Candy. Jack-o-lanterns. Costume parties. Halloween can be full of fun. It can also be full of mischief.
While some people are out trick-or-treating, others are out vandalizing. Whether they are simply trying to impress their peers with a prank or are serious criminals set on destruction, vandals can do significant damage to businesses. Statistics database reports that graffiti alone costs U.S. cities $12 billion a year in cleanup.
Is your business protected from such incidents?
This prankster season, take a few steps to keep your company out of harm’s way. Try the following tips.
Put a policy in place. Is your company covered by vandalism and malicious mischief insurance? This type of policy protects against losses you experience due to vandals.
This coverage is part of many basic commercial policies, but it’s important to confirm that you have this coverage in your package.
Vandalism and malicious mischief insurance can also be written as an endorsement to your policy if it is not included in the basic coverage.
This insurance is particularly important for properties that are not occupied 24/7. If vandals know your business location is empty at night, for example, they know when they can strike with less risk of detection.
Of course, business owners would rather avoid acts of vandalism in the first place. In addition to getting insurance coverage, take these steps to deter vandalism on your premises.
Use good security measures. Install adequate lighting to keep your property well-lit at all times, and replace any burned-out bulbs immediately. Consider break-resistant glass if your property features large windows or glass-door entries. Equip the property with video cameras to monitor activities. The presence of cameras may deter vandals completely, or, if not, you can at least use the recording to catch the criminals.
Establish a perimeter. Use fencing or even shrubbery to keep vandals at bay. Choose plants that feature thorns or scratchy leaves to discourage close encounters with your property.
Partner with the police. Always report any acts of vandalism to neighboring businesses or to your own. If the police aren’t aware of it, how can they help? If they know of high-incidence areas, officers may be able to increase patrols in those regions.
Ask around. Have any other businesses in your area experienced vandalism? Gathering information can help you detect any patterns or particular risks for your region. With this information, you can take appropriate steps to prevent future attacks.
Form ranks. You may have heard of neighborhood watch groups. Did you know similar groups exist for businesses? Business watch group members help reduce crime by watching one another’s properties. If one doesn’t exist in your community, check the National Neighborhood Watch website for information on how to start one.
Respond rapidly. If vandals do cause mischief on your property, act swiftly to make repairs. This lets vandals (and customers) know that you care about your property. A good insurance policy can help cover your costs to make these quick repairs more feasible.
Contact me today with any questions you may have about your insurance needs for the approaching holiday seasons.