After ensuring you and your loved ones’ safety, one of the most important issues following a disaster resulting in damage to your property, is properly presenting your damage to your insurance company. This is why it is crucial to have secured Business Property Insurance. It is your responsibility to assert your claim as soon as possible after a loss or damage occurs. Often, the process of filing and settling an insurance claim is frustrating. However, if you are well-informed about the applicable insurance regulations, you can avoid many of the pitfalls.
Contact your Insurer Immediately
As soon as possible after the loss, contact your insurance agent to report the claim. Record the name and title of the person to whom you spoke. You can then send a follow-up letter confirming that you have done the reporting. Provide details of items damaged and if you have received estimates for repairs or clean-up. If your loss involves a theft, the authorities must be contacted. It can be overwhelming to manage all of this after a loss, but rest assured knowing an expert associate at Haughn will help you through the process of the claim and assist with any information you may need.
After reporting your claim, photograph and videotape your damaged property. Be as complete and detailed as possible. If you have personal property which has been damaged or destroyed, prepare a detailed inventory listing the property and the type of damage sustained. Provide a copy of the photos, videotape and inventory to the insurer on your first meeting and keep several copies for yourself. If you have receipts of purchase of the damaged or destroyed property, provide your agent with this, as well.
The insurance company must then inspect the property to evaluate damage for the reimbursement you are seeking. Keep in mind that any item which is missing is more difficult (but not impossible) to claim. In fact, it’s better to keep the pieces of destroyed property to show your insurance company. Ask your insurer if they want your destroyed or damaged property and to tell you when you can throw damaged or destroyed property away.
Communication Log & Written Confirmations
Keep a log on the claim and record your interactions with the insurance company and anyone else relating to your claim. When you call or meet with the insurance company or schedule a meeting (even if it is canceled), document it. If you are ever asked at a later time to reenact or explain events that happened during the claims process, the diary will be invaluable.
Confirm important conversations with your insurance company representatives, sending a letter restating everything that was discussed during the call. This creates a record of what transpired for future reference, gives you an opportunity to explain your understanding of every conversation, and invites the insurance company to respond if they disagree.
Verify Proposed Estimate
Your insurer may prepare an estimate of what it will cost to repair your damaged property. The amount of money offered should be sufficient to take care of your loss. If you feel it is insufficient, you have the right to show that you have determined the cost it will fix to cover the damages. With that said, be sure to secure business property insurance before a disaster strikes so you are covered.
About Haughn & Associate
Founded by Michael Haughn in 1986, Haughn & Associates is a full-service, family-owned, independent insurance agency based out of Dublin, Ohio. H&A strives to provide the best possible price and unique insurance solutions across a myriad of industries, including construction, IT, Habitation & Commercial Property, Agriculture, and Engineering. Devoted to providing the best of business insurance, life and disability insurance, personal insurance, employee benefits, and bonds, H&A is proof that success lies in long-standing client relations and satisfaction. To learn more about how H&A can be of service to you, contact us at (877) 802-2278.