If your business has been interrupted by a disaster, the burden of analyzing the damage and proving your claim to the insurance carrier may ultimately affect the long-term ability of the business to fully recover.
Whether you suffer an insured loss to a shopping center, manufacturing facility, hospital, or any other commercial property, business owners and their respective risk managers need to understand that each insurance claim is unique and fact specific. The insured also needs to have an appreciation for how the claim will need to be presented to the insurance company in order for the business to recover in a timely manner. This is where a public adjusters understanding of the claims process can be of great assistance.
As the owner of a business, your ultimate goal should be to avoid the time consuming tasks required from these sometimes complicated claims so you can tend to your normal daily operations. Accordingly, it would not be wise for a business professional, who is educated in any field other than property insurance, to attempt to learn the technicalities and procedures of how to prove a business interruption or property claim. Because the burden of proving such damages ultimately falls on the insured business owner, it will undoubtedly be in that person’s best interest to retain a professional public adjusting firm who has extensive knowledge and experience in dealing in that area and who can ultimately prove your fact specific claim.
Additional challenges a business owner may be faced with are the damages to the building structure or facility. In order for an insurance carrier to understand what property belongs to whom, the grueling task of separating out the furniture, fixtures, improvements, machinery, and equipment will need to be calculated with the utmost precision.
For retail establishments, an intense knowledge of the policy coverage and how it will apply to the disruption of the marketability of seasonal items is extremely vital in maximizing your financial recovery. Detailed inventories of the damaged property items will have to be assessed by their value and severity of loss on an actual cash value or replacement cost basis. Therefore, knowing how to calculate and negotiate the depreciated value of those items is critical, as those calculations will drastically affect the final payment of the insurance claim.
Industrial and manufacturing losses are very unique in nature, as forecasts of production, sales value of the goods, and an actual or hypothetical report of the costs of doing business, must be assembled to substantiate the business interruption claim. They may involve heavy damage to machinery and equipment as well as to the finished inventory in storage or goods-in-process. Consequently, an analysis of all damages must include a cost evaluation of the inventory and the supporting documentation relating to the past and current pricing of materials, labor, overhead, and the identification of the specific cost components of the goods-in-process.
Tutwiler & Associates has the professional expertise to assess these complex issues and is ready to help you navigate your way back into business.