Lessons Learned, Part 4: Hiring Experts to Maximize Your Insurance Claim

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Business insurance is essential. It protects your company in the event of a major, unexpected loss. But just having insurance might not be enough to cover your losses. You might want to consider hiring an expert like a public adjuster. Doing so can make the difference between just recovering some money and recovering from a disaster completely.

As we were going through the insurance process after the fire, it was recommended that we bring in experts like public adjusters and forensic accountants to help determine just how much the loss was affecting our bottom line, and to maximize our recovery from insurance.

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How do you know if you should bring in an expert after suffering a business-related loss?

Here are 3 good reasons to recruit experts to help you maximize your insurance recovery after a loss:

#1: Insurance companies: Friend or foe?

We talked with Martin Rabinowitz, CPA, about making the decision to bring in a public adjuster to help with your claim. Rabinowitz, who holds an MBA from Wharton, is a forensic accountant specializing in business interruption.

Forensic accountants usually work in conjunction with public adjusters to figure out how a company’s loss is impacting its bottom line. They can also assist in trials by testifying and providing important evidence and financial information.

But why is it so important to bring in an expert like a public adjuster after your business suffers a loss?

“The insurance company is not necessarily your friend,” Rabinowitz says.

According to Rabinowitz, it’s very important to hire a public adjuster because your insurance company has their own team looking to reduce the overall amount you recover. If your loss is significant enough, your insurance will likely have their own adjuster, legal team, and accountants working on your claim.

So why not have a team of experts on your side to improve your chances of recovering the full amount of your claim and restarting your business ASAP?

#2: The added expense of an expert could be made up for by the increased damages you recover

Many small business owners are hesitant to hire a public adjuster because they take a cut of your insurance payout. If you’ve just suffered a major business loss, it might seem preposterous to spend money before you make any back.

Although it’s true that your public adjuster will take a certain percentage of your payout, it’s often much better to hire a public adjuster than to settle for the amount your insurance is willing to pay you.

With experts on your side, you could end up recovering a lot more than the insurance company’s originally planned payout. This could end up justifying the added expense of hiring experts in the first place.

#3: An expert will comb through your documents to find opportunities you otherwise would miss

An expert like a forensic accountant has a trained eye in things relating to business expenses and legal factors that affect your claim. They can really pick up on things that will maximize your recovery.

“You want someone who’s experienced in dealing with insurance companies to get the greatest recovery that you’re entitled to, with the least inconvenience to the staff, who is already working to compensate for the loss from the disaster,” says Rabinowitz.

An expert like a forensic accountant has a trained eye for things that you might otherwise miss, especially since you’ll likely be emotional after suffering a loss.

More often than not, hiring an expert to help you maximize your insurance recovery is a good choice. But this is just one of a ton of decisions to be made when your business suffers a loss of any kind — check out the other posts in our “Lessons Learned” series to read more on this topic.

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