Commercial property insurance covers the buildings, structures, contents, and other property of companies or businesses when they are destroyed or damaged by natural disasters such as tornadoes and hurricanes along with fire damage and property that’s lost or stolen.
Commercial insurance providers in Florida have a lot of flexibility when they create insurance policies, which is why you need to know what’s covered by your policy and whether you have any supplemental or additional coverage to determine whether your insurance company has either breached their contract with you or is acting in bad faith. A Florida commercial property damage lawyer can help you navigate this stressful situation.
If your insurance provider has disputed in bad faith or denied your commercial property damage claim in Florida, you should hire Klotzman Property Damage Law to help you fight back. Call today at 954-915-7405 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation about your property damage claim denial or dispute in Florida.
What Are Some Common Causes of Commercial Property Damage in Florida?
Commercial property owners in Florida are usually not experts when it comes to evaluating the nature and extent of damage caused to their business property. The scope of damage to their property might seem overwhelming, which is why it is important to hire and retain commercial property damage lawyers such as those at Klotzman Property Damage Law to assist in the recovery.
Here are the most common causes of commercial property damage in Florida:
- Wind Damage
- Water Damage
- Smoke Damage
- Mold Damage
- Thunderstorms/Lightning Strikes
- Hurricanes, Tornadoes, or Windstorms
- Falling Objects
- Damage Caused by Employees or Visitors on Your Property
- Roof Damage and Replacement
- Theft of Property and Inventory
At Klotzman Property Damage Law in Florida, we understand what steps should be taken to pursue fair financial benefits for clients based on specific types and causes of damage to commercial property. We can hire experts to assess the damage, help minimize business interruptions, and pursue a property damage claim from any insurer. Call us today at 954-915-7405 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.
What Do I Do After My Property Has Been Damaged?
If your commercial property has been damaged in Florida, you can take certain steps as the owner of the property and policyholder. You should take the correct steps to avoid common mistakes and problems likely to hurt your claim. Here are the exact steps you should take after experiencing commercial property damage:
- Document the Damage before Cleanup: Take extensive photos and video footage of the damage to your commercial property. Ideally, you should also have photos and video footage of the property before the damage for comparison.
- File Your Initial Claim: Contact your commercial property insurance company to report the damage. Your insurer will review the photos and documentation you submit and send an adjuster to assess the damage in person.
- Protect Your Property from Additional Damage: Avoid making any permanent repairs while you wait for your property damage claim to be assessed. However, you can make temporary repairs to protect the property from further damage, such as covering broken windows to prevent water damage.
- Document Related Expenses: Keep track of all the money you have lost and spent due to the damage to your property, including relocation costs, temporary repairs, lost revenue, and travel expenses. You can submit this documentation as part of your insurance claim.
When dealing with the insurance claims adjuster, don’t expect them to automatically treat you fairly. Remain polite but wary. Keep your answers to questions the adjuster asks short and simple. Never admit any amount of fault for your property damage.
You should also avoid giving the adjuster a recorded statement. Before accepting a settlement or signing a release of liability waiver, you should first consult with one of our commercial property damage lawyers at Klotzman Property Damage Law in Florida.
How Much Does Commercial Property Insurance Cover?
A robust insurance policy is a must if you want to protect your business against property loss or business interruption. From local vandals to nature, from kitchen fires to hurricanes, the risks covered by commercial property insurance are numerous and diverse.
Any business, large or small, that owns the property, whether it comprises a few computers or dozens of buildings, should arm itself with commercial property insurance. Food and hospitality establishments, specifically, should never be without coverage since disaster can strike at any moment.
Due to the nature of the hotel business, a lot of investments and capital are tied up in the real estate. A commercial property insurance policy is required to protect the owner’s assets in case there’s a catastrophe. The policy can cover the buildings you own, the property within those buildings, or perhaps even property outside the buildings.
Restaurants are highly visible to the public and their operations involve open flames and ovens, which is why property insurance is a must-have coverage. A commercial property insurance policy for a restaurant can cover the building, freezers, kitchen equipment, dining tables, and other property along those lines. Claims on restaurant property insurance typically range from building fires to theft.
Other Types of Businesses
Most commercial property insurance policies cover the following:
- Building: Commercial property insurance covers the cost of repairing or reconstructing a physical building that gets damaged.
- Business Property: Commercial property insurance not only insures buildings but also everything contained in them, as long as they have been purchased by the business for business purposes (e.g., dishes, kitchen equipment, cash registers, computers, chairs, etc.)
- Inventory: Commercial property insurance policies also usually cover the costs of both perishable and non-perishable inventory.
- Business Interruption: Property damage also often leads to business interruption and lost income. Many commercial property insurance policies will reimburse your business for operating and payroll expenses while repairs are underway.
Commercial property insurance has some coverage exclusions. Keep in mind that earthquake and flood damage is usually excluded from commercial property insurance policies. If you operate in areas prone to such weather events, such as Florida, you should ask your broker to cover those events specifically.
Who Is Responsible for Commercial Property Damage
In most states, in both residential and commercial leases, it is the responsibility of the landlord to undertake repairs on the premises. If problems occur with the infrastructure or equipment critical to the functioning of the property and business, the landlord not only schedules but also oversees all repairs. However, Florida law doesn’t require this arrangement.
Standard commercial leases in Florida don’t actually require landlords to perform this maintenance as default. In the absence of these clauses, it is up to tenants to cover these repair and maintenance costs, possibly being forced to shut down business operations for that duration.
Florida law requires commercial leases to explicitly state the landlord’s maintenance duties. Even if a lease says that a tenant isn’t responsible for repairs, courts may rule that the tenant is obligated to cover the cost if the lease failed to identify the duty of the landlord to cover that specific repair.
Common Problems with Commercial Property Claims
If you have been in business for a while, you probably know that insurance companies don’t like paying as much for damages as you may prefer. You may likely run into a few common issues when looking to file a commercial property damage claim with your insurance provider:
Property damage can set a business back in a variety of ways, often leaving owners feeling frustrated and unsure of how to effectively rebuild. Unfortunately, the insurance company can still try to take advantage of you even after taking all the right steps.
The insurance company may dispute how much coverage you have and need in this particular case in an attempt to delay, grossly underpay, or deny a valid claim.
Owners of commercial properties are often surprised after running into problems when they submit damage claims to their insurance providers, but struggles with the claims process are actually far too common than you might realize.
The insurance company may dispute the extent of damage you have suffered, and, therefore, the amount they are willing to pay. While you might have paid for the coverage to protect your business in such situations, you may still be forced to fight to get an insurance payout.
Bad Faith Claims
Insurance companies owe policyholders a legal duty of fair dealing and good faith. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Bad faith refers to claims an insured may have against the insurer for underpayments, gross delays, or complete denials of valid insurance claims.
If an insurer breaches their duty of fair dealing and good faith, they can be held liable for additional damages, penalties, and lawyer’s fees beyond what’s already owed under the insurance policy.
How Much Return Can I Expect from a Property Damage Claim?
The return or amount of compensation that you can expect from a property damage claim in Florida will depend on the facts and circumstances of your situation. Here are some of the factors that may affect the value of your claim:
- The type of property damage suffered
- The severity of the property damage
- What was actually damaged
- Your level of fault, if any
- The insurance coverage available for your claim
If your commercial property has been damaged in Florida, Klotzman Property Damage Law can help you pursue the compensation you are rightfully entitled to through a property damage claim. We can help maximize your damages to ensure that you are fully compensated for your loss. Call us today at 954-915-7405 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to learn more about how we can help you.
How Commercial Property Lawyers Can Help You
No matter what incident causes damage to your commercial property in Florida, you can always count on our experienced attorney at Klotzman Property Damage Law to help you pursue fair financial benefits from your insurance company.
Our lawyers will work for you exclusively, which means that we will put you and your goals first. If you need to file a commercial property damage claim or deal with a dispute or appeal a denial, we can provide numerous services on your behalf, which include:
- Explaining your rights as the lessor or owner of the commercial property that has suffered damage.
- Determining your eligibility to take legal action against your insurance provider.
- Investigating your claim to determine available coverage and collect proof of losses.
- Handling all communications with the insurance company on your behalf.
- Filing the forms needed to bring an insurance claim or bad-faith insurance lawsuit.
- Walking you through all the steps of the insurance process to increase your chances of success.
- Representing you during trial before a jury and judge, if necessary, to recover compensation on your behalf.
Our commercial property damage lawyers in Florida can help you pursue your goals with a team of legal professionals, connections to experts in property damage, as well as state-of-the-art legal resources. We will also work to minimize the impact on your business. Overall, our legal team ensures that your business has everything that’s required for a successful commercial property damage claim.
Contact the Commercial Property Damage Lawyers in Florida Today!
The unfortunate reality is that insurance companies are known to regularly deny, delay, and undercut commercial property insurance claims. Since the values of these claims are often rather substantial, insurance companies usually look for any excuse to avoid paying them.
If your commercial property or business suffered damage or loss, or if you filed a commercial property damage claim that’s being disputed, delayed, or denied by your insurance provider in Florida, then you should get in touch with our experienced legal team to assist you.
We can help you when insurance companies act in bad faith. Call Klotzman Property Damage Law in Florida today at 954-915-7405 to schedule an appointment to discuss your commercial property damage claim with one of our experienced property damage lawyers.
We look forward to hearing from you and working with you.