Texas Business Interruption Claim Lawyers
Representing Companies Affected by Hurricanes & Other Disasters
Some business owners will choose to obtain a policy that is known as "business interruption insurance." What this will do is cover the cost of damages lost in a disaster. For example, if a hurricane floods your business, you can get coverage to make repairs. However, this is not all that business interruption insurance includes. This insurance is differentiated from regular business property claims in that it will cover the lost income that your business would have made if it had stayed open. While property insurance policies cover physical damage, business interruption policies will cover the estimated cost to company profits. All businesses may apply for this kind of coverage.
Typically, businesses will elect to have a business property insurance policy and add business interruption to that policy. In some cases, these may be a packaged deal. If you live in Texas and you own a business, it may be wise for you to obtain business interruption insurance. In the event of a natural disaster, this kind of coverage is designed to put your business right back to the position it was financially before the damages.
If you are a business owner and possess a business interruption policy but your insurance claim has been denied or put off by your insurer, know this coverage is rightfully yours. Arnold & Itkin can help you fight for it. Contact us to find out how!
Representing Businesses Facing Insurance Delays, Denials & Underpayments
Since 2005, the Gulf Coast region has been slammed by 2 of the costliest hurricanes in U.S. history: Katrina, which exacted an estimated $110 billion in damages and Ike, which produced nearly $30 billion in losses. Then, in 2017, Hurricane Harvey hit. Businesses throughout Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida suffered the most substantial damages to their property, equipment, and inventory. Attempts to collect money from their insurance have too often been met with delays in payments or denials of legitimate claims.
Arnold & Itkin has a record of protecting the rights of business owners in their disputes with insurance companies. We know the unique insurance issues that businesses face, and we use a nationwide network of resources and experts to obtain successful verdicts and settlements in our clients' favor.
Texas Business Property Claims
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:
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 LLP 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.
Business Interruption Claim FAQ
How are most business interruption claims handled?
When there is a dispute about a business interruption claim, it can be resolved through negotiation, arbitration, or litigation. Most of these claims are settled through negotiation, in which the claimant (business owner) and insurance company sit down and reach an agreement regarding the losses and payout. Having a competent legal team in your corner will ensure that your losses are properly presented, with supporting documentation. If your insurance company tries to give you the runaround or deny a valid claim, you can take your case to court. Insurance companies that act in bad faith in handling business interruption claims can be held liable for the full value of the claim and additional damages.
I lost business because of a flood. Will insurance cover this?
In many cases, property damage and business interruption related to flooding are not covered in standard insurance policies. You should carefully review your policy to see if it covers damages related to floods and other natural disasters. If you have questions about your policy or believe that your insurance provider is not treating you fairly in this process, you should talk to an attorney. Arnold & Itkin’s business insurance attorneys have extensive experience with interruption claims and can help determine whether your losses are covered, and to what extent.
What is my business interruption claim worth?
A typical business interruption claim for a small business may easily exceed $1 million. Claims for larger companies and lengthy periods of interruption may be worth far more. Part of the counsel we provide as business interruption claim attorneys is investigating the full and fair value of your claim. With clear and convincing evidence of your losses, we can pursue a fair settlement or award on your behalf. A business interruption claim may include compensation for lost employees, lost customers, property damage, and lost assets. A fair payout may make all the difference in a company’s ability to rebuild, reopen, and thrive.
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.
Harvey triggered claims for thousands of businesses in South Texas. Flooding and damage led to:
- 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.