The bad news is that fires in commercial buildings can be devastating, and even small fires can create issues with smoke, heat, and water damage that make a business close its doors while repairs are underway. The good news, however, is that the majority of commercial insurance policies do cover “peril by fire.” If your commercial property was damaged by a structural fire, it is likely that you can file a fire insurance claim with your insurance company to recover the costs of repair and rebuilding.
However, you do need to be aware that all commercial insurance policies are different, and what’s covered in one policy may not be covered in another. Your specific policy should outline what kinds of fire damage are covered, and you need to be aware of—and prepared for—the exceptions.
For an obvious example of a common exception, you generally cannot collect insurance payments if you start the fire that destroys your property. However, not all exceptions to commercial fire policies are so obvious. In a more subtle example, a fire that is caused by an electrical issue may be covered by your plan, while a fire that is caused by a wildfire may not be covered if it is considered an “Act of God.” There can also be difficulties with fire insurance coverage if your commercial property has been affected by a fire at a neighboring property, but did not suffer a fire directly.
Again, the best way to understand your commercial fire coverage is to read your policy carefully. It is the single best way to know what your business insurance policy covers. In fact, it’s a good practice for business and property owners to regularly read over and make sure they understand their policies, including when they initially buy the policies and when any changes are made to the coverage. To help you make sure that you truly understand the limitations in your fire insurance policy, you may even want to look over the terms with the assistance of a knowledgeable attorney.
If your commercial building has been affected by fire, there are a number of steps that you can take to ensure that your insurance claim is handled correctly and quickly. A commercial insurance claim attorney may be able to assist you. To speak with one of our attorneys today about your commercial fire insurance claim, call the Voss Law Firm at 1-888-614-7730.