If your commercial property has suffered a covered loss, it’s time to file a claim with your insurance company. But tread carefully, because a mistake in the claims process could invalidate the payout you deserve. Even if you follow the procedures set forth in your commercial property insurance policy, there’s no guarantee your insurer will treat you fairly.
You may be offered an unreasonably low settlement or have your commercial property insurance claim denied outright. Regardless of the legal issues you’re having with your commercial insurance company, Klotzman Property Damage Law is here for you.
Give our experienced commercial property damage lawyers a call today!
The Basic Steps of Filing a Commercial Property Insurance Claim
Take these steps if you want the best chance of having your claim approved.
Mitigate the Damage
One of the first things you need to do before filing a commercial property insurance claim is mitigate the damage. Mitigation means doing what is necessary to keep the damage from getting worse. Failure to mitigate is a very serious matter with potentially devastating consequences for the policyholder.
The insurer may not be able to determine what damage is attributable to the incident, versus the failure to mitigate. In this case, the insurance company may deny your entire claim. If this happens, contact a Florida property damage lawyer right away.
Document Your Losses
Next, start documenting the extent of your losses. This means taking pictures and recording video of the damage to your business property. The more detail, the better. Your objective is to demonstrate, with evidence, the value of the losses you’ve sustained. Start gathering that evidence now. It could include such items as purchase receipts or business property appraisals.
Review Your Policy
You will then need to read your policy. This document will contain everything you need to know about covered losses, deadlines, and procedures. It’s also a good idea to make sure you have proof of your premium payments. Many insurers erroneously cancel policies because of a lapse in coverage owing to missed premiums.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Contact your insurance company when you’re ready to file, following the instructions in your policy. After you file your claim, an adjuster will reach out to you to begin the investigation process. You should stay in regular contact with your adjuster and ask about timetables for resolving your claim. A Florida property damage attorney can help if your insurer is unreasonably delaying the claims process.
Determining the Value of Your Loss
When you file a claim, your insurance company will work to ascertain the value of what was damaged or destroyed. Most insurers will do the following:
- Assess the replacement costs of your business losses
- Deduct the accumulated appreciation (for age and condition) from the above costs.
However, your insurance company may underestimate the true value of your losses. Remember, insurance companies are for-profit businesses. Just because you have an insurer doesn’t mean the company has your best interests at heart.
The more claims are underpaid or denied outright, the more money the insurer makes. This provides a strong incentive to not pay you a fair value for your commercial property damage. So what steps should you take if the settlement offer you receive isn’t reasonable?
Our Florida Property Damage Attorneys Are Ready to Serve You
If your commercial insurance company isn’t living up to its end of the policy, it’s time to retain legal counsel.
Our experienced Florida property damage lawyers can help with a number of problems you may encounter. These include failure to respond to the claim, delays in the claims process, and undervaluing your claim. We can also assist if your claim was completely denied by the insurance company.
Give Klotzman Property Damage Law a call today.