Hurricanes can cause enormous damage, wiping out entire communities and businesses in a matter of minutes. In fact, Hurricane Ian is estimated to cost between $40B and $70B in damages – and that’s just the financial toll. That doesn’t even begin to address the emotional aspect of losing everything you’ve worked so hard to achieve.
While commercial premiums for hurricane insurance are usually quite high in Florida, insurance providers have been known to offer significantly low compensation or deny claims altogether. Knowing what can cause your claim to be undervalued or go unpaid is essential.
Here are costly mistakes you need to avoid while pursuing your hurricane insurance claims:
Failing to understand what your policy covers
As a commercial property owner, you probably understand the ins and outs of your business, but insurance is an entirely different game. Failing to have a full grasp of your policy’s provisions can cause problems when filing a claim. Be sure to read and understand your policy and seek clarification whenever you’re unsure what the policy covers.
Failing to protect the damaged property
Most insurance carriers require policyholders to take reasonable steps to protect their properties from further damage. That means you need to take make arrangements to ensure that your property does not sustain further damage while they are investigating your claim.
For instance, if the property’s roof was blown off due to the hurricane, leaving it exposed to the elements, thus, resulting in further damage can lead to your claim’s denial. Whenever possible, make use of tarps, board up the property and put barricades up to prevent further damage or looting.
Failing to document the damages
Insurers rely on accurate and comprehensive information to investigate and settle a claim. In fact, depending on your insurance carrier, you may be required to provide an inventory of the damaged and undamaged properties (including costs) while filing a claim.
If your commercial property has been damaged by hurricane Ian and you are insured, you are entitled to fair compensation for your losses. Knowing the common pitfalls to avoid and getting experienced legal guidance is the best thing you can do to protect your rights and help you rebuild.