Unfortunately, we again write while wildfire is devouring homes and businesses in Napa and Sonoma, and threatening many more. We’ve previously posted tips about first steps that you should take in the event your business has suffered a fire loss. We want to provide this refresher, as prompt action is important to preserve your business’ rights under its insurance policies and to maximize its ultimate insurance recovery. If your business has sustained a fire loss, below are steps for you to take in working with your insurers to ensure that you receive the maximum benefits under any applicable insurance policies.
Step 1 – Locate Insurance Policies
It is very important that you understand the coverages provided by your insurance policies, so it is critical to have complete copies of your policies.
Step 2 – Contact Your Insurer
You should contact your broker or agent and let them know the details of your specific situation. They are there to help you. If you don’t have a broker or agent, contact your insurer directly.
Step 3 – Documenting Your Loss
Make notes and lists as you remember property that was lost.
Know When to Get Professional Help
For large or complicated claims, consider getting professional legal advice sooner rather than later. It is almost always cheaper and quicker to get professional help before the claims process hits difficulties than wait until complications arise. This is particularly true for claims with a business interruption component. You may also need to seek guidance as to whether your insurance company is properly meeting its obligations and what your remedies might be if it is not.