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Most small businesses fail in first 6 hours after a fire, how a public adjuster may help save your business

Written by: Sill Public Adjusters

Most small businesses fail in first 6 hours after a fire, how a public adjuster may help save your business

Hiring a certified public adjuster right after a fire is crucial for a commercial business. This will help determine if the business can survive the disaster. A public adjuster can guide a business owner through a fire damage claim.

Fires are more dangerous to small businesses than previously believed, says a report from the U.S. Small Business Administration. In fact, they can often result in bankruptcy within just six hours.

SBA administrator Karen Mills found that businesses often fail after a fire. This is because the fire damages inventory and personal property, making it hard to attract customers.

The US SBA reports that disasters strike over 90% of businesses, causing them to fail within two years!

FEMA says 40% of businesses don't reopen after a disaster and 25% fail within a year.

Many people think insurance awards will fully help business owners recover after a disaster, but this is untrue. First, fire insurance policies do not cover some events.

RELATED | What happens when you file a fire insurance claim

Business owners have difficulty recovering from losses because of limited coverage, high deductibles, or exclusions. These policies make it difficult for them to receive adequate compensation.

The coverage limits are insufficient, the deductibles are high, and there are exclusions that further hinder their recovery process. As a result, business owners face significant challenges in recovering from losses.

To stay alive, business owners must do everything possible to avoid being one of the 90% of failed businesses.

The first step in the insurance claim process is preparedness. That is, knowing and documenting standard operating procedures, structure, and personnel. Your insurance agent may overlook certain aspects like smoke and soot damage.

The next step is to plan for emergencies. This involves deciding in advance who will be responsible for specific tasks if a disaster occurs. Establishing backup plans is also important to ensure that work can continue and serve clients.

If your small business has a fire, hiring a public insurance adjuster to help you recover is best. Licensed adjusters assist with fire damage restoration, negotiate with your claims adjuster, and ensure you receive the appropriate settlement.

Choosing the right public adjusting firm is critical. The company will make a report, create a plan, assess damage, and review your insurance policy.

Many businesses do not have the knowledge and experience to understand their insurance policy. They also struggle to assess their coverage and accurately estimate the damage to their property. As a result, they are unable to recover their losses fully.

Insurance companies have their own experts and also hire outside experts to assess the value of losses. The assessed value of losses is usually lower than what business owners expect to lose. The business owner needs assistance from a public adjuster or loss consultant to challenge the carrier's damage estimates. One option is to work with Sill Public Adjusters, North America's leading loss consultant and public adjusting firm.

Next, a business owner does not have the time luxury of having to communicate with the insurance adjuster. You may also be unsure how to answer all the adjuster’s questions and document requests surrounding the loss.

You must meet key deadlines to provide loss estimates and necessary documents to establish a claim.

Trying to resume business and manage an insurance claim often means you will perform both tasks poorly.

The business owner's income loss is usually the hardest part of the claim to prove for the insured. Every insurance company has its own way of processing a claim for loss. If you don't follow their method, they can reject your claim.

Calculating business losses is complicated. It requires expertise in understanding policy language. Determining what covers and what excludes or limits is necessary. Business owners need a certified forensic accountant on their public adjusting team to recover lost income.

This is because a certified forensic accountant plays a crucial role in the process of recovering lost income. Without their expertise, it is unlikely that the business owner will be able to recoup their financial losses fully. Business owners should have a certified forensic accountant on their public adjusting team.

Many small business owners go out of business after a devastating fire. Hiring a professional public adjuster helps small business owners recover their losses and focus on keeping customers and suppliers.

If your business suffered a fire, you can contact Sill Public Adjusters right away. We have offices throughout North America, which means we can respond to any location within hours.

We have the experience to settle all types of fires and help hundreds of property owners yearly.

Our team is available 24/7; give us a call to get your recovery efforts underway.