The most important thing after a flood is to document a business' losses. The better you keep track, the easier it will be to deal with an insurance company, landlord or government agency that could help with the damages. Take photographs, make lists and log all receipts.
The water woes don’t seem to end around here, unfortunately. We received a note from a reader whose rented office in downtown Quincy was wrecked by water pouring in from the outer roof on the final day of one of the recent rainstorms. Office furniture, carpeting, a computer and a fax machine were all damaged, and several pieces of paper correspondence were ruined. The reader asked for some advice about how to approach getting insurance or the landlord to cover these damages.
We checked in with Jeanne Salvatore, a senior vice president at the Insurance Information Institute in New York, to find some answers.
While it’s hard to address this without knowing more specifics, Salvatore had a few tips for our waterlogged reader – and any other businesspeople in a similar bind.
The most important thing right now is to document your losses. The better you keep track, the easier it will be to deal with an insurance company, landlord or government agency that could help with the damages. Take photographs, make lists and log all receipts.
Contact the insurer who has your business insurance policy, or the agent who sells you the policy, to find out whether your own policy covers these damages. Often, damages to business equipment can be covered by a firm’s own policy.
If there’s a problem with the structure and your insurance policy doesn’t fully cover you for your damages, you can try to negotiate with the landlord to get the landlord to pay for the damages.
There may also be grants or loans available through applicable state and federal agencies such as the Small Business Administration that help small businesses recover from disasters.
Do you have a consumer issue you want us to address? E-mail us at email@example.com or write the Business Department, The Patriot Ledger, 400 Crown Colony Drive, Quincy, MA, 02269-9159.