Hurricane Ian - Preparation Tips & Claims
Published September 30, 2022
Getting back to normal after a hurricane can be challenging for any business. Newfront understands that. That’s why we have a team of dedicated claims professionals who are here to assist you. Because assisting your business in preparing for a potential claim is just as important as assisting your business with an existing claim, the Newfront Claims Team has put together the following Preparedness Tips and Best Practices in the Event of a Claim to put your business in the best position to navigate the claims process and get you back to business should you suffer a loss as a result of Hurricane Ian.
Preparation Tips - Good Preparation Can Assist in the Claims Process
Have a Crisis Management Team: Clearly designate roles and responsibilities ahead of time. Identify personnel who have the authority to file a claim, hire vendors, check in on employees, etc.
Have an emergency vendor list:- Insurance broker
Disaster restoration/remediation contractor – one can be lined up ahead of time
Keep an updated list of customers, suppliers & distributors - For building owners, a list of all tenants and their insurance information if available
Protect all vital business records, critical data and programs (either by securing or uploading to cloud)
Take photos or video of equipment and inventory, then store in cloud. This will help adjusters in documenting the loss.
Remind employees and family members never to drive through flooded areas. As little as six inches of water can cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
Stay informed. Learn about your community’s emergency plans, warning signals, evacuation routes, and locations emergency shelters.
Claims in the Event of a Loss
Wind and water damage can cause losses that may be covered by insurance. Coverage may also be available for indirect losses such as evacuation orders, highway and other transportation-related closures, and other things which prevent or impair access to your business’s property. In the event of a loss, ensure the following steps have been accomplished:
Assess safety of the premises – DO NOT ENTER UNLESS IT IS SAFE! A building inspector or other government authority may need to inspect to certify safety. Only enter flooded/damaged premises with the appropriate safety gear and PPE, especially if sewage is involved.
Mitigate damage to ensure the site is safe – utilizing a remediation vendor is recommended if possible/available. Drying out premises within 24-48 hours after the storm is recommended to avoid mold issues. Fans and dehumidifiers will help remove excess moisture.
Secure the site from looters if necessary - i.e., implement security guards, board up windows or doors, erect fencing, etc.
**Document the damage to the buildings and any other structures **– pictures and/or videos are preferable
Make a list of all items needing to be repaired or replaced – make necessary temporary repairs to mitigate further damages. Retain documentation of the materials used and the costs. Major expenses should be approved by the carrier. Restoration companies will typically work with insurance companies to figure out what makes to the most to restore vs. replace.
Create an inventory list of the items damaged in the storm – keep copies of any receipts to substantiate the losses
Keep track of all expenses – this includes costs associated with operating in a temporary location, any transactions that occur throughout the recovery period, and ongoing expenses for utilities or advertising that are paid even if the business is closed. Keep these in a separate account for easy accounting reconciliation.
Document all losses including losses to the property of others affecting your business - this includes suppliers, distributors, storage facilities, utilities, service providers, and key customers. Remind our non-profits that provide critical infrastructure or essential services that they may be eligible for FEMA and other government-based programs.
SUBMIT THE CLAIM OR NOTICE OF LOSS TO THE NEWFRONT CLAIMS TEAM – Please submit to our claims team all losses experienced due to Hurricane Ian via our claims inbox at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us by telephone at 877-885-3656.