As more and more people get back into our homes and our businesses, many of us will have insurance claims to file.
For our businesses, especially those whose business property sustained damage, one crucial claim will be for business interruption and loss of business income – hopefully most if not all of us have such insurance as part of their general liability coverage.
It’s a good idea generally not to rush insurance claims, and for business interruption and loss of income it’s doubly so. Do reach out to your insurer quickly, but consider assembling a team to help you determine your losses, prepare your comprehensive claim, make all necessary repairs, and coordinate with your insurance adjuster(s). Your team should all be well-versed in dealing with insurance claims, and may include:
All physical damage should be documented and photographed prior to making any repairs. Do this with the guidance of your contractor or construction expert, to ensure that damages undetectable to the eye are documented and included. Your expert can also help with determining the cause of the damage – and if the cause is a covered event under your policy.
Physical damage to covered property is generally sufficient to cause interruption of your business, and should provide you with the most reimbursement under your policy.
Your CPA, with intimate knowledge of your business and your revenue and expense streams, is a crucial team member who will help you document your financial losses due to business interruption. So is your insurance agent, who has an established relationship with your insurer and, together with your construction expert, can help in establishing the merit of your claim. Your attorney will help analyze your coverage and ensure your legal position is sound and protected.
Review your policy thoroughly, together with your CPA, your attorney, and your insurance agent well before you begin to prepare your claim. Make sure you understand your coverage, including locations and causes of loss, your loss calculation methodology, and any exclusions. Identify the strongest arguments you can make for recovery from the insurer, and employ those consistently.
When determining the repairs and restorations you’ll need completed, make these decisions as if you will not be reimbursed. You don’t know how much the insurer will give you for recovery, if anything, nor when you will receive any reimbursement. Once the insurer commits to covering your losses, then you can make more extensive repairs and restorations.
Again, I recommend strongly that you consult with us before making any tax or financial decisions in Ida’s wake. My direct line is 504-586-3051, and my cell is 504-442-3050.
Getting the right decisions implemented effectively is far better than getting something done immediately, which may in hindsight prove to have been less than an optimal decision.
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Until next time –