By Traci Dooley
National agency sales director for Hortica®, a brand of the Sentry Insurance Group
As we prepared for the beginning of a new year, our team came together to review what we experienced in the horticultural and floral industries over the last 12 months, and to share our thoughts for the year ahead.
Here are some of the consumer, business, and insurance trends we anticipate developing in our industries in 2022, and how they could impact your business.
One of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic has been severe supply shortages, including in the construction business. This has impacted our industry as well, and has led to building delays, higher costs, and more downtime for businesses.
We expect supply chain issues to continue in 2022. Not only will this impact your business if you plan on expanding or remodeling, but you might also face delays if you suffer property damage due to a storm or other factors.
We currently see cases where it takes six months to get a business up and running again, when in normal times it would only take three months. Doubling your downtime could be crippling to your bottom line.
Having the right amount of horticultural business interruption insurance can help you in this situation. It’s important to not only have this coverage option as part of your policy, but to also have sufficient coverage to help protect you in the event it takes longer to return to normal business operations than you anticipate.
We see building costs going up—partly due to the aforementioned supply issues, and party due to inflation. When building costs rise, the valuation of existing structures—and therefore their replacement costs—also rise.
While these price and value swings may be temporary, you need to have that valuation on record. As a business owner, you want your insurance to effectively cover the true value of your property. That way, if you have to file a claim, you get the proper amount to cover the cost to repair or rebuild.
We see continuing consumer demand for farm-to-table food options. While you might picture open fields as the source for this food, it’s actually led to a rise in the practice of growing vegetables in environmentally controlled spaces such as warehouses or greenhouses.
These buildings operate closer to major metropolitan areas, and therefore the product can flow into supermarkets more quickly. This also helps businesses avoid some of the challenges they face with transporting products long distances.
In some cases, these items can be harvested, packaged, and stocked on a store shelf in less than a day. Consumers enjoy the fresh food, and businesses enjoy a quick return on their products, while eliminating possible hefty transportation costs, delays, and related losses.
The houseplant market remains hot. Those who took up home gardening during the COVID-19 pandemic have maintained their enthusiasm for the hobby. A recent garden plant study shows increased popularity across all ages, genders, and household sizes. Survey results also reveal:
For businesses, this means there’s a continued demand for smaller, faster-growing plants. You may look to adjust your inventory to help meet this demand. Another avenue is to supply secondary products—such as unique display options— for these plants so these consumers can show off their green thumbs in a creative manner.
We've previously mentioned the rise in cyber risks and the resulting growth in cyber liability coverage as a way to protect against those risks. Those trends will continue in 2022, as cyberattacks continue to threaten businesses of all sizes across all industries.
Globally, ransomware attacks increased by 151 percent for the first six months of 2021 compared to 2020. Cyberattacks are projected to result in losses totaling $6 trillion in 2021, according to Cybersecurity Ventures.
Remote work environments have helped open vulnerabilities to cyberattacks. With many companies offering remote work options, these vulnerabilities will continue.
These attacks don’t just harm the targeted companies—they can have a ripple effect along a company’s supply chain.
Continue to educate your employees on the different types of cyber risks and what steps they can take to mitigate them. We also encourage you to reach out to us for assistance. We’ll walk you through your options, from installing anti-virus software to implementing cyber security training programs for your employees.
If you have questions or would like to learn more about how the trends featured here could impact your business, contact us. We’re happy to share our knowledge with you to help your business.
As you look to adjust your business to these emerging industry trends, you may also decide to revise your insurance policy. Here are 12 business insurance terms you should be familiar with before starting the process.
Check out the top risks for horticultural businesses like yours, and review the insurance coverages that can help protect you.
Our winter coverage and safety guide can help protect your customers, your employees, and your bottom line.
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