Texans weather more hail storms than anyone else in the nation, and naturally this leads to an outpouring of hail damage claims. If you purchased commercial property damage insurance through Farmers, you may expect replacement of your damaged roof—but your payment will depend on your coverage selections and limits. Attorney Bill Voss examines the various business insurance plans offered through Farmers, including options to help customers recover after a major disaster.
Farmers Insurance Commercial Property Damage Options
Farmers Insurance offers many different types of coverage that can help business owners recover after a severe hailstorm. Depending on which coverage options you have selected, you may be able to collect payment for:
- Property damage. Farmers allows customers to recover damages to business property if damaged is caused by a covered event. This insurance is intended to repair or replace covered business items, including inventory, computers, software, and other lost items. It can also be paired with business income insurance to replace lost profits if you are forced to close your doors for repairs in the aftermath of a storm. In the event that you will have to rebuild, building ordinance coverage covers the increased costs of complying with new building codes or ordinances when you restore your structure. Finally, it may pay for hail damage to company vehicles, such as broken windows or dents on the roof and frame.
- Natural disasters. Many natural disasters, including hurricanes, tornadoes, and forest fires, are covered under Farmers property damage policies policy. If the disaster has devastated a large area, the insurer may send a mobile claims center to assess damage and allow customers to complete the claims process more quickly.
- Umbrella coverage. Farmers offers umbrella insurance for businesses to extend the limits of their existing policies. The insurer offers additional liability insurance as well as umbrella policies to cover excess in the limits of an underlying commercial auto policy. Umbrella coverage is purchased in $1 million increments (up to $10 million of coverage) for qualifying businesses, allowing them to protect their profits and holdings.
Farmers Insurance Claims for Large-Scale Disasters
A hailstorm may be a stand-alone event, or it may be just one result of a major weather disaster. Farmers handles disaster claims somewhat differently, including dispatching its Catastrophe Corps to hard-hit areas.
The Farmers’ CAT Corps is sent to communities that have sustained a great amount of damage and are likely to file claims. Agents arrive in a Mobile Claims Center bus that allows insurance representatives to answer questions and process claims on site. The CAT Corps is responsible for providing in-person claims investigation, estimating covered losses, and issuing initial payments for emergency expenses. The response team may also provide additional services, such as providing access to the Internet, phone and charging stations, or even helping displaced victims find temporary housing.
Farmers’ own materials state that the insurer works to deliver a settlement check as quickly as possible. In many cases, agents will complete an estimate and provide payment during their first meeting with the client. However, if the property requires additional inspection or evaluation, the insurer will prepare the estimate and deliver the estimate and settlement check when the investigation is complete.
Many business owners dutifully pay insurance premiums year after year, fulfilling their end of the insurance agreement for the peace of mind that it affords. However, they may discover that the insurer they trusted with their livelihoods has no intention of holding up its end of the bargain. Failure to receive fair payment for extensive property damage forces business owners to take a major financial hit to complete repairs on their own, often forcing them to make layoffs or even file for bankruptcy as a result.
If you are struggling to collect fair payment from an insurer after a storm, we can help. Simply 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.