As an owner of a business, you are probably well aware that any interruptions to your business could lead to significant financial losses. This is exactly the reason why you have a policy that contains business interruption clauses or language.
But it is important to understand that policies often vary in terminology and terms, and holders of these policies may go through the experience that their insurers are reluctant when it comes to paying out claims, especially when it comes to broad-sweeping disasters. Our experienced commercial property damage lawyers may be able to help with your business interruption claims process.
In other cases, insurance adjusters may attempt to undervalue the claim when the business owner is inexperienced in these areas, especially when the person is already overwhelmed by the loss they are going through.
Our Fort Lauderdale business interruption attorneys at Klotzman Property Damage Law understand that it isn’t fair for the policyholders that have paid their premiums to have a valid claim undervalued or denied. Call us today at 954-915-7405 for a free consultation.
What Can I File a Business Interruption Claim for?
If you are an owner of a business and you have experienced a loss of income due to your business having to close due to a disaster or an order from the government and you have a policy that includes business interruption insurance, you should qualify to pursue reimbursement.
This will involve filing a claim for business interruption with your insurance provider. This coverage type can also go by the name of “business income coverage.”
Coverage for business income is supposed to support a business’s financial recovery after the company has experienced a period of “interrupted business” in which time the establishment was forced into reducing the hours of the business temporarily or the business was forced into closing its doors.
Coverage for business interruption should provide compensation for property damage, lost income, and any other expenses that have resulted from a natural disaster, theft, or other types of incidents that have impacted the operations of the business in a negative way. These are often referred to as “covered perils.”
To establish what peril types are covered and eligible for a claim it is important to carefully read through your policy. The policies for business income insurance often vary between the different insurance carriers.
The types and amount of coverage that you may be eligible for might depend on which state your business is located in, the type of policy that is supposed to cover your business, and other factors that may be related to the disaster or incident.
Insurance coverage for business interruption might reimburse your business for the following losses.
This can include loss of income caused by destroyed or tainted merchandise (for example, after a fire) based on an estimate of your earnings before the loss.
These are extra expenses that could include rent costs, relocation costs, and a range of other expenses that relate to the partial or total interruption of your business, including damages to your property or physical loss
Insurance policies for business interruption generally include a “coverage limit” that is determined by the insurance carrier. This refers to the “maximum amount” that will be paid out for covered claims. While many owners of businesses cannot predict a disaster, it is very important to choose the coverage limits that match up to the operations of the business.
Before purchasing an insurance policy that covers business interruption, the owner of a business needs to take into account a few factors such as how long it may take for the business to open its doors again after experiencing loss and if there are safety systems in place such as fire alarms and fire sprinklers.
What Is the Business Interruption Claims Process?
When it comes to filing a claim for business interruption in Florida, it is very likely that you will deal with a variety of people throughout your insurance claim process. When navigating through a claim for business interruption, you will more than likely encounter these professionals.
This is usually an employee that works for your insurance provider or a professional employed by the adjusting company that your insurer hires. The adjuster performs the role of evaluating and analyzing the claim for business interruption.
Claims Examiner or Manager
This is the professional above a claims adjuster that is also employed by your insurance provider.
Claims Accountant or Auditor
During a claim for business interruption in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the adjuster will in most cases use an outside account to evaluate and audit your claim.
Salvage and/or Remediation Companies
These are the companies or people that will be hired to restore your company. They carry this out by replacing or repairing damages to your commercial property.
These professionals usually include contractors, electricians, engineers, or any other expert that has been hired to evaluate the claim.
Business Interruption Lawyer
And finally, and probably most importantly is for you to hire a commercial insurance lawyer in Florida. The team of professional attorneys at Klotzman Property Damage Law can assist you with filing your claim for business interruption in Florida and help you with the negotiation process so that you are offered an acceptable settlement.
If you cannot reach an acceptable settlement, your lawyer can also represent you in court.
The Benefits of Using a Business Interruption Lawyer When Filing Your Claim
Although it is not always necessary to have a lawyer on your side when disputing an insurance claim for business interruption, consulting an attorney for these purposes comes highly recommended. Many insurance policies are filled with complicated legal language and terms that it is often difficult to interpret, especially if you have limited experience in insurance law.
The Fort Lauderdale business interruption attorneys at Klotzman Property Damage Law can give you the information that you need to understand what you are entitled to when it comes to your policy and they can help you to determine whether your insurance provider has wrongfully reduced or denied your claim.
At Klotzman Property Damage Law, our lawyers that specialize in business interruption insurance claims can help guide you through the process of a business interruption claim by assisting you in the following ways.
- Breaking the insurance policy down to define your covered losses and eligible benefits
- Investigate your insurance claim to assess whether the insurance company is acting in bad faith
- Carry out a thorough damage assessment
- Collaborate with legal professionals, business experts, and engineers
- Provide you with a settlement value (estimated) for the case
- Deal with any communications with the insurance provider
- Pursue the reimbursement you deserve according to what you have lost
- Going to trial (if necessary) to make sure you receive a suitable settlement
- Communicating with you effectively and clearly throughout the process of your claim
What Is Civil Authority Coverage?
Civil Authority coverage refers to a provision that most insurance policies include which is intended to compensate for an interruption in business that was caused by an order that was issued by the government or any other civil authority. This can include the orders that are issued by federal, state, or local government authorities.
For example, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the states across the nation issued a mandatory closure of business for those deemed non-essential with the intention of preventing or slowing down the progression of this highly-contagious disease.
This order prohibited many businesses from carrying out their business operations. Unfortunately, when trying to establish whether the income losses that resulted qualify for coverage (under this type of provision) depends largely on the conditions and terms outlined in your policy.
In most instances, Civil Authority coverage will only be triggered in the case where income loss is directly linked to physical loss (for example, damage to property or merchandise). This coverage type may then be assessed and result in a payout by an insurance carrier which will be based on the income loss that the business sustained and any additional expenses.
What Should I Do When My Insurance Company Has Denied My Interruption Claim?
If your insurance carrier has denied your claim, get in contact with an expert business interruption attorney. At Klotzman Property Damage Law, our lawyers have extensive experience when it comes to reviewing the denial documentation that insurance carriers provide. Your lawyer can then give you more information on why your insurance provider denied your claim.
From here your lawyer will assist you with preparing a letter of appeal and provide any other information that addresses the reasons why the insurer denied the claim. If necessary, your lawyer will also assist with filing a lawsuit to go after the coverage for business interruption that you are eligible for according to the terms of your policy.
How Can a Fort Lauderdale Business Interruption Attorney Help Me?
A lawyer that specializes in business interruption claims is well aware that when you as a business owner have paid a significant amount of money into your insurance policy you should be expecting coverage when your business needs it the most.
When your business operations have been interrupted by a burst pipe, or a disaster such as a hurricane, fire, or flood, you should hire an experienced Fort Lauderdale business interruption attorney to help with your claim.
If you have honored your premiums for business interruption insurance, then you should be eligible for the benefits mentioned in your coverage. However, coverage for business interruption is a complex area when it comes to insurance law. This is why the initial step in this particular process is to gain a thorough understanding of this language.
Call Us Today for Help With Your Business Interruption Claims!
The team at Klotzman Property Damage Law has a lot of experience when it comes to dealing with claims that have been undervalued or denied by insurance carriers. Insurance should cover any losses you have experienced and assist you in getting you back on your feet.
This is why Klotzman Property Damage Law is highly focused on dealing with aggressive lawyers or assertive insurance adjusters that are not playing fair with a policyholder. When a disastrous event has resulted in an interruption to your business, you deserve to receive a fair payout for the losses you have incurred so that you and your business can move forward.
If your insurance carrier fails to compensate your business fairly, it could lead to disastrous consequences for your business. Do not allow your business to be victimized and cause you to close your doors due to a denied or unfair claim.