The 72 hour clause states that any losses stemming from two or more events that occur within 72 hours of each other can be treated as one claim.
For example, if your business is damaged by a storm on Monday afternoon, and then suffers wind damage on Tuesday morning, you can submit a single claim for both incidents.
Why Does it Matter?
Submitting one claim for multiple losses can benefit both you and your insurer.
For you, it means less paperwork and simplified claim processing. Rather than submitting, tracking and settling two claims, you only have to go through the process once.
For insurance companies, concurrent claims are more efficiently handled as one case. Loss Adjusters only have to visit your property once to assess damages. And claims processing is streamlined on the back end.
When Does it Apply?
The 72 hour clause applies to "concurrent causation" situations where separate perils converge to cause damage. The separate causes could be anything from natural disasters to burst pipes to equipment breakdowns.
Here are some examples of losses that would fall under the 72 hour clause:
A storm strikes your business on Monday evening causing roof and window damage. On Tuesday afternoon, water pipes burst in the storm-damaged building, flooding inventory.
Your building’s air conditioning unit fails on Wednesday afternoon leading to electrical damage. On Thursday morning, a bad thunderstorm causes a tree branch to fall and crash through your roof.
A power surge damages some equipment on Friday night. On Sunday afternoon, an overheated electrical panel causes more equipment failures before igniting a fire.
How to Submit a 72 Hour Claim
When submitting an insurance claim subject to the 72 hour clause, be sure to provide your insurer with documentation showing:
The date and time each loss occurred
How the separate causes converged to amplify damages
Detailed descriptions of all property damage sustained
The more accurate information you can provide, the faster your claim can be processed. The adjuster assigned to your case may ask for more details to determine the applicability of the 72 hour clause. But in most cases, concurrent damages are fairly straightforward to combine into one seamless claim.
The 72 hour clause is designed to make the claims process easier for both policyholders and insurers when multiple perils strike in a short timeframe. Knowing how it works can streamline your next property claim following a string of bad luck.