Poor wiring causes an electrical fire behind the walls, and it brings down your warehouse. A fire starts in the kitchen of your restaurant and the flames reach grease buildup in the vents behind the ovens. A wildfire affects the community where your store is located, and you lose your business.
Fire is a real threat to all kinds of businesses, whether as a result of human error, equipment failure, or natural disasters. Shutting down in the wake of a loss like that can put you out of business for good.
Fortunately, if you have fire insurance coverage for your business, you can file a claim for all the damage so that you can rebuild. Here’s what you need to know about making a fire insurance claim for your business.
#1 You Can Negotiate with the Insurer
The insurer’s offer isn’t necessarily the most you can get. The insurer may be hoping to curtail their own costs, and in some cases, the settlement they offer is a starting point for negotiations. If the amount they offer isn’t enough for you to repair the structure or replace lost inventory and equipment, there are ways to negotiate.
If you don’t believe you’ve been offered a fair settlement, contact an insurance lawyer. Insurance lawyer Virani Law can assist you with filing your claim, communicating with the insurance company, and reviewing the insurer’s offer. It’s their goal to negotiate a higher settlement and make sure your claim covers as much of the costs of your recovery as possible.
#2 You May Have to Coordinate with the Property Owner
If your business doesn’t own the premises, you can face additional hurdles in the recovery process, as the landlord will be going through their own insurance claims process. While you can claim lost inventory, equipment, and business interruption insurance, the structure is out of your hands. It’s a situation that can be both time-consuming and frustrating.
Get in touch with the property owner as soon as possible to learn about their plans for the property. Find out if they plan on rebuilding as is, and do your best to get a timeline.
#3 Business Interruption Insurance Will Help You Reopen
When a business burns down, there’s more to the claim than repairing the structure or replacing lost inventory. Many businesses will be unable to operate if the premises have been damaged or they’ve lost equipment. Without any source of income, they can’t keep up with ongoing costs such as payroll or debt obligations, leading to bankruptcy and the loss of the business.
That’s why many have business interruption insurance, a type of coverage that compensates for lost business income. Business income is your net income (net profit before taxes) and normal operating expenses, such as payroll, that continue even though you are not open.
This can help you keep staff on while you wait for your doors to reopen. It can mean the difference between getting back to business and shutting down for good.