What to do after a catastrophic event

June 21, 2018
Recovery

Our commercial properties or businesses can be negatively impacted by many events, including natural disasters such as hurricanes or earthquakes. As a result of such an event, both the structure of the property and the equipment you use to run it can be destroyed or severely damaged, and that, in turn, affects your business’s operations and finances. Below, we offer some recommendations that will help make the process of preparing and presenting your insurance claim easier.

  1. Consult the experts. Contact your insurer whenever necessary and verify that your risk exposures are adequately covered under your insurance policy. If you have purchased property or new equipment for operating your business, let your insurer know so it can be added in the coverage amount of your policy or policies.
  1. Take photographs and videos of your property before the event, if possible. This will allow the insurance company to see the condition your property was in before the loss.
  1. Report your loss. Immediately report the loss directly to your insurance company.
  1. After the event, document the damage your property suffered with photographs and videos. These images will allow the insurance company to see the magnitude of the damage.
  1. Prepare an inventory of the damaged or destroyed property. As soon as possible, make a list or inventory with the description of the property or equipment, degree of damage or loss, real cash value, and dollar amount claimed. With your inventory, include estimates of the repairs or replacement costs of the affected property or equipment. You should attach all the invoices, receipts, and related documents that justify the inventory’s numbers.
  1. Document the costs and expenses related to the loss. You should prepare a list of the expenses you have incurred to protect the property from additional damage, and keep all related evidence.
  1. Consult the experts. If you have questions about the preparation or presentation of your claim, contact your insurer. You might also consider hiring an independent adjuster to assist you in the process.
  1. File your claim with the insurance company. Provide the list or inventory with its detailed description of the damage; attach the estimates for repair or replacement, the invoices, and any other document supporting the amounts claimed, and also the photographs and/or videos of the damage to your property. That way, the insurance company will be in a position to evaluate your claim and coordinate an inspection of the damage. Keep a copy of all the documentation you’ve provided.

If you need assistance in designing or reviewing your insurance program and insuring your commercial properties against the next catastrophic event, call Popular Risk Services1 at 787-731-6900.

1Popular Risk Services is an insurance producer duly authorized by the Office of the Insurance Commissioner to provide life, disability, property and contingency, title, health, and variable insurance in Puerto Rico. Insurance products are not deposits, they are not insured by the FDIC or any other federal government agency, they are not guaranteed by the Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, its subsidiaries and/or affiliates, and they may lose value. Popular Risk Services is a subsidiary of Popular, Inc., and an affiliate of the Banco Popular.

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