A guide to property damage and business interruption insurance
Property Damage - July 23, 2023
Damage from a fire or act of vandalism can be devastating to a business. It can make it very hard for you to keep moving your business forward. Often, it can eliminate your ability to earn money through your business. When this happens, and you have property damage and business interruption insurance, you should know your rights to compensation.
At Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates, we work with all people on all sides of this legal process. That includes property owners who may not be receiving the fair support of their insurance company and other policyholders. Our Chicago commercial property damage attorneys can assist you in learning what your legal rights are if you have found a breach of contract occurring or insurance bad faith happening.
What is property damage business interruption insurance?
For those who are facing a covered peril – a type of event that falls under the coverage of your commercial insurance – you may need more than just funds to make repairs. You may need business interruption insurance, a specific coverage that pays you while you cannot operate your business. That allows you to:
- Continue to pay your employees
- Ensure vendor contracts are maintained
- Keep customers happy
- Meet financial obligations
- Support your business throughout the recovery process
When you do not have the ability to make a payment, but you still owe that money, this insurance is designed to help. Property damage coverage handles the costs of repairing or replacing the components of your business lost in the incident. That may include, for example, cleaning, demolishing, repairing, and rebuilding the structure after a fire.
The second component of this is business interruption insurance, which is what specifically covers the financial losses you are incurring because you cannot open and run your business. Typically, this is based on sales volume for the previous months. Business interruption insurance is often one of the most valuable components of policies because, without it, you have no way to keep your talent, customers, and suppliers happy.
Do not confuse this with property damage liability coverage, which works to protect you from liability claims made against you by third-party individuals.
What happens when you cannot get the coverage you need?
Our legal team works closely with many people who need to use their business insurance policies but are not receiving the support of their insurance company. If the insurance company denies your claim, that could put your business at risk. It is our goal in these situations to work hard to eliminate the risks you are facing by negotiating with the insurance company or, when that does not happen, going to court for recovery of your losses.
With business interruption coverage, you should be paid fairly based on what you were earning prior to the incident. Insurance companies may try to deny this coverage based on a variety of factors, such as:
- Not investigating what occurred in your case
- Not recognizing the coverage in your policy – what you paid for
- Lack of using the evidence you present about the losses or property damage to assign a settlement amount
- Simply not paying or refusing to pay a claim that you believe is covered by your policy
- Making unnecessary requests for additional information as a delay tactic
- Trying to force you into accepting a payment that is less than what you are owed
Insurance companies can be manipulative. Insurance adjusters are typically working diligently to protect the company’s bottom line. That often puts you at risk of not receiving the compensation owed to you.
Let us offer insight into your rights in this case. We will work diligently to determine if you are owed compensation and, if so, what steps you need to take to secure it.
Do you have to go to court?
When it comes to property damage and business interruption insurance coverage that is not being paid out, there are some situations where you will need to go to court to force the insurance company to make payment. Our goal is to minimize this risk. When possible, we want to work with the insurance company to provide them with the information and data they need to process your claim quickly and fairly. When that works, we will work with them, keeping costs low.
There are situations where you may have to go to court, though. If that happens in your case, our team is there to help. We have the experience you need to help you to recover from these losses. Your business could be on the line. Allow our team to fight to protect it.
Let our team help you now
Our Chicago commercial property damage attorneys can help you. If you are facing any challenges, set up a free consultation with our team now by calling (800) 985-1819 to discuss your case with us. We are here to help you.