If you run a small or medium-sized business, you know how much it hurts to have to close your business. It’s even more difficult to manage when you have also suffered a natural disaster. Some people worry about how their home will stand up to a storm or hurricane. You have to worry about your home and your commercial property.
If you do experience a natural disaster, your business will likely suffer an interruption. If this happens to you, it’s a good idea to contact a Miami property damage lawyer. They can help you assess the damage and file a claim with your insurance company. Here, we will discuss how business interruption insurance works. We will also explain how it applies to your business interruption.
What Qualifies as a Business Interruption for Insurance Purposes?
In order to be covered by your business interruption insurance, your Miami property damage lawyer must demonstrate that you did, in fact, suffer an interruption. It isn’t enough to be closed for a day or two. That can happen quite frequently due to everyday problems.
For example, you may have to close your shop if your employees all have the flu. Or you may need to close for a day while you and your staff attend training or an outside conference. To be covered by your special business interruption insurance, your commercial property damage attorney in Miami must submit specific proof of an interruption.
Your Commercial Property Damage Attorney in Miami Will Help Determine What is Covered Under Your Policy
Before you start documenting the broken items and damaged inventory in your store, you need to review your insurance policy. Typically, if you have business interruption insurance, it is in addition to your regular commercial insurance.
Very rarely would somebody purchase this type of insurance by itself. What you should do is take a copy of your policy to your Miami property damage lawyer’s office. They will read the fine print and help determine what losses are covered under your policy.
Typically, business interruption insurance covers the following:
- Salaries and wages
- Benefits costs
- Relocation expenses
- Costs of replacing inventory
- Monies to repair or replace things like fixtures, furniture, cases, etc.
- Overtime pay needed to rebuild the business
- Advertising costs to notify customers of new location or new opening date
- Lost revenue and profit
Of course, this list is not exhaustive. It’s also important to remember that not all policies are the same. You get what you pay for when it comes to business interruption insurance. Most business owners prefer to get 80:20 coverage. This offers coverage for 80% of your losses. You would be responsible for the difference.
While you can purchase a policy that offers 100% coverage, it is rather expensive. Given the odds of your business suffering an unplanned interruption, it may not make fiscal sense to pay the higher premiums.
Your Miami Property Damage Lawyer Will Also Submit Financial Records
The best way to prove that you suffered financial losses as a result of the interruption to your business is with financial records. Your Miami property damage lawyer will review your income tax returns and financial statements from the past few years.
They will then compare them to your sales records and other financial statements for the current period. This will help you demonstrate how much you have lost in sales and revenue. It will also show the additional costs and expenses you suffered while building your business back up to full scale.
Even the most astute businessperson can feel intimidated when confronted with this sort of task. This is why most of our clients rely on accountants to handle these records. Your focus should be running your business, not doing paperwork.
The good news is that your commercial property damage attorney in Miami understands how to read and compare these reports. They will help you itemize the specific losses and expenses you experienced during your business interruption.
It’s Important to Remember to Include All Losses – Big and Small
Some of our clients think it’s a waste of time to write up losses for small items. For example, if the signage outside the front of your store was destroyed in a flood or fire, it will cost you thousands of dollars to replace. You may also have to pay an electrician hundreds of dollars (or more) to ensure that there is no electrical damage to your signs. You may not think of things like this when you write up your list of damaged and destroyed items.
One of the benefits of hiring a commercial property damage attorney in Miami is that they’ll help you figure these things out. They will remind you of what is covered under your policy. This will help as you go back through your store or office and see what you may have missed. It’s also a good idea to have another person review your list to see if you missed anything obvious.
Sit Down with One of Our Miami Property Damage Lawyers Sooner Rather Than Later
If your business has experienced a shutdown due to a flood or other natural disaster, you have options. Ideally, you purchased business interruption insurance. This is the only way you can really recoup any monies you lost as a result of the disaster. Our Miami property damage lawyers meet with business owners every week who are desperate for help.
When the insurance carrier denies your claim, in whole or in part, you should get legal advice. If you paid the premiums for your insurance, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be taken care of. Sometimes, all it takes is a letter from your commercial property damage attorney in Miami to change their minds. Once they know you have retained an attorney, they will be less likely to try to take advantage of you. They’ll also have no choice but to respond to your attorney’s emails and telephone calls.
We recommend that you contact our office as soon as possible after disaster strikes. You can’t afford to have your business closed one day longer than necessary. It will be difficult enough to maintain your customers and employees if you close your doors for more than a week or two.
Your Miami property damage lawyer will do whatever they can to get you fairly compensated for your losses. You should call one today so you can schedule your initial consultation. They will help provide you with a roadmap of what you should and shouldn’t do. They will also let you know how best to proceed.