Filing a Business Damage Claim
The first step in getting back to business is filing a damage claim with your business insurance provider. There are several things you can do to improve your chances in getting the insurance compensation you have been paying for.
File your insurance claim as soon as possible after a storm. If you evacuated, you can file a claim even before you return to the island. As soon as you learn that your business was damaged, file a claim.
Create a claims journal and enter the date and name any time to speak to an insurance provider representative. Note your claim number and the name and contact information of the insurance adjuster who will be inspecting your property (if available). Continue to add notes after every interaction with the provider or claims adjuster.
Document all damage and losses. Taking photographs and videos of your property, structures, inventory and equipment is a good way to document damage and will make it easier for the insurance provider to determine the scope of your damage. Follow this up by creating a detailed written list of items damaged in the storm, and keep these together in your journal.
Begin collecting business records that you will need to supply as part of your insurance claim. Examples of records that the insurance company may need to evaluate your claim include inventory lists, profit and loss statements, balance sheets, tax returns, financial statements, business contracts, purchase receipts, and property appraisals.
Secure the business and make any temporary repairs needed to prevent further damage and protect your assets. Most insurance policies include a mitigation claim that requires a policyholder to take steps to prevent further damage. Take pictures of the damage before you start repairs, and then take pictures again when you're done as proof of what you did to prevent more damage. These repairs may be as simple as boarding broken doors and window and tarping a damaged roof, to removing wet and damaged materials to prevent mold growth. Keep receipts for any costs associated with making the repairs, such as for materials and labor.
Should you need to relocate your business temporarily while the property is being repaired. Be sure to keep detailed records of any expenses related to the relocation. Depending on your policy, you may be entitled to reimbursement for these costs.
Get Help with Your Business Insurance Claim
We know you are focused on getting your business back up and running and we know that filing damage claims and negotiating with an insurance provider can be difficult at best. Our business insurance attorneys have been fighting for the rights of policyholders for decades and we can do the same for you. We can help you analyze your policy, file damage claims and proof and loss documentation, determine the scope of the damage your business sustained and ensure you receive the maximum best use of your policies, so you can back to business as soon as possible.