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How to Get Full Price for Assets Damaged in a Natural Disaster

In the event of a natural disaster such as a flood, tornado, fire or hurricane, business owners find out very quickly they are essentially completely dependent upon their insurance claims adjuster for restoration of key physical components required for their operation.

Companies who take a proactive approach to protect all their physical assets will more likely survive a catastrophic event, than those who simply assumed paying their insurance bill meant complete protection.

The Truth About Insurance Companies

Although insurance companies run comforting commercials that make it appear as if they will always provide complete protection for a catastrophic event, reality is a bit more sobering. Especially when a large-scale disaster occurs and many claims are submitted, claims adjusters become very discriminating when determining what they believe is the true value of an asset. In fact, unless your business can prove otherwise, a claims adjuster will assign the lowest value possible for every item in a claim.

How to Fight Back

The best way for a business to combat a reluctant insurer is to have a complete inventory of every physical asset for which they expect to receive compensation.

We advise you take inventory of every valuable asset on your business’s property to ensure that all damaged items are accounted for. Make sure to include the make, model, serial numbers of these assets as well as any licenses that you own. 

Remember to list every detail about these items. Claims adjusters are instructed to give you the lowest value they can for your item based on the description you provided. By being descriptive you ensure that you get the true price for your assets.

It is also critical to store all this information in a safe place where it is easily accessed after the disaster event is over. The safest place for this information is in a cloud-based storage system, with the next safest place being an off-site storage location.

The Last Step

Before heading to a safe place to ride out the disaster, if possible, the last step is to make a video recording of every room of the physical location(s) of the organization. By having a video recording that shows the condition of every asset, along with the inventory data stored in the cloud, business owners will be much more prepared to prove the real value of any damaged or destroyed assets. However, this is in no way a substitute for creating a detailed inventory list and should serve only as additional evidence.

Interested in more tips on preparing for natural disasters? Check out 7 Tips for Preparing Your Business IT for a Hurricane

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