Thursday, 11 June 2020 20:30

8 Insurance-Related Things to Know in the Wake of Civil Disorders

Written by Patricia L. Harman, PropertyCasualty360


4. What should renters do?


If the property is leased, the owner should be notified. They should secure any valuable inventory (e.g., jewelry, munitions, medications) either removing it from the property or placing it in a safe on the premises if practical.


5. Is moving an option?


Kelahan says business interruption insurance would cover incurred costs above normal expenses. Rent for an alternate location and increased operating costs would be included.


If relocation is not necessary, the lease may indicate whether or not there are any rental remedies (e.g., deferred rent or rent forgiveness) while the property is being repaired. Business owners should also look at their business interruption coverage.


6. How do you file a claim?


Contact your insurance company to file a claim. Since this can be new territory for business owners, Kelahan recommends keeping a daily journal of who you speak with, what was discussed, commitments agreed to and when to followup. Track any expenses related to the loss, inventory all damaged furniture, fixtures and equipment and sales merchandise, and document the damage. Remove financial and sensitive records from the premises. Stabilize the décor and remove damaged materials.


7. Who’s responsible for reconstruction?


Whoever owns the property is responsible for rebuilding, explains Kelahan. Coordinating adjusting efforts between the building owner and business operator is vital from the time the claim is filed to the final clean up. Coordinating efforts, having a detailed scope of damage and knowing what the estimated cost of repairs will be provides a clear roadmap for everyone. More organized parties will often be the ones repaired first.


8. What about fraud?


Carriers should be aware of fraudulent claims arising from the riots. Red flags include damage to contents but no damage to the structure, no video of the damage occurring despite the presence of cameras on or near the property, insured can’t describe what was on the premises before the riot, no police reports are filed, the insured contacts a lawyer before the insurer, a previous claim for the pandemic was denied and the report with the police is filed weeks after the riot.


We thank PropertyCasualty360 for reprint permission. 

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