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How to Reduce Business Downtime During a Claim!

Commercial Property

Speed is critical when you have suffered Water, Fire / Smoke, or other damage to your business / commercial property. Delays cause your business additional expense at a time when you are often already suffering financially. This additional expense is often a result of secondary damage or further damage to your property if the proper steps are not taken immediately to mitigate or prevent this additional damage. As well Disaster Blaster recognizes that each day you are out of business you’re losing money and, more importantly, that your business risks losing customers to the competition during the time you remain closed. Despite these facts, it has been our experience that most businesses have no plan in place in the event they should suffer a property loss.

Many businesses believe that because they have insurance that they do not need a plan; that all they need to do is call the insurance company and they will take care of them. In fact the insurance company policy only indemnifies the business should it suffer a loss and is only responsibly to reimburse the business for reasonable expenses should it suffer a covered loss. Responsibility for the selection of qualified contractors and documentation of the damages sustained and associated expenses become the business owner’s responsibility. This becomes even more important when you consider that it is not unusual in today’s financial environment for the insurance company to handle your claim strictly by phone and never send a claim representative out to inspect the damages. Even in cases where the insurance company has initially sent an adjuster to inspect your damages, in most property claims there will be hidden damages that the adjuster was unable to see that will need to be addressed by the business owner.

Businesses also need to consider the fact that the insurance policy requires the business to take reasonable action to mitigate or reduce the amount of the damages to the property or the amount of the claim against the insurance company. This clause places the responsibility on the business to take immediate action to reduce or prevent further damages to the property. It is therefore not the responsibility of the insurance company as many may believe. This insurance policy provision can require the business to do such things as begin to dry out a building from a water damage loss to prevent further water damage or mold damage, tarp a leaking or damaged roof to prevent further interior damage, board up windows and doors destroyed in a fire to protect from weather and vandalism, etc. at the business owner’s initial authorization and expense. Failure to take these actions can result in the insurance company denying payment of any additional damage that may have occurred as a result of this failure. We have seen insurance companies make these denials.

So what should you do? After a property loss occurs things can be quite hectic and disorganized and as a result, this is not the optimal time to have to make what are important and critical decisions with regards to your business. Prepare ahead of time. Have in place a plan to handle your needs should a property damage loss occur.

We recommend that you partner with a qualified full service vendor that has the experience and expertise to handle your business property loss from beginning to end and also has the Insurance Claims background and contacts within the Insurance Industry to expedite your claim. This partnership aids to streamline the handling of your property loss by establishing relationships and agreements ahead of time.

If you partner with us, here is what you can expect:

1. We will work with you to establish an individualized plan that is made to your business and the unique needs of your business. Recognizing that no business is the same; we will not put together a template plan.

2. We will work with you, your insurance agent and your insurance company before you have a property loss so that they are aware of and accept our involvement ahead of time.

3. We will be available 24 hours per day, 365 days per year, in the event you have a property loss that needs immediate response.

4. Should you experience a business property loss, we will work with you to limit the impact of the work required on the day-to-day operations of your business.

5. We use estimating software and related pricing accepted and used by the Insurance Industry to provide proposals. This streamlines and speeds up approval from the insurance company.

6. We provide documentation including photos of the damage to support your claim.

7. We will work as your advocate with your insurance company to help both you stay in business, and to get your claim settled.

Contact your local Disaster Blaster office and ask to become a Business Partner. Don’t wait.

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