If a hailstorm has recently swept through your area, it is important for you to contact the insurance company that provides coverage for your business. In many cases, hail damage to the roof is subtle and may not be visible to the untrained eye, but an insurance adjuster will be able to spot the damage and any potential problems. If there is hail damage, your insurance agent will help you file a claim so that your building can be repaired.
When to Call the Insurance Company
If the hailstorm was very minor and there is not significant damage in your area, then your business may not have suffered any harm. However, if the hail was large or heavy enough to break branches, dent screens or mark air conditioners, then you should probably give your insurance company a call. In many cases, roofs that have been damaged by hail will look as though they are fine, but the subtle damage that some hail may cause could lead to leaks a few years after the storm has hit. An adjuster will be able to examine your business’s roof to determine if it was damaged, which will allow you to get repairs done before it affects your business’s income.
Notifying the Insurance Company
Most insurance companies will allow you to simply call your agent or representative in order to start filing your claim. However, it is important that you make this call as soon as possible after the storm so that your insurance plan will cover the damage. If you wait too long, your insurance company may not support your claim, which could leave you paying for the damage that your business sustained during the hailstorm.
The Adjuster’s Visit
Once you file a claim for hail damage, your insurance company will send an adjuster to inspect your building. Since it may be a few days before the adjuster can view your property, you may need to make slight repairs to any windows or doors that were damaged by the hail. It may be helpful to take pictures of the damage that you can see, especially if you have to repair it before the insurance adjuster can see it. The adjuster will be able to identify the different areas of your building that were damaged by hail, including the roof, windows and outdoor structures, and he will ask you to get an estimate for repairs. Make sure that you keep all of the paperwork, receipts and other pertinent information regarding repairs in a safe place throughout the process so that you can verify your insurance claim. Once the adjuster has verified that your claim will be covered by your insurance policy, you should get at least two bids for repairing the hail damage.
Filing a Business Interruption Claim
If the hail damage is so severe that you will need to shut down your business, you should file a business interruption claim. In order to do so, you should be able to provide proof of the income that your business was earning before the hail damage occurred, and you should keep detailed records about the expenses that you incur while you are waiting for your business to reopen. If you have moved to a temporary location, you should also keep records of those extra expenditures. These files will help the insurance agency make a fair payment so that your business does not suffer even more losses from hail damage.
Your business doesn’t have to take a hit just because a hailstorm swept through the area. With help from your insurance company, you can make the necessary repairs so that your business is back up and running smoothly as soon as possible.
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.
Photo sourced from crh.noaa.gov