Small businesses shun extra coverage: survey

98% have no plans to upgrade insurance.

They lost power, and suffered wind and water damage during recent storms, but small business owners are still resisting additional coverage.

The storms that made 2009 one of the worst on record in Canada prompted $2 million in claims from small business owners for RSA Canada, but a Leger Marketing/RSA survey has found that 98% of those owners have no plans to upgrade their insurance.

More than half–67%–of respondents to the survey were affected by weather catastrophes last year, with several reporting lost sales, or closed-down businesses because of the wind, hail or hurricane-related storms. The percentage of affected businesses was higher in the Atlantic provinces, where 90% of small business owners reported storm damage.

In Ontario, the numbers fell to 63%, while in the Prairies, floods were a chief problem, with 36% of owners reporting flood damage.

“The risk of inclement weather damaging your livelihood is very real and that is why statistics such as these are so troubling,” said Irene Bianchi, RSA Canada’s vice president of claims and corporate Services in a statement highlighting the findings.  “It’s a reminder to all small business owners to prepare for the unexpected.”

Although those surveyed didn’t include new insurance coverage in their storm preparation plans, some were taking other steps to mitigate future damage by updating emergency procedures, securing back up power sources and renovating their buildings.

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