Mother Nature versus Small Business

The summer storm was small by most standards, but it left Kitchens Plus, located in a small, Midwestern town, with a 25’X25’ hole in the roof above the showroom, extending into a workshop. Three inches of rain driven by high winds forced its way under roofing shingles, soaking the insulation and creating a gaping hole in the ceiling.

At the height of their busy season, Mother Nature proved to be a very real threat to the business. “We had custom cabinetry to build for an installation the following week and this damage could potentially prevent us from completing the job on time,” says owner, Clark Knickerbocker.

Within 72 hours, a claims adjuster assessed the damage and issued a check. Repairs were made quickly, and Kitchens Plus was able to meet their critical deadline.

Knickerbocker shares some steps he took prior to the storm that enabled his business to move forward in spite of the damage:

1.  Invest in a BOP (business owner’s policy)

This type of policy packages all required coverage a business owner would need: business interruption, property insurance, vehicle coverage, liability insurance and crime insurance.

A BOP from United Fire Group (UFG) combines property, liability and crime protection along with a variety of enhancements, including: data processing, security breach and identity theft services, employee dishonesty, money and securities and equipment breakdown.

2.  Review coverages with your insurance agent annually.

3.  Keep a copy of your policy off site.

4.  Keep an up-to-date inventory list or pictures of everything in your shop. 

If disaster does strike, contact your insurance company within 24 hours of the event and protect the affected area from further damage. Knickerbocker also suggests taking photos of the damage, and documenting your loss by keeping photos, video, invoices, receipts and purchase orders.

To talk with a local agent, contact Brad Schmid at CBIZ Insurance Services Inc. (763) 549-2247, or

Want more? Check out the December 2023 issue of AASP-MN News!