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Make an Inventory

Make an inventory of lost items and prepare a description for your insurance carrier. Take photos and prepare descriptive lists. You cannot provide too much detail. Looking at something and calling it a "total loss" is not very effective when negotiating with insurance adjusters and contractors. In the aftermath of a disaster, it is difficult to recall what you had. Use your original checklists and inventories for reference. Most importantly—you have to prove your losses. Note which items you think can be restored, what needs to be replaced and what will have to be discarded.

Contact your agent as soon as practicable. Have your policy number readily available. Make a reasonable guess about how long you will be unable to practice at your current location. If you will be temporarily working from another site, they will require that information. Provide the agent with any changes that might be applicable. Determine what assistance you can expect from your carrier, and when. It is not unreasonable to ask for specific dates, but you will be waiting in line with others. It may take weeks before an adjuster can be on site.

Contact your District Dental Association representative. You should be able to find this number where you entered it in your Disaster Preparedness Plan.

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The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission warns hurricane victims that all gas control valves, electric circuit breakers, fuses, and electrical outlets—including ground fault circuit interrupters (GFIs)—MUST be replaced if they have been under water. Gas control valves on furnaces, water heaters and other gas-fueled appliances MUST be replaced. A qualified technician should inspect appliances, such as fans, motors, microwaves and venting systems.

Work with Your Insurer to Make Repairs

If you own your building and damage is substantial, have it inspected by a certified contractor or structural engineer. If you lease your facility, work with your landlord to determine the safety of your location. Remember, you are still responsible for the safety of those who enter your premises. If you are in a position to hire a contractor, verify that his/her license is current and valid. A contractor must be able to provide you with written proof that he/she has workers' compensation and liability insurance. Secure a copy of all insurance certificates and retain them for your records.

Make certain all applicable building permits are applied for and approved. If you occupied an older building, don't be surprised if you have to meet new building code requirements.

Return to Top Thank you to the Florida Dental Association and Florida Dental Health Foundation for providing significant contributions to this content, which were funded in part from the American Dental Association Foundation.