In the horticultural industry, the winter season is an exercise in dueling realities. For every festive poinsettia display and snow-dusted wreath, there’s an ice-covered sidewalk and a boiler in need of maintenance. And this winter, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has introduced several unique challenges for businesses like yours, including and extending beyond the holiday season—from facilitating curbside orders to establishing social distancing guidelines inside your buildings.
As a business owner, you work hard to protect your customers, your employees, and your bottom line. We’re here to help. This guide provides an overview of two key steps you can take to help ensure a more stress-free winter—determining the insurance coverages that make sense for your business, and implementing safety strategies that can help keep your customers and employees safe.
Horticultural insurance coverages
Now’s a great time to review your business insurance coverage and make sure it suits your operations. At Hortica, we offer a range of coverages, including:
- Commercial property: Winter weather can be particularly harsh, so it’s important to ensure your buildings, inventory, equipment, and income are protected.
- General liability: When the unexpected becomes reality, general liability coverage can help keep you covered if you’re found responsible for bodily injury or damage to others’ property.
- Workers’ compensation: Protecting your employees after an injury is important. So is protecting your business from litigation. We can help you do both.
- Commercial auto: Your products and supplies need to move efficiently and safely. And considering the recent uptick in contactless deliveries, your employees are likely spending plenty of time out on the road. Commercial auto coverage can help protect you if your drivers or vehicles are involved in an accident.
Looking for customized coverage? We can help you find insurance designed for your business.
The most effective way to avoid costly claims is stopping them from occurring in the first place. Review your safety program and consider updating it to address seasonal risks, starting with:
- Slips, trips, and falls: Along with sidewalks and driveways, pay attention to doorways and other common areas. As employees and other visitors track in snow and slush, they can leave dangerous puddles and slick surfaces throughout your facility. Clean up spills and wet spots immediately, and install floor mats to reduce the amount of water that ends up inside.
- Ice and snow removal: Maintaining a clear walkway for your employees and customers is essential, especially with curbside pickup gaining in popularity. Assign someone—either an employee or contractor—to shovel or plow walkways and driveways promptly following snow accumulation. If you use salt to remove ice, be sure to use the appropriate amount per the manufacturer guidelines.
- Roof collapses: Overlooking snow accumulation on your building’s roof can be costly and dangerous. Make sure you have a way to remove snow before it becomes heavy enough to trigger a collapse—whether that means keeping a roof rake handy or installing a roof heating system.
- Boiler maintenance: Your boiler will likely get a workout this winter. Here are some steps you can take to keep it running smoothly and safely.
- Deliveries: Winter brings a range of hazardous driving conditions, from blizzards to black ice, so it’s crucial that your employees stay safe behind the wheel. This means practicing defensive driving, allowing extra time to reach their destinations, properly securing loads, and following other safe driving habits.
While winter brings its share of challenges, it also offers opportunities to put your proactive, safety-conscious approach to good use. Contact us to learn more about helping your business overcome any obstacles you could face this winter.
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