Within moments, a fire can engulf your property and interrupt your business indefinitely. As you concentrate on the safety of all occupants and how to stay in business, you will also need the time to prepare a thorough insurance claim covering your loss.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, business owners and organizations suffer $2.3 billion in commercial and industrial property losses each year.
Fire claims are especially complex for the different types of damage they cause, all of which have to be documented and proven to your insurance company. For example, fire can create serious damage from smoke, burning residue, and corrosive substances released in the flames. There can also be substantial water damage from the effort to extinguish the blaze. In the aftermath, your property and valuables may be exposed to the elements and become more damaged if not addressed immediately. As the policyholder, it is your responsibility to minimize the damage while you focus on keeping your business running. Do you also have the time to handle your insurance claim?
Your insurance company may present an offer they think is sufficient based on their own damage assessment. Our public adjusters work only for your interests to evaluate, document, and prove the full scope of loss and negotiate your claim for the maximum amount.
Make sure you fully understand the meaning of each of the following before you move forward. Feel free to reach out to us for a no-cost discussion about your claim.
What is my agent/broker’s role?
The insurance company hired a construction estimator. What do I need to know?
Why is a claim strategy so important?
Am I impacted by coinsurance?
Can smoke damage be removed/neutralized?
How can you identify/document items that are totally destroyed?
Your insurance company pays less if you clean/restore as much of your equipment and improvements as possible. Is that a good idea?
How do the smoke and the water used to fight the fire affect your machinery? Your computers, equipment, and other electronics?
If water used in suppressing the fire causes mold and fungus, is the ensuing damage covered?
Asbestos, lead, and other hazardous materials can have a major impact on your claim. Are you aware of how to properly address these in order to prepare your claim and to avoid future liability issues? Hazardous materials such as asbestos and lead can be expensive to address. You want to make sure to not cut corners when addressing this issue. You want to make sure to not cut corners when addressing this issue.
Code Upgrade coverage is very important when rebuilding after a fire. How does your insurance policy address code coverage? Also, what about any Green building upgrades? Checking the correct building codes before you prepare your claim is critical.
What happens when the insurance company engages a forensic accountant? What is his/her role? Why can’t your accountant just prepare your claim? You will have to produce your financial statements and possibly your tax return. You may need to recast your financial statements? If so, why? What are extra expenses? What can be included?
What are expediting expenses? How do they differ from extra expenses?
How much of my time will this take?
What is pressurized smoke?
Property Damage Losses Commercial Claims Recovery Process
Life & Safety Issues
Mitigation of Damages
Establish A Preliminary Recovery Plan
Evaluation of Coverages
Valuation Of Damages, Claim Preparation, and Documentation
It has been almost a year since the fire which completely destroyed one of our processing plants. ...I had no idea that the documentation of our claim would become as extensive as it did. Your staff worked tirelessly to quantify the claim. I am convinced that every possible element of our loss was maximized to the extent provided for in our coverage. ...You and your staff are true professionals, and the quality and detail of your work is very impressive.
For decades, L’Auberge Chez François has been one of the leading restaurants in the metro Washington, D.C., area. Known for its exceptional French cuisine and impressive service, the restaurant is a longtime favorite of Washingtonians celebrating anniversaries, birthdays or other special occasions.
Our construction team had little experience related to fire restoration and [your] experience and knowledge helped to save time and money. Thanks in part to [your] guidance, we were able to open the remainder of Santana Row on November 7, 2002, less than three months after the devastating fire. ...With [you] at the property, our development, marketing, and operations personnel were able to use [you] as the 'go-to' person with any questions relating to the fire insurance claim. This allowed our staff to focus on getting the project open and operating, rather than worry about the insurance claim. ... Finally, [you were] an enormous resource and advocate in our claim with the insurance company. [Your] vast experience, advice, and daily commitment were extremely valuable in our effort to finalize the insurance claim for Federal Realty Investment Trust. Without [your team], I am confident we would not have been able to resolve this $125 million plus negotiation in less than 14 months, an enormously fast timetable for a claim of this size.
A fire destroyed a three-story addition to a hotel in El Centro, California. The construction project was framed, with electrical and plumbing fixtures in place, and the roof stacked. The fire also damaged the client’s two adjacent hotel properties.