Nationwide stresses need for small businesses to be ready for disasters

Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company recently highlighted the important role disaster recovery plans and insurance can play for small businesses affected by natural disasters as it announced the results of its Small Business Indicator, which shows that such plans are often not a priority for small businesses.

“Small businesses owners are crucial to our economy,” Nationwide Property & Casualty President Mark Berven said in a release. “And they are often the ones impacted the most by a disaster. That’s why it’s so important for people to start preparing now – especially as we head into the spring storm season.”

According to Nationwide’s most recent survey of small business owners, which questioned 502 businesses across the country with fewer than 300 employees, 68 percent do not have a written disaster recovery plan and 49 percent estimated that it would take at least three months to recover from a natural disaster. While 22 percent of respondents had been affected by a natural disaster, 21 percent said that a written disaster plan is not a priority. Just 29 percent of respondents had business interruption insurance, the release said.

Nationwide illustrated the importance of insurance in natural disaster recovery by citing the example of Dan Oswald, whose seed business in Nebraska was disrupted by twin F4 tornadoes that destroyed his town.

“I knew what a tornado could do, but you never think it would hit your place,” Oswald said in the release. “I didn’t even recognize it. Indescribable. You don’t know what street you’re on or what you’re looking at because you don’t have any landmarks or anything in your memory that tells you where you’re at. I think you kind of go into shock a little bit. But two days after the tornado, I had a check in my hand.”
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Nationwide 215 N. Front St. Columbus, OH 43215