Sometimes, it can feel as if your business is like a child. You invested so much time into starting your company. You look after it, raise it, spend all your time and effort making it thrive. Sometimes though, the worst can happen. You head to work one day to find the doors already open and the place in ruins. Or maybe there’s been a storm, and a tree has fallen straight through your roof. Perhaps, worst of all, you arrive to see your pride and joy is being dealt with by the fire service after a fuse shorted out. Whatever the cause, there may come a time when you will be glad you took out that insurance policy. Below are the important first steps you should take if the worst happens to your business.
Contact The Relevant Authorities And Your Insurer
The very first thing you should do is contact the emergency services. If there has been a theft, the police will arrive to assess the situation. You should report any damage caused by fire or natural disaster to the fire service, who will come to ensure the building is safe to re-enter. The next people you should call will be the insurance company. Let them know what has happened and that the authorities are also dealing with the situation. They may give you instructions on what to do next.
Contact Any Staff
If you have staff working for you, it would be prudent to contact them and tell them not to come into work. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to operate until the safety services have deemed the building safe and the damage has been repaired. Do your best to reassure your staff at this stage, they will likely be just as worried as you are about when they can return to work.
Don’t Touch Anything
It can be very tempting, once you have contacted all the relevant people, to enter the building and take a look around if it seems safe to do so. However, you should not enter the building under any circumstances. If the building has suffered damage from fire or natural disaster, the structure could be unsafe, or the electricity or gas supply could have been interrupted. It is best to leave the initial entry to the professionals.
Assess The Damage And Estimate Your Losses
After the building has been declared safe, you will be free to enter and assess any damage. Bring a notepad and pen with you when you do this. Make a note of all the damage and any equipment which may have been stolen. Take photos as extra evidence. You will also need to factor in wages which you will need to pay, as well as loss of earnings. Doing all this can seem like a daunting task, especially if you don’t feel confident dealing with all the legal red tape and technical jargon that will come with an insurance claim. You could consider hiring a Loss assessor who would be qualified and able to help you through the process of registering your claim and compiling all the necessary data and evidence.
Hopefully, you never have to go through any of the scenarios mentioned above. But if you do, you will now know the key steps to follow in the first stages to ensure that you and your business stay safe, and can be back up and running as soon as possible.