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BEFORE YOU HAVE A FIRE LOSS

Korean Business owners face many challenges in owning their own business. In terms of money nothing is more devastating than a fire loss claim or related type of loss. When there is a fire, there is a chance that you can be ruined financially. We are here to offer you some simple advice to help you preserve what you have worked so hard to build up over the years.

Why? Having an insurances policy and having paid your premiums, doesn’t mean you’ll be paid for your loss. In fact, it has been very common for claims to be denied by insurances companies. If you’re foreign born, or if you own a business in Detroit, chances are very high that your insurance claim will be denied because of the suspicion of arson. This is a trend that is getting worse rather than better and why you have to protect yourself from losing everything you earned.

What should I do? We’re going to point out a few easy things that you can do to protect yourself:

1. Have a good competent and knowledgeable insurance agent. Insurance agents are critical in this process. They are the ones that can find you the right coverage at the right price. They also can be helpful before a fire loss occurs.

2. Have a one page statement of your coverage presented to you every year. You should insist that your agent gives you a simple one page description of what you are being covered for and for how much. Many times, owners think they have certain coverage and they don’t. Frequently business interruption is not secured and as a result the owner becomes financially devastated. (We have found that there are errors in the name of the Insured – either your Company or personal name is not accurate – which results in a denial of the claim and causes real problems for the Insured.)

3. Get a survey done of your business. When you have a policy that is new, or one that you are changing significantly, you should have a survey done that describes the value of your building, fixtures and equipment, inventory, and any other things being insured.

4. Record a video of your business. Once or twice a year, get a video camera (or use your phone) and videotape the outside and inside of your business. The more you videotape the better. That means any backrooms as well as the front of the business.

Lastly, you need to keep accurate records so that your Claim will be fully supported and withstand a challenge by the Insurance Company. If you do these three simple things we have recommended, you will be in good shape. Look for an upcoming article on What to do after a fire loss.

Ron Acho, Attorney
Cummings, McClorey, Davis & Acho
(734) 261-2400 / racho@cmda-law.com

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