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If you’re a business owner you need a plan to shield your business during the coronavirus pandemic. To keep your company healthy during the coronavirus pandemic and positioned well for success when it’s over, take advantage of these contingency and business planning tips.

Put health and safety first

If you’re a sole proprietor, prioritize your health first. Limit your travel and maximize home office communication and collaboration tools.

If you have employees, keep them informed of travel restrictions, government announcements, and offer them work from home options. If that’s not feasible and your business is considered essential, take steps to minimize virus transmission risk at your place of work. This includes social distancing, splitting shifts, and frequent sanitization.

It’s also wise to establish procedures for staff to report if they are feeling unwell, are absent, or if they suspect exposure to the coronavirus or infection.

Assess the impact on operations

What will happen to your business during this crisis? To help answer that question, run best-case and worst-case scenarios and develop contingency plans for each. Include timeframes in your assessment that consider the impacts of the pandemic if it becomes a six-month, one-year problem, or more (let’s hope that’s not the case).

For example, if critical personnel became sick or had to look after family members, how will your business accommodate these changes? Try to identify others who can step in and learn key tasks such as retirees, family members, or independent contractors and freelancers.

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COVID-19 hasn’t just shut down huge swaths of American businesses and sent many employees scrambling to work from home – it’s also driving the acceleration of technological adoption. As people adapt to new modes of life, start-ups and small businesses that enable us to work, study, shop, and interact virtually have skyrocketed to mainstream adoption. Driving these companies are key underlying technologies that have been growing in importance slowly for years and now have become essential; maybe the tech trends developing out of the COVID chaos are a silver-lining of sorts.

“Businesses that had not only developed digital strategies but executed on them prior to the pandemic are now in a position to leapfrog their less nimble competitors,” writes consultancy BDO in a report on how COVID is accelerating the rise of the digital economy. “That isn’t to understate the COVID-19-related challenges they now face, irrespective of their current level of digital maturity. Going digital in and of itself isn’t a panacea to all that ails businesses in the current economic environment. They do, however, have significantly more tools at their disposal to not only weather the storm, but to come out the other side stronger for it, ” stated BDO.

The fact that these companies, since day one, have focused on cloud connectivity, digital marketing and distribution to consumers, and virtual rather than in-person interactions, gives this group an advantage. Many have hired new employees since the pandemic began – that’s a direct result of many of them scaling faster to meet surging demand before the coronavirus pandemic. Some of these companies report demand for their core products has more than doubled since the coronavirus crisis unleashed itself across the world. Being digital-first put many companies in a position to quickly develop and introduce new products or services to meet the challenges of the pandemic.

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The COVID-19 pandemic can feel overwhelming due to new information, long hours working from home, and caring/worrying for your family and yourself. It’s important to pause for a moment and collect your thoughts, as worldwide pandemics are taxing emotionally, physically, and financially. Remaining calm can make a world of difference, and to do that we need to take care of ourselves. So let’s talk about some self care tips for the COVID pandemic.

It’s normal to feel stressed or overwhelmed during uncertain times. Emotions in response to uncertainty may include anxiety, fear, anger, and sadness. You also could feel helpless, discouraged, and occasionally, out of control. Physical responses may include headache, muscle tension, fatigue, and sleeplessness.

Taking care of yourself is important so you are equipped to help your family through this time.

Here are a few self care tips for the COVID pandemic: 

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Whether you’re a regular at the gym or you’re constantly staying active outside, you know that exercise can make you feel good and look great. But did you know that staying fit can lower your life insurance premiums, too? Check out six types of exercises that can lower your life insurance rates and improve your health at the same time.

 

Strength Training

Virtually any kind of physical activity can improve your health, as long as it works your muscles harder than usual, according to the American Heart Association. When it comes to keeping your muscles in top condition, however, exercises that focus on stretching and strength training are essential. After all, if you lose muscle strength and flexibility, not only will your overall health decrease, but you could also lose the ability to easily perform basic tasks like opening jars or getting out of the car.

Strength training works well in many forms. Try easing into a weightlifting routine to challenge your muscles, or use resistance bands several times a week to increase muscle strength. Going to a yoga class a couple of times a week can also help boost your strength and improve your overall health.

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The global (re)insurance market is undergoing a transformation from manually run processes to a technology-driven business model, enabling companies to tap into the full potential that data has to offer.

A surge in fast-paced innovation and the utilization of machine learning (ML) with cloud-technology has enabled automation, streamlined efficiency, and provided access to more comprehensive analytics fed by this data.

While more than two-thirds of individuals believe that the use of emerging technology trends could transform the insurance industry and increase performance in their organizations, a recent Deloitte Survey noted that less than 30% of organizations are actually deploying these tools — creating a missed opportunity for many (re)insurers.

The industry as a whole believes that these emerging technologies have the ability to unlock hidden value, especially from data, but the complexity and sophistication of these tools have made their use limited to a select few that have the adequate skills and resources.

Now, however, new advancements in ML and cloud technology are helping underwriters, actuaries and executives alike access and use the data, making it possible to achieve business growth and underwriting profitability.

These technologies provide companies with a competitive edge, but the question remains as to how long it will take for data processing automation to become the standard for property & casualty (P&C) insurers.

Looking to machine learning in the cloud

In 2018, net premiums recorded by the P&C industry totaled $618 billion, an increase from the 2017 net premium totals of $558.2 billion. The pressure to grow will continue but there will be even greater pressure to achieve underwriting profitability, especially in the current economic environment.

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In the event of a hurricane or a powerful storm, having necessary supplies on hand can be essential. Consider stocking up on important items, including the following:

Generators can provide hours of emergency reserve power in the event of a power outage. Be sure to prepare for safe, extended generator use.

  • If you do not already own a generator but are considering purchasing one, do not wait until severe weather approaches to purchase one. Hardware stores often experience a rush during hurricane season, and it’s better to be prepared ahead of a storm.
  • Run your generator regularly to ensure that it is in proper working condition. Some repair professionals recommend putting one-half gallon of gasoline into a generator each month and allowing the generator to run for at least 30 minutes. Plug in a lamp or other small appliance to make sure the generator is working as it should.
  • If the generator has an electric start, be sure to keep the battery charged.
  • In case the generator runs on diesel fuel, the fuel supply needs to be changed out at least once every 12 months. Improper care can result in condensation, which can cause major damage to the generator when it is switched on.
  • Like many other mechanical devices, generators require regular maintenance. Be sure to replace the oil, fuel, and air filters regularly.

Sump pumps can be a lifesaver when it comes to preventing basements from flooding during heavy rain.  To ensure that your sump pump functions properly when you need it most, follow these basic maintenance tips:

  • Make sure the pump is plugged in to a working ground fault circuit interrupter   (GFCI) outlet and the cord is not damaged in any way. Check on the pump periodically, and reset the GFCI breakers, if necessary.
  • Ensure that the sump pump is standing upright. When the pump is operating, vibrations can cause it to tilt or fall to one side, which can cause the pump to malfunction.
  • Check the pump every few months to make sure it starts automatically and drains properly by pouring a bucket of water into the sump pump pit. If the pump fails to start, be sure to have it serviced.
  • In the event of a power outage, make sure to connect to a generator with adequate power. If possible, connect the pump to the generator using high quality, construction-grade extension cord.