While property owners may not consider windstorms to be a threat to the concrete walls of their shopping centers, the truth is that damage caused by high winds can result in losses that continue for years after the storm. Attorney Bill Voss explores how to protect your retail outlet from costly wind damage by selecting the right extensions on an insurance policy.
Policy Endorsements to Cover Wind Damage to Retail Stores
The first step in collecting payment for wind damage is to ensure that your losses are covered under your insurance policy. Windstorms may travel in tandem with hail, rain, and other perils, and insurers may deny coverage that is caused by multiple hazards. In addition, many private insurers will not cover properties in Texas coastal areas against wind damage. Retail property owners may need to purchase a policy through the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) to ensure all of their property damage losses will be covered.
If wind damage is a covered peril under your property insurance, you may be able to select endorsements to the policy that can offset certain costs, such as:
- Cleanup costs. Insurers may limit the amount paid to clean the structure before restoration, such as clearing away broken glass, removing soiled or hazardous debris, or installing industrial dryers to prevent mold growth from water intrusion.
- Grounds and landscaping. The majority of property damage policies will cover the insured structure as well as the immediate area surrounding the building. If your property includes a parking lot, outdoor play area, garden, or additional structures, you may need an endorsement to extend coverage across the full scope of the grounds.
- Utility interruptions. Shopping centers may suffer extended closures if a windstorm results in a severe power outage. In addition to the loss of perishable inventory, your tenants may be unable to do business or access the internet—and lack of power to security systems increase the risk of vandalism.
- Business interruption insurance. Business interruption insurance is the most valuable form of coverage against any type of loss. These endorsements can replace up to six months of expected revenue after a covered loss, allowing owners to rebuild and pay their employees during the period of restoration.
If you are struggling to rebuild after a severe wind storm, our attorneys can work to get full and fair payment from your commercial insurance carrier. Simply fill out the form on this page today to contact an insurance attorney at the Voss Law Firm or order a free copy of our book, Commercial Property Owners Must Read This BEFORE Filing an Insurance Claim.