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Prep Work

Build your case to get major insurance claims.

This story appears in the April 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

If you were involved in a lawsuit, you wouldn't show up in court unprepared. You'd have researched, gathered and anticipated what the other side might say and do. You should take the same approach to a major claim, says Brian C. Smith, president of Wilmington, , insurance company Smith-Feike-Minton Inc.

A key element of your major-claim strategy is having a comprehensive disaster plan in place before you need it, Smith says. That means being sure you have the right coverage and can document values, and you have your records safely backed up in an off-site location. Don't expect your insurance company to pay a substantial claim if you can't prove the of the loss.

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