By: Christiaan Steyn, Head of Business Insurance, MiWay Insurance
With winter upon us, there is an ever-increasing possibility that the electricity grid will come under more pressure that might lead to another round of power cuts. We are all aware of the inconvenience this causes, but for medical practitioners, this can often be far more damaging than simply not having lights in the reception area.
Any disruption to a business’s operations will hurt its sustainability. For medical professionals, this risk is even more acute because a shutdown of operations could, in extreme cases, be a matter of life and death.
Apart from medical equipment not operating as it should, the lack of power could endanger the careful conditions under which medicines or life-saving drugs need to be stored.
Thus, the damage extends beyond the business’s viability to the practitioner’s credibility and reputation.
While power cuts are a very real threat to all South Africans, business interruption can take many forms and have the same disastrous impact on the ability of companies to survive. Anything from natural disasters such as floods and fires, to accidents and loss of critical services such as power, sewage or water can seriously dent revenue for any business.
Medical practitioners should consider additional options for the medical industry to cover all eventualities outside of their standard business insurance. Anyone operating a private practice appreciates the risks to their business if they are not able to operate effectively.
Insurance can, therefore, be secured to cover costs such as fixed expenses like salaries and rent that would still need to be paid for irrespective of whether income is still being generated. Similarly, unforeseen expenses like alternative premises or overtime costs for staff can be covered if normal operations are impacted by business interruption.
Extreme external interruptions – such as an unforeseen loss of power, water or sanitation services, lack of access to the premises and even damage to the premises of a supplier or sub-contractor which prevents them from delivering products or supplying services, can also be covered.
Business Insurance must be designed to remove the threat to business continuity and profits. It makes business sense to prepare for a worst-case scenario by ensuring that business operations are protected against such threats.