Business Claims

After the Storm Guide for Business and Commercial Property Owners

In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, it may be incredibly difficult to recover and make logical moves in the right direction. Throughout September 2017, damage estimates have been increasing. According to experts, the damage caused by Harvey alone is in the range between 65 and 190 billion dollars and may continue to rise.

If you are a commercial or business property owner, you may be wondering what you need to do in order to get some compensation and recovery. Here are a few of the essential items that you need to be aware of after the storm for business interruption claims and damage claims.

Your Involvement in the Process is Crucial

After the storm is over, you will have to interact with your insurance agency to get financial compensation. Being actively engaged in the process is the key to getting just financial assistance.

Work with the insurance company to establish a completion date for your claim. Make sure to cooperate fully and submit all information in a timely manner. Don’t hesitate to demand the same from the insurance company.

Don’t depend on the insurance agency to handle everything – you need to be involved during every step of the way. Recording conversations, asking questions and collecting valuable data will be of paramount importance later on.

The evaluation and appraisal process, in particular, is one that you shouldn’t leave unattended.

Ask questions about the methodology that will be utilized. Figure out which appraiser the insurance agency will be working with and whether they have the experience necessary to do commercial property appraisals after a natural disaster.

How Can You Use Such Information?

Recording conversations and interactions is incredibly important because this information can, later on, be used as evidence. This will be a particularly good idea if you don’t get a favorable decision out of the insurance agency. Take notes and record the names of people you speak to, as well as the date of the conversation and any advice that was given or follow-up needed.

Get started with a claim diary as soon as you find out that your commercial property has been damaged. If you have to discard items before showing them to an adjuster, use pictures, and video. Be sure to explain what the viewer of the image or film will be seeing, particularly noting water levels, floor and wall damage, water level marks, and roof damage.

While you can begin to clean up and make temporary repairs that will prevent further damage, do not make permanent repairs or allow any debris to be hauled away before the insurance adjuster as a chance to inspect it.

Other Transactions and Interactions

If you are a landlord, you will need to communicate with tenants and clients as quickly as possible in the aftermath of the hurricane.

In addition, it’s a good idea to take a look at the agreement that you’ve signed. Standard agreements feature provisions for natural disasters. The agreement should also highlight what happens in the aftermath of a storm and how the two parties involved need to interact with each other.

Further, understanding your legal options should your claim be denied or a lowball settlement is offered is important when it comes to seeking an appraisal or arbitration.

Regardless of the entity that you’re interacting with, documenting the situation will be of paramount importance. In the best-case scenario, you will have recorded conversations, photographs and written statements by experts. While getting organized after a storm may be quite difficult, it is important for recovering and moving on with your business.