US small businesses disaster preparedness under the spotlight

Published: Thursday, 02 March 2017 08:48

68 percent of US small-business owners don't have a written disaster recovery plan, even though about half (49 percent) said it would take their business at least three months to recover from a natural disaster, according to Nationwide's Small Business Indicator.

While most small-business owners don't have a formal plan, many have taken various steps to prepare for a natural disaster. The majority reported that they can work remotely in case of a natural disaster (82 percent), have duplicated and stored their company's vital records off site (75 percent) and have access to alternative suppliers (78 percent).

Those findings come from Nationwide's second annual survey, which was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Nationwide from June 10-23 2016 among 502 US small-business owners with fewer than 300 employees.

Since 2007, Nationwide has processed more than 100,000 commercial catastrophe claims. While the number of claims has fluctuated over the past decade, the severity has increased steadily. Nationwide has seen a 26 percent increase in the average severity of commercial catastrophe claims when comparing the three-year period between 2014-2016 with the seven-year period between 2007-2013. The company has also seen a 14 percent increase in unique commercial catastrophe events that impact a business when comparing those same time periods.

Other key findings from the survey include: