In the event you're facing significant business interruption claims due to a catastrophic event like Hurricane Harvey, it is important to follow best practices in order to achieve a smooth settlement. Business interruption policies define the nature of the indemnity, but do not define the exact documents required to support a claim.
Here are the 10 things you can do to help expedite the insurance company accountant's investigation into your business interruption:
- Prepare a well-documented comprehensive claim, which includes source documents that are consistent and referenced. The number one most important supporting documents relevant to every BI claim are the insured detailed monthly income statement for the two years before the loss incident. These are the basis of just about every BI claim and are very helpful for the adjusters early on for reserve purposes.
- Hire your own professional and independent accountant to help you prepare the claim.
- Give the insurer's accountant an overview of your operations and business so that they can better understand your company and business.
- Include the amounts on the claimed and provide descriptions of the expenses in the claim.
- Review your claim with other professionals on your team prior to meeting with the insurance company's accountant. Include your risk manager, broker, claims consultant, CPA, and other financial executives to review the claim prior to any meetings.
- Ask for a written document request by the insurer's accountants to avoid confusion over what has or has not been requested.
- Maintain a log of information provided during the process to avoid re-sending information that has already been provided.
- Ask for any claim analysis from the insured's accountants that they have performed prior to meeting with them. This way you can focus on the key issues and have time to understand any different approaches that have been considered by the insurance company. It will also make for a more productive meeting. Resistance to this request should be a "red flag."
- Identify one key contact within your company to deal with the insurer's accountants. Your company representative should make sure that someone from your claims team is involved with any meetings that take place with the insurance company's accountants.
- Set a schedule. Ask for a commitment to a time frame when certain claim analyses will be complete. Plan meetings to resolve any open items.
As an agency, we are here to help our clients through their recovery from losses caused by catastrophic events. If there is anything we can do to assist you, please do not hesitate to contact the Commercial Claims Department at 210-222-2161.