Take a Bite Out of Crime (and Your Insurance Premium)
Listing every potential crime that could occur against your business would be a daunting task. Small-business owners face risks from employee crime, nonemployee crime, and cybercrime. Any of these could result in claims that cause your premium to rise.
The good news is, you are not helpless against these crimes. There are effective steps you can take to keep your workplace protected against each type of crime. Putting these safeguards in place will prevent loss, injury, and increased costs. Help keep your business crime-free with the following tips:
Prevent Employee Crime
- Vet your people: It may involve a lot of legwork, but it’s worth checking into the people you hire. Contact references and perform background checks for any potential employees. Be sure you are hiring trustworthy people.
- Avoid violence: Do you have a written workplace violence-prevention policy? If not, develop a comprehensive plan that covers the consequences of committing acts of violence in the workplace and procedures to follow if such an event should occur.
- Require audits: Reduce the opportunity for internal theft by requiring audits for all employees who handle invoicing, receipts, or payroll. These regular audits require extra effort, but the accountability can help prevent major losses.
- Establish safety: Ensure every employee is properly trained on safety procedures and is aware of all company policies. Business owners who do not meet OSHA standards run the risk of breaking laws regarding safety regulations. Avoid penalty fees and lawsuits by remaining in compliance with all standards.
Prevent Nonemployee Crime
- Use surveillance: Keep all areas of your business in-sight. Use security personnel, mirrors, or surveillance cameras. Encourage employees to engage customers. A vigilant eye is helpful to protect your assets and avoid theft claims.
- Install security: Apply physical security measures in your business. Install quality locks or a company-wide security system. Limit access to high-risk areas.
- Light the way: Dark areas invite dark deeds. Ensure all areas of the property are well-lit. Add exterior lighting if none is present. Change all burned-out bulbs right away. Keep things bright and welcoming for employees and customers, and uninviting for a crime.
- Back it up: Keep backup copies of all records either on additional storage devices or off-site. A loss of data could mean anything from a minor setback to a major cost. A large breach can spell disaster for a small company.
- Monitor access: Limit the number of employees who can access all company information. Be especially prudent about access to finances and personal client information.
- Be software smart: Use strong passwords and proper firewalls to protect your data. Remain current on software updates to keep defenses strong. Change passwords regularly. Negligence in these procedures can prove costly.
As you make these efforts, you will make your company safer, more inviting, and more cost-effective.