, and you’ll notice differences right away between a general insurance policy and one that is tailor-made for the lumber industry. A more expensive policy may actually cover the risk of your business. If you work with an insurance company that doesn’t understand how to customize policies for your industry and specific lumber-related business, you could be missing out on coverage or have restrictions or limitations that won’t work for your business. So what you see as a higher premium may actually translate to adequate coverage for your business. A cheaper policy may cost less until you need to file a claim and realize you don’t have the coverage.
· Don’t ignore the need to adjust. If the pandemic and its aftermath have taught us anything, it’s that we need to constantly adjust, not just as markets change but also as business changes. Set up a regular appointment to discuss your insurance needs and reach out to your specialist when your business experiences change, such as you gain additional employees or you acquire new property.
· Don’t purchase too little insurance. You never want to be underinsured. While you can’t anticipate how or when large losses may happen, you know that anything from accidents to natural disasters can devastate your business. Speaking with a specialist to design coverage that accounts for the value of your business, from buildings and equipment to property and inventory, can help keep you covered.
If you’re unsure whether you’re properly assessing your risk and providing your business with the best coverage, speak to the experts at Lumber Insurance Services. Their industry knowledge and tailor-made policies can give you the specialty insurance coverage and peace of mind you’ve been looking for.