Is there an impact on your business continuity or property damage as a result
of the storm? Companies up and down the East Coast are assessing damages as a
result of Hurricane Irene, and the actions you take now can have lasting
implications. Experience shows these are key steps to take when facing storm
- Immediately report the loss to agent/broker or insurer as may be required by the policy.
- Take steps to mitigate further damage. Under the terms of most policies,
immediate repairs to keep the business operational and safe can (and should)
be made without the insurer’s approval.
- Get damage estimates as quickly as possible, preferably from more than
- Digital cameras are the best way to document the damage. A picture is
worth a thousand words when submitting a claim.
- Read your insurance policy carefully. Remember that the insurer will
have a tendency to treat the contract language quite literally. Try to
formulate the claim in categories the insurer will find natural and
plausible given the language of the contract.
- Before incurring an extra expense, although generally not a policy
requirement, ask the adjuster for pre-approval. Examples of extra expenses
include the purchase of a generator to continue to operate because of a
power interruption, machinery rental to replace damaged machinery, rental of
temporary office space during repairs, wage expenses (e.g., overtime),
express freight charges for inventory replacement, or increased advertising
expenses to attract customers that may have been lost during downtime.
- If your claim will involve loss of income or business interruption,
consider using a forensic accountant to help calculate and prepare the
claim. Policies with business interruption coverage often include coverage
for professional fees incurred in preparing claims.
- Request partial payments.
McGuireWoods LLP Insurance Coverage Team represents policyholders in
insurance disputes across the country. We also advise clients on risk management
and insurance strategies. For more information on how we work with policyholders
to protect their rights and maximize recoveries, click