Being a business owner can be difficult in an of itself, and with the added stress of a catastrophic event can devastate even the most successful, profitable business. When that catastrophic event occurs that causes the business to incur such a devastating loss, the goal of the business owner is to restore functionality as soon as possible. Time is money, and wasted time is money lost. Therefore, it is in the best interest of the business to return to normal operations in a quick manner. While that is completely true, it is also imperative to receive the appropriate settlement from your insurance company to ensure that you will receive the appropriate funds to cover all losses incurred. As a business owner, it is imperative to remember that the insurance company does not have your best interest but rather fights for the insurance company to get the best deal. Therefore, it is imperative to treat any interaction with the insurance company as complete business professional focusing on how you would handle any business contract. Going into the process with that mindset will help you prepare to remain objective and focused on your goal of receiving reimbursement for your losses incurred during this devastating event.
As with any damage, it is imperative to take photos and videos of all the property that was damaged including: personal, inventory and structural. Document as thoroughly as possible and even have pictures of the condition prior to the devastating event if it is something such as a hurricane or other forecasted event. The insurance company will send out an insurance adjuster to assess the damage and they will provide you an estimate based on their assessment. Make sure that this individual is licensed and is qualified to provide you with that estimation information. Being a business owner, it is imperative to also obtain an independent adjuster that does not work for the insurance company to provide you with an estimation of the damages as well. This will allow you to compare your estimation with the insurance adjuster’s estimation and give a better sense of if the two correlate or not. If the insurance adjuster is not providing an appropriate estimate for the damaged property and losses incurred, then contact Coffey Trial Law and we will work hard to get the settlement you deserve to rebuild your business in a timely manner.
It is important to be familiar with the policies you have chosen to subscribe to so that you will know what all is covered if such an event occurs. Most commercial property policies cover damage to the building, fixtures, machines, furnishings, materials and inventory. Some policies provide coverage for business interruption. This allows for the insured business to receive funds that they would have received if the event had not occurred. This will help the business to maintain the necessary requirements to stay afloat when the business is being repaired. It typically covers the businesses’ profit, operating expenses and payroll for a definite defined period of time. There is an extra expense section to the policy in many cases that will allow for extra expenses incurred in order for the business to operate outside of its normal location while the business is being repaired. For example, if the business repair is going to be a lengthy one, the business may wish to re-open at a temporary location so that he/she may resume as close to normal operations as possible. There may be an Ordinary Payroll Coverage section of the policy that allows for continuation of payment for those hourly employees. The payment is for a defined period of time and limited. The Loss of Rent section, provides payment for lost income that occurs as a result of an uninhabitable rental property in which the tenets are not required to pay. Often Extended Period of Indemnity services are offered. These are just some of the more common policies included within your Commercial Property Insurance Policy.
It is imperative to remember that the Commercial Property Insurance Policy is very complex and must be navigated with someone who is familiar with the various sections as well as has your best interest in mind. Contact Coffey Trial Law to help navigate these complex policies and help ensure that you receive the maximum settlement that you deserve. It is difficult to sustain a profitable business without a catastrophic disaster, don’t let this catastrophic disaster impede your success. We at Coffey Trial Law will get you the insurance settlement you deserve to ensure that you will be able to get your business back into normal operations as soon as possible.