In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Irma, many South Florida business owners breathed a heavy sigh of relief. Despite early forecasts, the storm largely spared Florida’s Atlantic coast; and, compared to the devastation in the Caribbean, Southwest Florida and the Florida Keys, what we experienced here in Broward County was relatively benign.
Of course, some businesses fared better than others. While some were able to re-open shortly after the storm passed, others – including many inland businesses – remain closed as they try to figure out how to recover from the damaging effects of hurricane-force winds and floodwaters. From the cost of rebuilding to lost revenue, many businesses are likely finding that the effects of Hurricane Irma will last far longer and have a far greater reach than they previously imagined.
Tips for Umbrella and Business Interruption Insurance Claims After Hurricane Irma
If your premises were damaged and you were forced to close your doors as a result of Hurricane Irma, mitigating the financial consequences of the storm will likely mean filing claims under your company’s umbrella insurance and business interruption insurance policies. Here are some tips that can help you secure coverage and get back to business as usual as quickly as possible:
#1: Proving Your Company’s Losses
When seeking insurance coverage for hurricane damage, securing payment requires proof of loss. For umbrella claims, this means proof of physical damage to your business’s premises, equipment, inventory or other assets. For business interruption claims, it means proof of expenses and lost revenue. Businesses generally have an obligation to attempt to mitigate their losses as well, and all companies seeking insurance coverage after Hurricane Irma should take appropriate steps to document their losses as well as their attempts at mitigation.
#2: Understanding Your Company’s Insurance Coverage
Umbrella insurance policies are customized based upon companies’ assets, growth potential and potential exposure. There are three types of business interruption insurance coverage, each with its own unique exclusions and limitations. Do you know what your company’s policies cover? If you are not sure, reviewing your coverage will be critical to ensuring that you do not have a claim wrongfully denied.
#3: Hiring a Business Property Insurance Adjuster
For companies that have experienced substantial casualties, hiring a business property insurance adjuster can be essential to obtaining an accurate calculation of insured losses. As with other professional services, experience matters, and many business property insurance adjusters specialize in specific industries and in specific geographic locations.
#4: Knowing When to Seek Professional Help
Even hiring an experienced public adjuster can be insufficient to protect against an insurance company acting in bad faith. Bad-faith delays and denials tend to be widespread after major casualty events, and business owners and risk managers should know when it is time to take legal action against their insurers.
Contact the Fort Lauderdale Hurricane Damage Attorneys at Saavedra | Goodwin
If you would like to speak with an attorney about your company’s umbrella insurance or business interruption insurance claim following Hurricane Irma, we encourage you to contact our law offices in Fort Lauderdale. To schedule an appointment, please call (954) 767-6333 or request a consultation online today.