Between hurricanes on the Texas coast, heavy rains, and low-lying ground, our state has its share of flooding and flood damage. However, insurance companies frequently try to deny coverage for Commercial Property Insurance Claims, even for policies with flood insurance.
These companies will gladly take your money to give you peace of mind, but many people find they are unwilling to keep up their half of the deal when a life-altering situation occurs. Acting in bad faith is a common issue for insurers, often resorting to unethical practices to pressure you out of a claim. We refuse to let such behavior go unanswered—our attorneys will fight to make sure they pay.
Natural disasters affect businesses as well as individuals. Damage to your business from a flood, hurricane, hail storm, fire, or tornado can prevent your business from operating and may affect productivity and profit. When an insurance company refuses to fully and promptly pay commercial insurance claims, the resulting losses can be disastrous.
Business owners and commercial property owners making Commercial Property Insurance Claims after a natural disaster may face disputes with insurers concerning flood damage, policy limits, replacement costs, physical loss or damage, cost of repair damages, business interruption, or application of exclusions. If an insurance company unfairly delays or denies a covered claim, parties insured against natural disaster damages may file a first-party insurance claim.
Commercial insurance policies are never written with simplicity in mind. Instead, they are difficult to understand and are littered with exceptions. Our firm’s goal in these cases is to get your businesses back up and running – quickly – but with every benefit, you are owed under the policy. At The Carlson Law Firm, we understand that in business, time is money. Our lawyers have extensive experience handling the most complicated commercial cases and can get your business up and running, while not missing out on the benefits to which you are entitled. Our lawyers handle the process from beginning to end, at no cost to you.
Commercial Property Insurance Claims: Hurricane Flood Damage
Hurricane Florence was a powerful and long-lived Cape Verde hurricane that caused severe and extensive damage in North Carolina, South Carolina and parts of Georgia in September 2018. Florence dropped a total of 35.93 inches of rain in some parts of The Carolinas, becoming the wettest tropical cyclone recorded in North Carolina, and also the eighth-wettest overall in the contiguous United States.
Now, in the wake of one of the most extensive disaster to hit the Eastern coast, residents of Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina are facing an uphill battle when it comes to rebuilding. The greedy insurance industry has made this process more difficult. Their tactics, which include delaying claims with excessive wait times and “fraud investigation” or denying valid claims outright, are slowing down our recovery efforts.
In August 2017, Hurricane Harvey made landfall off the Gulf Coast in Texas. Within only a few days, the massive storm poured over 9 trillion gallons of water on Houston and surrounding areas, causing the reservoirs, river banks, and floodplains and basins to fill to unprecedented levels. Tens of thousands of businesses and homes were flooded or damaged; tens of thousands of businesses were forced to close and hundreds of thousands of people were displaced.
No one could have been prepared for the devastation that struck South Texas residents.
Now, in the wake of the largest disaster to hit the South Texas area, residents of Corpus Christi, Rockport, Port Aransas, and Houston are facing an uphill battle when it comes to rebuilding, a process that is being made more complicated by the greedy insurance industry. Their tactics, which include delaying claims with needless wait times and “fraud investigation” or denying valid claims outright, are slowing down our recovery efforts.
Texas business owners were left facing catastrophic circumstances. Our firm understands how severe Harvey’s impact was on the business community, and we know just how difficult it is to get insurance companies to fulfill their promises to help you rebuild.
If your business was damaged by Hurricane Harvey or another storm, our firm is committed to helping you recover from your losses. Call us at (866-817-3187) for a free review of your legal and financial options. Contact us today for more information. We care. We can help.
Commercial Property Insurance Claims: Business Interruption Claims
Many businesses are facing catastrophic property losses, often accompanied by business income losses due to a complete cessation of business activities following a hurricane. This can be a devastating period of time – loss of income and cash flow coupled with increased personal and business expenditures.
While flood and windstorm insurance are forms of property insurance policies that protect your business’ physical location from the losses incurred by natural disasters such as Hurricane Florence, or Hurricane Harvey, they don’t take into consideration your losses suffered by your inability to operate. Experts estimate that much of a business’ damage comes from business interruption: the loss of clients, revenue, and operations that a disaster invariably causes.
Impacted business owners should look to their business’ insurance policies for funds to help rebuild and cover losses, including business interruption resulting from damage to owned property.
A Business Interruption policy should cover:
- Lost profits and operated expenses
- New/temporary locations
- Cost of hiring or training new employees
- Reimbursement for reasonable expenses
- Losses from government-mandated closure
- Contingent coverage (physical damage)
The principles governing adjustment and, if necessary, adjudication of a business interruption loss are scattered among numerous decisions by a variety of courts around the country. Business interruption claims take time, particularly to fully document the loss. You know your business better than anyone and can help maximize your recovery by teaching the insurer about your operations and putting the losses into the proper perspective. With the help of an Insurance Claims attorney from our firm, you can ensure you receive proper compensation from your Business Interruption policy.
Understanding First Party Hurricane Insurance Claims
First party insurance describes an insurance policy purchased by an individual directly from an insurance provider. When a policyholder experiences an illness or injury or incurs damage to an insured piece of property, he or she can submit a claim for payment or, in some cases, reimbursement, to their insurer. When a policyholder submits a claim under his or her own insurance policy, it is considered first-party coverage. An insurance company dealing with that claim must treat the policyholder reasonably and in good faith. If they fail to do so, a policyholder may bring an insurance claim against the insurer, seeking damages beyond the initial contract benefits.
Types Of Natural Disaster Claims:
- Flood damage
- Hurricane damage
- Lightening strike
- Excessively strong winds
- Tornado damage
What To Do If Your Commercial Property Insurance Claims Has Been Denied
The flood damage caused by Hurricane Harvey devastated tens of thousands of buildings in the South Texas region, leaving businesses displaced, bankrupt, or without a safety net. If your business’ insurance claim was denied, you need to be proactive and fight the insurer to give your company the best chance of survival. We believe that it’s time for the people and businesses to hold their insurers accountable for their unwarranted denial of claims, their bad faith dealings, and their unwillingness to make good on the promise of every valid insurance policy. The Carlson Law Firm has been protecting clients against major insurance companies for over 40 years. We’ll make it our business not to let your business suffer.
Before tackling any of the following steps, it’s important to first hire an experienced attorney to be your guide to the Commercial Property Insurance Claims process.
Step #1: Understand The Reason Why Your Claim Was Denied
Claims are often denied for a number of reasons, such as:
- Timing: It wasn’t filed on time.
- Coverage: The damages aren’t covered.
- Entitlement: It was a “fraudulent” claim.
- Limits: Your policy limits have been reached.
- Payment: Your premiums are unpaid.
- Documentation: You lacked proper documentation to prove the claim.
You should receive a notice letter from your insurance company detailing why you claim we denied. It will also include a relevant excerpt from the policy.
Step #2: Write an Appeal Letter
Now that you know why your claim was denied, you can start to build evidence to address it. This is done by submitting an appeal letter to your insurance company. Appealing a claim is a process that may take weeks—even months—but it’s a necessary step to resolving your claim. Your appeal letter needs to have the exact argument for why your claim was wrongfully denied, including all the evidence that the original adjuster either missed or didn’t take into account. Knowing exactly what evidence to include is as vital as finding it in the first place. Because this letter is such a critical component of your case, it is always a good idea that you get the help of an attorney.
Step #3: File a Lawsuit
If your appeal is denied by your insurance company, you have one last option: sue the insurer. Filing a lawsuit might be the best path for your claim.
Deny, Deny Deny: Insurance Companies Play A Long Game
Insurance companies are highly profitable businesses. They’re constantly increasing their profits, to the tune of tens of billions of dollars. Insurance companies know that the longers they are able to draw out the claims process, the more difficult it will become for small businesses to afford to continue the fight, thus forcing the small business to settle for less than they would otherwise deserve. If you haven’t received even a small portion of your payout for months, it’s not a mistake, but rather a common tactic by commercial insurers to get you to settle your claim for pennies on the dollar. Insurance companies bank on their policyholders not knowing the intricacies if their claims.
The reality is, insurance companies can afford to make you wait for years. These companies believe they hold all the power when it comes to Commercial Property Insurance Claims. However, the power dynamic shifts when you choose to hire an experienced commercial insurance claims lawyer. Once we notify the insurance company that we’ll be handling your Commercial Property Insurance Claims from now on, adjusters are more than happy to start playing ball.
How The Carlson Law Firm Can Help
The attorneys at The Carlson Law Firm have extensive experience dealing with all types of Commercial Property Insurance Claims, such as flood damage insurance claims. We are skilled negotiators when it comes to dealing with all major insurance companies, and taking the carriers to court when necessary. We can help you obtain fair value for your business interruption claim and get your business up and running again.
Our cases are prepared from beginning to end, and our clients can count us on us to provide effective representation and be prepared for trial if necessary. To discuss your flood damage claim and legal options with a lawyer experienced in handling business interruption claims, please contact us today for a free consultation and case evaluation.
If you experience delayed, denied or underpaid issues with your insurance company regarding your flood insurance claim, contact The Carlson Law Firm to schedule a free consultation. We can take the burden of fighting insurance companies with our team of experts. You will need a flood damage attorney on your side and we are ready to fight for you. We care, we can help.