How to Make Sure Your Business is Properly Insured

How to Make Sure Your Business is Properly Insured

No matter the nature or size of your company, you’ll need business insurance to protect it. There are numerous aspects to consider when looking for a new policy or reviewing your current coverage. Because all companies are unique, their insurance requirements may vary. For instance, a business that sells physical products may require different coverage than one offering services. In this guide, you’ll learn which types of business insurance you’ll need.

For Your Employees: Worker’s Compensation Coverage

In most areas, worker’s compensation insurance is a legal requirement. Worker’s comp provides coverage for medical bills and a portion of lost income for employees who become sick or are hurt on the job. Because worker’s compensation laws may differ depending on where a company is located, it is important to consult a public adjuster or other professional to ensure you’re getting the necessary level of coverage.

For Your Company: General Liability Coverage

A general liability policy protects you and your company from a range of perils, such as injuries, accidents, or allegations of negligence. This type of policy may pay for things such as medical bills, property damage, slander, libel, legal bills, and defective products. While no business owner expects to be sued, in today’s litigious society, it’s a real possibility. The broader your protection, the less open your company is to such situations.

For Your Profession: Errors and Omissions Insurance

Errors and omissions insurance is sometimes known as professional liability or malpractice insurance. This kind of coverage protects you from litigation alleging negligence in the provision of professional services or making omissions or mistakes. Errors and omissions insurance is crucial for service-based businesses, but other companies may need it as well. Mistakes happen, and a professional liability policy may be helpful, even if you don’t believe you’ll ever use it.

For Your Building and Its Contents: Property Insurance

The term “property” has a broad definition, and it may mean different things to different business owners. Therefore, having enough commercial property insurance is a must. An all-risk policy covers almost everything, while named peril policies cover specific risks. Without property insurance, you may find it hard to replace inventory or equipment if it’s damaged or destroyed.

For Executives: Life Insurance

Employee and executive life insurance is a valuable benefit to offer when attempting to lure top talent. Executives and high-level board members are crucial to the successful operation of a business, and these team members may need coverage above and beyond that provided by conventional employee benefit packages. A “key person” insurance policy protects against a crucial employee’s death by providing a benefit amount equivalent to the expected costs and revenue loss associated with finding and training a suitable replacement.

Even if you believe you have enough coverage to meet your workers’ and your own needs, it’s still wise to review your policies at least once per year. This is especially important if you or your company have gone through any major changes. Furthermore, be sure to team up with a licensed agent or public adjuster who has experienced with companies like yours.

Business Owner’s Guide to Getting the Most for Your Property Insurance Claim

Dealing with a disaster recovery for your business is no easy task. Download our Disaster Recovery tips as a resource to help you through the turmoil.

How to Prepare a Thorough Inventory List for a Property Loss

How to Prepare a Thorough Inventory List for a Property Loss

Your home is full of your belongings, many or all of which may need to be replaced if your home is severely damaged. When you’re ready to make an insurance claim, you’re going to need a list of everything that was damaged in your home and that needs to be replaced.

Wait Until It’s Safe to Reenter Your Home

If your home was damaged in a fire or is structurally damaged, wait until the proper authorities have said it is safe for you to go inside your home again to ensure your safety. You need to make sure you can go through the home and take your time to do a complete inventory, and you cannot do that if the home is not structurally sound and you are not safe to enter it yet.

Start in One Room, Work Your Way Around

Be methodical about how you go through the damaged areas and list what needs to be replaced. If the whole home is destroyed, it can take a lot of time to go through and list everything you own.
Start in one room and just focus on one room at a time, listing everything in the room, before you move onto the next one. Mark off areas you’ve completed with tape or post-it notes so you don’t backtrack if you need to take a break and start again later.

Use Technology to Your Advantage

Take photos of the rooms in the home and anything that was damaged. Photos help you prove that everything you listed needs to be replaced and can help the insurance company determine exactly how much to give you so you can replace the items. Plus, they can be used to help you remember everything you need to replace later so you can make sure you have everything you need.

Be Detailed When Possible, Including Serial Numbers

When you’re writing down the list of items to replace, be as detailed as possible with items that are expensive. For clothes, you might want to just list how many of what type of clothing, unless you have expensive designer clothing.

For electronics such as televisions or video game consoles, make sure you list exactly what it is as well as the serial number where possible. The more details you can provide, the easier it is for your insurance company to determine the full value to add to your settlement.

Take the time to follow the tips here to create an inventory of everything that was damaged and needs to be replaced along with the damage to your home. This way, your insurance company knows what is needed to return your home to the way it was before the damage.

If you need assistance with this or any part of your damage claim, contact a public adjuster. They’re going to help you go through the damage to your home to list exactly what needs to be repaired or replaced so you can maximize the settlement you receive.

Successfully Navigating Your Homeowners Insurance Claim

Dealing with a disaster recovery for your home is no easy task. Download Successfully Navigating Your Homeowners Insurance Claim as a resource to help you through the turmoil.

Questions to Ask a Public Adjuster After a Business Property Loss

Questions to Ask a Public Adjuster After a Business Property Loss

If you’re handling a business property damage claim, you’re probably wondering whether to get a public adjuster involved, and at what point to do so. Every claim is different, and public adjusters provide advice and advocacy throughout the process. Read on to learn the answers to some of the most frequent questions about hiring a public adjuster.

I’ve Received an Offer, but I Think It’s Too Low. Do I Still Need a Public Adjuster?

It’s quite common for business owners to attempt to handle their own property damage claims, particularly if it’s happened for the first time. However, by hiring a public adjuster, you’ll get the benefit of their knowledge and experience, and you’re more likely to get the settlement you need and deserve. Your public adjuster will:

  • Valuate your losses
  • Review policy documents to find every applicable type of coverage
  • Pass the claim to your insurer
  • Negotiate on your behalf
  • Settle your claim quickly for the highest possible amount

Is It Necessary to Hire Legal Counsel?

Public adjusters are skilled in assessing the total value and scope of business interruption, property damage, and other economic losses. When claimants work with lawyers, it’s quite common for firms to turn to public adjusters for their skills and expertise. If the insurer disputes your settlement amount, a public adjuster can do everything necessary to protect your interests. Most business property damage claims can be settled without hiring an attorney, saving you time, frustration, and money.

Can a Contractor Help Me Settle My Claim?

While construction companies and contractors are an integral part of recovery after a severe loss, they can’t help you settle an insurance claim. They’re great at returning your property to its previous condition, but they lack the experience necessary to file an insurance claim. If the contractor tries to handle your claim, they may face felony charges for their unauthorized public adjusting. To be safe, hire a public adjuster who’s licensed to work on your behalf.

My Insurer Assigned an Adjuster to the Claim; Why Can’t I Count on Them?

There’s a big difference between public adjusters and those working for insurers. Public adjusters work on policyholders’ behalf to settle claims for the highest possible amount, while insurance company adjusters work to minimize payouts. When your insurer assigns an adjuster to your claim, that person will look out for the company’s interests, not yours.

My Claim Was Settled and I Was Paid, but I’m Still Having Problems. Can I Still Hire a Public Adjuster?

In many cases, supplemental damage claims may be filed for things like hidden damage. By hiring a public adjuster early on, you’ll find it easier to identify problem areas and modify your claim accordingly. As long as you haven’t signed a release, it’s not too late to hire a public adjuster.

Closing Thoughts

As an insurance policyholder, it’s your job to prove to your insurer that you’re owed money for your losses. When you work with a public adjuster, you’ll have a skilled professional protecting your rights and interests at every point in the claims process.

How to Boost Your Odds on Maximizing a Residential Insurance Claim

How to Boost Your Odds on Maximizing a Residential Insurance Claim

Your property has been damaged and you need to file a claim for compensation. According to your policy, you should be covered for the damages, but that doesn’t mean your claim will be approved or that you’ll receive the full amount needed to repair the damages. There are a few things you can do to boost your odds of maximizing your settlement.

Build a Collection of Evidence

You need clear evidence of the damages your property suffered to show what happened and what needs to be repaired or replaced. The more detailed your evidence, the more likely it is you’ll receive the full settlement you need.

Take as many photos of the damage as possible, including photos from multiple angles where possible. List out all of the damages, including exactly what was damaged, what is needed to repair or replace it, and how much it’s going to cost to repair or replace it.

Get Estimates from Professionals

Obtain professional estimates for the damages to your property and what will need to be done to fully restore the property to the way it was before the damages occurred. Professional estimates show exactly what was damaged and exactly how much you’ll need to repair your property so the insurance company cannot try to offer you a lower amount of money. This will help minimize the chance you’ll need to cover anything out of pocket. It also gives you the chance to see exactly what you need so you can compare it with any settlement you’re offered.

Keep Up with the Claim

Follow up on your claim. Just because you’ve filed a claim doesn’t mean you can sit back and wait. You’ll want to make sure you keep in touch with the insurance company to see how your claim is being processed and to ensure you remain up to date about what’s happening. If you are denied coverage or offered a settlement amount that’s far too low, do not just accept this. Instead, learn what you can do to appeal the denial or to request a higher settlement amount.

Know Your Rights

You have certain rights when it comes to filing a claim and to obtaining a settlement. Read through your claim and learn about local laws that can dictate the amount you can receive as well as other details of obtaining a settlement. This could come in handy and help you obtain the maximum amount as quickly as possible. The more you know, the easier it is for you to make sure you receive the settlement you deserve.

Get Help When You Need It

Even if you originally file the claim on your own, you may reach a point where you need help. Public adjusters are there to help you through the claims process and are going to try to maximize the settlement you obtain from the insurance company. They are not the adjusters who work for the insurance company. They work for you and will try to help you get as much money as possible for your claim. Working with a public adjuster can help you significantly boost the settlement you obtain.

Five Tips to Limit Your Risk During Hurricane Florence

Five Tips to Limit Your Risk During Hurricane Florence

As Hurricane Florence approaches, here are five important tips to get you prepared for this or any hurricane that threatens to make landfall.

Protect Your Property

Hurricane-force winds turn unsecured property into missiles. If you’re on or near Hurricane Florence’s projected path, take the following steps to protect your property, family and neighbors:

  • Clear trees on your property of broken or weak limbs.
  • Bring lawn furniture, grills, toys, plant stands, bird feeders, etc. inside
  • Board up your windows
  • Secure your valuables
  • Evacuate when recommended by your local authorities.
  • Make a video of your property, home and possessions; store it in the cloud
  • Back up important electronic data and files

Pack a Go Bag

A hurricane can change direction, spawn tornados, create flash flooding, and worse. Having each member of your household pack a Go Bag is one way to know you can evacuate on short notice and still have the critical things you’ll need. Include:

  • Identification and/or driver’s license
  • Phone, with a wall and car charger
  • Cash and credit/debit cards
  • Health insurance ID cards
  • Important documents, including your property insurance policies
  • Water
  • Shelf-stable food
  • Clothing and other personal items, including needed medications
  • Gas cans, which NEVER should be transported in the cabin of a vehicle.
  • Comfort items for children
  • Pet supplies

Prepare an Emergency Kit

Risk exposures skyrocket with a hurricane. A minor injury literally can become life threatening. Think through the circumstance you might face — wind, water, debris, restricted travel, shortages, power outage — and gather what you might need, such as:

  • First aid kit
  • Heavy-duty, waterproof boots and rain gear
  • Blankets
  • Flashlight/batteries
  • Extra food and water

Plan for Communication Outages

Having a communication plan in place with your family, friends and co-workers is a great way to defend against power outages, damaged phones, etc. The most comprehensive communication plans include:

  • Making sure everyone is connected to the same social media site, and knows to look there for important information from one another.
  • Downloading apps in advance and getting familiar with useful information resources.
  • Writing a physical list of cell and landline phone numbers
  • Incorporating additional communication devices, should phone and internet service be unavailable: satellite phone, two-way radio, CB radio, HAM radio, police scanner, and more.
  • Know What You and Your Family Will Do

    Putting a plan in place — and practicing it before disaster strikes — is the best way to safeguard your loved ones. Some key pieces of your response plan should include:

    • Where you will meet. Identify in advance where you will meet up, should you be separated. A good rule of thumb is to identify one place in town, one place out of town, and one place out of state, each with multiple routes leading there.
    • How you will communicate. Rank your communication devices in order of importance. Identify a social media site to use if phone service isn’t available. Know what you will do if you are separated and unable to communicate.
    • All evacuation routes. Hurricane Florence is likely to take out her share of roads. Knowing multiple routes to your destination lets you react quickly, if the main road is closed or too congested.

    A Public Adjuster Can Help Resolve Your Property Insurance Claim In The Aftermath Of Hurricane Florence