Financial security company Northwestern Mutual is equipping business owners with "Protecting People and Property," a two-pronged financial preparedness strategy guide encouraging business owners to secure human assets and physical assets before emergency situations arise.

Small businesses, which employ more than half of all Americans*, are the economic engines strengthening thousands of communities with jobs, so it's important to Northwestern Mutual to help business owners protect what matters most: their people and their property.

"Many owners insure their property without hesitation but don't think about protecting their most valuable asset: their workforce," said Jane Ann Schiltz, Northwestern Mutual, vice president of business markets. "Owners should consider how to protect both."

With over 150 years of risk management experience, helping people protect against the unexpected is Northwestern Mutual's expertise. The company works with businesses across the U.S. to develop flexible solutions that adapt to owners' needs and goals.

"Financial security is based on planning, not reacting," said Schiltz, "and protecting human assets against the risks of serious illness or injury is part of an integrated preparedness plan. Recent natural disasters, severe weather and pandemics were a wake-up call for small business owners regarding the importance of being ready for the unexpected."

Northwestern Mutual's "Protecting People and Property" strategy guide encourages business owners to:

  #1 - Secure Human Assets

  --  Protect the Owner: Many businesses rely heavily on owners to survive
      and thrive.  Yet many owners can't imagine what would happen if they
      suddenly couldn't work due to an illness or accident.  Disability
      insurance coverage can provide benefits to help keep a business
      operating with minimal interruptions.
  --  Protect Key Contributors: A business' success is often based on a
      select group of employees.  The disability or death of one of those
      key contributors could be devastating to productivity, credit rating,
      customer relations and business continuity.  Key contributor
      disability income insurance and life insurance provide the income and
      assets needed to strengthen cash flow, hire and train a replacement,
      and assure creditors of business continuity.
  --  Improve Retention with Protection: Employees are arguably a small
      business' most important asset.  Owners may enhance employee retention
      efforts by providing protection.  Offering employee benefits - group
      health insurance, group life insurance, retirement savings, disability
      income protection and long-term care coverage - can keep employees
      committed to a business, help them secure protection needed for
      unforeseen circumstances and provide resources needed for retirement.
  --  Find Success with Succession: Business owners don't live forever, so a
      continuation plan is critical to keep a business flourishing from one
      owner to the next.  A written and properly funded buy-sell agreement
      creates a market for business interests, provides mutually agreeable
      terms of sale, facilitates a smooth transition of management, and
      assures creditors of business continuity.

  --  Access to Emergency Funds: In a disaster, gaining access to financial
      resources can be crucial.  Business owners who own permanent life
      insurance policies build equity over time as they pay premiums.  This
      cash value can be accessed for emergency situations, for business
      needs, or used as collateral for a loan, helping owners maintain their
      financial security in the aftermath of a disaster.


  #2 - Secure Physical Assets

  --  Ensure that you will have access to materials from suppliers that may
      also be enduring a disaster
  --  Insure buildings and equipment
  --  Maintain emergency response equipment

  --  Prepare for a prolonged power outage


Schiltz says that owners should regularly review the two-part strategy guide to ensure each is sufficiently addressed. "Owners should annually evaluate their business to ensure that they have the kind and amount of protection that can help keep their business operating."

To view the "Protecting People and Property" strategy guide, visit www.nmbizsolutions.com.

About Northwestern Mutual

The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company - Milwaukee, WI (Northwestern Mutual) has helped clients achieve financial security for more than 150 years. Northwestern Mutual and its subsidiaries offer a holistic approach to financial security solutions including: life insurance, long-term care insurance, disability insurance, annuities, investment products, and advisory products and services. Subsidiaries include Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC, broker-dealer, registered investment adviser, member FINRA and SIPC; the Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company, limited purpose federal savings bank; and Northwestern Long Term Care Insurance Company; and Russell Investments. Further information can be found at http://www.northwesternmutual.com/.

* U.S. Department of Homeland Security, May 2008.

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SOURCE: Northwestern Mutual

CONTACT: Jean Towell of Northwestern Mutual, 1-800-323-7033,
mediarelations@northwesternmutual.com

Web Site: http://www.northwesternmutual.com/