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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Can I prepare my business interruption claim by myself?
Technically, you can certainly prepare and submit your business interruption claim by yourself and without assistance. The real question is: should you prepare your claim without help? And at what cost does preparing your claim by yourself come?
First of all, it is important to understand that your business interruption claim is partially based on projections and estimates. If you don’t correctly calculate your claim and thoroughly factor in all of your losses, you could lose out on money that you need and deserve. While you might save money by not using a lawyer, you may miss out on much larger amounts by going it alone.
Secondly, you should know that most business interruption claims are negotiated. If you do not have a thorough knowledge of how business interruption claims work, how to produce evidence of your losses, and how to negotiate with the insurance company successfully, you may lose out on money or have your claim denied altogether. Business insurance claim attorneys and the insurance companies are very familiar with the process and the common issues related to business interruption claims. You are not.
Finally, if your business claim is not handled correctly, a commercial insurance claim lawyer can help you navigate the case in court and find a swift and fair resolution.
At the Voss Law Firm, we offer free, private consultations to business owners who have questions or concerns about insurance claims and business interruption claims. If you believe that you may need an attorney or that your insurance company is not handling your claim properly, call us today for assistance at 888-614-7730.
What types of things will business interruption insurance cover?
Business interruption insurance can truly make or break a business after a commercial claim is filed. Normal business insurance policies cover things like property insurance and liability, but they don't cover you when your business has to shut down for an undetermined about of time. Sure, your insurance is covering the physical damage to your building, but who is covering the cash flow that isn't coming in while the building is fixed? That's where business interruption insurance can save a business.
In short, business interruption insurance replaces business income that has been lost as the result of some type of disaster. You need to be able to show the amount of profits you probably would have earned if your business had been able to open, as well as expenses like rent and bills that don't go away when the business isn't operating. This insurance may also cover salaries of employees that are losing money when the business is closed.
If you decide to buy business interruption insurance for your business, you are making the right decision—but just make sure you understand what may not be covered. When you are purchasing the policy, ask your insurance agent about times when the business interruption insurance would not apply. That way, if/when it does happen, you are not totally surprised that your claim was denied.
If your commercial insurance claim was denied, but it should not have been, it's time to get in touch with an insurance litigation attorney. Contact The Voss Law Firm today for a free consultation at 888-614-7730.
How do I know how much commercial insurance to purchase? I want to have enough, but I don't want to spend too much money either.
We never know when the unexpected is going to happen, but insurance is there to (hopefully) give us some sort of safety net. With all of the perils and risks that businesses are exposed to, it's natural to be nervous about purchasing insurance for your company. You can never know if something bad is ever going to happen, but you need to be ready for it.
The first thing you'll want to do is find an insurance agent you really trust. You don't need to call any random big insurance company and accept the first person that answers the phone. Do your homework and research various local agents to find ones that have a good reputation and experience working with business owners. Speak with business owners that you know in the area and ask them who their insurance agent is and if they're happy with their insurance. You can even ask them about the types of coverage they have because some of it may be applicable to your business.
You'll need property insurance and general liability insurance, but one piece of coverage some people fail to remember is business interruption insurance. If your business is damaged and you are unable to open to make money, business interruption coverage can help you with that. Remember, even if your building isn't ready for business, you may still need to pay salaries, rent and other bills. Business interruption helps you afford that.
Insurance is not a one-size-fits-all type of thing for every business. So make sure that you are honest with your insurance agent and you give them all of the information they need to create a good policy.
Are you a business owner who is dealing with a denied commercial claim? The Voss Law Firm focuses on commercial insurance claims management and can help you fight against the insurance company. Call us today for a free consultation at 888-614-7730.
My store was burglarized. How should I report it to the insurance company so that my claim isn't denied?
The most important thing you can do for yourself and your business following a burglary is to document everything. Some people have a tendency to overthink whether or not they "really" need to do something following a burglary. In order to fully back up your claim to the insurance company, you need to cover yourself from every angle possible.
Go through your store and make a list of every single thing that is missing, checking it against any inventory information you may have. Take note of when these things were originally purchased for the store, the cost and proof that no customer bought them. Type the list up on your computer, save it and e-mail it to yourself. Doing this will put a date and time stamp on the document and you will be able to prove when the list was created in case they try to say you made the list before the burglary.
You also need to file a police report—this should actually be the very first thing you do. Get the authorities in there to assess the damage and be sure to get a copy of the police report. If there's anything on the report that you disagree with, be sure to discuss that with the officer before you sign anything. Once you have a copy of the police report and your list of missing items, you are ready to contact your insurance company.
If you encounter any problems or your commercial insurance claim is denied, contact The Voss Law Firm for a free consultation at 888-614-7730.
What are the differences between slander and libel?
There's nothing easy about owning a business. One of the more frustrating things you may encounter is a person or group talking poorly about you or spreading lies. However, at what point is what they're saying against the law? How do you know when to take legal action? You probably have friends and colleagues that have mentioned "slander" or "libel," but what are they and how are they different?
Slander and libel both refer to the communication of false information about a person, a group, or an entity such as a corporation. They are known as defamation and the legal dictionary says that they "harm a reputation; decrease respect, regard, or confidence; or induce disparaging, hostile or disagreeable opinions or feelings against an individual or entity." Slander and libel are essentially similar things, but it is how the defamation is spread that determines whether it is a case of slander or libel.
Slander is when a person makes false defamatory statements orally. Libel is when the false defamatory statements are written or printed. Libel is generally easier to prove, as there is more solid evidence that something was printed or written. With the Internet, the line can get blurred between the two a little bit, but an experienced Texas business litigation lawyer will be able to help you out.
Your good name is a key asset in your business. If you are having issues with possible slander or libel, or any time of business-related legal problem, call our national business and commercial litigation law firm for a free consultation at 888-614-7730. Although based in Texas, we serve national and international clients on a contingency fee basis.
What is the best way to get my commercial insurance claim paid after it has been underpaid or denied by my insurance company?
Insurance companies often deny or underpay legitimate commercial claims in an attempt to save as much money as possible. Common excuses are when they tell you that your specific damage is not covered, or to “read your policy more carefully”–but these are usually tactics to get you not to press forward with your claim hoping you will buy what they are telling you and go away - well, don't even think about if you know your claim is valid.
The Voss Law Firm, P.C. has helped countless commercial property owners recover business losses resulting from covered losses all over the country, including Texas, New Jersey, Georgia, Mississippi, Illinois, California and more.
These insurance claims include those that flow from:
Buildings. restaurants, bookstores, coffee houses, shops, movie theaters, sports complexes, entertainment venues, strip centers, malls, hotels – all are covered under a commercial insurance policy.
- Office spaces. If you own or rent a business space, we can help you recoup your professional losses.
- Lost property. Many small business owners take their work home with them. If part of your home has a designated office space, you may be able to claim professional losses.
- Company vehicles. If your delivery van, bus, or other commercial vehicle was lost in the storm, you may be eligible for compensation.
- Loss of business income. Some commercial insurance policies include a clause to cover temporary loss of income due to the ruin of a workplace.
The loss of your business can leave you unable to provide for your family in the wake of a natural disaster. Insurers are not above deceiving their customers to avoid paying out, and may delay, deny, or apply exclusions and limits to your benefits which seriously cut the amount of your claim.
We’ve fought these battles before—and won.
How does this apply to your claim? Hurricane Sandy has created thousands of claims that are being denied because flood damage was not covered in the victims’ policies. But victims are able to recover their benefits by filing a mass suit against the insurance companies, largely because there is no expectation of flood risk at the time they purchased their policies.
If you have an active policy and your business was damaged, our law firm can help. Call The Voss Law Firm, P.C. today for a free no obligation consultation at (866) 276-6179 to get started. Your consultation is FREE, and we charge you nothing unless we win your case.
Does The Voss Law Firm work with commercial contractors and roofers to help get their denied or underpaid insurance claims paid in full?
The simple answer is, YES, all the time. By building a strong relationship with commercial roofers and contractors, as well as construction consultants and property managers, we are able to unite and defeat the insurance companies at their own game. Many seasoned commercial contracting firms have built The Voss Law Firm into their business model - meaning, when the insurance company fails to do the right thing on an insurance claim our referral sources send the claim straight to us because we get the claims paid - IN FULL, including all overhead and profit.
If you are a commercial contractor, commercial roofer, HOA, Board, property manager, or any other key player in the commercial proprty world and want to even the playing field against the insurance companies, please reach out for a personal phone call with Mr. Voss at (866) 276-6179, or fill out the form located on this page.
What do I, as a business owner, need to watch out for when settling a claim with the insurance company?
As a business owner, your business is your livelihood. This is why it is critical to ensure that you receive a fair insurance claim payout following property damage. When it comes to commercial insurance claims, business owners need to be especially aware of certain rights and understand what’s covered and what’s not under the commercial insurance policy. By having a thorough understanding of your insurance coverage, you shouldn’t get short-changed in claim payments for losses from:
- Clean-up costs
- Demolition expenses
- Cancelled contracts
- Lost profits
- Payroll impacts
- Business interruptions
In order to guard against low-ball claim payments or denied insurance claims, business owners need to understand what coverage protections they have. Because there are many different types of business interruption coverage, such as time element coverage and extra expense coverage, it is important to understand the specifics of a commercial insurance policy. However, the language used in commercial insurance policies is often ambiguous.
Interpreting insurance policies can be difficult, to say the least, which is why it is important to have a professional skilled in policy wording look at your policy as soon as possible. An insurance claim attorney will be able to determine what insurance benefits you may be entitled to in order to maximize your recovery from the insurance company and ensure your business is protected against interruptions and losses. The Voss Law Firm can review your policy to determine what benefits you should expect. Call a skilled commercial insurance claim attorney today at 888-614-7730 for a complimentary consultation.
How can business owners protect their commercial properties in future storms?
After Hurricane Sandy, scientists predicted that America would experience more frequent intense storms in the future. Because of this news, it is a good time for you to think about protecting your business from future weather-related events.
Hurricane Sandy caught many commercial property owners and homeowners by surprise. In Sandy’s wake, we’ve heard stories of businesses that were well prepared for the storm and that were able to resume operations quickly. We’ve also heard sad stories of businesses that weren’t prepared—not ready for the sometimes extensive property damages, unprepared for the interruption from shippers who couldn’t bring in supplies or deliver orders, not ready for the difficulty employees and customers experienced simply getting to the building, and not ready to discover exactly what coverage they’d purchased with their insurance plans.
What Superstorm Sandy did teach many homeowners and business owners alike is that insurance coverage is vital. By making smart decisions about insurance coverage and having adequate commercial insurance coverage, you can help protect your company from risks in future storms.
There is no time to waste. You should begin by reviewing your insurance policy to determine if you have enough coverage for storm-related property damages under your first-party property-damage policy. In addition, as a business owner, you are advised to confirm that you have business interruption coverage or contingent business-interruption coverage that would provide protection from losses.
If you would like help determining exactly what your policy does—and does not—cover and ascertaining what types and amounts of coverage would protect your business in the case of business interruption loss, call an experienced insurance claim litigation attorney. The Voss Law Firm can help you understand your policy and we can also help you make sure you receive your full benefits when submitting a commercial insurance claim. Call us today at 888-614-7730 for a free consultation.
What should I be aware of when dealing with my damaged warehouse and insurance claim after Hurricane Sandy?
Whether you own a Rhode Island warehouse or a warehouse or storage facility in another state that was damaged by Hurricane Sandy, you will need to file a commercial insurance claim for your property damages, business interruption expenses, financial losses, and more.
Keep the following in mind when filing an insurance claim:
- Take pictures of the damage – This includes taking photos of damage to the outside of the structure and anything inside that sustained water damage.
- Get bids for repairs – It is best to get a couple of bids on the cost to repair or replace your damaged property, and also be sure to hire a reputable contractor and company to complete the repair work.
- Show business income – When filing a business interruption claim, you will need to provide evidence of your business income from prior to the storm and then the loss after Hurrican Sandy.
- Keep records – These includes detailed records of your correspondence with the insurance company and all receipts and business activity records during your business interruption period. If you had to move your business to a temporary location, or if you incurred expenses to close down, include all charges—even out-of-pocket expenses and any extra expenses—that you suffered from the storm. These expenses can include utilities, advertising, salary, and more.
- Talk with a commercial insurance lawyer – A policyholder attorney can help you determine what your claim is worth and also work with the insurance company on your behalf so that you don’t have to. The Voss Law Firm can be reached at 888-614-7730 for a free consultation today.
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.