Many business owners have recently sustained damage due to vandalism; others have had property go missing due to looting. Some have been forced to close down due to street closures, curfews, or safety precautions. Merchants may be wondering what steps to take in order to repair property and collect on insurance. Before filing any claim, contact your insurance agent to discuss your options.The Insurance Information Institute has provided advice for business owners seeking assistance, and for those wanting to purchase additional coverage.
For damage to a physical building, damage caused by fire, riots, or vandalism is covered under a Business Owner’s Policy (BOP), which combines property, liability, and business interruption coverage. Check your policy. Windows are often covered under a separate policy, sold separately, so check to see if that is part of your options.
If your business has been forced to close or limit hours, you may have covereage under business income insurance, often called business interruption – if there has been direct physical damage to the premises. There is also something called a “civil authority provision” for lost income and expenses, if the area where the business is located is closed off by the authorities due to concerns of danger, from civil unrest or from flooding or fire.
For personal property, such as furniture, office supplies, and machinery, those should qualify for coverage under the owner’s personal property policy. Check with your insurer.
For damage to cars, look under the comprehensive portion of your auto policy. That covers damage from fire, falling objects and vandalism or riot. In addition, the comprehensive coverage is what kicks in if your windshield is cracked or broken.
If you need help making repairs, BBB has resources to help you find repair businesses near you.
- Find a glass repair or auto glass repair business near you.
- Find a roofer, plumber, or general contractor near you.
- Find a fire and water damage restoration company near you.
- Look up a specific business or search for a type of business on BBB.org.
- Contact your local BBB.
BBB has advice on choosing an insurance company to suit your needs.
Always remember that your local BBB office is there to help.