Commercial properties suffer major losses in hurricanes and tropical storms every year. Attorney Bill Voss often speaks with policyholders and property owners who have misunderstood their insurance policies or been blind-sided by unforeseen gaps in coverage after a storm.
Hurricane insurance coverage for business needs is almost always quite complex, spanning many different policies to address the full spectrum of a property’s needs. It is up to policyholders to make sure the coverage fits the current state of the property, and they first must understand the layers of coverage that apply to the property and the kinds of hurricane losses that might be included.
Typically, commercial properties carry several insurance policies that, together, will cover:
- Buildings and structures. Hurricane insurance will generally cover hurricane damage to buildings on a commercial property, including office buildings, production facilities, and other structures.
- Office contents. Many commercial insurance policies also cover the contents of buildings, including furnishings, fixtures, and other interior property that has been damaged in a hurricane. However, some types of equipment and property stored on the site may not be covered unless additional coverage has been purchased.
- Computers and electronic equipment. Hurricane-damaged computers, peripherals, servers, and other data equipment is often also covered in commercial hurricane policies, along with the other office contents mentioned above.
- Inventory and cargo. Mitigating the effect of hurricane losses on customers is a big priority for the owners of most commercial properties. As a result, most also carry insurance coverage for inventory and cargo that has been damaged in a major storm.
- Equipment. Machinery, vehicles, aircraft, tools, and equipment can be damaged in hurricanes, but the coverage of these losses can be confusing. Passenger vehicles may be covered by one policy, and heavy equipment may be covered under another policy. A business may also carry additional coverage for specialized machinery or contractor equipment on the property.
- Flood-damaged property. Hurricane insurance policies generally exclude coverage for flood or storm-surge damage after a hurricane, but commercial properties are usually covered by their separate flood insurance policies through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Find out more about commercial insurance coverage of storm-surge losses.
Keep in mind that the specifics of any commercial property’s coverage can vary depending on the insurance policies and providers chosen, the location of the property, and issues unique to the industry or type of business. It is beneficial for policyholders to regularly review their hurricane insurance, flood insurance, and other specialized coverage to make sure the coverage carried accounts for all potential losses, without costly gaps or outdated property information.
If you are having trouble resolving a property insurance claim after a hurricane, or if you need help after a claim denial, don’t hesitate to reach out to our experienced attorneys by calling the Voss Law Firm at 1-888-614-7730 or completing our online contact form.