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National Restaurant Association - Tips for restaurant insurance claims in hurricane's aftermath

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Tips for restaurant insurance claims in hurricane's aftermath

Restaurateurs affected by the East Coast's recent "superstorm" can follow a few basic steps to make the insurance-claims process easier, insurance-recovery experts from the Pillsbury law firm said in a recentclient alert.

Among the tips:

• Collect all your insurance policies. Gather all policies -- commercial property insurance, auto policies, flood insurance and any others -- to evaluate primary coverage for a range of covered losses.

• Understand the types of losses that can be covered. Damaged buildings, ruined equipment and spoiled food are among the most common losses covered by a restaurateur's commercial property insurance. But you may also be eligible to make claims for business interruption, including utility service interruption, and extra costs for running your business as a result of a covered loss.

• Act quickly and follow instructions. Most policies provide explicit instructions on giving notice to your insurer and/or insurance broker about potential losses. Follow the instructions carefully, and be sure to provide notices that are accurate and directed to the correct parties. You don't need to wait to tally all your losses before providing notice.

• Document everything. Take photos of property damaged during the storm, as well as property that may have become unusable after the storm, Pillsbury advises. Track expense-related losses carefully and save receipts for any repair work.

You'll deal with a range of people as you recover from losses, possibly including attorneys experienced in insurance coverage. Pillsbury's alert provides more information about how to make sure you line up the right assistance.

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