As a business based in Orlando, you rely on your insurance coverage to protect in the event of a loss. However, the actual losses that are covered by your business insurance depend on the type of your commercial insurance coverage. Even when a specific loss is covered, an insurer may try to turn down your claim in order to avoid paying up. When this is the case, the VG Law Group can help you. We make sure that our clients get the damages they deserve for their losses. Call us today to discuss your business insurance claim with our lawyers.
When it comes to insurance claims related to business losses, the type of coverage you carry plays a key role. Here is a look at different types of business insurance as well as the hurdles you might face at such a difficult time.
Professional Liability Insurance
If you are a service-based business, you likely carry this type of coverage. Professional liability insurance essentially protects you against claims filed by others over any professional mistakes you may commit when offering your services. This type of insurance is also known as errors and omission (E & O) insurance.
Commercial Property Insurance
This type of coverage protects you as a business owner against losses that are specifically related to your business premises and on-premises property such as equipment, furniture, and inventory. As commercial property owners, a commercial policyholder with such coverage is entitled to compensatory damages. However, property damage claims arising out of unusual events such as floods are not typically covered under this policy.
General Liability Insurance
Most businesses carry this type of coverage. If you carry this type of insurance as an Orlando business, you are covered for bodily injury to customers, product-related harm, property damage including structural damage, rental property damage, as well as advertising injury claims. If your business has general liability insurance, you are financially protected against most liability claims that can be brought against your company.
Business Interruption Coverage
Orlando business interruption insurance typically compensates a business for lost income caused by an unexpected business interruption. In the present COVID-19 situation, many businesses have filed a business interruption claim, seeking coverage from their insurance carriers under this type of insurance for financial losses incurred due to prolonged closures.
However, this often results in an insurance claim dispute as many insurance companies do not offer compensation for closures and losses caused by a virus, not considering these as valid claims.
Some companies also offer ‘civil authority coverage’ as a part of business interruption insurance. This type of coverage covers income losses for your business when a government entity orders your business to close down.
As insurance policyholders, businesses may be able to recoup compensatory damages if they have been forced to shut down following governmental regulations surrounding COVID-19. However, you will need the help of a good lawyer to ensure that an insurance claim dispute is not raised by insurance carriers.
The types of business insurance policies listed above protect your business from various losses, at least in theory. However, during the process of claims appraisals, an insurer may dispute your claim. A common objection used by insurers during the recovery claims process is that a particular loss does not qualify as a physical loss.
For instance, if you are forced to close your business over COVID-19 regulations, the insurer can claim that you have not suffered direct losses. In such a case, it is important to have a qualified law firm represent your claim and negotiate with the insurance company during the dispute process. In the light of certain court decisions, it is possible to argue that business losses caused by specific diseases are direct losses.
If your business premises have been shut down due to a confirmed case of COVID-19, you have an even stronger claim for damages as a policy holder. In such a case, your lawyer can show that direct physical losses were caused by the contamination which led to a real business interruption.
Insurance companies can often turn down business insurance claims of their insurance policyholders without a valid reason. They may do so simply because they don’t want to pay up. In doing so, the company may fail to conduct proper investigations into the claim, try to misinterpret your policy coverage or fail to properly communicate with you as the claimant.
When a commercial insurance company indulges in such behavior, this qualifies as bad faith. The good news is that you have legal options to hold insurance companies accountable and bring a bad faith claim against the insurer.
For regular claim denials, you have the legal recourse of filing a lawsuit against the insurance company and suing for damages. However, when bad faith is involved, you are legally entitled to recover additional damages above and beyond your actual claim as per Florida Statutes Section 624.155.
These additional damages are known as punitive damages. This type of damages is meant to penalize an insurance company for foul play. The actual amount of punitive damages can be fairly large, depending on the unique circumstances of a business income insurance claim.
When you file a claim under your business insurance coverage, it is important to have legal representation.
A claims adjuster may try to persuade you that your losses are not covered under the types of insurance your business carries. It is the job of the insurance agents to downplay your claim and offer a low offer. This is particularly the case when you seek damages in lieu of your business interruption coverage.
However, if you have insurance dispute attorneys by your side who understand insurance law, you have better odds at getting a fair amount of damages.
Here at the VG Law Group, we have the requisite courtroom experience and legal expertise to interpret the complicated insurance policy language and ensure that your rights are secured. Our qualified commercial insurance attorneys are able to counter any unfair objections raised in insurance appraisal hearings. Call us now to discuss your Orlando business insurance claim in a one-on-one consultation.