Insurance Claim Tips for Business Owners
by Ron Reitz, President of San Diego-based Quality Claims Management Corp www.qualityclaims.com
Most business owners won’t necessarily think about their insurance coverage until a loss occurs and they need to file a claim. Uh, really, the time to analyze your insurance is before you need to file a claim: Preview is always nicer than review.
If you do suffer an insured loss, you’ll want to be cozy with certain aspects of your claim. Here are a few areas that cause the biggest disputes with your insurer.
Period of Restoration – This is the duration of time your loss will be based upon. The period of restoration begins 72 hours after the physical loss or damage occurs. This is sometimes referred to as a time deductible since coverage does not start until after the 72 hours expire. This period can be reduced or eliminated with various endorsements.
The end of the period of restoration can be difficult to calculate because it’s subjective. The date theoretically ends at the earlier of when the property should reasonably be repaired or replaced, or when the business is resumed at a new permanent location.
The insured may be given additional time to replace stock or supplies, or for a manufacturer, time is given to bring production back to the pre-loss point. But what’s a reasonable period of time to repair or replace the property? With no hard date for when the period ends, disputes arise. If you’re a tenant and your lease requires the landlord to repair the property, then you’re at the landlord’s mercy. Your claim can be adversely affected if the landlord is slow. These days, it’s quite possible the landlord doesn’t have the financial ability to make those repairs. In this case, it may be best to relocate, fast.
After the property is repaired, it’s very likely to take months before you return to your pre-loss sales volumes. Unfortunately, this is outside the period of restoration and your coverage may be history. That’s why we recommend adding an “Extended Period of Restoration” endorsement to your policy to provide coverage in 30-day increments.
Extra Expense Coverage – Any expense incurred to mitigate your loss is considered an extra expense. If your business had to relocate to resume operations in order to retain your customers, then the costs of doing so would be considered extra expenses. Be sure your policy provides an adequate amount of extra expense coverage.
Proving the expenses incurred relate to mitigating your loss can be another area of contention. Be sure to keep the insurer aware of all expenses you are incurring. Get written confirmation from the insurer that it will pay for those extra expenses.
Calculating the Amount of Loss –
Your policy should provide coverage for the amount of net profit you would have earned had no loss occurred, as well as continuing normal expenses. Determining the profit you would have earned can be challenging. No wishful thinking allowed.
Two key components in determining what you would have earned are your sales forecast and your previous year’s results. If you happen to suffer a loss during a seasonal peak period of time but your business was not meeting its current year sales projections, then you may find yourself in the middle of a dispute.
Will you be able to prove you would have met your sales forecasts…
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As you consider your real estate mutual fund and REIT investments, it is important to take a closer look at many of the offerings out there. This article will focus on Adelante U.S. Real Estate Secs Y (LLUYX).
Adelante U.S. Real Estate Secs Y is a mutual fund that is specialized in the U.S. real estate market. Within the fund are a variety of domestic real estate stock holdings that tend to be focused more in the medium size range and are considered strong value assets.
Fund Performance and Rating
When it comes to an overall look at Adelante, it has always preformed in the average to above average range, performing in the top 10 in its category in February. While some wonder if average to above average is good enough, in trying times those that stay at a strong base level or above are the kinds of mutual funds, stocks and other stock market offerings you should be taking a closer look at. After all, there is not much more trying on real estate, and the other markets, than the type of economy we are dealing with right now. Those real estate mutual funds, REITS, stocks and other investments that can hold their own and keep their head above water, while so many others are failing, are the kind of investments you want to be keeping on your side.
Where Does it Invest?
When it comes to deciding which items to put into Adelante U.S. Real Estate Secs Y, the mutual fund manager and company have a simple philosophy. They look for those companies that are currently trading far below what they should be. It always happens that there are dips in the price of any company and this is what the Adelante U.S. Real Estate Secs Y looks for. They scoop up the stocks of these real estate investments when they are at a low, so the stockholders can enjoy being a part of the increase in profit as the stocks return to the higher levels where they should have been all along.
How Does It Choose Investments?
Another thing Adelante U.S. Real Estate Secs Y looks for in their stock, bond and other investment options is for a strong management team. They understand that even the best real estate ventures can fail if those managing the real estate don’t know what they are doing. So, in addition to looking for a good value, they also look for a strong team running those investments.
What’s in the Portfolio?
Among some of the well-known investments in the portfolio are Simon Property Group, Equity Residential and Nationwide Health Properties, Inc.
Adding to your Portfolio
When purchasing these types of investments, it is vital that you choose a company that knows real estate. This is where REITBuyer.com comes in. REITBuyer.com is the only online brokerage that specializes in REITs and real estate mutual funds, letting you have all the ease of using a big online brokerage, while having the specialized news, research and assistance for the type of investment you are buying. It’s truly the best of all worlds.
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