SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Running a business carries a substantial amount of risk. In the event of a disaster, it pays to be prepared – and simply having insurance often isn’t enough.
Consider these statistics:
- 75 percent of U.S. businesses are underinsured
- 40 percent of businesses fail to reopen after a fire or other disaster, as estimated by the Small Business Administration
- Of those businesses that do reopen, 25 percent close their doors within the first year after the event
In many cases, these business owners erroneously believe that their coverage is adequate. This discrepancy could mean the difference of thousands or even millions of dollars when it comes time to recoup a settlement. And the worst time to discover this gap in coverage is right after a catastrophic loss.
But there are steps you can take today to make sure your business can recover successfully from a disaster.
Step 1: Check your insurance policy.
It is important to ensure that you have enough insurance for both your property and for your business.
- Your property insurance should cover the cost of replacing or repairing damaged property, which includes your buildings, contents, machinery, equipment and stock. It is critical to record every piece of property at your business location and perform a thorough inventory to assess the true value of your business prior to obtaining this policy.
- Business income insurance will pay you the cost of continuing your business, providing your company with a way of paying critical expenses like utilities, rent and salaries while it is recovering after a disaster.
The key to avoiding a financial catastrophe in the event of a loss is knowing what is in your insurance policy and understanding what it means. Often, the intricacies of a policy contain details that could have an outsize impact after a disaster.
Step 2: Build a trusted team of advisors.
Before purchasing a policy, it’s best practice to consult with a trusted team of insurance advisors, including your attorney, accountant, insurance broker, and public adjuster.
Most businesses already have attorneys, accountants, and insurance brokers, but public adjusters play a key role as well. As experts who specialize in dealing with insurance losses and post-disaster recovery, their experience allows them to analyze your policy to identify pitfalls in your coverage ahead of time. While public adjusters are underutilized prior to disasters, a consultation on the front end is always well worth it down the road.
Each expert on your team brings a unique perspective on what is best for your business based on their area of expertise.
Step 3: Know who to call.
You will want to have your post-disaster recovery team already in place so that they are ready to spring into action immediately following the event. These advisors, who should include the same experts who helped you previously, will advise you and advocate for your best interests.
Even if you’ve taken all the prudent steps to protect your business with an updated policy and additional coverages, the insurance company is going to protect its bottom line by limiting its financial obligations whenever possible. As a post-disaster recovery expert, your public adjuster is uniquely suited to dealing with your insurance company and can guide you safely through the minefield of adjustments.
When disaster strikes, it pays to be prepared.
Inadequate insurance is all too common, and it is a mistake that can put you out of business when misfortune falls. To protect your company, take control of your insurance situation. Mitigate future risk by sitting down with a trusted advisor and reviewing your policy to identify areas where you need to add or adjust coverage.
Take the steps now to plan for the worst and facilitate the recovery of your business. With proper insurance and your expert team by your side, it will go a lot more smoothly.
About The Greenspan Co./Adjusters International
Founded in 1946, The Greenspan Co./Adjusters International is the leading public adjusting firm on the West Coast, serving both commercial properties and homeowners. With more than 75 years of experience fighting for our clients, Greenspan Adjusters has the expertise and track record necessary to prepare, present and negotiate insurance claims to ensure you receive what you are entitled to. And as insurance professionals who represent the interests of our clients – not the insurance company – Greenspan’s public adjusters can save you time and lower your stress as we negotiate the settlement you deserve. For more information about how a public adjuster can make your life easier after a loss, visit www.greenspanai.com.