Unitrin Specialty Offering Agents a Tool to Help Plan for Disaster

July 23, 2006

Dallas-based Unitrin Specialty announced it is now providing its agents with a new tool that helps small businesses plan for and recover from disaster.

Open for Business, an Internet-based disaster recovery and risk assessment tool, was developed by the Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) exclusively for member insurers, including Unitrin Specialty. IBHS is a nonprofit insurance industry association that works to reduce home and business property and related losses.

“Unfortunately we saw last year that many of our agencies lacked the resources and expertise to create a plan to deal with a major business interruption,” said John Mullen, Unitrin Specialty president. “With the onset of hurricane season, as well the ongoing threat of wildfire and flooding disasters, we want our agents to be prepared this year and for years to come.

“Open for Business, is a disaster analysis and recovery planning tool normally available to much larger organizations,” he said. “Agents that follow the plan greatly improve their chances of staying in business after disaster strikes.”

Users don’t need a background in natural disaster mitigation or recovery. They simply follow the easy-to-understand instructions and answer some questions to create a customized checklist of property protection recommendations.

Open for Business features one version of its property protection plan for businesses that rent their location and another for businesses that own their location. The tool also accommodates multiple locations.

The Open for Business recovery plan is composed of a variety of forms, which, when completed, are customized to help a business recover its essential business functions and to inform individual employees about their responsibilities.

Once the property protection and recovery plans are developed, they’re stored confidentially at the Open for Business site. Customers may update plans as often as they like. They may also save their plans on their hard drive, a disk or CD, and/or print them out for hard copy storage.

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