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BAD WEATHER BULLETIN: HOW TO CONDUCT YOUR OWN "RISK MANAGEMENT AUDIT"

 FAIRLAWN, Ohio, May 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Tornado season in Ohio typically begins this month, and as those who live in the paths of Hurricanes Andrew and Hugo know, it's a good time to think about your insurance protection.
 For many business owners, having the appropriate coverage levels and proper business interruption insurance can mean the difference between re-opening quickly after a storn strikes, or even not re-opening at all.
 "Whether it's the corner ice cream store or a multi-million manufacturing concern, being knocked out of business by wind or storm damage is costly," says Todd Stein, president of The Brunswick Companies, a Fairlawn, Ohio-based risk management firm. "The true test of your risk management plan is how quickly you're able to re-open for business, and what plans you've put in place to minimize any downtime. Now is the time, before a storm actually strikes, to ensure that your business won't lose your customers -- or even valuable employees -- to your competitor down the street who manages to remain open."
 Stein encourages all companies to prepare a detailed risk management plan and to audit their businesses regularly to ensure that a missing roof or damaged inventory doesn't cripple their operations. While companies should work through a qualified professional, he cautions, there are several points to consider when conducting your own risk management audit of your business:
 -- Ensure that you're carrying business interruption insurance, a policy that protects your income from any losses due to temporary shutdown caused by weather or other catastrophes.
 -- Do you have "loss of profits" coverage, or a plan that reimburses the business from un-recovered revenue?
 -- Do you have back-up manufacturing relationships in place and documented? This calls for approaching nearby companies that agree to temporarily pick up production duties for any product lines you're unable to produce.
 -- What measures have you taken to keep valued employees? For many companies, the skills their people have acquired over years or even decades are un-replaceable. Keeping a salary stream preserved for these key workers ensures they won't find other employment while waiting for you to re-open your doors.
 -- Identify ready sources of rental equipment, supplies, generators, etc., that you can use to keep your company in business after a storm.
 -- Review all of your insurance coverages to ensure that you have adequate and current coverage levels and deductibles for all property and equipment. -- Prepare a computer/information processing back-up plan, in terms of identifying where critical records are stored, regular schedules for backing up computer disks, and where to rent temporary equipment. Telecommunications needs should be incorporated here as well.
 -- Update your record-keeping procedures. "The burden of proof to document real losses is on you as the business owner," explains Stein. "For example, if you intend to claim lost revenue of $X per day, you need to be able to document a revenue stream equal to that amount. Complete and adequate records are the best way we know of to ensure speedy action by the insurer.
 "Taken as a whole, a risk management audit will uncover weak links in a company's insurance protection network. It's the natural first step for insulating your business from a loss that could put you out of business," says Stein.
 The Brunswick Companies is a risk management firm that specializes in professional liability insurance, insurance underwriting, risk and claims management, workers compensation, financial consulting, and, through its BICS operating subsidiary (Brunswick Integrated Computer Solutions), automated accounting solutions and support.
 -0- 5/17/93
 /CONTACT: Kelly Kleinschmidt of The Brunswick Companies, 216-864-8800; or Joel Goldstein of Goldstein Group Communications, Inc., 216-398-0030, for The Brunswick Companies/


CO: The Brunswick Companies ST: Ohio IN: INS SU:

KL -- CL002 -- 9010 05/17/93 08:17 EDT
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Date:May 17, 1993
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