Disasters in the last decade–such as flooding in the Midwest, hurricanes along the Gulf Coast and wildfires in California–have caused catastrophic property damage and business interruption losses totaling hundreds of billions of dollars. What’s one of the first questions a risk manager’s boss always asks? “Were we covered?”

Insurance policies can play an important role in helping businesses recover from these types of disasters, but only if claims are managed properly.

These policies may provide coverage not only for physical damage to, and loss of property, but also for the extra expenses incurred in dealing with the aftermath–losses resulting from the interruption of business and during the time of recovery, or even expenses incurred in advance to minimize any damage and loss.

To make sure they obtain the full recoveries to which they are entitled, insureds should pay careful attention to these eight lessons learned in connection with disaster-related losses:

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