Filing a business insurance claim is every bit as stressful as filing a homeowners’ insurance claim. While you may not be coping with the same level of sentimental loss that you would if something happened to your home, you do have added worries about how the incident will affect business and your employees. Some of the most common types of business insurance claims having to do with property damage are water and freeze damage, wind and hail damage, and fire.
The last thing you have time for as a business owner is filling out complicated claim forms.
Since you’re a business owner, it’s a safe bet that you don’t have a lot of spare time in which you can deal with filing a business insurance claim, yet you want to make sure you get the best possible settlement. You may have read your insurance policy, but do you actually know what all the terms mean? The language of insurance policies can be extremely intricate and sometimes confusing.
A public adjuster is someone who specializes in insurance claims. Instead of working for your insurer, as their adjuster does, a public adjuster works on your behalf. He or she knows how to accurately interpret your business insurance policy, get accurate estimates on how much repair will cost, and will negotiate with your insurer on your behalf until the claim has been settled. Their fee is often a percentage of the amount you recover in the settlement. If your business experiences some sort of damage you should ask yourself, “Do I need a public adjuster?” The answer is often yes, and here are 4 reasons why.
1. You Usually Get a Much Better Settlement
Though public adjusters are paid a percentage of your recovery, recoveries are often substantially higher, even after the adjuster’s fee is taken. As a business owner, you probably don’t have time to pore over your insurance policy in minute detail, but that’s what a public adjuster does. He or she is in the business of ensuring you receive the largest settlement possible under your policy.
2. Public Adjusters Are Prepared to Dig Deeper
You may not realize the types of damage you can claim, and that’s just fine with your insurance company. When filing a business insurance claim, a public adjuster (who may have prior experience working for an insurer) knows exactly what types of coverage to look for so you can claim all the damages you are eligible for. A public adjuster may also uncover problems the insurer’s adjuster fails to notice. For example, an insurer may only offer a settlement covering surface-level damage. But a public adjuster will inspect for deeper, structural damage, and knows how to make a claim for that as well.
3. Working with a Public Adjuster Lets You Concentrate on Your Business
With a public adjuster working on your behalf, you can focus on business.
In many cases, business must go on, despite hail damage to the roof. When you hire a public adjuster, you free yourself up to concentrate on running your business rather than having to deal with the details of making an insurance claim.
In some situations, filing a business insurance claim can be personally traumatic. A late night storm that could have caused injuries had it happened during business hours can cause significant personal stress. Ask yourself, “Do I need a public adjuster?” If the incident is upsetting or if dealing with your claim is preventing you from carrying on with business, then the answer is almost certainly “Yes.”
4. Adjusters Can Get Faster Results
You, of course, want to get your claim sorted out so you can put a damaging incident behind you and carry on with business. But insurance companies have been known to drag their feet when dealing with claims. A public adjuster knows the claims processes inside and out and knows what documentation to include when submitting a claim to minimize the chances of it coming back with a request for more information. They understand every step of the claims process, what common hold-ups are, and how to prevent or cope with them.
Filing a business insurance claim is a drain on your time and resources, just when your business needs you more than ever. Today’s business owners are realizing the many benefits of working with an experienced public adjuster, including bigger settlements, less stress, and in-depth knowledge of policies and experience in the details of documenting a claim.
It is important that the public adjuster you work with is properly licensed in your state. Requirements vary, but whatever your state’s requirements, you should screen public adjusters carefully before choosing one. High-pressure sales pitches are a red flag indicating perhaps you should look elsewhere. Ask any public adjuster you consider hiring for references he or she has personally handled over the past few years, and contact those references. It may sound like a lot of trouble, but if you’ve suffered a business loss, you want a capable, experienced adjuster on your side.
If your business has suffered damage and you’re not sure where to start, please drop us a line. We will get back to you promptly and are more than happy to answer your questions.