Will a BOP Pay for Damaged Equipment After a Storm?
A BOP (business owners policy) is a specific type of commercial insurance designed to offer essential benefits to small businesses in one package. One of the types of coverage contained in this package is commercial property insurance, which covers business possessions in the event of unexpected losses.
Though businesses face numerous property damage risks, one of the most common and prevalent is the risk of weather damage. It’s hard to predict when a storm will strike, and how extensive damage will be. However, provided you have the appropriate property insurance in place, you will get the assistance you need in financing your recovery. Here’s how it works.
Storm Damage and Property Insurance
Severe weather is unpredictable, no matter how much advance warning you might have. After it’s over, you might find that your commercial property has experienced significant damage. Stock, machinery and furnishings might all be either destroyed or in need of significant repairs, and this might prove costly.
Equipment damage due to a storm is not uncommon. For example:
A lightning strike can cause an electrical surge through your business’s equipment. This can even start a fire.
Fires might also result from lightning strikes on the roof of the business.
High winds might damage the structure, allowing in debris and rainwater.
Hail might break windows, damage your roof or cause other significant damage.
Still, the property insurance within your BOP will be there to help you when your equipment and other property sustain damage in a storm. However, it’s important to note that this coverage still has specific provisions. If the damage was due to wear and tear, or to poor maintenance, the policy may not help.
Filing a Storm Damage Claim
As soon as a storm is over and you have secured your property, contact your insurance company. Property damage claims generally skyrocket after storms strike certain areas, and the sooner you start your claim, the sooner you will get your business on the road to recovery.
When you contact your agent, discuss the nature of the damage, and take photos to help support the claim. Do not clean up or try to make repairs unless your agent instructs you to do so. They might need to dispatch a claims adjuster to your location so that they can get a full picture of both the cause and the nature of the damage.
Working with your agent, you can determine the value of repairs necessary, and your agent can tell you precisely what your policy will pay for these losses. There is a maximum payout that your plan will pay for any claim, and deductibles will usually apply to property damage claims. Your policy documents will explain these terms.
Be sure your BOP always represents the value of your property assets. It can make a big difference in the long term when it comes to protecting your business operations.