The property claims loss process can pose complications, particularly for companies unfamiliar with it. We have put together a list of six steps that you can take to ensure they get the help you need.
Step 1: Report the claim immediately.
Many companies and individuals wait to report claims until more information becomes available. In property loss situations (as well as most others), reporting sooner rather than later is better. Immediately reporting potential claims allows the company to stay in front of the claims process and be the one driving the process forward.
Step 2: Protect the property from further damage.
Insurance may not cover losses caused by the failure to protect the property from additional damage after the initial loss. This may mean engaging remediation contractors or appropriate professionals while the claim is still in its initial process. Companies should have a list of vendors and contractors prepared in advance so they can move quickly.
Step 3: Engage general contractors where possible.
It makes more sense to submit a single estimate to the insurance company rather than one estimate from an electrician, another from a plumber, a third from a drywall contractor, etc.
Step 4: Call the shots.
A company, generally speaking, puts itself in a better position by moving the process forward on its own rather than constantly waiting on updates from insurance companies and contractors. Your broker should be able to help with some of this effort.
Step 5: Keep the lines of communication open.
This means talking to the insurance company’s professionals, taking their positions into consideration, and keeping them constantly updated on new events and occurrences.
Step 6. Ask for an advance on the loss.
This is best done through your insurance broker. Once a company receives its initial assessment of damages, it should ask the insurance company for an advance on the loss to provide seed money to start repairs. The insurance company has an obligation to the fund the loss up to the point where the loss is completely resolved.
Whether the claim is a result of flood, fire, storm, criminal activity, or other reason-- Many companies face an uphill battle to repair the property to reopen, then remain open. It is estimated that 60% of businesses that experience such a loss, will either not reopen or will have to close within a year of the disaster. Having a plan helps to minimize downtime for your business.
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