Climate change has been a hot topic of discussion over the past few years. While there are some scientists who insist that what we are seeing is simply evidence of cyclical patterns, no one can disagree that extreme weather is affecting us even here in the United States.
In light of our current conditions, it makes sense for you as a business owner to understand how climate change can affect your investments.
Whether it is due to normal fluctuations or to human-made factors, data shows that our weather is not the same as it once was. Here are some facts:
- The last decade was the hottest ever recorded, with 2012 being the hottest year ever in the U.S.
- Extreme heat waves are happening more often. An example is the one in 2013 in Texas where temperatures exceeded 100 degrees for 40 days.
- Droughts are now more frequent and longer-lasting, particularly in the Southwest.
- When it does rain, amounts are much heavier because warmer air can hold more moisture. In the Northeast, there has been a 71 percent increase since 1958 in the amount of precipitation involved in heavy rain and snow storms. Dangerous floods are already happening and show no signs of slowing.
- Heat and drought have led to an increase in the amount and severity of wildfires in this country.
What Does This Mean For Your Business?
If you own commercial property, you know how valuable this asset is and how necessary it is to protect it. Most likely, you already have a commercial property insurance package that will safeguard your holdings in the event of personal injury, theft or fire, but are you ready for the potential consequences of climate change? Contemplate these possible dangers:
- Flooding is not just a problem for someone with property close to a body of water. Considering that precipitation amounts during the heaviest storms are rising, you could find yourself in a flood situation even if you are far away from rivers, streams or the ocean. That’s why it makes sense to add flood insurance to any commercial policy you already have.
- Fire danger. Where there is increased heat, fires are more frequent. Even if you have shrubs or brush on your property, you are at increased risk if a serious drought takes place. It only takes one cigarette or a single lightning strike to cause flames to blaze. Be sure that the level of fire protection you are paying for in your commercial policy is adequate should the worst happen.
- Higher energy costs. Even the most temperate parts of the country are seeing hotter summers. For you as a business owner, that may mean more days when you need to cool your buildings. Furthermore, severe winter winds and storms may well add to your heating bills. No matter how you slice it, climate change is destined to affect your bottom line.
Fortunately, commercial property insurance can provide you with an invaluable safety net during these upcoming years of turbulent meteorological events. Before you feel the effects of floods, heat or fire, make an appointment with your agent. Put a plan in place now to protect your invaluable investments, and you will be ready even if the worst disaster strikes.