Commercial property is a big investment and the loss of a commercial property can be devastating. For this reason, you should always consider obtaining commercial property insurance so that you can be covered in the event of a fire, vandalism, or another disaster.
What is Commercial Property Insurance?
Commercial property insurance will protect you from fire, natural disaster, and theft when these events affect your property. This type of insurance is usually bundled together with commercial general liability insurance. Commercial property insurance is similar to property insurance but the insurance does not cover the losses of the tenants in the building in some cases and the tenant might need to purchase renter’s insurance.
Commercial Property Insurance Coverage
In addition to the damage done to your building, commercial property insurance might cover:
- Exterior signs
- Important documents
The insurance might also cover the property of others.
In addition to property damage, you may receive coverage for business interruptions. Under this form of coverage, you will receive compensation for any losses sustained due to your business not being in operation. The insurance provider will also compensate payroll and any other expenses such as the use of another building. If you are leasing out your commercial property, you may receive coverage for lost rent.
Even if your property is not damaged, you may receive compensation. For example, you may be forced to evacuate the area. If you are not sure what will be covered, be sure to contact your insurance provider.
The Insurance Claims Process
Start by reporting the incident to your insurance carrier. He or she will notify the adjuster. The adjuster is an independent company, but they work for the insurance carrier and not you. The adjuster determines the scope and estimate of your damages. At this point, the adjuster will typically instruct you to provide documents.
In some cases, you might be lucky and the adjuster might accept your claim immediately. In other cases, she might request an “examination under oath” or a “proof of loss.” If they strongly believe that you do not have a case, they might deny your claim immediately.
How A Commercial Property Claims Lawyer Can Help You
You may think that filing a claim is simple but insurance providers will sometimes deny your claim if you do not submit the necessary information or if you are not able to make it clear that you are covered under a particular situation.
Other problems you might encounter when working with a commercial insurance provider include:
- Past due payments
- Partial payments
- Claim denials
One common reason for your insurance claim denial is that you made a late payment. The insurance provider might believe that your incident should not be covered. They may also believe that you are engaged in fraud. Finally, you might have simply exceeded your coverage limits.
Commercial Insurance and Bad Faith Practices
In some cases, an insurance provider might make a simple mistake, and you may need a commercial insurance attorney to speak to the insurance provider on your behalf about the mistake. However, in other cases, the insurance provider might be deliberately acting in bad faith.
For example, the insurance provider might make an offer that doesn’t begin to cover your costs and is also well under the insurance cap. They may ignore evidence that supports your claim. They may mislead you about the types of cases that are covered. They may claim that you did not suffer as many losses as stated on your claim. They may also simply deny your claim without an explanation.
Fortunately, you can provide evidence to show that you have suffered damages such as:
- Repair estimates
You may request an additional review from your insurance provider and also ask if there is any evidence you may provide that will increase the odds of your claim being accepted.
Understanding the Law
You may find it difficult to understand the law without the help of a commercial property claims lawyer. If you decide to take legal action against your insurance provider, a lawyer will help you determine if you are eligible.
If your attorney agrees to go forward with your case, he will begin investigating your claim. He will look at the language of your insurance policy and will examine the reason for the denial of your claim. The attorney will determine whether there is a discrepancy between the policy and the reason for your claim denial. You may be worried that you cannot afford an attorney at this stage, but many attorneys work on a contingency and will receive a percentage of your settlement.
Commercial Insurance Appraisals
You have the right to request an appraisal under some commercial insurance policies. Not only will the insurance provider hire an appraiser, but you may also hire one. Then, both you and the insurance provider will come to an agreement regarding how much your claim should be worth. This can be helpful if the insurance provider does not value your commercial property high enough.
The investigation may require that he consult with expert witnesses who will help you assess your property damage. This often includes construction contractors, engineers, and other professionals hired by your attorney who have the professional knowledge necessary to testify on your behalf. Then, your attorney will gather evidence to help support your dispute. He will fight for a fair settlement and will argue your case in court if you must go to trial.
Overcome Your Denied Claim
Make sure to not wait too long because there is a statute of limitations for insurance claims. If you don’t know where to start after your commercial insurance claim was denied, we’re here to help. Give us a call to schedule a free consultation.