No matter where you are, a natural disaster could occur at a moment’s notice. If you are a business owner, then you need a game plan for how you will respond if such a situation should arise.
One of the most common disasters that businesses face is floods. They could be due to a burst pipe, excessive rain, a hurricane, or a large spill.
Whatever the case may be, flooding can severely damage your business and cost you a fortune in lost time, revenue, and cleanup procedures. However, if you dedicate time and effort to creating a solid game plan to rebuild after a flood, you can use it to bounce back quickly and effectively. With this in mind, here are the top tips for recovery after your business floods.
Create a Checklist of Everything You Need To Do
If you want to make sure that you address everything that you’re supposed to, then you will want to create a checklist of all the tasks you need to accomplish in order to rebuild your business. Later in this guide, we will go more in-depth into each of these tasks.
First, you need to contact your insurance provider so that you can begin the claims process. The sooner you accomplish this task, the better because you need money to start rebuilding.
Next, remove all the electronics from your building or commercial property. Although you might be able to salvage some of this equipment, your electronics have most likely experienced permanent damage if they were exposed to water for too long.
After this, take an inventory of all your business possessions, such as your furniture, paper, and personal items. Finally, you must dry off the carpets and upholstery and schedule an inspection with a recovery expert so that you can get your business back in working order.
Remove Your Electronic Equipment Safely
When you remove your electronic equipment, you might be tempted to do all the work yourself. However, since there is a significant risk of electrocuting yourself, you might want to outsource this work to recovery professionals who can handle the task efficiently.
In addition, standing water typically contains large amounts of bacteria, turning it into black water later on. Although you might want to salvage as many electronics as you can, it’s more than likely that all of them are permanently broken due to water damage. Instead, you should start looking for new equipment to buy for your business.
Create a Detailed List of Your Inventory and Dry Out Your Carpets/Upholstery
In order to reimburse yourself with claims benefits, you need to create a detailed inventory list for your insurance provider. This list should include all of the items that you used for business prior to the flood, including electronics, paper, furniture, filing systems, and personal belongings. Be sure to notate the make, model, and serial number of each large appliance or piece of furniture in your building so that you can replace it later.
After removing everything from the area, you need to reach out to a service that can remove any remaining water from your business. This process will include drying all your carpets, furnishings, curtains, and anything else that is still wet.
You will want to call a service as quickly as possible to prevent possible mold contamination. However, they might not be able to dry off everything, in which case you would want to collect samples of the flooring, curtains, wallpaper, and carpet so that you can get it replaced.
Schedule an Inspection for Your Business
Before you can begin filing claims, you need to have an inspector give their diagnosis of what you can repair and what needs a total replacement. Some of the items that a building inspector will look at are the structural features in your building, such as the support beams and the foundation.
They will also look for signs of mold and water damage, but your carpet cleaning service should have eliminated all moisture in your building. In addition, you will want to reach out to commercial plumbing services to assess whether you need to replace your bathroom fixtures. As you prepare for inspection, go to each room in your business and take pictures and videos of every nook and cranny of the area.
Begin the Process of Filing Insurance Claims
As you begin processing insurance claims, be sure to have your policy declarations page in front of you while you communicate with your insurance company. Your insurance adjuster will show you their credentials when they arrive, and then you can begin asking them questions about your claim.
Your insurance adjuster will explain which things your policy covers and items where coverage is limited. They will assess whether the estimated reimbursement rate is accurate, and they will ask you for any necessary documents to submit for filing claims.
An important reminder for you as a business owner is that a flood insurance adjuster will never ask for your deductible, a service fee, or any other money upfront because you pay that amount in your monthly premium. After the inspection, your adjuster will give you an estimate for how much they will reimburse for the damage that they observed.
You must be extra observant when reviewing their estimate to make sure that it’s accurate. Following this, you will sign a Proof of Loss, but you can still request additional payment if you deem it necessary. If a disagreement should arise between you and the adjuster on reimbursement amounts, contact them immediately or reach out to your insurance company.
You are entitled to full compensation under what your policy covers, so don’t hesitate to let someone know if you think their estimate is off. Finally, be sure to keep track of all the documents related to your claims, such as any media you submitted to your insurance company and adjuster, bank statements, invoices from contractors, and receipts.
Overall, floods can cause major headaches for any business owner, but now that you know the top tips for recovery after your business floods, you should have all the knowledge you need to get the process started. If you have experienced a flood recently, go ahead and reach out to commercial plumbing services to get the process started so you can get your business back up and running!