• Man looking at fire damage to his building after a building fire

Fire Insurance Claims: Help for Illinois Business Owners

If you own or manage a commercial property or business, a fire is something that you never want to experience. Even the smallest fire can leave a lot of damage behind, and dealing with it can feel overwhelming. Making an insurance claim adds yet another level of complexity. To make sure that you get through this high-value process successfully and as quickly as possible, it’s critical that you get expert help. When you work with an experienced fire damage restoration contractor, you will have a knowledgeable guide through the whole process. 

One important part of this process is a visit from your insurance adjuster. As part of the claims process, the adjuster will review the damage and your policy to determine what will be covered. Insurance adjusters are professionally trained and licensed to assess damage. They have specialized knowledge on topics like structural damage, contents damage, vehicle damage, and weather damage. For a quick claim process, it’s essential that you provide them with as much information as possible. 

Here are eight actionable ways you can be ready for the claims process and the adjuster’s visit, both before and after a damaging fire.

1. Contact your insurance company right away. Be sure they know how to reach you. Provide a back-up contact if necessary. 

2. Secure your property. Even before the adjuster arrives, temporary repairs and emergency board-up services can prevent further damage and improve safety and security of your property. 

3. Collect the records you need. Gather the documents you need to prove the value of damaged equipment, inventory, finishes and facilities that will be included in your business insurance claim. 

4. Keep a detailed total of all expenses related to the fire. From securing your property to renting a temporary location, keep detailed records of all costs you incur as a direct result of the fire damage. 

5. Don’t clean up any debris or destroyed items right away. You should not throw away any damaged items until the claims adjuster has visited, but if you have to due to health or safety reasons, take photos and videos of the site and damaged items first.

6.Start preparing what you need for a business interruption claim. Business interruption insurance is often a part of commercial property insurance coverage. You can typically submit a business interruption claim when you are impacted by an insured loss like a fire. It provides coverage for the costs of shutting down your business and restoring operations. Coverage details can vary, so talk to your insurance agent if you have questions.You will need proof of your business’ income both before and after the fire: Start by collecting financial documents including tax returns, monthly sales tax returns, contracts, budgets, account statements and other documents that can help your insurer to determine the amount of business income lost. 

7. Be sure to stay organized. A damaging fire, disrupted operations, and a complex claim process can leave you feeling confused. Fight the confusion by staying organized: Keep easy access to the insurance claim reference number, adjuster and other insurance company contact information, photos and videos of the damage, receipts, bills and estimates. 

8. Get input from your fire damage restoration contractor. Once the adjuster has visited and your insurance company has the information they need, they will provide you with a scope of work that your policy will cover.  McMahon Services and Construction will independently inspect your fire loss and provide an estimate. In that process, we will also review your insurance adjuster’s scope, compare it to our scope and make any additions that were not covered in either scope. We will also go over your loss with you, as your input is crucial to achieving an accurate bid.

Get Back to Business As Usual With Local Help From McMahon

If you experience fire damage at your business or commercial property, McMahon Services and Construction is here to help. Our trained fire damage restoration technicians are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and ready to respond to your fire damage emergency in order to get your property back to normal as quickly as possible.

Our comprehensive range of fire damage services includes emergency board up services, water removal (from the water the fire department used to put out the fire), smoke and soot damage, lingering smoke odors, and reconstruction. Insurance Carriers recommend us as a Preferred Contractor due to our expertise and high quality work. 

Since our start in Mundelein in 1954, we have been the trusted fire damage restoration contractors for business and property owners in Arlington Heights, Berwyn, Des Plaines, Evanston, Mount Prospect, Grayslake, Libertyville, Oak Park, Palatine, Wheaton, Naperville, Waukegan, Schaumburg, Skokie, and the surrounding IL areas. Call us today to learn how we can efficiently and thoroughly work with you and your insurance company throughout the entire claims process to repair your home or business.

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