Businesses can face major setbacks as a result of various issues. Mishaps like electrical fires may cause damage to equipment and inventory or even force the business to shut down temporarily. Burglaries may result in major financial losses of valuables and equipment, customer injuries may lead to lawsuits and natural disasters may cause extensive damage to property. However, if a business is adequately insured these occurrences are less likely to suspend operations for an extended period or cause permanent closure. The following steps are recommended after you’ve addressed any emergencies, issues or concerns.
Contact law enforcement where needed. You should contact the police immediately if there is a burglary or other crime that results in a loss. Ensure that a police report is filed right away and insist on getting a copy of the report. Note the names of the officers who show up on the scene along with any other relevant details and pass this on to your agent. Once the police are through you should contact your agent immediately.
Call your agent immediately. Your agent will assist you with filing a claim and take you through the necessary steps to complete it properly. Where photos or other specific information is necessary to file the claim they will advise. In instances where the interior or exterior property damage is extensive the agent will generally send an adjuster to complete property inspection and damage assessment.
Carefully review your policy. Look through your insurance policy to see if there may be additional steps that you have not yet taken. Some policies provide instructions regarding what to do if you encounter certain types of insurable losses.
Create an inventory of losses. This step is very important as it helps to provide clear details on the loss or damage. Be sure to include item descriptions, current values and estimated current values. Including a description of the item’s condition prior to damage is also useful. If you are able to, take pictures of the damaged items to hand over to your insurer. Secure copies of receipts for damaged items.
Provide proof of the loss. Policyholders are required by insurers to sign sworn statements that show proof of their losses. This required information should be attached to the statement that is to be signed and submitted within 60 days of the first request made by the insurer.
Prepare for the insurance adjuster. Make sure you are ready for the adjuster to inspect the property. Document all losses that occurred and support this with as many photos as you are able to take. This will provide a clear image of the losses. In instances where there are a large amount of images, save them to a disc and be sure to label the individual images. If you are able to, consider using a video camera or cell phone video camera to do a walk-through of the affected area as videos help to show the damage live and from various angles. Videos may be used to support photos.
Conduct temporary repairs where necessary. If they are necessary, temporary repairs can be made before the adjuster or agent does a property survey. Just stick to doing repairs that will prevent further damage or a possible liability and avoid anything unnecessary. For instance, it may be necessary to repair a broken window to prevent rain from entering a building and causing water damage, or to prevent the roof from collapsing and causing injury a temporary roof repair may be needed. Keep all repair receipts as repairs are deductible from the settlement. If contract work is needed, before making a hire request two written bids from separate companies.
When going through the claims process it is important to remain organized. Have information ready at all times in case an agent or adjuster calls and keep papers nearby. Make notes for calls with repair companies or related parties, including the reasons for the calls. And remember to save receipts for items bought in relation to the damages.
To learn more about what to do during the claims process, contact us today to speak with a qualified professional. Our company focuses on catering to the business insurance needs of clients in Long Island, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, Nassau County, Suffolk County, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. So if you’re in New York, let’s talk. We can provide you with cheap insurance rates.