Texas business owners are wise to revisit their company evacuation plans and disaster policies several times a year. As we enter once again into the start of hurricane season, attorney Bill Voss recommends that all property owners take this time to review their hurricane and disaster insurance—and be prepared to update their policies if they find them lacking.
How to Tell if Your Disaster Insurance Is Right for Your Business
The first thing business owners should do before updating their insurance is to create an accurate inventory in order to estimate commercial hurricane losses. The key to knowing what you need depends on knowing what you’re worth. It’s not uncommon for a property to be completely destroyed by a hurricane, so you will need an estimate of your total losses and how much you could recover in the worst-case scenario. If your policy limit isn’t enough to completely rebuild after a total loss, you may want to rethink your coverage.
When examining the limits of their coverage, property owners should:
- Pay attention to the details. The damage caused by hurricanes and other natural disasters is rarely straightforward, and many insurers use this confusion to their advantage. For example, while a policy may state that your business is covered for water damage, it may only apply to water that enters through the roof (rainwater) and not water that entered through a broken pipe or backed-up sewer system. Some policies even exclude wind-driven rain, only paying out when the rain has entered a structure after direct storm damage.
- Plan a quick response. You may have a plan for your doors to stay open while you rebuild, but you will also need to cover any interruptions due to the storm. Consider business interruption insurance to recoup the lost income from your clients and customers.
- Look for exceptions. What won’t be covered in your policy is just as important as what will. All policies have exceptions—such as flooding damage or earthquakes—which provide ways for an insurer to wriggle out of providing coverage. Find out what specific types of exclusions you have in your current in policy and consider buying separate coverage to fill in the gaps.
- Put aside your deductible. Insurance companies commonly require different deductibles for natural disasters. Hurricane deductibles can be much greater than those for other types of damage, so it may be worth it to put the full amount of the deductible in a dedicated account.
If your commercial insurance provider is refusing to cover the damage caused by a hurricane, our skilled commercial insurance attorneys can help you collect the full limits of your policy. Fill out the form on this page today to contact the Voss Law Firm, or order a free copy of our book, Commercial Property Owners Must Read This BEFORE Filing an Insurance Claim.