Mold in your commercial building can be a big problem. Not only can mold cause significant damage to your property, but it can also cause health issues for you, your workers and your clients – so it’s critical to take steps to remedy the issue as quickly as possible.
Most of the time, that means navigating the long, winding process of an insurance claim. To make it easier, here are some tips you can consider to get you started.
Try to control the damage
You have a certain duty to mitigate your claim by protecting your property from further damage. That may mean turning off the water flow to broken pipes or putting plastic sheeting up over a hole in the roof, but you don’t want to make any permanent repairs or throw anything away until you get further directions from the insurance company.
Review your policy
Before you file your claim, pull out your policy and review it. You want to have a passing familiarity with your policy’s provisions so that you can tell if the insurance adjuster is playing things straight with you.
Call your insurer
Generally speaking, you need to make your insurer aware of the potential claim as quickly as possible. You have an obligation to cooperate with any reasonable investigation they need to make, so be accommodating to the adjuster when they schedule a visit.
Get out your camera and take photos of everything you suspect may be damaged or a sign of damage. Get video, whenever possible, and take an inventory of all the contaminated, suspected contaminated or destroyed property. When you communicate with your insurance company, try to do so in writing (email is fine) as much as possible. If you speak with the insurance adjuster on the phone, keep a record of when the call was made and what was said.
Unfortunately, insurance companies and their adjusters frequently try to downplay the problems associated with mold in an effort to minimize their own costs, so not every claim will be straightforward. If your insurer is dragging its heels on your claim or refusing to cover all (or any) of your necessary expenses, it may be time to seek additional legal guidance.