Our commercial property claims insurance lawyers help businesses get paid for their losses.
Insurers are notorious for denying and delaying claims. This can be the difference between continuing operations or having to shut down a business.
Smart business owners purchase commercial property insurance to protect against unforeseen disasters. Even with this costly insurance, you are still at the whim of the insurance company to pay your claim.
An experienced insurance lawyer can fight the insurance company to demand payment of your claim. Call Buckfire Law now to start your case.
- Common types of commercial insurance claims
- Types of commercial insurance coverage
- Common reasons for insurance claim denials
- What to do if your insurance claim was denied
What are the Common Types of Commercial Insurance Claims?
Any type of loss may qualify for payment under a commercial insurance policy. However, the most common commercial claims are:
Burglary and Theft: Any type of theft ranging from an armed robbery to employee embezzlement. About 20% of all claims related to theft.
Fire: Damage caused by fire can destroy a business. This includes smoke damage and water damage from extinguishing the fire.
Weather Damage: Any type of weather-related damage, including natural disasters like tornadoes and hurricanes. Ice, wind, and snow can destroy a business and floods can forever ruin a property.
Personal Injury: Customers, contractors, and others invited onto the property can suffer an injury due to an unforeseen or preventable accident. This includes slip and falls, toxic exposures, and harm caused by defective conditions on the property.
Reputational Harm: Claims of libel or slander that allegedly damage a person’s character or reputation. These can be the costliest claims.
Types of Commercial Insurance Coverage
Most commercial insurance policies contain similar coverage provisions. However, some may need to be purchased as additional coverage by the insured. The most common coverage types are:
Property Damage: Includes damage to the land, building, fixtures, furnishings, inventory and more.
Business Interruption: Provides payment for a business closed for any number of reasons. The purpose is to pay the business owner the amount of lost profits and other losses as though the business continued to operate in its normal fashion. This includes all overhead, operating expenses, payroll, and revenue streams.
Ordinary Payroll Coverage: Provides for salaries as a continued expense, and a policy may provide coverage for a business to pay hourly employees for a specified period of time while the business is closed.
Loss of Rents: Pays a property owner for loss of rents at a commercial or residence policy as long as it is uninhabitable due to a covered loss.
Civil Authority: Pays for losses if a commercial business is by an act of government, like an evacuation or government shutdown.
Directors and Officers Liability: Provides coverage for poor decision-making of a company’s board of directors or offices that results in a claim.
Cyber Liability: Protects a business against electronic data, computer systems, and even hacks from computer attacks.
Personal Injury: Pays claims for injuries caused at a business or commercial property. These can also include accidents that occur off of the property involving a company employee or vehicle.
Workers Compensation: Coverage for worker’s injured on the job or in the course of their employment for the business.
Common Reasons for Insurance Claim Denials
The first thing the insurance company does when you submit a claim is to verify that you had a policy in effect at the time of the loss.
Next, the adjuster determines if you have a covered claim. And third, a check to see if the claim is excluded from the policy.
The adjuster is actually looking for ways to deny paying your claim. If there is any reason at all to reject your claim, you should expect a denial letter from the insurer.
The most common reasons that commercial property insurance claims are denied are:
- The policy was not in effect at the time of the loss;
- A specific exclusion in the policy does not allow the claim;
- The claim was not timely or properly submitted;
- Fraud and misrepresentation in obtaining the policy or making the claim;
- Arson or some other intentional act.
There are all kinds of other reasons and basis for denying coverage. You should not take the insurance company’s word for a rejection of your claim.
If your claim was rejected, denied, or delayed, you should contact an experienced insurance law attorney.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Submit my Claim?
Most businesses submit their claims directly to the insurer without the assistance of an attorney. It is important that you comply with the policy and make a proper submission.
You should also submit your claim under “all possible provisions,” so the insurer doesn’t later argue that you that your claim was filed under the wrong coverage type.
If you are unsure about the submission process or believe your claim will be denied, then it is wise to have an insurance lawyer assist you with the initial submission of the claim.
What Can I do if my Insurance Claim was Denied?
If your claim was denied, the insurance company must state in writing the specific basis for denying the claim.
The adjuster will specific the policy language that relates to your claim and the reasons that you are not covered for the loss.
Many times, the basis of the denial is simply wrong or unlawful. In those cases, you can sue the insurance company to demand coverage and payment for your damages.
Can I Sue an Insurance Company for Denying my Claim?
You can your insurance company for wrongfully denying your commercial insurance claim.
A lawsuit can be filed for refusing the pay a claim or delaying payment of a claim. You can also sue your insurance company for refusing to defend you in a lawsuit.
Many times, the insurer is legally obligated to pay for your legal defense even though the claim may not ultimately be covered by the policy language.
The failure to provide a defense can leave you exposed to a large judgment and significant legal expenses.
Many insurers will defend a claim under a reservation of rights, meaning you will be given a legal defense but payment on the claim might be later denied.
If your claims were not paid or you were not provided a legal defense, you may have a possible bad faith insurance lawsuit. These lawsuits hold the insurer liable for bad conduct in handling your claim.
How Much are the Legal Fees for an Insurance Dispute?
Buckfire Law handles most insurance dispute cases under our No-Fee Promise. This means we do not charge any legal fees unless you receive an insurance settlement.
We pay all of the costs of litigation and only get paid at the end of the case if you win a settlement. There is no risk to start a claim or getting free legal advice.
Contact a Commercial Property Insurance Claim Lawyer
Call our experienced insurance lawyers today to find out if you have a case. We will determine if your claim was wrongfully refused, denied, or delayed.
Time is of the essence in filing insurance claims, so don’t delay. Call us now.
- 29000 Inkster Road
Southfield, MI 48034
- Phone: (248) 595-7544
- 19 Clifford St.
Suite 805 Merchants Row
Detroit, MI 48226
- Phone: (313) 992-8281
- 1001 Woodward Ave.
Detroit, MI 48226
- Phone: (313) 777-8482
- 343 S. Main Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
- Phone: (734) 888-3003
- 51424 Van Dyke Ave
Shelby Township, MI 48316
- Phone: (586) 250-2626