Sometimes it helps to be lucky.
I left to run a quick errand last night in the middle of a wind storm. When I pulled back into my driveway I was shocked to see that a huge tree branch had fallen right where my car would have been parked. In the photo below you can still clearly see where my car had blocked the snow from accumulating.
I was gone for no more than 15 minutes, so the fact that this branch fell in that small window of time can't be described as anything but lucky. And considering that even minor body work on a car can add up to well over $1,000, I'd say I dodged a good-sized auto insurance claim here.
Does this make me safer than most people? Or more risk conscious? Of course not; it just makes me lucky.
And there is nothing wrong with being lucky, because we know that at some point our luck will run out and a completely unavoidable personal injury or property damage claim will strike. After all, someone can still fall down a flight of stairs even if they are wearing proper footwear, holding onto the railing, and taking their time. And a freak storm can lead to a wet basement even if you've taken every possible precaution to prevent water damage.
You won't always experience the same luck that I did last night... so it is important that you are prepared when the unthinkable happens. Here are some ways to make sure you are ready if your own luck ever runs out.
Loss Prevention vs. Loss Control
Understanding that there are some claims we just couldn't possibly prevent, it's important to recognize the important differences between loss prevention and loss control. Loss prevention - which is what most of CultureOfSafety.com is dedicated to - only works for avoidable (or preventable) claims. Loss control is all about managing the severity of a claim, which is extremely important when dealing with unlucky and unavoidable situations. Consider some of the following:
Minimizing the Cost of Unavoidable Work Comp Injuries
A very large percentage of work comp claims are 100% avoidable, but every once in a while it is clear that there is literally nothing that could have prevented an injury. Just because a work comp claim was unavoidable, however, doesn't mean the cost of the claim can't be managed effectively. The financial impact of a worker's compensation claim can be minimized dramatically by understanding the importance of timely claim reporting and the proper way to interview an injured worker. Read more about these topics:
Minimizing the Cost of Property Damage and Natural Disasters
Like worker's compensation claims, claims resulting from damaged property or malfunctioning equipment can be unpredictable while still having a major impact on the bottom line. Major property claims can be controlled, however, with some simple steps taken before and after the claim occurs. Before a claim ever occurs be sure to create a disaster supply kit; having access to drinking water, flashlights, and first-aid kits can be the difference between a minor claim and a full-blow catastrophe. After a claim occurs it is very important to complete a thorough accident investigation. Establishing credible witnesses, maintaining evidence, and properly filling out incident reporting forms can dramatically help control the cost of a claim. Read more about these topics: