Business interruptions can be devastating for business owners in Florida. When you are forced to close your doors due to circumstances out of your control, you can stand to lose a lot of money or even lose your business altogether. However, business interruption insurance or business income loss insurance has helpd many businesses keep going during different types of crises. A Hollywood business interruption attorney can help you navigate these processes.
The Insurance Information Institute states that this coverage should kick in when a business has to close its doors due to damaging events such as a hurricane, windstorm, or fire. During these times, your business will still be obligated to cover its bills which could incur further expenses caused by this disruption. This add-on coverage can assist with covering the costs relating to day-to-day operations.
But what do you do when the insurance company that you have a policy with underpays or denies your claim for business interruption? This is when you should contact a Hollywood commercial property damage lawyer.
While your insurance for business interruption might save your company, understanding when and how the coverage should be triggered is often very confusing. If you are experiencing a situation where your operations have stopped completely, you need an expert insurance attorney on your side.
Klotzman Property Damage Law understands how complex these issues are to deal with. That is why our team of lawyers is here to assist you with managing your income loss claim for your business from the start. We will work hard to make sure you receive the settlement that your business deserves.
What Can I File a Business Interruption Claim For?
In order to file a claim for business interruption, there has to be a business disruption or closure. Your business might have closed due to the threat of Covid-19, due to an order from the government, or a natural disaster. In every case, there has to be a good reason why you are no longer able to conduct business.
Keep in mind that business disruption can also be a derivative, meaning it has occurred due to issues with a distributor or supplier. Every business interruption claim begins with “a disruption to usual business”.
The Nature of the Loss
Your insurance provider will need to know the reasons why you are no longer able to conduct your usual business. Your business might have closed or become unusable due to direct threats relating to the Coronavirus. It might have become necessary to carry out adjustments before you will be able to reopen. There could also be stay-at-home orders in place that are preventing you from conducting business.
A disruption to a business may also occur when someone that the business is working with cannot fulfill orders or distribute products. The identification of the precise nature relating to the losses is a requirement for all business interruption insurance claims.
A lawyer that specializes in the field of business interruption claims will assist you with the investigation process to ensure your report states the claim clearly according to the terms relating to the policy.
Proof of Your Expenses, Damages, and Losses
Business interruption claims must include documentation that includes the overall amount of the claim. Compensation that you can request can involve every loss that your business has experienced (up to the limit of the policy). Expenses, damages, and losses can all form part of your case, yet each one is slightly different.
To provide proof of the compensation amount you are requesting, you can use any of the records mentioned below.
- Tax records
- Expense and income records
- Payroll and employee attendance records
- Sales records
- Receipts for the expenses that relate to restoring the property
- Forensic Accounting
- Bank statements
You can expect that your insurance provider is going to apply a level of scrutiny when it comes to your records. However, when you provide the documents that are needed, it becomes possible to substantiate the claim so that it is processed faster.
What Is the Business Interruption Claims Process?
In most cases, there will be three primary issues to take into consideration before you make a business interruption insurance claim:
Check the Policy Wording
While the Courts may have some guidelines set out when it comes to insurance policies, each policy has different wording and each business is also different. Whether the policy is going to cover a specific loss comes down to interpretation. The lawyers at Klotzman Property Damage Law can assist you with this.
You have to provide your insurer with information about the claim in a very specific way and within the set timeframe, which will depend on the policy. If you fail to get this right, you may be at risk of not being able to recover the losses you have experienced or you could also risk receiving a low payout.
You will need to work out an amount that covers what you think you have incurred in losses due to an interruption. You will also need to gather evidence. In most cases, business interruption policies cover the loss of rent or gross profit, any additional expenses, and in some cases the costs involved to prepare your claim. The policy might also have a “maximum sum” that you will be able to claim.
Insurance policies are all different, while interruptions can also impact businesses in very different ways. There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to making a claim for a business interruption.
The lawyers at Klotzman Property Damage Law will work on getting to know and understand your business so that they can determine the impact of the interruption on your business. They will analyze the wording in the policy and give you advice on how to proceed with your claim and what you can include before you lodge the claim. They can also assist you if you need to challenge the decision of the insurer.
What Is the Civil Authority Clause?
Civil authority provisions come standard in most commercial insurance policies. When a government entity has prohibited access or forced a business to close its doors, the insurance provider should be covering the loss of income.
If your company was affected adversely during the Covid-19 pandemic and you are carrying this type of insurance, Klotzman Property Damage Law in Hollywood, Florida has lawyers that can help you. They will carefully examine your policy and investigate whether “prohibition of access” might be applicable in the coverage relating to your policy.
Prohibition of Access
Civil authorities can include federal, state, or local government entities. Prohibition of access has to deny access to premises that are covered in the policy. At the same time, prohibition of access has to be mandatory (not optional), for the coverage to be considered.
Civil Authority Provisions
The civil authority provision and the way that it is worded in the insurance policy are vital. For instance, in standard language, it may state that an insurer is going to pay for income loss that a business sustains and additional expenses.
This has to result from a civil authority action that prohibits access as well as direct damages caused to the property. It is important to know that the language is still referring to property damage. Even when the policy contains civil authority provisions, it doesn’t always mean that your claim will be covered.
What Can I Do When My Insurance Company Has Denied My Interruption Claim?
The easiest answer to this question is to approach an experienced attorney so that they can review your BI Policy (business interruption insurance policy). These lawyers have experience and the knowledge to interpret insurance policies and they could find the reasons why you have been denied coverage and reasons why the decision is wrong.
Filing business interruption claims with a policyholder can seem like a daunting task. However, a lawyer that specializes in business interruption claims can help you through this process. They will do all the work that is required when it comes o dealing with your insurance provider to help you secure the compensation that your business is entitled to.
It is important to not waste any time, and to immediately follow these steps when you have decided to file a claim for a business interruption:
- Contact your insurance provider and your agent immediately
- Review and read your policy to make certain that you are covered for business interruption. If you are unsure about the wording in your policy, contact Klotzman Property Damage Law for a complimentary case evaluation.
- Collect business records along with any other important evidence to provide proof of the revenue of your business before the interruption.
- Get help from an experienced Business Interruption Claim Attorney.
How Can a Hollywood Business Interruption Attorney From Klotzman Property Damage Law Help?
Regardless of the cause, an interruption policy has the potential to break or make a business. For example, many restaurants usually have considerable debt, and they need cash in order to remain afloat. If the insurance provider does not honor their policy, the owners of restaurants and all the people that rely on these businesses for employment may be facing seriously bleak futures.
When you are facing a situation where your business has been forced to close or you cannot conduct business as usual, you can benefit from the services of a skilled and experienced Business Interruption Policy lawyer to assist you in filing your claim with your insurance provider or building a case as to why deserve compensation.
Contact Klotzman Property Damage Law Today For a Free Case Evaluation
Filing insurance claims is often a complex process, especially when you are dealing with the stress and anxiety of having a business that is temporarily inoperable. While in most cases, coverage must be granted for losses that are covered, insurance companies often attempt to deny, underpay, or delay valid claims.
At Klotzman Property Damage Law, our insurance lawyers have extensive experience when it comes to the bad-faith tactics that insurers use to get out of paying claims.