In the large-loss insurance claims that often follow a major hurricane, the policyholders for commercial properties will generally deal with teams of many different people. Several different insurers or policies may be involved, as well as many different professionals working on behalf of the insurers or insured. With so many people involved in the claims process for a single storm, it can make an already complicated situation all the more confusing. Before you need to file a claim, attorney Bill Voss would like to explain who you might be dealing with, why they’re involved, and when to call in professionals of your own.
Who Works for the Insurance Company in Resolving Commercial Hurricane Insurance Claims
After you notify your insurers of a hurricane loss, you can expect to talk with:
- Claims adjusters. The insurance companies involved will generally assign one or more claims adjusters to handle your claim. These adjusters may be employees of the insurance company, or the insurance company may choose to hire a separate adjuster from an outside firm. The claims adjusters play an important role and are responsible for determining the cause and extent of the property losses, if the losses are covered, how much the losses are worth under the policy, etc.
- Attorneys. Insurers may sometimes choose to involve attorneys in large-loss claims, whether they use a staff attorney or work with an outside law firm. Attorneys are often used in hurricane insurance claims because there are often disputes about what caused the loss or who is responsible for coverage of the loss. Attorneys also prepare for potential litigation and, if necessary, represent the insurance company in court.
- Accountants. Since hurricane insurance claims for businesses are often large and complex, it isn’t unusual for the insurance company to use the services of insurance claims accountants and accounting firms. These professionals put together the estimated cost of losses for the insurance company and also look over any estimates that you submit.
Often, businesses will deal with not just one insurance company, but other insurers, as well. For example, especially in commercial hurricane claims, there are often issues with storm-surge losses that fall under a business’s flood insurance policy. The commercial flood insurer will assign their own adjusters and other professionals to handle the flood portion of the hurricane claims.
Who Works for You in Resolving Commercial Hurricane Insurance Claims
Like the insurance company, you will also have many professionals working on your insurance claims after a large-scale commercial hurricane loss. However, many of the specific professionals available to the insurance companies are not available to you, as the insured. While you may wish to also work with claims specialists, accountants, and attorneys, it is generally a benefit to find professionals of your own choice who only work on behalf of policyholders and are experienced with large-scale insurance claims. In addition, you may also use the services of:
- Disaster recovery professionals. Many companies already have in-house staff devoted to disaster recovery, although some choose to engage outside services or appoint professionals as needed. These teams perform a number of duties, often highly specific to the company or property, and help coordinate the claims process and recovery efforts for the policyholder.
- Contractors. When hurricane damages are extensive, businesses need to be ready to work with many different kinds of contractors. These are the people and companies who will be involved in nearly every step of the hurricane-recovery process, including taking a hand in inspections, estimates, damage mitigation, recovery planning, repairs, and rebuilding. Be sure to choose contractors you trust, and do your research before making decisions about who to hire.
At the Voss Law Firm, we have a national reputation for obtaining exceptional results in complicated cases involving extensive commercial property damages. If you have questions about a commercial insurance claim, please contact us today at 1-888-614-7730, or request our free book, Commercial Insurance Claims: The Basics, which will help you understand what to expect after you submit a hurricane insurance claim, how to avoid potential problems, and what to do when a claim is unfairly denied.