The Insurance Council of Australia have declared five catastrophe events so far this calendar year and LMI have, on a number of occasions, put in to effect their wide area disaster response plan to support brokers and their clients affected by these weather extremes. This response plan provides a prescriptive process for managing surge claim events looking at both our activities and staffing.

Working to a plan like this pre-empts and to a large degree overcomes the initial organisational stress that disasters generate.

Individual organisations can also benefit from this process of pre-disaster planning. A simple self-assessment of the likely critical events and their outcomes allows an organisation to consider the potential cause and effect of a loss or damage, the roles and responsibility of staff to be involved and the potential recovery scenarios. Studies show that over 50% of business do not fully recover from a major catastrophe event but being one step ahead with a continuity plan gives organisations a fighting chance!

Continuity plans range from the informal to the formal and prescriptive; an organisation’s size and maturity will often dictate what type of plan best suits them.

The International Standards Office (ISO) have published various documents on Risk Management and Business Continuity; the key being ISO 22301 – Business Continuity Management Systems. This standard emphasises the need to

a)     Establish a continuity policy

b)     Allocate leadership roles and responsibility

c)     Manage the policy process

d)     Maintain continuous improvement through testing and such like

Generally the process would be to establish a risk committee to generate a clear understanding of the organisations business imperatives and risks. Having an understanding of these questions then leads to the answers of “who, what and when”

LMI Group started providing Business Continuity Planning services over a decade ago and developed a web based application to help SME organisations answer these important questions. Ten years later we are now working our way through a major upgrade of the system which will not only look at the software architecture but the question set as well, making the system relevant to a new era of risk including matters such as Cyber etc.

Whether or not you engage with LMI to help with the process of continuity planning a review of an organisations risks and outcomes is never wasted effort. The Business benefits of generating a predictable and effective response to a crisis safeguards the reputation and brand of the organisation and may ultimately lead to a competitive advantage for that organisation.

Remember the following basics:

  • Design (the framework and roles / responsibilities)
  • Implement
  • Monitor
  • Improve