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Disaster preparedness, business continuity and the role of insurance

By St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce

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(PRESS RELEASE VIA SNO) – “Only one in twenty five business affected by severe disasters never reopen the doors again”, this frightening statement underscores the importance of business continuity planning and disaster preparedness particularly after the terrible 2017 Hurricane Season experienced in the Caribbean.

Two back to back category 5 Hurricanes, Irma and Maria, brings to the fore the importance of Insurance not just for homes and personal property, but for Businesses.

At the Chamber 133rd Annual General Meeting it was revealed that in the region estimates are that only 20% of all buildings are insured and approximately 80% of that group are under insured.

Understanding how firms, large and small can mitigate their risks and give themselves a chance to regroup and continue in the event of disasters, natural or manmade is the purpose of a one day symposium being organized by the St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture titled “Disaster Mitigation in a New Climate: Business Continuity and Insurance” on 8th May 2018 from 9:00am-3:30pm at the Finance Administrative Centre.

The impact of climate change means that there is sure to be more frequent and more powerful weather phenomenon in our vulnerable region.

Earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruption and yes, manmade cyber- attacks are real threats and possibilities which smart businesses plan and take account of in their modern operations. With another hurricane season quickly approaching and the devastation Hurricanes Maria and Irma inflicted still fresh in the minds of many persons, the Chamber believes this symposium will be a stepping stone to better prepare businesses for the what if. With proper planning, appropriate knowledge and relevant information from industry experts we can prepare ourselves for a possible “day of reckoning”.

The objective of the seminar is to inform and educate the business community and general public on how risk management measures generally and insurance in particular, can be used as effective tools in mitigating the risks faced and recovering from any occurrence.

The Chamber invites all persons to be a part of this discussion of national importance. If you are interested in attending please contact the Chamber at 452-3165 or email us [email protected]

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One comment

  1. I applaud the Chamber for hosting this seminar on the twin approaches of business continuity planning and insurance to mitigate risks from natural and man-made disasters. The data point that 80% of the buildings that are insured are actually under-insured is astounding and tells me that the owners of these buildings are not being well served by their brokers. I am curious to know how many of the businesses on St. Lucia have business continuity plans. Probably not very many. If that's the case, it begs the question "Why?".

    It also begs another question. Since it's known that having a business continuity plan reduces the time to recover from an unintended business interruption, why aren't the insurance companies doing more to incentivize businesses into creating a plan? Insurance companies stand to gain in terms of reduced business interruption insurance claims from companies that have a business continuity plan. So, why aren't they doing more than saying "Your company should have a business continuity plan!"? Where is the economic incentive to the business owner to plan? I hope this question gets asked at the seminar. I'd be very interested in the response.

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