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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Claims for Commercial Fire Losses

10/30/2021 (Permalink)

Inside of a facility damaged by fire, walls damaged and covered by smoke and soot Facility damaged by fire.

Fire Cleanup Process

The process of putting out a fire can cause as much or more damage to property as the fire itself. While you want to resume normal operations as quickly as possible, it’s important to assess all aspects of fire damage and thoroughly understand how the provisions of your insurance policy can help you recover. Take these steps to begin the recovery process.

Mitigate Damage

Preventing as much damage as possible after the fire can reduce the amount of your claim. Consider implementing these fire mitigation measures:

• Limit access to the property to minimize the risk of injury or further damage
• If utility services have not already been cut off, switch off electricity, gas, and water
• Resist the urge to begin clean-up efforts until fire damage professionals determine how to proceed

Document the Physical Damage

Your insurance provider will need to know the extent of your physical losses. These can be documented through the use of photographs that exist in off-site storage or on a website, and through business records maintained by outside accountants or vendors. Your bank may be able to provide blueprints that can assist in determining any level of damage to the structure that will require repair. Your insurance adjuster can help you through this process.

Determine the Extent of Records Loss

If vital financial records were damaged or destroyed in the fire and its aftermath, you may consider calling in a forensic accountant. Such experts can help you recreate financial records, substantiate your losses properly and ensure that you receive full value for the insurance coverage you’ve purchased.

Estimate the Cost of Business Interruption

You may need or want to continue operations at another location while the restoration is in progress. In that case, you’ll incur these expenses, at a minimum:

  • Property rental
  • Equipment and furnishings leasing
  • Utility service fees

Fire damage doesn’t have to mean the end of your business. Understanding the provisions of your insurance coverage and engaging fire restoration professionals can help you put the trauma behind you.

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