Commercial property insurance can provide your business with a much-needed financial cushion after natural disasters, fires, burglaries, and more. Understanding the commercial property claims process is key to maximizing your chances of recovery — read on to learn what to expect.
Step 1: Understanding Your Policy Coverage
Before filing your claim, you need to know what’s covered under your policy. Commercial insurance policies in Florida typically cover:
- Property damage to your business premises, including foundation, floors, plumbing, and roof
- Costs of business equipment, furniture and inventory and personal property
- Loss of rent if you own a rental property
- Losses due to decisions of civil authorities that limit access to your business, such as curfews or mandatory evacuations
- Business interruption coverage for the cost of operations and payroll expenses while repairs are underway
Understanding the commercial property claims process also involves knowing what isn’t covered under your policy. Be sure to check for any exclusions. Commercial property policies often have coverage exclusions for earthquake and flood damage.
Step 2: Documenting the Damage Before Cleanup
Take photos and videos of the damage before beginning the cleanup process and filing your insurance claim. Ideally, you also want to have pre-damage photos and video footage for comparison.
You should also thoroughly document any related expenses, including lost revenue, temporary repairs, relocation costs, and travel expenses. Submit this documentation as supporting evidence with your insurance claim.
Step 3: Filing Your Insurance Claim
Report the damage to your insurance carrier and send any photos and documentation as soon as possible. The insurance company will then likely send an adjuster to:
- Assess the damage in person
- Determine whether your policy covers the event
- Provide a valuation of the property restoration costs and any insured items like business equipment
- Propose a settlement offer
Commercial property claims often involve more extensive and complex damage and higher costs than homeowners’ insurance, so expect the claims process to take longer. In Florida, insurance companies typically have 90 days to accept or deny your claim, followed by an additional 20-business-day period to pay the settlement.
Unfortunately, insurance companies don’t always cooperate with claimants, especially when it comes to big-ticket policies such as commercial property insurance. Your carrier may delay, undervalue, underpay, or deny your claim to protect its bottom line. In such cases, it’s essential to hire an experienced insurance law attorney who will protect your interests and seek to negotiate the highest possible compensation you are eligible for.
Speak to a Florida Commercial Property Insurance Lawyer
Are you dealing with a delayed, undervalued, underpaid, or denied claim? At EC Law Counsel, we can help. Eunice Cabrera, our founding attorney, has over 11 years of experience in the insurance industry. With her insider’s understanding of the commercial property claims process, she knows how to handle insurance companies and fight for your rights.
Call 954-861-0833 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with an experienced commercial property attorney in Hollywood, FL.