When Florida businesses choose property insurance, they need to balance the short-term premium costs with the longer-term risks of loss in the event of a major disaster. Whether you choose to save money with a named-peril policy or spend more for all-risk coverage, you are likely to experience challenges at claim time. Our Fort Lauderdale property damage lawyers typically need to intervene to protect the rights of property owners in these often complex claims.
The “All” in “All-Risk” May be Misleading
All-Risk policies cover risks of loss or damage, unless the cause is specifically excluded under the policy. All-Risk policies are also referred to as comprehensive because, on the surface, they appear to cover any imaginable risk.
Look at any policy document, however, and you will discover that many types of losses are typically not covered. These are called exclusions. The list of exclusions is often long, and differs from one all-risk policy to the next, but can include any number of risks faced by Florida businesses, such as the following:
• Earth Movement
• Wear and tear
• Fungus, dry rot and mildew
• Faulty construction or design
• Other water damage, ranging from build-up of storm-related surface water to overflowing toilets
• Damage caused by the infestation of insects, birds or other animals
• Interior damage from storms when exteriors are not affected
You typically pay more for this type of coverage, and you may still need to purchase additional coverage to protect against excluded losses. In the event of a claim, however, the insurance company bears the burden of proof if they attempt to deny a claim based on an exclusion.
With Careful Forethought, Named-Peril Coverage Can Be the Right Choice
If you truly understand the types of risks your business faces, named-peril insurance can provide the coverage you need. Named-Peril policies cover only specifically identified causes of loss.
Naturally, you want to make sure you consider the risks associated with your company’s location when determining which type of policy to purchase. Coverage for ocean-front property may differ from coverage for inland property. Your type of property and your type of business plays a tremendous role in the coverage you need.
Named peril coverage puts the burden of proof on the claimant to show that a covered peril caused the loss. Since insurance companies are skilled at denying claims for lack of specific coverage, you may need support from an experienced property damage attorney to substantiate your claim.
Either Type of Policy Can Pose Challenges at Claim Time
No matter how much time you put into the selection of the perfect business property insurance policy, you may still need to battle the skills of experienced insurance claims adjustors.
If you believe your claim has been reduced or denied unfairly, do not accept an insurance company’s offer until you seek advice from an experienced property insurance claims attorney. Call us at (954) 767-6333 or use our convenient online contact form to learn how we can help.