It can be hard to know what to do first after your business is damaged by fire. You may feel like there are too many things to do, or that there is nothing that you can do, or you might even feel both feelings simultaneously. No matter what it is that you are feeling, it is likely to be a very confusing time for you. Sometimes, using lists can help people to cut through the confusion and chaos and do what needs to be done. I am sharing the following list of action items in the hopes that it will help people whose businesses have been damaged by fire to move towards recovery, one step at a time.
While cleaning up the physical mess that was left by the fire may seem like the best place to start on the road to helping your business recover from a fire, there are a few things that you can do before that in order to expedite the insurance portion of your business’ recovery. Locating all of your various insurance policies is the first step in that direction. Business owners often go looking for their policies, only to discover that they have been destroyed by the fire. If this happens to you, write to each of your insurers to ask for copies of your policies.
Once you have your insurance policies in hand, read them carefully. As you read, scan for the clauses and provisions that seem applicable to the situation at hand.
A common mistake that business owners make when dealing with fire damage is thinking that they need a lot of details about the damage before they can contact their insurers. Contacting all of your insurers immediately will help you ensure that your claim won’t be denied for late notice. Provide whatever details you can, and inform your insurers of additional details when they become available. When you notify your insurers of the loss, ask them to provide you with written agreements regarding the length of time that you have to provide them with proof of your loss and make necessary temporary repairs. These tolling agreements can be extended by agreement between the insurer and the insured if you notice that a deadline is approaching and your situation is not resolved.
Documentation of your losses is of the utmost importance in preparing fire damage insurance claims. Get started with your written documentation as soon as you can, and get plenty of photographs and videos to supplement your written records. If your policies include provisions for extra expenses and business income, collect all relevant records and place them with the rest of the documentation. Keep all of your documentation in one place and organized for easy access.
Getting help early on in the recovery process can help you to recover much more quickly than you might if you file your claim on your own. A Florida fire insurance claims attorney can be a persistent presence on your behalf. I am experienced in handling Florida fire damage claims, and I can present a convincing claim on your behalf. The Law Firm of J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo, P.A. offers free consultations and case evaluations. No Recovery, No Lawyer Fees. Call us today, at 305-461-1095 or call us Toll Free, at 1-866-71-CLAIM.