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A business fire is devastating, expensive, and frustrating. This is even more so when dealing with an insurance company after the accident. The company wants an incredible amount of proof of your damages. Adjusters want seemingly endless documentation of what happened, what was destroyed, and your lost profits. This information and much more is critical to proving your claim and winning the compensation you deserve. 

At the Saxton Law Firm, our business insurance attorneys know the importance of documenting your losses after a business fire in Missouri. In this article, we explain why it matters and steps you can take to protect your rights through proper documentation.  

Focus on Safety First

While documenting the fire damage is important, safety is foremost. Ensure you and your employees are safe and get the medical attention they need. Call 911 and ensure everyone on scene is treated. Fires can lead to serious physical injuries such as burns, smoke inhalation, fall injuries from evacuating, and much more. 

After the initial emergency, it is important to get back to the scene for several reasons, such as documenting the damage. However, safety is important here as well. Fire damage can affect the structural integrity of your business premises and equipment. This can make it dangerous to revisit them until you know it is safe. Have an inspector give the all clear so you know it is safe to return and begin documentation efforts.

Documenting Your Fire Damage Losses

You have focused on safety, now it is time to help with your fire insurance claim. Documenting your losses is a critical step in winning the compensation you are owed. Once it is safe, you can document your losses by taking some of the following steps:

  • Inform Your Insurance Company: Let your fire insurance company know that an accident occurred. Let them know critical details like the date, time, and potential cause of the accident. Be careful not to admit fault for the accident in any way when doing so, or speak to your attorney first.
  • Take Pictures and Videos: Take comprehensive photographs of all of the damage, especially before any repairs begin. Consider taking videos as well that show the full scope of the damage. Photos of anything damaged by the fire help prove what was destroyed and needs replaced.
  • Create an Organized List of Damaged Items: Make a detailed list of everything that was damaged in the fire. Consider making an excel sheet that lists the item’s description, age, identifying information, and original purchase price. At the same time, collect any documentation that supports the original purchase price if possible.
  • Limit Further Damage: Your insurance policy likely requires that you take steps to limit further damage from occurring as much as possible. For example, a fire that burns a hole in the roof may require a temporary fix to prevent rain water damage until the full repair can occur.
  • Speak With a Business Loss Insurance Attorney: Fire insurance claims are complex and full of pitfalls that could affect your right to coverage. An experienced business insurance loss attorney knows how to document your damages, make your claim, and prevent insurance tactics aimed at denying your claim.

READ MORE: Fire Insurance for Businesses in Kansas: Assessing Commercial Coverage Needs

Documenting your damages is an essential step if you want to utilize the fire insurance coverage you paid for. You deserve your coverage and compensation, but insurance companies may use lack of documentation against you. Let our experienced business loss insurance attorneys help with every stage of your insurance claim.

Contact Saxton Law Firm for a FREE case review!