Unexpected property damage can cause a major disruption to your business. Filing your insurance claim quickly and accurately can minimize downtime and help you get back to business as usual. As you get ready to file your claim, use this simple guide to ensure you don’t miss any important steps.
1. Review Your Insurance Policy
Your insurance policy may explain the specific actions your insurer requires you to take after an insurable loss occurs. Take the time to read through it and keep a copy handy so you can reference it throughout the claims process.
2. Contact Your Insurance Company Right Away
Contact your insurance professional or policy carrier right away. Let them know an incident has occurred and that you need to open a claim. If your damage is extensive, they may schedule a time to send an insurance adjuster out to your property. He or she will assess the damage and make a recommendation for the amount of compensation you should receive.
3. Document Your Loss
Insurance claims are often denied due to a lack of evidence. Back up your claim by preparing an inventory of all the items that were damaged or destroyed. Provide a copy to your adjuster and/or insurance company, along with any receipts you may have.
If you can do it safely, also inspect your building and other structures and list out any damage you find. This includes things like missing roof tiles or cracks in the walls. As you’re creating your lists, take as many photos and videos as possible. This can provide additional proof of the damage, further strengthening your claim.
4. Make Temporary Repairs if Needed
As long as it’s safe to do so, it’s important to take reasonable steps to protect your business assets from further damage. This may include putting a tarp over a hole in the roof or removing standing water. If you need to make equipment repairs right away, be sure to save the damaged parts in case the insurance adjuster wants to examine them.
Save receipts for anything you have to buy so you can submit them for reimbursement. Also, remember that any payments you receive for temporary repairs will be part of your total settlement.
5. Get Multiple Bids
It’s always a good idea to get multiple bids for any needed repairs or replacements. This will allow you to compare your options and may help keep costs in check.
Remember that you don’t have to use the repair experts your insurance company recommends. While there’s nothing wrong with using the insurer’s recommendations, it’s important to know that you have options. Having multiple bids can also help you negotiate with your insurance adjuster.
6. Advocate for Yourself
If your insurance company denies your claim or offers you less than what you think you’re entitled to, you don’t have to take “no” for an answer. In this case, you may benefit from hiring a public adjuster to provide an independent assessment of your damage.
Often, a public adjuster can help substantiate your claim and may even find details in your insurance policy that could increase your payout. If the adjuster finds evidence to support your claim, he or she can help you file an appeal and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf.
The experts at Coast 2 Coast Public Adjusters have years of experience helping business owners with their insurance claims. If you need assistance, we’re happy to provide a consultation. Contact us to get started.