A disaster at your work premises like fire or flood can be absolutely devastating. A catastrophe like this takes no prisoners and can rip through your stock and the fabric of the building in a matter of minutes. In the aftermath you will be face with the prospect of the clean up, sorting out your staff, the insurance claim itself and trying to keep the business afloat whilst there is form of income coming into the business. Juggling all of these roles and jobs can be a near impossible task and one that can drain you mentally.
There are a couple of steps that you would normally take when making your claim – which you will go through briefly here. There is also one step that you may not be familiar with but can help you considerably in getting the claim that you deserve.
Step 1: Report the incident to the policed. Obviously this is the obvious first step that you would take – you may not even have to make it if the police were involved at the start of the incident.
Step 2: Here is the step that a lot of businesses miss (or have at step 3) – contact a loss assessor.
Step 3: Contact your insurance company.
You will notice the emphasis placed on getting your loss assessor involved early on in the process. Your insurance company is a business like any other and the loss adjuster that they appoint to your claim will be ensuring that they pay out the minimal amount of money in the claim – which is not what you want for your business. Getting the insurance loss assessors involved early on will ensure that all bases are covered and that you have fair representation in the claim. Without the input of a loss assessor you and the business will be expected to deal with all aspects of the claim yourself, from paperwork to liaising with the insurance company over the payout. With all the work and stress around just getting your business functional again this is often the straw that breaks the camel’s back for a lot of smaller companies.
Employing the right loss assessor is crucial and there are a few things that you should be looking for. You need to know whether you will be able to pay after a reasonable settlement has been made by the premises insurance company – you don’t need to pay out for a substandard job. You need to know the level of involvement the assessors will have – will they deal with all the paperwork and liaising, will they help organise contractors?
Most businesses fail to get a fair settlement due to mistakes that are made at the start of the insurance claim process – don’t wait until it happens to your business to find out what you have to do when dealing with an insurance claim for a major disaster.