Small business owners usually find their commercial insurance solution in a business owners policy (BOP). It’s designed to provide several critical benefits that are essential to businesses’ security and financial stability. One component of coverage offered by your BOP is property insurance, which covers unexpected damage to physical assets.
If a storm occurs, then you might face significant property damage. However, you might be able to file a claim against your BOP’s property coverage for such losses. Here’s how it works.
Because storm damage is often unexpected and unpreventable, your BOP’s property coverage will pay for the necessary repairs or replacements. After all, severe storms, though predictable, are always going to differ in intensity. They might arise very quickly and you might have little time to prepare for them. Therefore, the extent of property damage is often a game of chance.
As a result, your BOP should offer appropriate coverage to pay for damage to both structures owned by the business and items housed within them. Still, it’s important to understand when coverage will apply to equipment damaged due to the storm.
Equipment damage is not uncommon when storms strike. Physical damage might occur if the structure sustains damage during the storm and the equipment inside gets damaged. Damage might also occur if lightning strikes your business, causing a power surge or massive fire. Under the circumstances, since the storm triggered the damage, your policy will cover you.
However, were the damage to arise from normal wear & tear or neglect, then your policy won’t cover you. Sometimes, if you have equipment that was particularly neglected, and the storm simply caused existing damage to get worse, then your insurer might not cover the damage.
Filing a Claim for Property Damage
After your business sustains property damage, immediately contact your insurer. Property damage claims often skyrocket in communities impacted by storm damage. Therefore, the earlier you submit your claim, the more likely you are to have an easy settlement process.
Until instructed by your insurer, avoid cleaning up damage unless you have damage that is a clear and present danger to the rest of your property or to other people. In some cases, your insurer will send a claims adjuster to your location to document the extent of the damage. In others, you might be asked to submit photos and/or written documentation to support your claim yourself.
Either way, you will have to provide evidence to support both the extent of the equipment damage, and the value lost. This will help the insurer determine whether they will pay to repair the damage, or to replace damaged items altogether.
Be sure your policy always represents the true value of the equipment you wish to insure. It can make a big difference in the long term when it comes to protecting your business operations.