Business Property Claims in Houston, Texas
Business property insurance ensures that your business property is covered in the event of a natural disaster or some other type of circumstance that causes damage. You do not want to get stuck with the bill after damages, which is precisely why you have faithfully paid for your policy.
What happens when you have taken all the necessary measures to obtain coverage for your business, but your insurance company is denying your claim? There is a defense against these bad faith practices.
If you believe an insurance company is wrongfully denying your claims, you can seek legal help. In Texas, businesses are prone to the same types of natural disasters as residences. In the event of a hurricane, wildfire, tornado, or any other kind of emergency, your business may be forced to shut down operations. Not only do you need the physical damages compensated for, but you also suffer from lost revenue during the time your business was out of operation. Obtaining different types of business insurance may be able to help you in these circumstances. Unfortunately, sometimes insurance companies will create loopholes, so they do not have to cover the cost of your damages. To fight these types of practices, you need the help of an attorney. By calling us, you can get aggressive help to get what you need so your business can start operating again.
Gulf Coast Insurance Disputes: Hurricanes & Tropical Storms
Wind, rain, mold, mud, and debris from hurricanes and tropical storms can inflict property damage. Roofs, foundations, drywall, insulation, and garages may all need repairs in a storm's aftermath. However, some losses are unique to businesses, such as damage to equipment, machines, computers, inventory, and business records. Additionally, companies may experience severe disruptions in the flow of supplies and customers. Those disruptions can last for months or even years. We can review your policy to determine the extent of your coverage, calculate deductibles, and identify unique business clauses in your policy that should entitle you to compensation. For instance, most businesses will have "business interruption" coverage, which compensates for loss of income during the period when repairs are made (or the "restoration period").
When an insurance company tries to deny or delay payments, we can offer legal help with these issues:
- Apportioning Damages
While a business policy may cover wind and rain damage, it may exclude coverage for flood damage. Our law firm's experts can inspect and examine your property to make sure there is a fair apportionment between your covered and uncovered losses.
- Extended Period of Indemnity
As it may take time before business returns to its pre-storm revenue levels, a business insurance policy often allows the insured to recover losses for a period after the business has reopened. An insurance company may try to shorten this period or argue that the losses are due to more extensive economic conditions and not a direct result of a hurricane or storm.
- Contingent Business Interruption
Your business policy may allow you to recover for losses connected to third parties, such as an interruption in your supplies or loss of services like power and water. Insurance companies can contest whether these factors directly cause your losses.
The BP Oil Spill & Other Catastrophic Spills
Arnold & Itkin represents clients in Texas and the Gulf Coast region in business interruption cases resulting from the BP oil spill. Our business insurance claim attorneys know that many companies suffered tremendously and the economic toll continued to rise. We also believe that when one company's negligence causes your business to suffer, you have the right to file a claim for economic damages—which is why our law firm formed a Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Task Force to evaluate and investigate the commercial damages.
Oil Spills & Business Interruption Claims
Business interruption claims are insurance claims that are supposed to help cover you for economic losses when an event beyond your control causes you to be unable to operate your business. However, many business owners are finding that either their insurance policies do not cover the business interruption resulting from events such as this or the insurance companies are finding ways to avoid paying for damages.
Many insurance policies fail to cover damages that result from environmental disasters. This is unacceptable.
Some insurance companies claim continued suffering from hurricanes as a reason to delay or deny claims. As a business owner, you may do the work to properly file the paperwork necessary for a business interruption claim only to find your insurer is not willing to honor it. You may be left wondering what, if any, compensation you can recover—and, while you wait, your bills and employees go unpaid.
How Long Do Business Interruption Claims Usually Take?
Business interruption claims can take anywhere from 9 months to a year before a business owner sees a cent of their relief. Because business interruption claims depend on your company’s forecasted earnings, insurance companies have plenty of leeway to argue about the size of your claim—tying up the process for long periods of time. Their forensic investigators can claim that your normal or expected revenue is much lower than you estimated, even if your business was struck down during a slow month or right before a busy season.
- Loss of employees
- Loss of customers
- Loss of access to offices
- Damage to physical locations/offices
Due to the significant loss of revenue and equipment that disasters normally incur, the size of an average business interruption claim exceeds $1 million—even for a small business. A large portion of the losses caused by hurricanes come from local business’ loss of revenue: of Hurricane Katrina’s $25 billion in business losses, $6-9 billion was from interruption of operation and earnings.
Our Houston Business Interruption Claim Lawyers Can Help
At the heart of an insurance contract is a promise: your insurance company agrees to take your monthly premiums in return for the assurance that they will pay for your losses in a disaster. If an insurer refuses to uphold their end of the deal (or your insurance agent knowingly sold you a policy that would never benefit you), that’s not only unethical—it’s illegal. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what insurance companies are doing.
If you are a smart business owner who possesses a business interruption policy, then you should not be punished for faithfully investing in a policy that should have helped you in times of trouble. What will often happen in the case of natural disasters is that insurance companies will be overwhelmed by how many claims are coming in. They might deny some claims or put others off or even supply just partial payment to policyholders. This constitutes insurance bad faith, and there is a defense against these practices.
At Arnold & Itkin, we have experience in getting our clients the money that they deserve from their insurance policies. Be sure to get in touch with our firm today if you hold business interruption insurance, but you believe you are getting denied a business property claim. If you need help with a business interruption claim, a Houston business law attorney at our firm is ready to handle your case. We can work hard to get you the compensation you deserve so you can prevent further damage to your business during this extremely challenging economic and environmental tragedy. Whether you need representation or just have questions, we can help provide you with the right recommendations.
Contact a Houston business interruption lawyer today for more information at (888) 493-1629.