Every property owner knows they must protect their assets from damage or face costly repairs. Natural disasters can lead to extensive property damage, which is why the most business owners today invest in commercial insurance. This protects the owner in the event something does go wrong, or so business owners believe.
However, insurance companies operate to make a profit. To do so, they need to pay out the least amount possible. As a way to accomplish this goal, they offer the lowest settlement possible. A business owner might find they need to hire an attorney to assist them in getting a fair settlement. To learn more about how insurance companies pay out the least amount, click here.
What Causes Commercial Property Damage?
When a person thinks of commercial property damage, they may bring to mind the damage caused by a natural disaster. A flood, fire, tornado, or hurricane would be a good example of a disaster that could damage property.
However, some commercial property damage is the result of humans. A visitor or employee might damage the property intentionally or unintentionally. Vandalism and theft serve as other types of property damage. In fact, damage to a commercial vehicle often falls under this category.
Preventing Property Damage
A business owner should do everything possible to protect their investment in the company. However, there are times when they cannot do anything, such as when there is a natural disaster in the area. This is where commercial property insurance becomes of great help.
Every business can obtain commercial property insurance to protect them from high bills associated with something they cannot control. The insurance company will cover all or part of the costs associated with fixing the damage.
What Should Commercial Property Damage Insurance Cover?
Commercial property damage comes in a few types. For this reason, business owners need to know what they should purchase to ensure they are protected. For instance, earthquakes and floods aren’t covered under most commercial insurance policies. The owners must purchase separate insurance to protect against these natural disasters.
Most business owners need to have direct damage coverage and time element coverage at a minimum. Direct damage insurance covers those incidents a business owner typically thinks of when it comes to property damage. For example, if there is a fire, the insurance will pay for the repair or replacement of the damaged buildings and goods. It may also cover debris removal and any cleaning associated with the damage.
Time element damage, on the other hand, is purchased to protect the business as any repairs are made. The business owner won’t be generating income at this time, so the policy will pay for the lost revenue. This allows the business owner to continue paying their bills until they can reopen.
Cost Coverage Options
Business owners may either opt for actual cash value or replacement cost value coverage. If they choose actual cash value, they will get the cost of the damage or stolen items with depreciation taken into account. Many business owners choose this option because they pay less in monthly premiums. However, they will pay more to replace the items because of the depreciation.
Replacement cost coverage covers the entire cost of any item that must be replaced. This means higher monthly premiums, but less money out of pocket when the commercial property has been damaged. Talk with an insurance agent and commercial property lawyer to learn which option is best for the business.
Regardless of which option is selected, the insurance company may try to lower the settlement amount or refuse to pay anything. For instance, they may dispute the amount of coverage or how much damage the business actually sustained. Bad faith claims aren’t uncommon, either.
A business owner should not have to fight their insurance company for the money they are entitled to. Contact a commercial property attorney for help with this matter. The insurance company has a team of lawyers working on its behalf, and the business owner needs an attorney to represent their interests.
How a Commercial Property Damage Attorney Can Help
Commercial property damage attorneys know how to pressure insurance companies to pay out. They can also evaluate the damage and come up with a fair settlement amount. In the event a claim is denied, an attorney becomes of great help in appealing the denial.
Attorneys negotiate on behalf of clients. Once a fair settlement amount is determined, the attorney contacts the insurance company on behalf of the client. They present the facts and document how the requested amount is fair. This is often enough to get the insurance company to pay out.
The insurer knows that if the matter goes to court, it will probably lose. The attorney can prove why the amount is fair and knows the legalities of insurance claims. They will take the matter before a jury, if needed, and share this information to ensure their client receives fair treatment.
The insurance company does not want this to happen. They know how expensive a court case can be. To avoid one, they will often pay the requested settlement amount once an attorney is involved.
Contact an attorney for help with a commercial property damage claim. Every person receives fair treatment from an insurance company after paying the premiums as agreed. The commercial property damage attorney ensures they are treated properly and compensated for any losses they sustained. Their experience ensures the right compensation amount is requested, as well.
The Claims Process
The attorney works with the client throughout each step of the process. Once this attorney has been selected, the legal team begins collecting evidence to prove the business owner’s claim. They will then approach the insurance company with a settlement offer. If the insurer disagrees with the amount, the attorney may work to bolster the case.
They are prepared to take the case to court if necessary. This allows a jury to make the determination of who is right and what a fair settlement amount is. When the claim is settled, the attorney receives a settlement check and distributes it appropriately.
Turn to a commercial property damages attorney for help in resolving an insurance claim. Doing so takes the burden off of the homeowner and provides them with peace of mind. They know they have chosen the right person to handle their claim, so they can recuperate from the incident that led to the loss.