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A Property Catastrophe Doesn’t Have to be Financially Devastating. Here’s How You Can Protect Yourself

Mutli-Story Building in TexasIf you own a multi-story residential or commercial building, or if you’re living in such a building, a catastrophic event can be devastating to you financially and personally. For renters, a fire can destroy everything you own. Building owners can face the loss of a major asset and business income. If the worst happens, you can protect yourself financially with the right insurance, but it’s important to ensure you have the coverage you need. Attorney Bill Voss explains the different types of insurance coverage for multi-story properties and how a lawyer can help with your claim.

Types of Insurance Coverage

Depending on whether you rent in a multi-story building or own the building, you’ll need to consider varying types of insurance coverage, including renter’s insurance, homeowner’s insurance, building owner’s insurance, and some special insurance needs for businesses.

Renter’s Insurance

Renter’s insurance will typically insure the contents of an apartment for renters. However, it won’t cover damage to the building itself. The landlord’s building insurance should cover damage to the building. Moreover, this insurance won’t cover damage to your property in certain cases. Most renter’s insurance policies won’t cover damage related to earthquakes, riots, or pests like bed bugs or fleas.

Homeowner’s Insurance

Homeowner’s insurance will typically insure both the contents of a building and the physical structure for apartment or building owners in the event of covered perils such as fire, earthquake, lightning, tornadoes, floods, and storms. Your homeowner’s insurance may also provide some living expenses if you’re displaced from your home. It can also provide personal liability coverage if someone is injured on your property. For many people, their home is their largest asset. And it makes sense to fully ensure that you won’t face financial devastation in addition to the loss or damage of your home in a natural disaster or if you’re sued because someone trips and falls on your front walk. 

Building Owner’s Insurance

Building owners can face additional risks, particularly if they lease residential or commercial space. A multi-story building owner can face:

  • Loss of rental income
  • Theft or vandalism
  • Fire, flood, storms, or other catastrophic damage to the building
  • Liability for injuries to tenants, employees, or visitors
  • Discrimination lawsuits from tenants or employees
  • Advertising liability
  • Liability from fraud, theft, or other intentional acts by an employee

As a result, multi-story building owners should have a policy tailored to their business needs. Commercial property insurance can protect you from the loss of a building or other structures on the property, such as common areas, fences, pools, and garages, as well as any business property you have on the premises.

Special Business Insurance Needs

Business owners may also need additional insurance to cover the physical building structure and the financial consequences to the business if the building faces damage or destruction:

  • Business Interruption. If you rent out a commercial or residential space or run your own business in a building you own, you could face loss of income from rent or interruption of your own business if the property is seriously damaged or destroyed. As a result, you should consider loss of income insurance coverage.
  • Commercial General Liability Insurance. Also known as landlord’s insurance, CGLI can protect you from lawsuits or liability if a tenant or visitor is injured on the property, including a building gym or pool.
  • Umbrella Insurance. If an event exceeds the limits of your standard insurance coverage, an umbrella policy can provide excess liability protection, further protecting your business.
  • Ordinance and Law Coverage. Ordinance and law coverage can provide protection when damage or loss of your property triggers a local ordinance or law. For example, if rebuilding or repairing the property requires you to comply with additional building codes, or if strict ordinances govern demolition or debris removal, the cost to rebuild could become cost-prohibitive. In these circumstances, ordinance and law coverage can provide additional coverage. 

Why Do You Need a Lawyer?

While we like to think that all insurance companies will deal with us in good faith, that’s not always the case. If your insurance company denies your insurance claim in bad faith, you need a lawyer guiding you along the way. Insurance companies may sometimes:

  • Misinterpret your insurance policy
  • Offer low settlements
  • Refuse to pay a claim without explaining the denial
  • Delay payments or the stages of the claims process
  • Fail to disclose policy limitations
  • Impose unreasonable requirements or excessive paperwork on you
  • Try to cancel or change policy coverage after you file a claim

When an insurance company is giving you the runaround or trying to avoid paying a valid claim, an experienced insurance attorney can often circumvent their unreasonable demands and ensure prompt settlement of your claims.

Get Help From a Skilled Insurance Lawyer

If your Texas insurance company is acting disingenuously or trying to avoid paying your claim, you need help. The Voss Law Firm can help you get the compensation you are owed so you can move on after a property catastrophe. Fill out our contact form today to get answers to your questions.

 

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The Voss Law Firm, P.C. represents clients on a local, national and international basis. We proudly serve companies and individuals along the Gulf Coast and around the globe on a contingency fee basis. Our law firm collects nothing unless we recover on our client's behalf.

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