Survey Reveals More than Half of Real Estate Companies Lack Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plans

  Survey Reveals More than Half of Real Estate Companies Lack Business
  Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plans

Business Wire

HARTFORD, Conn. -- May 2, 2013

At a time when extreme weather events are frequently occurring, leaders within
the United States commercial real estate industry are largely unprepared to
maintain daily business operations according to a recent IndustryEdge^® 
survey conducted by Travelers (NYSE: TRV). The results indicate that 57
percent of real estate owners and managers are operating without a business
continuity plan.

Perhaps most alarming is that 43 percent of the 200 real estate industry
professionals did not consider natural disasters to be an important business
issue. “The lack of preparation could be detrimental for real estate managers
and owners,” said Deb Denker, Real Estate Industry Manager, Travelers
Commercial Accounts. “To survive the increasing number and severity of
disasters, real estate owners and managers need a strategic business
continuity plan to help minimize downtime, organize a response and deploy the
resources needed for a prompt recovery.”

Even a “minor” property loss can impact the ability to maintain a building,
while a major event can have a material effect on a company’s operation and
financial condition. “It is easy to see how developing a business continuity
plan, testing its effectiveness and carrying proper insurance can be put aside
in the rush of everyday operations, but organizations need to look at the
long-term vitality of their business and prepare for emergencies and
disasters,” said Denker. “Travelers can help real estate owners and managers
through risk control services designed to help them prevent losses from
occurring, through broad coverage to respond when a loss does occur, and
through expert claim handling to minimize the total cost of a loss.”

One example of Travelers value-added risk control services is the ‘Business
Continuity Planning Guide.’ This guide not only helps companies understand
basic fundamentals of business continuity and disaster management, it also
provides detailed instructions in creating a business continuity plan in four
steps:

1. Conduct a Risk Assessment: The overall goal in conducting a risk assessment
is to understand the vulnerability of an incident on your employees,
customers, vendors, property and operations.

2. Conduct a Business Impact Analysis: The goal of the business impact
analysis is developing a list of the functions or processes that are needed
for the survival of your business.

3. Develop Prevention and Mitigation Strategies: Prevention and mitigation
planning and activities are intended to help prevent a disaster (such as a
fire or explosion from unsafe conditions), as well as reduce the impact or
severity of a disaster (such as relocating critical equipment to a higher
elevation in flood-susceptible areas).

4. Conduct Exercises and Testing: It is critical to test your plan routinely
and evaluate its effectiveness, making necessary changes to improve the plan.

A business continuity plan is not a “one-shot” project. It is an integral part
of an effective business strategy. A completed plan should be reviewed, tested
and updated regularly if it is to be effective when put into action.

In addition to offering the core lines of commercial insurance such as
property, workers’ compensation, commercial auto, general liability and
umbrella, the Travelers IndustryEdge^®  products and services provide
specialized coverage for real estate owners and managers and their properties.

About Travelers
The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TRV) is a leading provider of property
casualty insurance for auto, home and business. The company's diverse business
lines offer its global customers a wide range of coverage sold primarily
through independent agents and brokers. A component of the Dow Jones
Industrial Average, Travelers has more than 30,000 employees and operations in
the U.S., Canada, U.K. and Ireland. The company generated revenues of
approximately $26 billion in 2012. For more information, visit
www.travelers.com.

Contact:

The Travelers Companies, Inc.
Gail Van Cleaf, 651-310-6902
gvanclea@travelers.com