Insuring Commercial Equipment from Storm Damage
No one can fully protect their property against the effects of severe weather. If your business is adversely affected by weather, therefore, then you might face significant property damage and the repair costs that will come with them. Some of the items that are damaged might include your equipment, and it’s imperative to have these items repaired or replaced as soon as possible.
If you have a business owners policy (BOP) as part of your commercial insurance portfolio, then you will find that the property coverage within will help you cover the costs related to equipment damage. It’s important to review your BOP with the help of your agent when getting coverage, and to consider exactly how it will apply to any storm damage.
Because storm damage is often unexpected and unpreventable, your BOP’s property coverage will pay for the necessary repairs or replacements. After all, severe storms, though predictable, are always going to differ in intensity. They might arise very quickly, and you might have little time to prepare for them. Therefore, the extent of property damage is often a game of chance.
As a result, your BOP should offer appropriate coverage to pay for damage to both structures owned by the business and items housed within them. Still, it’s important to understand when coverage will apply to equipment damaged due to the storm.
Equipment damage is not uncommon when storms strike. Physical damage might occur if the structure sustains damage during the storm and the equipment inside gets damaged. Damage might also occur if lightning strikes your business, causing a power surge or massive fire. Under the circumstances, since the storm triggered the damage, your policy will cover you.
However, were the damage to arise from normal wear & tear or neglect, then your policy won’t cover you. Sometimes, if you have equipment that was particularly neglected, and the storm simply caused existing damage to get worse, then your insurer might not cover the damage.
Filing a Claim for Property Damage
After your business sustains property damage, immediately contact your insurer. Property damage claims often skyrocket in communities impacted by storm damage. Therefore, the earlier you submit your claim, the more likely you are to have an easy settlement process.
Until instructed by your insurer, avoid cleaning up damage unless you have damage that is a clear and present danger to the rest of your property or to other people. In some cases, your insurer will send a claims adjuster to your location to document the extent of the damage. In others, you might be asked to submit photos and/or written documentation to support your claim yourself.
Either way, you will have to provide evidence to support both the extent of the equipment damage, and the value lost. This will help the insurer determine whether they will pay to repair the damage, or to replace damaged items altogether.
Be sure your policy always represents the true value of the equipment you wish to insure. It can make a big difference in the long term when it comes to protecting your business operations.