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Nature has done a number on the U.S. this year. With two months remaining, 2011 already set the record for the most FEMA-declared disasters since the agency began keeping track in 1953. Between Midwestern and southern tornadoes, Texas fires, and northeastern blizzards and hurricanes, no corner of the country has escaped without being affected in some way. Domestic weather losses have exceeded $35 billion, according to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Association, and the damage doesn’t stop stateside. With a tsunami in Japan and flooding in Australia, the rest of the globe has been hit hard as well. This has been the costliest year on record, with economic losses in the first six months alone topping $265 billion, according to Munich Re.

In handling these crises, businesses must act quickly to contact their insurance brokers, evaluate potential coverage, and file claims. Delays in identifying insurance create unnecessary problems and can even foreclose coverage. Failure to pursue available insurance can even create liability to shareholders and others.

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