In this ever-competitive world, businesses can’t afford to lose hours let alone days and weeks. Therefore, any type of property damage can be harmful. While you’re forced to find temporary premises elsewhere, customers are left with a poor service and the impact continues to spread. With natural disasters, something completely out of your control can affect your reputation as a service and customers may choose to go elsewhere.
With social media and the accessibility of news, consumers are certainly more understanding with natural disasters. Yet, this doesn’t help when you just want to get back up and running.
Business Interruption Insurance
These days, most business owners recognize business interruption insurance as an integral policy feature. When property is damaged and you’re forced away from the premises, the idea is that you can make a claim and be compensated for this loss.
Depending on the policy in question, you may be covered for;
- Lost cash flow and income
- Lost rental value
- Loss of use
- Loss of customers
- Cost of temporary commercial space
Although you would have preferred to avoid damage completely, it at least provides some comfort in your time of need. With hard work and determination, you’ll have the business operating as it was before in no time.
Dealing with the Claims Process
At Cannella Legal, we can help you to document all lost income and generate evidence that really shows the interruption that has occurred to the business. Regardless of your business type, our role will be to prove interruption and lost income. If the insurance company causes problems, we have the experience and knowhow to deal with this.
While you concentrate on plans to get everything back to normal, we’ll handle all the minutiae and, together, we can minimize the impact to your brand!
When running a hotel, there are risks to the business, and you have to place a certain amount of trust in customers that they’ll treat the property well. While some incidents and accidents are preventable, we don’t have control over things like natural disasters. When these occur, it leads to huge financial loss and important conversations with the insurance provider.
A short while ago, Hurricanes Harvey and Irma caused heartache for hoteliers across the south coast. As well as suffering damage through the hurricanes themselves, there was also the threat of rain and the impact this could have on the recovery process.
At Cannella Legal, the biggest problem we see is the lack of policy understanding. For most hotel owners, insurance is something they know they need. However, they’re generally happy to grab any policy off the shelf without really understanding what’s covered, what happens in the event of a fire or natural disaster, and whether they will receive their claim.
With hotel insurance especially, there are all sorts of clauses that can exist within a policy. After a natural disaster, hotel owners should be looking to mitigate further damage or else suffer the consequences when the adjuster visits. As an example, as long as you’ve taken photographs that show the extent of the damage, it’s up to you to remove water from the lobby otherwise mold and mildew will start to show.
In some cases, hoteliers think they need the adjuster’s approval to fix things. Take photos, get your evidence, and then do all you can to prevent further damage. If the insurance company is making things difficult after a claim, feel free to tap into our expertise at Cannella Legal!
As a restaurant, you have the unique pleasure of providing a product that everybody in the world needs to survive; food. Of course, you have to compete with other restaurants, stores, and various other sources. However, the satisfaction of feeding hungry customers is something that never goes away.
With this in mind, it can be devastating when the building experiences damage. Sadly, fires could almost be considered common in restaurants and the journey back to normal can be long and difficult. Not only are you having to find money to pay for repairs, you’re also missing out on important income while the doors are closed.
Before we provide advice on filing claims, we first advise every restaurant owner to check their insurance policy to see what is and isn’t covered. After experiencing a fire or another cause of damage, the last thing you want is your provider telling you that you aren’t covered.
Alongside fires, common claims for restaurants include;
- Incidents with delivery drivers
- Staff injuries
- Customer injuries
- Food poisoning
- Liability claims
With businesses, the rules are slightly different to those we see with homes. For example, you may not have to experience a direct physical loss in order to claim for lost income. In one example we saw previously, civil authority ordered the evacuation of the restaurant after physical damage had been experienced nearby. In this case, no physical loss was experienced by the restaurant in question, but staff and customers were forced away from the premises which allowed them coverage.
In other policies, there’s a feature known as ‘Spoilage Coverage’. In your restaurant, you probably fear things like power outages. In addition to rendering machinery and appliances useless, losing power for too long will also affect food and ingredients in the building. Therefore, Spoilage Coverage will protect against these losses.
Seek Legal Assistance
Unfortunately, there’s just so much that can go wrong in a restaurant from the kitchen side to the restaurant itself. Make sure you have the right type of insurance at all times and seek legal assistance if you want to make a claim. Especially if the insurance provider is making things difficult (as normal!), Cannella Legal will provide the help you need!
In life, we like to hope that nothing will go wrong, and we have to live a life of caution. We need to consider the risk of fires and flooding without letting our lives be affected by the apprehension and anxiety. Sadly, even the best prevention methods can’t stop all fires and flooding. What’s more, we also have to contend with natural disasters such as hurricane and tornados.
If your condominium has been damaged by any of the above, you’ll need to claim on your condo association or community association property insurance. Compared to homeowner’s insurance and the like, the process is a little different and they tend to vary depending on the community associations and properties in question.
If you’re yet to make your claim, we advise you to do it as soon as possible. Elsewhere, you may have been underpaid or even denied completely. If this is the case, we can help at Cannella Legal. If you feel as though you deserve more and you’re being unfairly denied, reach out to us today.
Determining the Details
After getting in touch with the association, they will first want to assess the damage, the location, the applicable policies, and their own responsibilities. For example, most states now have laws in place that force condo and community associations to provide some level of insurance.
While they’re doing this, we recommend reviewing your policy and really looking at details such as coverage limitations, deductibles, endorsements, and exclusions.
Filing a Claim
Of course, these types of associations have a board of directors and a manager so determining all the details will be important for all parties. After going through their initial investigation, the association should confirm coverage and suggest the course of action.
When pushing for a settlement and recuperating costs through the insurance company, the board members and directors will need to be involved in the process. In most cases, the association will actually be the loss payee rather than the owner of the individual unit. Therefore, it is they who decide whether repairs and settlements should be accepted or rejected.
If you believe the amount being suggested is too low or a claim has been denied by the insurance company, perhaps you just want advice about your rights under the association, call us today at Cannella Legal.
Seeing your commercial property get severely damaged can be a terrible experience; this is a building you rely on to make money and keep the business pushing towards your goals. In fact, it’s a building that your staff rely on to pay the bills each month too. Therefore, to see it flooded, damaged by fire, or torn apart by a hurricane can be a terrible sight.
After damage, your aim will be to get the business back in a normal operating position as soon as possible, and we share this vision. When going through the commercial property insurance claiming process, you need somebody on your side to level the playing field somewhat. Feel free to contact Cannella Legal to get started today.
Commercial Property Insurance
Before we offer some tips on what to do after damage to your building, we should note that policies vary quite widely in this regard. While all tend to provide coverage for property damage, others can extend to include;
- Business interruption
- Contingent business interruption
- Extra expense
- Loss of rents
- Ordinary payroll coverage
- Utility services
- Civil authority
- Loss of egress or ingress
- Extended period of indemnity
Three Important Steps
After your commercial property has experienced either total loss, partial loss, or damage to a particular feature (such as the roof), we have three tips to keep in mind.
Keep Documentation - Firstly, don’t throw anything away and always take pictures of your commercial property. As well as all damaged materials, keep a log of calls and the outcome of conversations, and receipts.
Don’t Throw Materials Away - As technicians and companies visit your home to assess the damage, some will want to start clearing up and throw damaged items away. With some insurance companies, they ask to see damaged items as proof so please don’t get rid of them too early. Remember, you need evidence when making a claim and you don’t want to provide the insurance company with an opportunity to pay you less than you deserve.
Be Careful What You Say - Although we always recommend that you be honest and tell the truth, you should never guess. There’s really no need to speculate about what caused the damage because insurance providers will latch onto what you say before then trying to twist it in their favor.
Dealing with Insurance Companies
As a business, you’ve probably had your share of difficult customers and perhaps even suppliers causing a nuisance. With insurance companies, you’re about to see a whole new level. In the past, we’ve worked with numerous companies who couldn’t believe the strategies that insurance providers can use to get out of paying the full amount.
For example, they will probably get in contact with you soon after the accident to take a statement. While this might seem like a normal and natural step in the procedure, many of the questions they use can be misleading. Essentially, what they’re trying to do is get you to admit fault, negligence, or part of the blame. When you do this, the amount they have to pay reduces.
If you want to prevent making a mistake, we urge you to tread lightly and get in touch with Cannella Legal as soon as possible. With our experience, we can navigate the tricky waters and make sure you come out the other side with the compensation you deserve. From here, you can make the necessary repairs to the building and get back on your feet quickly. Your staff will be happy, your customers will be happy, and you’ll be happy too!