Natural disasters—particularly hurricanes—can be extremely stressful to navigate, both throughout the storm itself and then following the event.
After the wind has subsided and the rain has stopped, you’ll need begin the process of reporting your claim to your insurance agent and your insurance company. Stay engaged with your agent and the insurance company adjuster as you work through the claim adjustment process.
Here are the top 10 things to do to make this process as smooth as possible:
- Document your damage with photos or videos as soon as possible.
- Protect your property from further damage and make temporary repairs, if possible. Your policy requires you to make every effort to protect the property from suffering additional damage but do not begin permanent repairs. This may mean placing a tarp over the roof or boarding up broken windows and doors.
- If the property is structurally unsound or unsafe you must report this to your local police and fire department.
- Contact a professional and capable mitigation company to abate any water and/or smoke damage. Your insurance agent will be able to recommend a resource for you.
- Secure the property as necessary.
- Maintain a record of all expenses incurred in protecting the property and provide this information to your insurance adjuster.
- Separate damaged from undamaged business and personal property if at all possible. Do not discard of any damaged property as your insurance adjuster will want to inspect these items.
- Prepare an inventory of the damaged Business Personal Property. Provide a detailed description of the damaged items, list the quantity and your estimated value of the damaged items. Include any available bills, receipts, appraisals and any related documents that will support your valuation.
- Do not dispose of the damaged property until your claims adjuster approves of the disposal. The adjuster will need to inspect the property and determine if there is any salvage value for the items.
- Be prepared to provide additional information requested by your claims adjuster.
Typically, hurricanes bring major property damage through flooding. Flood damage is typically excluded by most property insurance policies, so you will want to carefully review your particular policy with your agent to determine if Flood is a covered cause of loss.
To successfully navigate the property claims process, it is vital that you work closely with your independent insurance agent and the insurance adjuster assigned by your insurance carrier.
Hurricane season an important reminder to business owners that unexpected loss and damage can occur at any time, particularly by external forces that can’t be controlled. Having an emergency plan in place to combat unexpected loss and damage is key to remaining successful in the face of disaster.