After Superstorm Sandy struck the Northeast with force, many businesses were significantly affected by the storm due to flood damage, property damages, power outages, economic losses for lost business, and business interruption expenses. For business owners who were affected by Superstorm Sandy, they understand why the media has nicknamed the storm the “Frankenstorm.”
Although the storm damage was worse farther up north, it still impacted business owners in Washington DC. Most damage done to the nation’s capitol during the storm was caused from heavy rains and strong winds, sending trees crashing into the ground or onto buildings and causing loss of power. At times, wind gusts topped 75 mph and about 500,000 residences and businesses were without power following the storm.
Even the federal government was shut down for a couple of days and the city’s metro system was closed for passengers until damage was assessed.
If Your Washington D.C. Business Was Impacted by Hurricane Sandy, Read These Pointers When Preparing Your Commercial Insurance Claim
When preparing your Sandy insurance claim, make sure you read and understand your insurance policy and contact your insurance company according to your policy’s instructions. Most insurance companies will want you to send documentation of your damages or losses in writing in a specified time frame following the damage. During this process, take photographs of damaged items and property, document your correspondence with the insurance company, and keep any receipts for expenses you had to pay out-of-pocket that were related to the storm.
Additionally, beware of how you talk with the insurance company about your business damages. Understand that your insurance company may not be on your side, even if the adjustor sounds sympathetic to your situation. Insurance companies are in the business to make money and many people have discovered that the hard way after having their own words used to deny or diminish their claims.
Even though your insurance company will look towards your insurance policy and your scope of coverage to determine what they will pay you on your claim, it may be surprising. Sometimes not everything will be covered due to the actual cash value versus the replacement cost formula and depreciation. In addition, sometimes, insurance companies try to get away with making you a low first offer after undervaluing your claim. This is why you should consider getting your own estimates and negotiating with the insurer to receive a higher claim payout.
Attention needs to be given to a commercial insurance claim from day one. In order to make sure you are receiving the correct claim settlement from the insurance company, it is wise to have an insurance claim attorney on your side to review and understand your insurance policy. Also, an insurance attorney will be able to negotiate on your behalf to get you a higher settlement. Call a first-party insurance litigation lawyer at the Voss Law Firm at 888-614-7730 today for a free consultation and a free copy of our book Commercial Property Owners Must Read This BEFORE Filing an Insurance Claim.