Catastrophes and your business

Preparing now can help you and your business weather any storm. Have you given any thought to what you would do if the worst-case scenario affected your business? Before anything happens, we can discuss all the business insurance coverages available to you before you need them.

A typical commercial property policy covers events such as fire, windstorm and tornado. Unfortunately, if flood is covered on a separate National Flood Insurance Policy, neither your extra expenses nor business interruption will be covered, as NFIP flood policies do not provide this coverage, and flood is not covered under a typical business owners policy.

Here are some helpful tips that will make a catastrophic experience less stressful:

  • Your safety is important. Do not return to your business until authorities have signaled the all clear.
  • When you approach the business, look for unsafe conditions
  • (e.g., downed power lines; the smell of natural gas; and unstable structural conditions).

  • If it is safe to proceed, proactively shut off the utilities (e.g., electricity, natural gas and water) before inspecting the damage.
  • Do not drink tap water until you know it is safe to drink. While you are surveying the damage to your business, take copious pictures and make any temporary repairs necessary to make your business safe.

Once you’ve noted any damage to your business, give us a call. We can remind you of the insurance coverages you have to help you. Some of these will include:

  • Business-interruption insurance—which will cover any losses due to your business’s inability to function;
  • Extra-expense coverage—which will pay for the additional expense you incur to resume your business operations at another location; and
  • Business-income coverage—which will pay your continuing expenses and enough income to place you in the same financial position had you not incurred the property damage).

Once you’ve filed a claim, an adjuster will arrive to assess the damage. He or she will attempt to determine the cause of damage. Next, the adjuster will itemize the damaged property. You will want to make sure nothing is overlooked. The placement of values on the damaged property will not occur at this time. Appraisals, repair estimates and inventories will be obtained later to establish values.

We will be with you every step of the way. If you have questions, give us a call. We’ll be happy to help.

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