How to File a Property Damage Claim

Your insurance policy lists the steps you must take if your business is hit with a fire, accident, or theft. But the following tips will make it easier for you to go through the claims process.

  1. When a fire, accident, or theft occurs, call your agent or company at once. Report any burglary or theft to the police.
  2. Take steps to protect your property from further damage.
  3. If you need immediate repairs, save the damaged parts. The claims adjuster may be interested in examining them. If saving them isn't practical, call the claims manager at your company's nearest regional office. Together you can work out an alternative solution.
  4. Get at least two bids for repairs. This will speed the processing of your claim. Get estimates on the cost to repair or replace the damaged property. Bids should include:
    • A list of parts that have to be replaced and the reason for replacing them;
    • Straight time labor costs;
    • Overtime labor costs. Don't forget to include any costs you or your employees incur while repairs are being made.
  5. If you are filing a business interruption claim, you will have to show how much business you carried on, both before and after the loss. Keep detailed records of your business activity and extra expenses during the interruption period. Keep current copies of these records off the business premises so they won't be destroyed by fire. Do everything you can to minimize the amount of loss.
  6. If you need help, call your agent or your company's claims department.

Unless all of the terms set out in the policy have been fully complied with, you might not be able to collect from the insurance company.