You’re sitting at your desk, busy at work, when you hear a deafening crack of thunder quickly followed by a loud ominous snap as you discover that a large tree has fallen and crashed into the side of your office building. As uncommon as it may seem, storm damage does happen. If your business has been damaged, the longer it is exposed to the elements, the more damage it may incur. Good thing you invested in storm damage insurance for your business! Many insurance policies limit your time to file a claim; so don’t wait until the roof of your building caves in to file an insurance claim.
Report the damage
Once you have ensured the safety of your employees and everyone is out of the building and accounted for, it’s time to notify your insurance company and report the storm damage. In order to report the damage you will need to call your insurance agent and provide as much information as possible, giving detailed answers to any questions they may ask you. Make sure you document all relevant time lines, contact numbers and other important information from your claim. It is better to be overly cautious when reporting a claim on your business.
While you are talking with your insurance agent, have your employees take pictures in order to record the claim. If pictures are taken on a digital camera or smart phone have them sent immediately in order to provide evidence for your claim. It is important to get a documented weather report for the storm with the day and time in order for your insurance company to later assess the weather conditions at the time the storm occurred. Even if the storm is not predicted on the weather report, it is important to have a copy.
Evaluate and repair
In order to minimize the amount of lost work time due to the damage, don’t wait to contact professionals to assess the damage and begin the repair process. Even if there is minimal damage to your building and business, prioritizing the repairs is highly encouraged in order to keep the business both fully operational and safe for you and your employees. Make sure to keep any and all damaged items safely stored for your insurer, who will want to see as much proof as possible of both the repairs and damaged property – pictures will most likely not be enough.
Purchasing Business Interruption Insurance
Depending on the severity of the damage, your claim will involve a loss of income or effective work time or business interruption. Business interruption insurance is important to purchase as it covers any losses sustained when your business is interrupted due to insured risk. The claim for business interruption insurance will require proof of the income your business was generating before and after the storm damage as well as the cost of conducting your business from a temporary location. Keeping detailed records of business activity is important, as it will be necessary for your claim.
Unsatisfied with how your claim was handled?
If for any reason you are unsatisfied with how your insurance claim was handled you may speak to your insurance agent and claims adjuster. You may also contact your insurance company’s customer service or claim’s department as well as the state department of insurance for help.
In order to avoid any hassle of disgruntlement make sure that you properly document the storm damage and file your claim.