FEMA Unveils Changes to the National Flood Insurance Program

FEMA Unveils Changes to the National Flood Insurance Program

FEMA Unveils Changes to the National Flood Insurance Program

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that it will be updating the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) pricing methodology through a new risk rating system. According to FEMA, this system—which is being referred to as “Risk Rating 2.0”—will leverage additional information and variables to help communicate policyholders’ flood risks more clearly, as well as deliver more accurate and equitable premium rates.

The National Flood Insurance Program currently provides nearly $1.3 trillion in coverage for over 5 million policyholders throughout the country. Under Risk Rating 2.0, approximately 23% of these policyholders will encounter premium rate decreases, whereas the other 77% will experience varying degrees of premium rate increases. FEMA confirmed that these rate adjustments will be implemented through a phased approach, with the first official rate changes beginning in October 2021.

Review this guidance to learn more about FEMA’s motivation for developing Risk Rating 2.0, how this new system will affect NFIP policyholders and the timeline for rolling out premium rate adjustments.

Reasoning for Risk Rating 2.0

FEMA’s current pricing methodology for the NFIP—which has been in place for nearly 50 years—primarily bases policyholders’ premium rates on static measurements. Namely, the existing system focuses on property elevation within a particular zone on the flood insurance rate map (FIRM).

Under Risk Rating 2.0, FEMA has integrated further flood hazard information into the NFIP pricing methodology—including private sector data sets, catastrophe models and actuarial science elements.

Apart from property elevation, Risk Rating 2.0 also incorporates the following flood variables within premium rate calculations:

  • Flood frequency
  • Flood type (e.g., river overflow, storm surge, heavy rainfall and coastal erosion)
  • Distance between a property and water source
  • Property rebuilding costs

FEMA explained that the current NFIP pricing methodology has resulted in policyholders with lower-valued homes paying steeper premium costs than their share of flood risks, while policyholders with higher-valued homes have been paying lower premium expenses than their share of flood risks.

However, FEMA emphasized that by utilizing additional information and variables to determine NFIP policyholders’ premium rates, it will be taking a “transformational leap forward” in the scope of ensuring accurate and equitable rates for all homeowners. In other words, Risk Rating 2.0 is intended to establish fairer rates for policyholders based on their unique flood hazards and property characteristics.

What’s Changing National Flood Insurance Program

According to FEMA, the current NFIP pricing methodology has led to policyholders encountering average premium rate increases of $8 per month each year at renewal. After incorporating additional flood information and variables into the pricing methodology, FEMA provided that Risk Rating 2.0 will have the following impacts on current NFIP policyholders’ premium rates:

  • Nearly a quarter (23%) of policyholders will experience premium rate decreases, paying an average of $86 less each month.
  • Two-thirds (66%) of policyholders will encounter moderate premium rate increases, paying an average of $0-$10 more every month.
  • The final 11% of policyholders will experience more significant premium rate increases—with 7% paying an average of $10-$20 more each month and 4% paying an average of over $20 more every month.

What’s Not Changing

Despite the various changes being implemented under Risk Rating 2.0, FEMA confirmed that these aspects of the NFIP will remain the same:

  • Utilizing flood mapping—In addition to the aforementioned flood information and variables, the FIRM will continue to be incorporated within NFIP pricing methodology.
  • Setting limits on rate increases—Statutory limits on premium rate increases will stay in place, meaning that most rates cannot rise by more than 18% each year.
  • Offering discounts—A wide range of existing NFIP premium discounts will still be offered to eligible policyholders. This includes (but is not limited to) continuous coverage grandfathering, discounts for policyholders who belong to communities that participate in the Community Rating System and the transfer of policy discounts to new homeowners when properties change ownership.

Risk Rating 2.0 Rollout

In terms of the timeline for implementing Risk Rating 2.0, FEMA is adopting a gradual approach. As a result, the new system rollout will occur in two main phases:

  • Phase I—This phase will start on Oct. 1, 2021. All new NFIP policies beginning on or after this date will be subject to Risk Rating 2.0. In addition, current policyholders who are up for renewal on or after this date and eligible for premium rate decreases under the new pricing methodology will be permitted to start paying reduced costs.
  • Phase II—This phase will start on April 1, 2022. All current NFIP policyholders who are up for renewal on or after this date will be subject to Risk Rating 2.0.

For additional insurance-related updates and resources, contact us today.

National Flood Insurance Program

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Office Building Employers Information for COVID-19

Office Building Employers Information for COVID-19

Office Building Employers Information for COVID-19

Office building employers, owners and managers can take proactive measures to create a safe and healthy workplace for employees, clients and other guests. This article shares COVID-19 guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on COVID-19 Employer Information for Office Buildings.

How Office Building Employers Can Protect Employees

Employers should consider the following steps to protect their employees and other building visitors, while slowing the spread of COVID-19:

  • Create a COVID-19 workplace health and safety plan by reviewing the CDC Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers.
  • Check the building for hazards associated with prolonged facility shutdown, ensure ventilation systems operate properly and increase air circulation as much as possible.
  • Identify where and how workers might be exposed to COVID-19 at work.
  • Develop hazard controls using the hierarchy of controls. Consider using a combination of engineering and administrative controls, explained further below.
Office Building Employers

Engineering Controls

Engineering controls isolate people from hazards. Consider the following example controls:

  • Modify seats, furniture and workstations.
  • Use methods to physically separate employees in the building, including work areas and common areas.
  • Improve building ventilation based on local environmental conditions (e.g., temperature and humidity).

Administrative Controls

Administrative controls change the way people work. Consider the following example controls:

  • Encourage employees who have symptoms of COVID-19 to notify their supervisor and stay home.
  • Stagger shifts, start times and break times to reduce the number of employees in common areas.
  • Post signs in parking areas and entrances that ask guests and visitors to wear cloth face coverings.
  • Post instructions and reminders at entrances and in other strategic places about hand hygiene, COVID-19 symptoms, and cough and sneeze etiquette.
  • Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces.
Office Building Employers

Educate Employees

Employers should consider the following steps to educate employees and supervisors about how to protect themselves at work:

  • Develop communication and training that is easy to understand, in preferred languages spoken or read by the employees, and includes accurate and timely information. Suggested topics include signs and symptoms of infection, staying home when ill, social distancing, cloth face coverings, hand hygiene practices, and identifying and minimizing potential routes of transmission at work, at home and in the community.
  • Provide information and training on what actions employees should take when they are not feeling well (e.g., workplace leave policies, and local and state health department information).
  • Remind employees and clients that the CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are hard to maintain. However, wearing a cloth face covering does not replace the need to practice social distancing.

The CDC has posters available for employers to download and print, some of which are translated into different languages.

Develop Special Considerations for Elevators and Escalators

Employers should implement special considerations if their building has elevators or escalators. Consider the following proactive measures:

  • Encourage occupants to take stairs when possible, especially when elevator lobbies are crowded or when only going a few flights.
  • Designate certain stairwells or sides of stairwells as “up” and “down” to better promote social distancing.
  • Use floor markings in elevator lobbies and near escalator entrances to reinforce social distancing. Place decals inside the elevator to identify where passengers should stand if needed.
  • Use stanchions in lobbies to mark pathways to help people travel in one direction and stay 6 feet apart.
  • Consider limiting the number of people in an elevator and leaving steps empty between passengers on escalators.
  • Post signs reminding occupants to minimize surface touching. They should use an object (such as a pen cap) or their knuckle to push elevator buttons.
  • Consider adding supplemental air ventilation or local air treatment devices infrequently used elevator cars.

For More Information

Read the CDC’s Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers for additional recommendations for creating new sick leave policies, and cleaning and developing employee communications to help protect employees and other building guests.

Contact us today for more COVID-19 guidance and resources to protect employees.

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We are headquartered in Turlock, CA, with locations across the heart of California’s Central Valley, Northern California and beyond to provide a local feel to the solutions and services we provide our clients. We pride ourselves on exceeding our client’s expectations in every interaction to make sure that our clients know how much we value and appreciate their business.

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Source: CDC

Preventing Ransomware Exposures from Remote Desk Protocol

Preventing Ransomware Exposures from Remote Desk Protocol

Preventing Ransomware Exposures from Remote Desk Protocol

Remote desk protocol (RDP)—which is a network communications protocol developed by Microsoft—consists of a digital interface that allows users to connect remotely to other servers or devices. Through RDP ports, users can easily access and operate these servers or devices from any location. RDP has become an increasingly useful business tool—permitting employees to retrieve files and applications stored on their organization’s network while working from home, as well as giving IT departments the ability to identify and fix employees’ technical problems remotely. This guidance for preventing ransomware exposures is especially important with remote workers.

Unfortunately, RDP ports are also frequently being leveraged as a vector for launching ransomware attacks, which entail a cybercriminal deploying malicious software to compromise a device (or multiple devices) and demand a large payment be made before restoring the technology for the victim. In fact, a recent report from Kaspersky found that nearly 1.3 million RDP-based cyberattacks occur each day, with RDP reigning as the top attack vector for ransomware incidents.

Don’t let RDP contribute to a costly ransomware incident for your organization. Review the following guidance to learn more about how ransomware attacks can occur via RDP and best practices for minimizing the likelihood of such an incident.

Preventing ransomware exposures

Preventing Ransomware Exposures via RDP

RDP-based ransomware attacks usually stem from organizations leaving their RDP ports exposed to the internet. Although doing so can seem more convenient for employers in the scope of remote work operations, internet-exposed RDP ports are easy for cybercriminals to identify and offer a clear access point for deploying harmful attacks.

The typical process of an RDP-based ransomware attack is as follows:

  1. Scanning—First, a cybercriminal utilizes a port-scanning tool to search the internet for any exposed RDP ports. These scanning tools are often free and relatively simple to operate for attackers of varying skill levels.
  2. Gaining access—After identifying an exposed RDP port, the cybercriminal then gains access to the targeted server or device by using stolen credentials. Attackers can secure these credentials by either purchasing them on the dark web or implementing a brute-force tool that can rapidly input a series of usernames and passwords until the correct combination is found.
  3. Disabling security features—Once the cybercriminal has accessed the targeted server or device, they attempt to make it as defenseless against an attack as possible by disabling any existing security features (e.g., antivirus software, data encryption tools and system backup capabilities).
  4. Executing the attack—From there, the cybercriminal is able to steal sensitive data and deploy a ransomware attack on a vulnerable server or device. Some attackers even install backdoors during this step to allow for easy access during future attacks.  

Like other ransomware incidents, RDP-based attacks can result in devastating ramifications for the impacted organization—including business interruption issues, reputational damages and large-scale financial loss.

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Preventing ransomware exposures

Strengthening RDP Against Ransomware

Although RDP-based ransomware attacks have become increasingly common, there are several ways for you to bolster your organization’s RDP security and lessen the risk of such an incident impacting your operations. Consider the following best practices:

  • Close your RDP connection. First and foremost, ensure that your RDP connection is not open to the internet.
  • Establish a virtual private network (VPN). To keep your RDP port from being exposed to the internet, be sure to establish a VPN. This will allow remote employees to securely access your organization’s RDP port, while also making the port far more difficult for cybercriminals to locate online.
  • Elevate authentication protocols. Because cybercriminals require login credentials to properly execute an RDP-based ransomware attack, make sure you have effective user authentication protocols in place. Specifically, encourage employees to develop unique passwords for all of their devices and accounts. These passwords should be an appropriate length, refrain from using common words or phrases, and contain several special characters. In addition to strong passwords, consider requiring multifactor authentication for RDP port access as an extra layer of protection.
  • Implement login attempt limits. To stop cybercriminals from being able to deploy brute-force tools to secure login credentials during an attack, update RDP port protection features to detect when multiple failed login attempts have occurred in a short period of time. Establish a limit on how many incorrect logins can occur before the user is blocked from further attempts—therefore halting an attack.
  • Utilize adequate security software. Ensure all workplace technology is equipped with top-rated security software—including antivirus programs, a firewall, data encryption features and a gateway server—to deter attempted attacks. Update this software on a regular basis.
  • Restrict employee access. Be sure to uphold the principle of least privilege by only providing employees with RDP access if they absolutely need it to conduct their work tasks. These employees should be trusted and trained in appropriate RDP usage. After all, granting extra employees unnecessary RDP permissions simply creates additional security gaps.
  • Have a plan. Lastly, make sure your organization has an effective cyber incident response plan in place that addresses RDP-based ransomware attack scenarios. This plan should promote the backup storage of any critical data in multiple secure locations (both on-site and off-site) to minimize potential losses. Practice this plan regularly with staff and make updates as needed.

For additional risk management guidance and insurance solutions, contact us today.

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The Importance of Fire Doors

The Importance of Fire Doors

The Importance of Fire Doors

In the event that a fire occurs at your commercial property, having measures in place to slow the spread of the flames and minimize potential damages is crucial. That’s where fire doors can help. These doors are specifically designed to withstand the extreme heat of a fire for a period of time, temporarily blocking flames from traveling from one area of a building to another.

Considering that time is of the essence when it comes to keeping a fire under control, these doors can make all the difference in allowing additional building occupants to safely escape the premises and preventing property damage. Yet, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards—namely, NFPA 80—emphasize that fire doors must be routinely inspected and adequately maintained in order to be effective.

Review the following guidance to learn more about how fire doors work and best practices for keeping these doors fully operational.

Fire Doors

How Fire Doors Work

A fire door consists of multiple components—including the door, door frame, hinges, handle and additional hardware. Collectively, these parts are designed to withstand fire exposures for a set period of time, slowing the spread of flames and smoke throughout different sections of the affected property.

These doors can vary in size, materials and layout (e.g., a swinging, sliding, hinged or rolling door). These doors are typically utilized within the wall openings and stairwells of buildings. Installing fire doors in wall openings can help keep flames from spreading to additional areas on the same floor of a property. Implementing these doors in stairwells can deter a fire from traveling between different stories of a property and potentially allow additional building occupants to safely escape via the stairs. Fire doors can also provide firefighters with better access to the property overall, bolstering fire suppression efforts.

Each fire door is designed to meet the standards of its resistance rating, which represents how long the door can actually withstand fire exposures before eventually succumbing to the heat and smoke. This rating is determined through various testing procedures, and applies not only to the door, but also to its collective parts. Fire door resistance ratings can range from 20 minutes to three hours. For example, if the door can withstand fire exposures for one hour, then it will be rated as a one-hour fire door.

Fire doors are also considered in the process of establishing a property’s fire divisions. While some buildings only consist of a single fire division, a property may contain multiple fire divisions if there are measures in place to limit a fire from reaching different areas of the building. With this in mind, properties with approved fire divisions by way of fire doors in place may benefit from reduced commercial insurance rates, seeing as there is a lower risk of a fire spreading across the entirety of the building.

On the other hand, properties that remove or don’t incorporate fire doors and thus lack multiple fire divisions may encounter higher commercial insurance rates, since a fire is increasingly likely to affect the entire building and result in more severe damages.

Fire Doors

Maintaining Fire Doors

While fire doors can certainly offer numerous advantages to a property, it’s important to note that these doors must be properly maintained to remain effective. In particular, some fire doors need to stay fully closed in order to work. Otherwise, flames and smoke will easily travel through any openings, defeating the purpose of the doors altogether.

However, fire doors that are equipped with fusible links—which are heat-activated devices designed to ensure that such doors adequately close in the presence of a fire—do not need to stay shut at all times. In these circumstances, the doors can be kept open as long as there are no obstructions (e.g., a door wedge) in the way that could potentially prevent them from closing when necessary. Keep in mind that most rolling fire doors are equipped with fusible links.

In addition to keeping fire doors closed or unobstructed, NFPA 80 also outlines the following installation, inspection and maintenance requirements:

  • Ensure all fire doors at your property contain a fire label and resistance rating from Underwriter Laboratories or Warnock Hersey—both of which are trusted safety certification organizations.
  • Only allow a competent, qualified contractor to install fire doors or make modifications to existing fire doors at your property. Modifying a fire door with the wrong components or hardware could result in the door becoming ineffective and losing its resistance rating. Also, be sure to consult the contractor about the possibility of equipping your fire doors with fusible links.
  • Regularly inspect fire doors for potential damages (e.g., large gaps, broken seals, loose hinges or missing screws). Further, make sure that each door can connect firmly to its latch without getting stuck on the frame before fully closing. Schedule repairs when necessary.
  • Have a certified professional conduct a visual inspection and—in the case of rolling doors—a drop test (a test that confirms the door works as it should and completely closes) on your property’s fire doors at least once every year. Based on the results, schedule repairs and make door replacements as needed.

California’s Leader in Insurance and Risk Management

As one of the fastest-growing agencies in California, GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. is able to provide its clients with the latest and greatest of what the insurance industry has to offer and much, much more. The GDI team has developed an “insurance cost reduction” quoting plan, that provides you with the best coverage at the best rate!

We are headquartered in Turlock, CA, with locations across the heart of California’s Central Valley, Northern California and beyond to provide a local feel to the solutions and services we provide our clients. We pride ourselves on exceeding our client’s expectations in every interaction to make sure that our clients know how much we value and appreciate their business.

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Health Care Data Breaches Jumped 55% in 2020

Health Care Data Breaches Jumped 55% in 2020

Health Care Data Breaches Jumped 55% in 2020

Health care data breaches and cyber events cost an estimated $13 billion and increased by 55% in 2020, according to a new report that found it takes an average of 236 days for health care firms to recover from breaches.

Cloud security firm Bitglass analyzed data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to find that hacking and IT incidents were the top sources of compromise and lost records last year, causing over 67% of all breaches. The number of data breaches jumped to 599 from 386 in 2019, and the average cost per breached record rose to $499—up from $429.

According to the report, hacking and IT incidents have increased significantly since 2018, causing 91.2% of all breached health care records. During the same period, loss/theft and unauthorized disclosure have remained steady as less-frequent occurrences.

Health Care Cyber Security

“In 2014, lost and stolen devices were the leading causes of security breaches in health care, while hacking and IT incidents were the least common causes,” according to Bitglass. “Today, things have essentially inverted. Each year since 2015, hacking and IT incidents have been exposing more records than any other breach type. These results demonstrate the heightened impact of cybersecurity breaches, the shifting strategies of malicious actors and how health care organizations are grappling with cybersecurity.”

California led the nation in breaches at 49 health care cyber breaches, followed by Texas at 43, New York at 39, and Pennsylvania and Florida at 38. Many of the health care cyber breaches occurring in 2020 were a byproduct of the Blackbaud ransomware attack.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights maintains a tally of reported health care breaches, with 47 new events occurring since Jan. 1. The 32 events reported in January 2021 were well below the 62 reported in December 2020, according to an analysis conducted by the HIPAA Journal. One of those January breaches occurred at the Florida Healthy Kids Corporation due to unpatched software vulnerabilities at a third-party IT vendor. The breach is estimated to have occurred over a seven-year period, involving names, birthdates, email addresses, telephone numbers, addresses, Social Security numbers, insurance information and significant financial information.

Medical Office Insurance

Cybersecurity for hospitals and health care organizations remained a key theme of 2020, as providers struggled to keep pace with both the COVID-19 pandemic and cyber threats.

The HHS numbers do not necessarily capture the full picture of ransomware’s impact on hospitals around the world and, in the last quarter of 2020, the threat only worsened, according to a report from Check Point. The trend is not isolated to the United States—two French hospitals recently fell victim to ransomware.

Since November 2020, Check Point observed a 45% increase in attacks against health care organizations around the world compared to a 22% increase against other sectors. While attacks also include botnets, DDoS and other hacks, ransomware is showing the biggest increase, according to the firm, with the Ryuk ransomware strain particularly prevalent.

The major motivation for threat actors with these attacks is financial. They are looking for large amounts of money, and fast.

“It seems that these attacks have paid off very well for the criminals behind them over the past year, and this success has made them hungry for more,” according to Check Point. “It is also important to note that unlike common ransomware attacks—which are widely distributed via massive spam campaigns and exploit kits—the attacks against hospitals and health care organizations using the Ryuk variant are specifically tailored and targeted.”

California’s Leader in Insurance and Risk Management

As one of the fastest-growing agencies in California, GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. is able to provide its clients with the latest and greatest of what the insurance industry has to offer and much, much more. The GDI team has developed an “insurance cost reduction” quoting plan, that provides you with the best coverage at the best rate!

We are headquartered in Turlock, CA, with locations across the heart of California’s Central Valley, Northern California and beyond to provide a local feel to the solutions and services we provide our clients. We pride ourselves on exceeding our client’s expectations in every interaction to make sure that our client’s know how much we value and appreciate their business.

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Shoplifting Prevention

Shoplifting Prevention

Shoplifting Prevention

Shoplifting can become a costly problem for any retailer. According to the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention, over $35 million worth of merchandise gets stolen from retailers each day. Furthermore, the latest data from the National Retail Federation provides that shoplifting is the leading cause of inventory shrinkage among retail businesses—contributing to 39% of shrinkage concerns. With these numbers in mind, your business can’t afford to ignore the risk of shoplifting. Fortunately, many shoplifting incidents can be deterred by implementing a shoplifting prevention program. Review this guide for an outline of key elements to include in your program. Contact GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. today for your retail insurance quote 209-634-2929.

Start With a Smart Store Layout for Shoplifting Prevention

First, it’s important to ensure that the physical layout of your store dissuades potential shoplifters. That being said, follow these layout best practices:

  • Limit the number of entrances and exits at the store. However, make sure this setup remains compliant with building safety codes. Never allow customers to use fire exits unless it’s an actual emergency.
  • Attach a bell or sensor to all store entrances to help keep track of customers as they arrive at the premises.
  • Avoid placing merchandise by store entrances and exits. Doing so could attract shoplifters, giving them the opportunity to swiftly steal the merchandise and leave the premises before getting caught.
  • Keep high-priced merchandise either out of the direct reach of customers (e.g., in locked display cases) or near the checkout counter.
  • Place the checkout counter in a way that requires all customers to pass it before leaving the store.
  • Utilize shorter store shelving and displays to maintain visibility of customers while they shop.
  • Install proper lighting and convex mirrors throughout the store to avoid potential blind spots that shoplifters could take advantage of.
  • If applicable, keep dressing rooms locked while they are not being used to ensure customers have to consult an employee before entering them.

In addition to these layout methods, be sure to keep the store clean and organized at all times. Cluttered aisles and jumbled merchandise can make your store more attractive to shoplifters and lower your ability to quickly detect missing items.

shoplifting prevention

Ensure Adequate Security Measures

Utilizing robust security measures at your store can help discourage potential shoplifters, as well as catch such criminals in the act before it’s too late. Consider equipping your store with these top security features:

  • Security cameras—Installing security cameras across the store (with the exception of bathrooms and dressing rooms) will allow you and your staff to have eyes throughout the property and capture high-quality footage of shoplifting incidents.
  • Electronic article surveillance (EAS) systems—An EAS system has two components. First, individual tags that can only be removed with a special device after a secure purchase are placed on store merchandise. Second, sensors consisting of a transmitter and a receiver are installed at store exits. These sensors establish an electronic field that becomes unbalanced if a tagged item passes through them. If someone attempts to steal tagged merchandise, the sensors will trigger an alarm as soon as the shoplifter tries to exit the premises. EAS systems are a critical aspect of any shoplifting prevention program. In fact, several studies have found that EAS systems can help minimize shoplifting losses by as much as 75%.
  • Inventory management technology—Apart from EAS systems, various forms of inventory management technology can also help you better keep track of store merchandise and prevent shoplifting losses. For instance, point-of-sale systems are computerized software that you can utilize during the checkout process to help monitor store inventory, detect false returns or exchanges, and confirm customers’ identities. A wide range of mobile applications have also been created to help store owners conduct physical inventory counts more efficiently via digital barcode scanning.

Further, make sure to implement signage throughout the store to inform customers of the security measures you have in place. Place this signage at the entrances and exits of your store, as well as above any display areas. However, ensure this signage properly reflects your store’s brand and considers your customer base. After all, the goal of these signs is to dissuade shoplifters—not intimidate legitimate customers.

shoplifting prevention

Utilize Your Employees

It’s also important to include staff in your shoplifting prevention program. As such, there should be enough employees scheduled during each shift to monitor every section of the store. Designated employees should be responsible for greeting customers as they enter the store, following up with customers while they shop and assisting them when they want to use the dressing rooms (if applicable). If a customer starts carrying around a significant amount of store merchandise, employees should offer to hold items behind the counter for them until they check out. All employees should also be trained on how to detect potential shoplifting behaviors, such as:

  • Shopping in a large group of people
  • Not making direct eye contact with staff
  • Carefully watching employees’ movements but avoiding interaction with them
  • Acting nervous and appearing disinterested in store merchandise
  • Trying to use a dressing room without staff permission or taking a large number of items into the dressing room
  • Frequently glancing at store exits
  • Carrying numerous other shopping bags, purses or backpacks to easily place stolen merchandise into
  • Spending a significant amount of time in one particular area of the store
  • Fidgeting with items’ price markings or EAS tags

During the checkout process, employees should be instructed to carefully remove EAS tags from store merchandise, ensure smaller items aren’t being hidden within larger items and inspect each items’ price markings to make sure they are correct. Employees should be required to provide customers with a copy of their receipt for every purchase.

In the event of a confirmed shoplifting incident, staff should know how to safely respond. This may include contacting the police for assistance. If you are particularly concerned about the risk of shoplifting or your store has been frequently targeted by shoplifters in the past, you may want to consider hiring specialized security personnel in addition to your regular staff.

Implement Effective Shoplifting Prevention Store Policies

Lastly, it’s critical to develop and enforce various store policies aimed at preventing and responding to shoplifting incidents. Policy topics may include:

  • How merchandise should be organized and displayed within the store
  • How prices are marked on merchandise and what measures are in place to prevent price tampering (e.g., securely attaching price tags with string or staples to minimize tag switching)
  • What the protocols are for managing store inventory
  • Whether customers are permitted to bring shopping bags, purses, strollers or backpacks into dressing rooms (if applicable)
  • How many items customers can have in a dressing room at one time (if applicable)
  • How employees should respond to suspected shoplifters
  • How store evidence (e.g., security camera footage, the triggering of the EAS system and store receipts) will be used to implicate a shoplifter
  • What the process is for prosecuting confirmed shoplifters

For more industry-specific risk management guidance, contact us today.

California’s Leader in Insurance and Risk Management

As one of the fastest-growing agencies in California, GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. is able to provide its clients with the latest and greatest of what the insurance industry has to offer and much, much more. The GDI team has developed an “insurance cost reduction” quoting plan, that provides you with the best coverage at the best rate!

We are headquartered in Turlock, CA, with locations across the heart of California’s Central Valley, Northern California and beyond to provide a local feel to the solutions and services we provide our clients. We pride ourselves on exceeding our client’s expectations in every interaction to make sure that our client’s know how much we value and appreciate their business.

Contact us today 1-209-634-2929 for your comprehensive small business insurance quote!