This is the first week we’re finally starting to see normal temperatures in much of the northern United States. The warmer-than-usual weather may have had many people wondering if we would be skipping winter this year or if it was merely the calm before the storm. Now that temperatures are dropping, you should definitely be thinking about snowfall insurance for your snow and ice removal business.
If you’ve watched the weather forecast recently, you’ve probably heard this year is a La Niña year. What that means is that the equatorial Pacific is cooler than usual. La Niña affects the U.S. weather during the winter and typically influences a warmer and drier winter. However, it depends how strong the La Niña is, and so far it’s looking weak. The truth is, no matter how deeply we study the ocean and atmosphere and their effects on the weather, there will always be anomalies we didn’t see coming. This is why weather insurance is so important, particularly for those in the business of snow and ice removal.
If this winter follows the trend of previous La Niña winters and we see below-average snowfall, you may need weather insurance to make up for the lack of plowing jobs. Or, anticipating fewer snowstorms, you may hire a smaller crew and require weather insurance to cover their overtime hours after big snow events. Weather insurance helps stabilize your profits in a business that depends so heavily on something as erratic as the weather — and knowing your finances are secure whether it snows or not sure beats begging Mother Nature for a blizzard.
As previously discussed, weather insurance can be used to cover a decline in profits either due to excessive snowfall or lack of snowfall. It can also be applied to specific contracts, regardless if your client pays per push or per season. Snowfall insurance must be purchased at least 10 days in advance of your desired coverage period, but that coverage period does not need to commence December 1. The coverage period can being on any date, and therefore coverage that begins in mid-December or even after the New Year is still available.
Predicting when and where snowfall will hit may be getting easier. Earlier this month, the U.S. launched GOES-R, the most scientifically capable weather satellite to date. It can take pictures as often as every 30 seconds, which is much faster than the several-minute intervals of current satellites. This allows it to track developing changes in blizzards, thunderstorms, hurricanes and other severe storms. Not only will this help emergency responders better prepare for where to deploy resources as a storm advances, but it also makes it easier for professionals in the business of snow and ice removal to plan for an upcoming blizzard by giving them advance notice to stock up on salt and schedule their crew ahead of a big snowstorm.
To see weather insurance in action, read our blog about how one Michigan snow and ice removal company protects its bottom line with weather insurance from Spectrum.