Water damage can be particularly devastating to a business. It interrupts the normal conduct of business and, in not taken care of, can have long lasting effects. A building’s health also conveys a particular impression on clientele. They will judge a business’s viability on the appearance, odor and first impression they have when visiting its facility. When a disaster strikes, such as a bad storm, hurricane or failure of internal mechanical systems, it can pose difficulties that can be unsurmountable for a business. Business owners need to address the damage as quickly and efficiently as possible. Not doing so can have dire results that impact the business over the long term.
When a disaster occurs, business owners should consider making one phone call before they call their insurance company – to a public adjuster. Public adjusters are advocates for the insured entity and work directly with the insurance company. Often, they are able to negotiate higher settlements than the insured would be able to receive. Actually, there are several types of adjusters.Public adjusters work for a state’s department of insurance. The other two types of adjusters are staff adjusters who are employed by the insurance company and independent adjusters who are contractors hired by insurance companies. Most public adjusterswork for a small percentage of the claim settlement. A few work for a flat fee. This can be negotiated when the business owner makes the initial contact to discuss their situation.
When a claim is made, an insurance company will send out their adjuster to make an assessment of the damage and make recommendations about a settlement with the client. By bringing in a public insurance adjuster, the client is bringing in an independent body to also make an assessment, offer recommendations and negotiate the final settlement. Public adjusters are familiar with the insurance companies’ operations and understand the requirements needed to recover from a damaging event. As mentioned, they are often able to negotiate a higher settlement than the business owner would be able to do on their own.
One note about water damage, the available coverage varies with each policy. Most often, policies do cover water damage from storm damage. They often do not cover damage from negligence or flooding. Businesses that are located in flood prone areas should consider investing in the National Flood Insurance Program for additional protection. Business owners should regularly review their policy and talk with their agent to determine whether additional coverage is needed.
Water damage can have a devastating impact on a business but business owners need to act quickly when it occurs. Of course, their insurance provider will need to be contacted so that the business can resume operation as quickly as possible. However, business owners need to consider contacting their state’s department of insurance to retain a public adjuster. It makes good business economic sense.