Within moments, a fire can engulf your property and interrupt your business indefinitely. As you concentrate on the safety of all occupants and how to stay in business, you will also need the time to prepare a thorough insurance claim covering your loss.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, business owners and organizations suffer $2.3 billion in commercial and industrial property losses each year.
Fire claims are especially complex for the different types of damage they cause, all of which have to be documented and proven to your insurance company. For example, fire can create serious damage from smoke, burning residue, and corrosive substances released in the flames. There can also be substantial water damage from the effort to extinguish the blaze. In the aftermath, your property and valuables may be exposed to the elements and become more damaged if not addressed immediately. As the policyholder, it is your responsibility to minimize the damage while you focus on keeping your business running. Do you also have the time to handle your insurance claim?
Your insurance company may present an offer they think is sufficient based on their own damage assessment. Our public adjusters work only for your interests to evaluate, document, and prove the full scope of loss and negotiate your claim for the maximum amount.
Make sure you fully understand the meaning of each of the following before you move forward. Feel free to reach out to us for a no-cost discussion about your claim.
What is my agent/broker’s role?
The insurance company hired a construction estimator. What do I need to know?
Why is a claim strategy so important?
Am I impacted by coinsurance?
Can smoke damage be removed/neutralized?
How can you identify/document items that are totally destroyed?
Your insurance company pays less if you clean/restore as much of your equipment and improvements as possible. Is that a good idea?
How do the smoke and the water used to fight the fire affect your machinery? Your computers, equipment, and other electronics?
If water used in suppressing the fire causes mold and fungus, is the ensuing damage covered?
Asbestos, lead, and other hazardous materials can have a major impact on your claim. Are you aware of how to properly address these in order to prepare your claim and to avoid future liability issues? Hazardous materials such as asbestos and lead can be expensive to address. You want to make sure to not cut corners when addressing this issue. You want to make sure to not cut corners when addressing this issue.
Code Upgrade coverage is very important when rebuilding after a fire. How does your insurance policy address code coverage? Also, what about any Green building upgrades? Checking the correct building codes before you prepare your claim is critical.
What happens when the insurance company engages a forensic accountant? What is his/her role? Why can’t your accountant just prepare your claim? You will have to produce your financial statements and possibly your tax return. You may need to recast your financial statements? If so, why? What are extra expenses? What can be included?
What are expediting expenses? How do they differ from extra expenses?
How much of my time will this take?
What is pressurized smoke?
Property Damage Losses Commercial Claims Recovery Process
Life & Safety Issues
Mitigation of Damages
Establish A Preliminary Recovery Plan
Evaluation of Coverages
Valuation Of Damages, Claim Preparation, and Documentation
...When the mill was destroyed by fire, a consultant to the milling industry and a person we had trust in, recommended we meet with you. He spoke of past positive experiences and suggested that we not go it alone. His advice turned out to be right…You carefully and successfully argued that our buildings, because of the ways in which they were connected, should be considered as “one”, thereby reducing any penalties we would incur. You controlled the scope on the equipment and, as such, clearly were able to negotiate the best outcome on our behalf. You successfully argued for increased costs of construction, and were able to collect them in our behalf, due to codes, in spite of our insurer’s attempts to deny us any payments under this policy extension. And lastly, you made sure that we collected for every single coverage that our policy afforded under our business interruption and extra expense coverage’s….In conclusion, it’s very clear that with you on our team, we collected millions more in payments than we would have without you. You allowed us the valuable time and resources for us to focus on redesign and reconstruction, allowing us to reopen our doors and again become the largest employer in Weaverville. Due to your efforts, a community was saved. You followed through on everything you promised.
Dee W. Sanders, General Manager
Trinity River Lumber Company
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