Commercial Building Insurance Claims
When a business owner invests in commercial building insurance, their aim is to avoid the consequences of unanticipated loss from property damage. Many businesses around Florida carry this insurance, with the expectation that if property damage occurs, insurance companies will be there for them.
Unfortunately, not all commercial building insurance claims are handled failry. While insurers are expected to deal fairly and in good faith with their policy holders, many businesses are unjustly denied coverage or pressured into accepting low-ball settlements.
Under Florida law, all policy holders, including businesses, have rights that must be respected by all insurers. According to these laws, an insurance company may not deal in bad faith by ignoring, denying or underpaying a policy when they know more was deserved.
Even where businesses are not frustrated by bad faith, the complexity of the insurance claims process can lead to negative outcomes. To make a successful claim for damage resulting from a covered event under a commercial building insurance policy, it is important to understand the process. This is why business owners and companies prefer to consult with a skilled commercial building insurance claims attorney before proceeding.
Attorney Michael D. Barber is an experienced Florida insurance attorney with a solid track record of standing up to big corporations on behalf of Central Florida residents. He understands Florida’s insurance laws, and can provide crucial guidance to you wh ile making or litigating your insurance claim.
If your business has been victimized by a bad faith denial of your commercial building insurance claim, Attorney Michael D. Barber can also help. Your business should not suffer due to the reluctance of an insurance company to settle your claim for what it is worth. To better understand your rights under the law and the options available to pursue your claim, contact the Law Office of Michael D. Barber today at 407-890-8000.
Florida commercial building insurance attorney
The primary purpose of commercial building insurance is to limit some of the risks that a business faces. Any amount of damage to a business’ premises or offices can result in significant revenue loss and may affect overall profitability.
When such damage occurs, many businesses are forced to shut down for lengthy periods, and some may never reopen. Whether from natural disasters such as hurricanes, flooding and hail, or as a result of accidents, the risk to businesses can be high.
In these circumstances, it is crucial for the business to properly submit their insurance claim in order to recover crucial compensation. However, the complexity of the process can often be daunting, especially when there are concerns over whether coverage applies to the specific cause of the damage to your building, and to what extent.
In addition, insurers typically want to properly investigate the loss to the business before making a decision about whether to accept the claim or not. All of this may add significant time to the processing period, meaning the business must stay closed or operate at reduced capacity for longer.
To avoid the occurrence of avoidable loss, businesses should work with a commercial building insurance claims attorney. An experienced attorney will understand the process and can advise on exactly how to put together a winning claim. In addition, an attorney will examine the insurance policy to determine the extent of coverage and what the business can expect in compensation. Some of the common types of coverage in Florida include:
- Building insurance: This protects a business owner from all damage to the commercial property. It is important to understand exactly what events are covered under the policy. For instance, many policies do not include compensation for damage resulting from flooding.
- Business personal property: Businesses take this coverage to protect the movable property within their building. Some of the property protected here includes equipment, inventory, furniture and fittings.
- Electronic data processing: Typically, commercial building policies have limited coverage for computer networks. This coverage allows a business owner protect their computer equipment from physical damage as well as virus attacks or power surges.
- Business interruption: Sometimes a commercial building will need to be closed down while repairs are ongoing. Business interruption coverage compensates businesses for loss of income arising due to covered events.
Signage and other structures: Finally, business signage and structures adjoining the commercial property can be insured under this coverage. This may include fencing and other smaller buildings on the property.
The insurance claims process
The claims process typically starts with contacting the insurance company and informing them after damage occurs. Most insurance policies stipulate that an insured entity or individual must inform the insurance company about the event within a specified period of time. This may vary depending on the insurance company and the event that caused the damage. However, the time period is usually between 24 to 48 hours.
After contacting the insurance company, it will be necessary to file a claim detailing the particulars of loss and compensation claimed. However, it is a good idea to speak with an attorney before going on to submit a claim. Certain businesses even leave the entire claims process to an experienced attorney, giving them more time to focus on their business.
The attorney will handle all aspects of making and following up the claim, and will negotiate with the insurance company when a settlement is offered. By engaging an attorney at this stage, businesses significantly increase the chances that they will:
- Be responded to in a timely manner;
- Receive a reasonable offer from the insurer; and
- Settle the claim for a much higher amount than if they had proceeded alone
After the claim is submitted the insurance company will send out an adjuster to inspect the damage and particulars of loss. It is important to retain the correct perspective about the role and allegiances of the loss adjuster. While these individuals may seem polite and helpful, you should keep in mind that they are employees of the insurance company and will protect its interest, not yours.
In addition, many insurance company are primarily concerned with their own profitability, and their adjusters understand this. As a result, their primary objective will be to minimize or deny your claim if they can. They will do their best to settle the claim for the lowest amount possible, or even deny it completely.
This is why you should never agree to anything or sign any document with an insurance adjuster without first speaking to an attorney. With the right advice from a Central Florida commercial building attorney, it is possible to secure a positive outcome in the shortest time possible. But you need to involve an attorney as early as possible to enjoy the full effect of their assistance during the claims process.
Attorney Michael D. Barber can help
Rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell and recognized as a Rising Star by SuperLawyers.com, Attorney Michael Barber has the proven skills and experience to secure the outcome you desire.
Whether the insurance company has denied your claim, severely minimized your compensation or is making the process difficult, you can reach out to the Law Office of Michael D. Barber for help. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 407-890-8000.