Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About The Insurance Claim Process
Do you have questions about commercial and business insurance litigation, business claims law, bad faith insurance litigation, industrial insurance claims litigation, condominium insurance claims, church claims, apartment claims, first party bad faith insurance claims, and marine insurance claims? To discuss your case, contact The Voss Law Firm, P.C. toll free at 888-614-7730.
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Why would my business need legal help to file a business interruption claim?
There are a number of reasons you might choose to bring in a policyholder attorney to help with a business interruption claim. One of the most common reasons business owners contact us is because they have run into an unusual or complicated snag during the adjustment process, such as dealing with:
- An extensive interruption of business
- Numerous other claims for business losses from the same event
- A claim for losses has been denied under existing coverage
- An offer from the insurance company that seems too low to cover business interruption losses
Even Without Complications, Business Interruption Claims Can Be a Struggle for Policyholders
While many kinds of commercial insurance claims can be complicated or suffer from complicated circumstances, business interruption claims—even the seemingly simple claims—can be notoriously difficult to settle fairly. Unlike a more straightforward property damage claim, the loss adjuster assigned to your case must draw from a number of data sources to estimate your losses due to interruptions, and these determinations can be very subjective. Additionally, business interruption coverage can vary from policy to policy, and some business owners are unpleasantly surprised to learn that their policies do not cover interruptions.
If you are struggling with a business interruption claim, an attorney who has extensive experience working with commercial property owners and their insurance companies can step in and help you take control of your claim, ensuring that you get the maximum recovery in your circumstances and avoid common mistakes.
For more information about how our experienced legal team can help you, request your free copy of our informative book, Commercial Property Owners Must Read This Before Filing an Insurance Claim.
When is the right time to contact a policyholder attorney for help with a commercial claim for hurricane damage?
Clients contact our policyholder attorneys at a number of different stages in the commercial claims process, but clients most commonly decide to contact us:
- Immediately after the storm passes. In the immediate aftermath of a storm, our legal team can help you mitigate risks and losses, document and assess damage, and create a plan for recovery.
- After a claim has been denied. Commercial claim denials aren’t always the last word, and in many cases, denials can be fought with the help of a policyholder attorney.
- When repairs are needed, but just aren’t in the budget. Many business owners don’t realize that they’re in over their heads until repairs become urgent and the money just isn’t there. If you are having trouble getting temporary and urgent repairs in place, an attorney may be able to help you speed up the process and explore additional avenues for compensation.
- When they run into delays or complications. Although claiming damages under the policies you pay for should be simple, the process is sometimes frustrating and fraught with problems. If you are running into problems with the insurance company, then it’s smart to get a legal ally on your side.
Ultimately, the right time to seek legal help is when you realize that you need help to get the most out of your commercial coverage. Although contacting an attorney sooner rather than later can save you from a number of common traps and mistakes, our team is ready to step in and help you take control no matter where you are in the claims process.
To learn more about effectively negotiating insurance claims for damage to your business, request your free copy of our book, Commercial Insurance Claims: The Basics, or connect with our policyholder attorneys on Facebook for regular news, tips, and updates tailored to you.
Is there any way to speed up the process of a commercial insurance claim for property damage?
Sometimes you’re able to settle a commercial claim with minimal delay, and other times, it may seem like you’ve been waiting an eternity for the compensation you need to help your business recover from a storm, fire, or other negative event. Delays and slow-downs can be caused by a number of factors, but no matter what the cause, a policyholder attorney can help smooth problems and get the process moving again.
If you are running into delays with your commercial insurance provider, an attorney can help speed up the claims process by:
- Making sure you’re fully prepared. Many delays in commercial property damage claims stem from a lack of key documentation and organization. A policyholder attorney can ensure that all of your bases are covered so you can move forward confidently.
- Helping the process move forward efficiently and effectively. Our legal team has experience representing businesses of all types and sizes, and we can quickly identify problems that may be causing delays and help you bring your claim to a prompt and satisfactory resolution.
- Protecting your rights as a policyholder. Insurance companies may seem friendly, but they are ultimately out to protect their own bottom lines. With an experienced legal representative at your side, you can be confident that your rights are protected and that you are being treated fairly by the insurance company for your business.
Did you find this information helpful? Find the answer to many more common questions about policyholder claims by browsing our other Frequently Asked Questions, or connect with our legal team on Facebook.
How can my company plan ahead to limit the impact of potential wind, hail, and storm damage?
Every year, severe spring storms weave a path of damage across the nation, and business owners are sometimes caught unaware and unprepared. In the aftermath of a serious storm, day-to-day operations can grind to a halt, and the lost time, money, and business can set your company back for years to come. While storms, hurricanes, and tornadoes aren’t always predictable, your business’ storm-season routine should be. Here are just a few actions you can take now to limit the impact of expensive storm damage:
- Have an emergency preparedness plan in place for your company, including safety training for each location and prominently placed signs instructing employees on emergency procedures.
- Regular roof inspection and maintenance can go a long way toward limiting damage. Roof damage is common in heavy rain, hail, and high winds, but a simple routine of inspection and maintenance can nail down potential problems before a storm causes major damage.
- Make regular grounds and building inspection a part of your company’s springtime routine, checking windows, doors, external vents and pipes, eaves, siding, and outbuildings. Time and weather take a toll on the exterior of your buildings, and minor issues like a loose piece of siding or weak beam can quickly turn into an emergency in severe weather.
- Make sure trees are healthy, well-maintained, and free of dead branches that could cause damage in a storm. Fallen trees and branches are responsible for serious damage to buildings and vehicles, and there is also the risk of trees bringing down power lines. Seasonal maintenance of trees can go a long way toward preventing this type of damage.
- Take the time to review your company’s insurance coverage for storm damage each year. You can save a lot of time and money if you make sure that you understand the current terms of your commercial insurance policy, how to assess damage, and how to file a claim for storm damage.
Did you find this article helpful? For more news, tips, and information about storm damage and commercial insurance claims, connect with our team on Facebook or YouTube today.
Should we have our employees sign non-disclosure agreements?
Whether or not you could benefit from using non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) depends on a number of factors, including which parties you will be sharing information with and what kind of information you have to share.
In Texas as well as in a number of other states, your trade secrets are already protected under the law to some extent. In addition, your patented, trademarked, and copyrighted information is also safe from others. However, a non-disclosure agreement can add a layer of protection to your trade secrets and protect any intellectual property that has not yet been officially registered or copyrighted.
Important Times to Utilize NDAs
- When you are developing or inventing a new product or procedure.
- When you are speaking with potential investors for a product or business.
- When you are working with another company to create a new product or service.
- When your employees will have access to information like customer purchases, financial information, and sales figures.
- When you are working with an independent contractor who might also work for competitors.
In the best situations, a well-written NDA will keep your trade secrets and intellectual property properly guarded. In the worst situations – in which your secrets are shared, sold, or misused – an NDA gives you the ability to take legal action and possibly collect damages.
Would you like to learn more about non-disclosure agreements and the protection of company trade secrets and intellectual property? Follow The Voss Law Firm on Facebook.
How much will my apartment owner’s insurance cost?
Owning and operating an apartment complex (or complexes) comes with a wide number of risks: Your building could incur damage, someone could become injured on your property, or your business could be interrupted for an extended period of time.
Having the right amount of coverage is vital to your success. Having too much coverage can cost you money and hurt your bottom line. And not having enough coverage could destroy your business in a loss event.
How should you and your insurance company determine the cost of your insurance policy? Look at for major factors:
- The value of your property
- The value of your business operations
- Your business and property’s loss performance in the past
- Your opportunity for future losses as calculated by an underwriter
Some of the factors listed above can change over time, so it is key to review your coverage over time and make changes when necessary. For example, you may need more coverage if you improve your property, make renovations, or expand your business. You may need less coverage if the state of your property declines or if you make improvements to your property that will protect against storm damage or vandalism. In many states, your insurance premium may go up if you file high numbers of claims.
It is also imperative to get the correct types of coverage for your apartments and rental business. For example, you may wish to purchase flood insurance, business crime insurance, business interruption insurance, or general liability insurance. All of these policies can help protect you, but they also affect how expensive your insurance bills are.
Do you want to learn more about apartment owner’s insurance coverage and claims? Follow Voss Law Firm on Facebook to keep up-to-date on the latest insurance news and current events.
Who is responsible for my new construction defect? Who will pay for the damages?
Homeowners’ insurance policies usually do not cover new construction defects. To find out specifically whether your insurance policy covers some or all new construction defects, it is vital that you read your contract with the insurance company carefully and that you understand state and federal law.
Did your construction defect cause property damage?
To file an insurance claim, your defect must have resulted in actual damage to the property. For example, a house constructed on a bad grade may be damaged by a mudslide, while a house with poorly installed windows might cause structural water damage.
Is the defect termed an “occurrence?”
Many insurance companies argue that new construction defects aren’t covered under liability insurance because they aren’t technically accidents, meaning the damage was not caused by a severe storm, a burst pipe, or a burglary, for example.
Is your home under a builder’s warranty?
Perhaps your best chance at repairing damage from a new construction defect is looking at your builder’s warranty – most policies are one-year, two-year, and ten-year terms. If you have maintained your home as described in the warranty, and if you discover issues with your home’s construction, the builders may be responsible for all repairs.
You may need a new construction defect attorney.
If you believe that your new construction defect damage should be covered by your insurance policy, or if you believe that your home is covered by a builder’s warranty, you may wish to speak with a skilled construction defect attorney about your case. Fixing property damage stemming from a construction defect can be prohibitively expensive.
Do insurance companies consider flooding an “act of God”? Related Links:
The legal definition of an “act of God,” according to insurance companies, is “an event that directly and exclusively results from the occurrence of natural causes that could not have been prevented by the exercise of foresight or caution.” With that in mind, do insurance companies consider a flood to be an act of God?
Whether or not a flood is considered an act of God depends heavily on the circumstances, such as:
- How an act of God is specifically defined in your insurance policy
- Whether flooding is specifically discussed in your insurance policy
- Whether the area covered by your insurance has a history of flooding or is in a danger zone for flooding
- Whether the flooding on your property could be prevented or prepared for
In many cases, flooding is not covered by your general property insurance unless you live in certain states or areas. You should be sure to do research before buying property insurance and before buying a flood insurance policy separately. You should also read all of your insurance policies over carefully.
If you have had a flood-related insurance claim denied, it is vital that you understand exactly why it was denied and whether it was denied for a valid reason. If you believe that your insurance company did not process your claim correctly or that it acted in bad faith, you may wish to speak with a Dallas insurance claim attorney. At the Voss Law Firm, we are committed to helping businesses and families make certain that insurance companies honor their contracts. To learn more about our legal services or to schedule an appointment, call today: 888-614-7730.
Do I need an attorney for my business dissolution?
As with many business matters, a lawyer may not be required for your business dissolution, but one may help you tremendously as you try to wrap up your business dealings quickly, fairly, and without legal issues.
What can a Texas business attorney assist you with specifically as you dissolve your business?
- An attorney can protect your interests.
- An attorney can ensure that you follow all laws regarding business closure.
- An attorney can help you understand your existing contracts and how those contracts will be affected by closing your business.
- A lawyer can help you with tax issues related to your business dissolution.
- A lawyer can help you with the sale of any real estate your business owns.
- A lawyer can help you avoid and resolve legal disputes that arise during your business closure.
If you do not take the correct steps when shutting down your business, you may face unnecessary expenses, as well as possible litigation. With the help of a business dissolution attorney, you can be confident that you are following all state and federal regulations, while at the same time acting fairly toward your business partners, employees, and customers.
At Voss Law Firm, we have the experience and knowledge needed to tie up your business’ loose ends, allocate profits, and help you move on to the next chapter of your life. To learn more about our business dissolution legal services, and to speak with an attorney, call us today to schedule an appointment: 888-614-7730.
Is it okay if my insurance company has reinsurance or retrocession insurance? Related Links:
You might be concerned to hear that your insurance company buys its own insurance. You might be even more concerned to hear that those insurance companies (called reinsurance companies) also buy insurance (called retrocession insurance). However, even though the act of buying insurance for insurance sounds a little like a pyramid scheme or a downward spiral, it is actually a good thing for your insurance company to buy insurance.
Simply put, selling insurance to others means taking on risk: if nothing goes wrong, insurance companies make a profit. But if something does go wrong, they have to pay out a claim. If a huge loss event takes place, such as a hurricane or tornado, an insurance company may not be able to pay out all of the claims with its profits.
Buying reinsurance and retrocession insurance means spreading out risk among several large companies. If a huge loss event takes place, single insurance companies are at risk of not being able to pay all of the claims. However, if the insurance companies have the security of several reinsurance companies, they are less likely to buckle in the weeks and months following a catastrophe.
In the aftermath of a disaster, you may extremely concerned that your insurance claim will not be paid out in its entirety or in a timely manner. Luckily, reinsurance and retrocession insurance make it more likely that the industry can handle the rush of claims after a large loss event.
Do you need the assistance of an experienced and knowledgeable Texas commercial claims attorney? Call the Voss Law Firm today for information about our legal services: 888-614-7730.
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.