Denied Insurance Claim Blog

Homepage  Xml - Vorschau mit Bildern

Insurance Options to Cover Fire Damage to Schools and Universities
Commercial property policies are necessary to protect all types of businesses, but insurance for schools should have the ability to protect your students and faculty as well as the building itself. Attorney Bill Voss explores fire insurance options for educational institutions, allowing owners and operators to invest in valuable coverage endorsements before a fire breaks out.Essential Fire Insurance Coverages for Schools and UniversitiesSchool administrators should consider the extent and coverages allowed under their property damage policies. Bare-bones policies may have cheaper premiums, but may not pay for ancillary costs related to a fire—costs which can quickly add up. Fire department charges, smoke and soot damage, and lost personal property can all be overlooked until after a fire has wreaked havoc across campus, so selecting comprehensive coverage now may offer peace of mind.It is vital that administrators consider fire damage insurance that will cover:Commercial auto coverage. While buses and student shuttles may be protected from liability in a collision, liability insurance will not pay for damage to vehicles caused by non-collision events. If your school has a fleet of vehicles, comprehensive coverage is one of the easiest ways to ensure payment to repair school buses and university-owned vehicles after a fire. Comprehensive coverage can also pay for the costs of rental vehicles to provide student transportation while your buses are under repair.Landscaping and outdoor structures. School property may extend far beyond a single structure, and may include playgrounds, garages, greenhouses, sheds, baseball and football fields, and gardens. Your school may benefit from coverage for landscape losses and damage to additional structures.Increased costs of construction. Schools may be in operation in the original structure for decades, and each year that passes only increases the potential costs of renovation. Code upgrade insurance, also called ordinance and law insurance, covers the costs needed to bring a damaged structure up to current building specifications, including the installation of new utilities (such as plumbing and fire suppression systems), lighting and electrical systems, and the increased costs of construction. If the aesthetic qualities of the building have been affected, insurance may cover “line of sight” damage to replace undamaged portions of the building in order to preserve the overall appearance.Special equipment losses. Property damage insurance may place limits on which items will be covered after a loss. While inventory, furniture, and the structure itself are covered, some policies will not pay to replace high-value equipment. Owners may need additional policies or to pay separate deductibles for high-cost items such as science and technology labs, multimedia equipment, vocational equipment, or pool areas.Lost income from special events. Schools may be forced to close for weeks due to fire damage, and you may need to relocate educational operations to another facility. Even if only one section of the building is closed off, students and parents may be unable to use the campus for scheduled or special activities. Schools that regularly host intramural games, proms and school dances, swim meets, academic tournaments, fundraisers, or other events may need special events insurance to replace the income lost in ticket, concession, and merchandise sales.Business interruption insurance. A strong business interruption policy can provide lost income during the period of renovation, allowing you to pay for student transportation, cafeteria facilities, and additional bus routes to the new location. This revenue allows the administration to rent a temporary location for students to attend classes, continue to pay faculty salaries, or provide online classrooms so students do not fall behind in their courses.If your school has been damaged by a fire, our attorneys can examine your policy and fight on your behalf to get you the full amount you are owed. Simply fill out the form on this page today to contact the Voss Law Firm or order a free copy of our book, Your Essential Guide to Residential Claims.Related Links:How to Save Money on Your Homeowner's Insurance PolicyA Texas Home Fire Can Cost You More Than Just MoneyCold Temperatures Can Increase Your Risk of an Indoor Fire 

Essential Insurance Coverages That Can Help Shopping Malls and Retailers Recover After a Tornado
A successful retail business is just as prone to weather-related damage as any other commercial enterprise. A tornado has the ability to reduce whole shopping complexes to their foundations—and while your business is more than just a building, the costs of putting the pieces back together again can significantly eat into your profits. Attorney Bill Voss examines property damage claims involving retail centers and shopping malls, including how to select the policy endorsements to protect against tornado losses.Insurance Options That Can Help Shopping Centers Reopen After a TornadoThe right property damage insurance can make all the difference after a storm strikes your business. Unfortunately, property damage coverage can vary widely depending on the policy options an owner has selected. For example, owners who have selected a replacement cost value (RCV) policy should recover the full amount necessary to replace lost items with like kind and quality, while those who paid for an actual cash value (ACV) policy will receive an amount that subtracts depreciation. The second policy may have cheaper premiums, but also provides far less compensation after a loss.With this in mind, policyholders may have to pay for much of their tornado damage losses out-of-pocket if their policies do not include:Multi-peril protection. A tornado may be preceded by heavy rains and hail, and may be a precursor to flooding that persists for weeks after the storm. Each of these perils poses a significant risk to your business, but insurers may deny coverage that is caused by multiple perils, especially if it is difficult to determine which peril was the direct cause of the damage.Cleanup and restoration. Although many insurers offer payment for debris removal (such as broken glass, ruined carpets, and downed tree branches), these are often included as options or endorsements to an existing policy. Owners should select the coverage that they are most likely to need after a large loss, including hazardous materials cleanup, industrial drying and water removal, and mold growth prevention.Utility interruptions. Retail stores and shopping malls can house many different types of inventory, all of which are at risk when there is a sudden power outage. Refrigerated goods may perish, electronic data and customer records may be lost, and lack of power to electric gates and security cameras can open the property up to vandalism.Special equipment coverage. Tornadoes can destroy high-value equipment, including LED billboards, lighting and security, speakers and PA systems, electric billboards, and computer networks.Code upgrade coverage. Any portion of the structure that must be rebuilt is required to be in compliance with the most current version of the building code. If many years have elapsed since the building was first constructed, upgrades can significantly increase the costs of construction.Grounds and landscaping repair. It is up to the policyholder just how much of the property will be covered under the policy. Most property damage policies extend to the structure and outdoor signage, but may not pay to restore the grounds around the structure. Properties may need coverage specifically for the parking lots, light poles, trees, green spaces, and gardens around the main structure.Seasonal business insurance. Malls are at particular risk of profit losses during the Christmas shopping season, but can also lose large amounts if a tornado prevents a large scheduled event from taking place. Seasonal and special event insurance is vital for replacing lost income during a busy part of the year.Business interruption insurance. Business closures that last for a month or more can cause losses that total into the millions. Business interruption insurance pays to replace lost profits for up to six months after a covered loss, allowing owners to focus on building restoration while maintaining employee payroll and operational costs.If you need help with your tornado damage insurance claim, we can work to get you full and fair payment to make repairs and reopen your doors. Please contact the Voss Law Firm at 1-888-991-3212 or simply fill out the form on this page today to get answers to your questions.Related Links:Protect Your Business From Flood Damage Before the Next StormSelecting the Right Property Damage Insurance for Your BusinessHow Long Do I Have to Submit a Tornado Insurance Claim for My Business? 

Understanding the Difference Between Water Damage and Flood Damage in Insurance Claims
Flooding can cause extensive damage both inside and outside a commercial property, costing millions in structural damage, lost products and inventory, and lost income due to extended closures. Unfortunately, insurers may dispute whether your losses are covered depending on the source of the flooding. Attorney Bill Voss offers steps to take to protect against all types of water damage as well as how to tell which policy will cover the loss.Water Damage vs Flood Damage from an Insurer’s Point of ViewCommercial insurers are well aware of the damage that water can cause to electrical systems, roofs and basements, and all items contained in a flooded area. As a result, most insurance companies take great care to describe which water-related losses they will and will not cover. In general, the difference between “water damage” and “flood damage” will depend on the source and amount of the water that has affected the insured property.What Is Water Damage?Water damage is often covered under a commercial businesses owner’s policy (BOP) if it is caused by structural or mechanical failure. While some natural causes may be covered by commercial water damage insurance, most large-scale natural disasters will not.Causes of water damage compensable by BOPs may include:A pipe bursts, flooding several units in an apartment complexA backroom sink overflows, ruining boxes of inventory stacked nearbyWater intrusion from a leaking roof causes wood rot and mold growth in the wallsWhat Is Flood Damage?The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) defines a flood as any event that results in “partial or complete inundation of two or more acres of normally dry land area or of two or more properties.” Flooding may be caused by severe weather events, or by gradually rising waters that overflow suddenly. While commercial insurers will typically not cover these losses, a business can protect against losses by buying a separate property damage policy through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).Flooding may occur from:Overflow of inland rivers, lakes, or other waterwaysHurricanes or tidal wavesUnusual and rapid accumulation of rainwaterSudden melting of accumulated snow or iceRunoff of surface water from any sourceMudflow or landslidesIf you are having trouble getting the insurance coverage you paid for after a flood, the Voss Law Firm can help. Simply fill out the form on this page to get your questions answered by an insurance attorney, or learn more about filing a claim in our book, Commercial Property Owners Must Read This BEFORE Filing an Insurance Claim.Related Links:Steps to Take After a Flood Damages Your ChurchProof of Loss for a Flood Insurance ClaimHow to Know If Your Flood Damage Is an Act of God 

Insurance May Not Cover the Full Cost of Hurricane Damage to Stadiums and Sporting Arenas
Hurricanes have the ability to level whole counties, causing devastating losses to homes, businesses, and lands that can take years to fully rebuild. While owners of auditoriums and sports stadiums may not live inside these properties, natural disasters can result in the loss of livelihood and employment that the local economy depends on.Attorney Bill Voss explores coverage options that can pay for large losses caused by a hurricane, as well as selecting the right policy endorsements for your venue.  Essential Hurricane Coverage for Stadiums and Sporting VenuesOne of the best ways to protect against large losses is to select a policy that will provide payment for damages at replacement cost. An actual cash value (ACV) policy may offer lower premiums, but insurers will subtract depreciation before issuing payment for your losses. In contrast, a replacement cost value (RCV) policy pays the full amount necessary to replace damaged items with those of “like” kind.Owners of sporting venues and arenas should examine their policies to determine if their hurricane coverage will include:Extensive property losses. Owners may have to perform a property appraisal to ensure that the amount they pay for will be enough to repair or replace the full extent of losses. Appraisals may need to be done every few years to account for increased capacity, additions to the structure, special contents, and depreciation estimates.Automobiles. Buses, shuttles, employee vehicles, and other company cars should be protected if they are housed or stored on your insured property. Commercial auto coverage such as a comprehensive damage policy may pay for weather-related losses as well as rental reimbursement if you have to pay for alternate transportation.Parking garages. Large-scale stadiums often require parking decks that are similar in size to the arena itself, and a hurricane can cause structural damage that makes it unsafe for visitors to park at the venue.Playing surfaces. Turf, ice, courts, goalposts—no matter what type of playing surface your sport requires, it must be restored in a way that is safe for future games. Replacement cost policies are particularly useful in these cases, since owners will need to pay whatever it costs to bring play areas to industry standards if they want teams to use their facilities.Sporting equipment. Hurricanes can sweep away locker rooms, recovery and medical facilities, and equipment storage bays that make it even more difficult to reopen quickly. Special equipment extensions can pay to replace team facilities, lighting rigs, digital scoreboards and billboards, standardized helmets and padding, and other highly-specialized equipment.Losses from service interruptions. Municipalities and service providers may not be able to restore public utilities for days after a hurricane, causing losses that may last long after the storm has passed. Extended power and communications outages can mean the loss of food and concessions as well as electronic data, while interruptions in sewer and waste disposal services can put cleanup crews at risk of biohazards exposure. A power outage can also affect card readers, gates, and surveillance cameras, causing vandalism due to an inability to properly monitor the grounds.Property in transit. In addition to damage at the insured location, owners of stadiums and arenas may have valuable portable property that can be damaged in transit. Inland marine coverage is vital for protecting property on the move or stored at offsite locations.Tournament or special event losses. Amphitheaters and civic centers may lose millions if they are unable to host major tournaments. Seasonal business insurance can replace lost ticket sales, concessions, souvenirs, and other revenue from events that are regularly hosted at the venue.Lost income. Business interruption insurance is vital for all businesses, as it pays for up to six months of lost revenue due to a covered loss. Coverage extensions such as umbrella insurance and extra expense coverage can provide additional funds once the policy limits have been reached.If you are struggling to get fair payment from an insurer after a hurricane, our experienced insurance attorneys will work to get the coverage you deserve from your commercial insurance carrier. Simply fill out the form on this page today to contact an insurance attorney at the Voss Law Firm or order a free copy of our book, Commercial Property Owners Must Read This BEFORE Filing an Insurance Claim.Related Links:What If the Insurance Offer for My Hurricane Claim Is Too Low?Meeting With the Insurance Adjuster About Your Hurricane DamageEnsuring a Business Property Is Covered for Losses in a Windstorm 

How to Protect Your Manufacturing Operations From Flood Damage
No matter what comes off your production line, your profits could be affected for years after a major weather event. Your meticulously-designed worksite, heavy machinery, and even the building itself can be ruined due to standing water—and your insurance coverage may fall far short of your losses. Attorney Bill Voss explores commercial flood coverage options and extensions for industrial and manufacturing operations, as well as how to protect against large losses.Flood Coverage for Manufacturers Under NFIPPrivate property damage insurers will usually limit the amount they provide for flooding due to rain or storm runoff, so all businesses located in coastal areas or floodplains should have flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The NFIP can provide up to $500,000 for a commercial building and up to $500,000 to replace its contents, and may provide funds for cleanup costs. However, since the NFIP typically only pays actual cash value for losses, businesses at risk of flooding may need both private insurance and NFIP policies.Flood Insurance Options for Manufacturing and Industrial PropertiesWhen choosing the limits of a commercial insurance policy, you should consider the scope of your property, your business’s location, nature of the business, and overall property value. You may need to choose a policy specifically to cover flood damage, or include flooding from natural causes as a named peril on your existing business owner’s policy.Once you have selected your flood insurance provider, you should consider policy limits and specific endorsements to can provide coverage for:Heavy equipment. Your policy limit may not provide enough coverage to pay for the replacement of specialized or heavy machinery, such as conveyors, presses and dies, and other electrical equipment that may be ruined by water intrusion.Inventory extensions. Basic property damage coverage will pay to replace lost completed inventory, but may not for half-completed projects or a loss of raw materials. Some insurers may offer a policy tailored specifically to your type of industry (such as food and beverage coverage or textile manufacturers’ insurance) that can more accurately serve your needs.Materials in transit. Flooding can affect whole counties, and cases of materials and products that are in transit between sites may be damaged. Inland marine insurance covers the loss of any products, materials, or machinery that are traveling to or from the insured location, such as molded components on their way to an assembly plant or refrigerated products that have spoiled in abandoned delivery trucks.Data loss. Flooding may cause the loss of paper records and electronic systems, while power surges can make it impossible to access financial data or customer information. Data loss coverage can pay for IT services to restore or retrieve important electronic data.Business closures or slowdowns. Suppliers and retailers may end their business relationships with manufacturers who are unable to meet quotas due to flood damage. Business interruption insurance provides an amount to replace lost income for up to six months after an adverse event occurs, allowing owners to cover expenses while production is suspended for repairs.Seasonal losses. If your operation produces products that are in demand at a certain time of year, seasonal insurance can replace profits lost as a result of a flood during the busy season.Unforeseen costs. Flooding will often result in large losses that can force owners to contemplate closing operations for good. Umbrella coverage and extra expense coverage both offer an additional layer of protection, providing payment above and beyond the amount of the policy if the policy limit has been reached. Extra expense coverage can help owners pay employee salaries, relocation and travel expenses, rental of a secondary location, provide additional payment for repair costs.If you are having trouble getting the insurance coverage you paid for after a flood, the Voss Law Firm can help. Simply fill out the form on this page to get your questions answered by an insurance attorney, or learn more about filing a claim in our book, Commercial Property Owners Must Read This BEFORE Filing an Insurance Claim.Related Links:Steps to Take After a Flood Damages Your ChurchProof of Loss for a Flood Insurance ClaimHow to Know If Your Flood Damage Is an Act of God 

Essential Insurance to Cover Tornado Damage to Stadiums and Sporting Arenas
Tornado damage can prevent teams from playing in certain stadiums and arenas for weeks, costing owners millions at a time when they need to make expensive repairs. To make matters worse, many factors can complicate wind damage claims for sports arenas, making it difficult for owners to secure coverage. Attorney Bill Voss examines which property damage insurance options are essential for owners of sporting venues and fields, including which policy endorsements can provide the most help after a tornado strikes.3 Insurance Options Vital for Tornado Recovery in Sports ArenasFrom baseball fields and golf courses to indoor hockey rinks and football stadiums, every sporting arena has its own risks of property damage due to foul weather. While a basic commercial property insurance policy will provide compensation for damage to the main structure and grounds, failure to purchase specialized coverage can leave owners paying full replacement out-of-pocket for high-value losses.Owners should carefully consider tornado damage coverage that will pay for the full costs of:Seasonal business insurance. The inability to host games can mean millions of dollars lost in ticket sales, concessions, and other revenue. Seasonal and special events coverage can pay for losses sustained in the regular season, such as all revenue gained by hosting home and away games. It can also pay for losses if damage prevents you from hosting a special event, such as an annual tournament, charity fundraiser, team championship, or other major event. Seasonal insurance is vital for fields or open-air stadiums that can take months to recover from tornado damage, and those that must be restored in a way that is compliant with your organization’s regulations.Sports equipment. Sporting equipment goes far beyond pads and helmets. Both local and national teams rely on high-value equipment for regular game play, including lighting for night games, regulation goal posts and court surfaces, digital scoreboards and billboards, and other expensive items that all meet organizational requirements.Business income insurance. Business income insurance, also called business interruption insurance, pays to replace lost profits for six months or longer after a covered loss. This allows owners to continue paying for the daily costs of business (including mortgages and employee payroll) and may also provide payment to rent alternative vehicles or nearby venues for training.If you need help with your tornado damage insurance claim, we can work to get you full and fair payment to make repairs and reopen your doors. Please contact the Voss Law Firm at 888-991-3212 or simply fill out the form on this page today to get answers to your questions.Related Links:Options When a Tornado Insurance Claim Has Been DelayedHow to Get Insurance to Cover Hurricane Damage to School PropertyHow Long Do I Have to Submit a Tornado Insurance Claim for My Business? 

The Voss Law Firm Secures Payment for Contractors and Public Adjusters Who Are Waiting on Hail Damage Claims
When insurance companies deny fair payment for hail damage, the policyholder is not the only one who is affected by the loss. Property owners may have waited months for an insurance settlement, taking on debt to hire contractors and construction professionals to rebuild their homes and businesses. Attorney Bill Voss is proud to partner with public adjusters and trade professionals who have been forced to abandon projects or have not been compensated for their work due to bad faith insurance practices.Insurers May Leave Contractors and Public Adjusters Out in the ColdAfter a severe weather event, property owners will often want to make repairs as quickly as possible. This may mean hiring construction professionals to begin work and public adjusters to assess the damage, paying for costs out-of-pocket while they wait for the insurance company to send a check. Unfortunately, insurance companies will do everything possible to minimize claims, leaving policyholders with a half-finished structure—and denying the professionals they have hired proper payment for their work.Our referral program was created for the benefit of property owners as well as those they entrusted to rebuild after a storm. Under the law, policyholders who win cases against insurers may be able to recover the total amount owed under their insurance policies—giving them the funds they need to pay their contractors in full.We work with a variety of building repair and insurance professionals, including:Roofers. Roofs are at particular risk of hail damage, and owners may require complete roof replacement if a slow leak allows the roof to cave in. We regularly speak with roofers who repair hail damage to commercial and residential properties, helping them secure payment from insurers who have denied, underpaid, or delayed claims.Contractors. Stalled insurance claims can be extremely costly for contractors and construction firms. Prolonged delays may make it more difficult for contractors to pay workers or hire additional laborers, hurting their profits as well as their reputation.Landscapers. Large commercial properties may have acres of farmland, crops, gardens, orchards, or green spaces that can be damaged in a severe hailstorm. In many cases, timely insurance payments are the only way landscapers can replant and treat damaged landscapes to avoid future crop and profit losses.Public adjusters. Our law firm is a sponsor of various public adjuster organizations (such as NAPIA) and relies on public adjusters to accurately provide estimates and perform evaluations on many of our claims. Since our attorneys have the ability to seek extra damages for attorney’s fees, interest, penalties and extra-contractual damages—in addition to the amount of loss calculated by the public adjuster—our relationships with these professionals give policyholders the best of both worlds.Benefits of Working With Voss Law Firm to Settle a Hail ClaimOur attorneys can step in at any point in the claims process, advising policyholders and their contracted professionals on bad faith insurance practices. Our extensive experience in adverse weather claims allows us to handle each referral quickly and efficiently, allowing policyholders nationwide to get the funds they need to pay those who will help them rebuild.Our referral services are tailored to help our clients:Maximize payment. Our attorneys are well aware of the tricks insurance companies use to delay and deny claims, and will not hesitate to file a lawsuit against the insurer if negotiations will not secure adequate payment. We also fight to recover all necessary legal fees, forcing the insurance company to pay for our services instead of the property owner.Reduce wait times. Delays in payment can mean daily compounded interest on debts while increasing the costs of labor and materials. The earlier our attorneys are brought in, the more likely our clients will be able to secure a settlement that pays for their out-of-pocket expenses.Minimize upfront costs. We know how delays can place a burden on both property owners and contractors, creating cash-flow problems that can make it more difficult to secure legal representation. That is why the Voss Law Firm, P.C. does not require any money upfront from clients, and only collect fees for our services after we have successfully recovered payment from an insurer.If you are a contractor, public adjuster, or any other professional whose work has been stalled due to non-payment of an insurance claim, please reach out now for a personal phone call with Attorney Bill Voss at 888-420-1172, or fill out the form located on this page.Related Links:Code of Ethics That Public Adjusters Must FollowRoles of Public Adjusters and Attorneys in an Insurance ClaimPolicyholder Rights in a Large-Loss Insurance Claim Denial 

Filing an Insurance Claim After Hail Damages Your Shopping Center
Whether you own a single shopping center or have a portfolio of several strip malls, property damage insurance is key to a successful venture. Seasonal hailstorms pose a significant threat to shopping centers, and extensive damage can cause losses that total into the millions. Attorney Bill Voss examines the steps owners can take after a storm to get hail damage compensation that will allow them to reopen as quickly as possible.Maximizing Hail Damage Coverage for Malls and Shopping CentersThe first thing owners must understand is that the amount they are able to recover through a property damage policy varies widely depending on the coverage options they have selected. Policyholders have a much better chance of securing full payment if their hail damage insurance includes:Replacement cost value. Roofs and windows are extremely vulnerable to hail damage. The sheer scale of a commercial property can require the replacement of several custom-made panels of glass, while hail damage to a roof can cause slow leaks that lead to water damage losses years after the initial storm. Unfortunately, owners who have selected an actual cash value (ACV) policy will receive payment after depreciation is subtracted from the roof, leaving the payment far short of the amount needed to make repairs. In contrast, an owner with a replacement cost value (RCV) policy should be issued the full amount necessary to replace lost items with like kind and quality.Grounds and landscaping. Most property damage policies will include coverage for the structure and outdoor signage, but may place limits on how much of the area surrounding the structure is covered. Insurers may refuse to pay for damage to trees, green spaces, parking lots, and gardens, leaving owners out-of-pocket for the costs of beautification of the grounds. To make matters worse, some insurers do not include grounds cleanup costs—such as removal of downed tree branches, broken light poles, shattered glass, and reseeding pockmarked lawns—as part of their property damage policies.Multi-peril protection. A single storm may bring hail, high winds, heavy rains, and electricity outages that can all combine to cause separate damage to your property. Insurers may deny coverage that is caused by multiple perils, especially if only one type of hazard is covered under the policy (known as concurrent causation). A strong commercial property insurance policy will cover the effects of any covered event, such as a hailstorm that damages the roof and allows rain to enter the structure.Policy extensions. Owners should check policies carefully when calculating the costs of cleanup and restoration. Optional extras such as hazardous materials cleanup (which can deter mold growth) may pay for the removal of broken glass or carpets and furniture ruined by water intrusion, while special equipment extensions can cover the replacement of high-value items (such as sound systems, electric billboards, and computer networks).Code upgrade coverage. Hail damage may be so extensive that a portion of the roof must be rebuilt—and if building codes have changed since the initial construction, the structure must be rebuilt in compliance with current ordinances. Code upgrade insurance pays for the increased costs of construction and installation of new utilities to adhere to modern building specifications, and may pay to replace outdated insulation or structural materials.Special event losses. Storms can have a drastic impact depending on when and where they strike—and a hailstorm that forces the closure of some or all of the shopping center before a major event can double the amount of your losses. Seasonal and special event insurance can replace lost income due to a covered event during a busy part of the year, such as the Christmas or back-to-school shopping seasons.Extended business interruption. Business interruption coverage is vital for replacing lost revenue during closures and building restoration. This insurance is even stronger when combined with umbrella insurance, which provides an additional amount for a covered loss above and beyond policy limits, and can prevent permanent closure or even bankruptcy after a large loss.If you are having trouble getting the full value of your hail damage claim from your insurance company, the Voss Law Firm can examine your policy, investigate the details, and fight on your behalf. Simply fill out the contact form on this page today or order a free copy of our book, Commercial Property Owners Must Read This BEFORE Filing an Insurance Claim.Related Links:Choosing the Right Shopping Mall Insurance to Cover Hail LossesDifferent Roof Coverings Affect Damage Done by Hail StonesHow to Inspect Your Roof for Hail Damage 

Steps for Administrators to Take After a Windstorm Damages a School or University
Windstorms may not have the force of a tornado or the severe rainfall carried by hurricanes, but they can lift whole roofs off of structures and destroy open land. Schools face unique risks from high winds, and require detailed and customized insurance coverage in order to stay open to their students. Attorney Bill Voss explores ways to protect your educational institution from wind damage as well as the steps to take to get proper compensation after a storm.How School Administrators Can Respond Quickly to Wind DamageAdministrators have a duty to make their premises safe after a storm, but they should be cautious about removing debris without coordinating efforts with city managers. Fallen or hanging branches may be in contact with downed power lines, broken windows may shatter during removal, and cleanup crews can suffer injuries as they attempt to mitigate the damage. Administrators should also take photographs of the damage before and after cleanup to bolster their commercial insurance claims.Once it is safe to return to the damaged property, administrators should:Report the damage to the insurance company. Winds often damage roof tiles, siding, trees and landscaping, outbuildings, and adjacent sports stadiums or playing fields—and all repairs must be performed with respect to current building and zoning codes. If any school buses or transportation vehicles were damaged, you must also file a claim under your commercial auto insurance.Check the TWIA policy. Schools in Galveston and Harris Counties may need special insurance coverage through the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA). TWIA coverage can cover the damage when private insurers impose wind and hail exclusions for schools along the coast.Rely on business interruption insurance. Business interruption insurance offers a way to provide for students while the school is under repair. Common expenses covered include relocating students to a temporary learning facility, faculty payroll, alternate cafeteria facilities, and implementing online courses.Prepare for a fight. High winds may travel with other weather perils—such as rainstorms and hail—that may be excluded under your existing policy. When this happens, policyholders may need assistance to hold insurers accountable for the damage.If you are struggling to rebuild a school after a severe wind storm, our attorneys can work to get full and fair payment from your commercial insurance carrier. Simply fill out the form on this page today to contact an insurance attorney at the Voss Law Firm or order a free copy of our book, Commercial Property Owners Must Read This BEFORE Filing an Insurance Claim.Related Links:What If the Insurance Offer for My Hurricane Claim Is Too Low?Three Spring Insurance Coverage Surprises That Affect ContractorsEnsuring a Business Property Is Covered for Losses in a Windstorm 

Insurance Concerns for Owners and Renters When a Hurricane Damages an Office Building
Whether you are the owner or renter of a commercial office building, you share the same risk of a severe storm upending your life and your livelihood. While both the building’s owner and tenants are responsible for preventing and protecting themselves against hurricane losses, it can be difficult to tell whose insurance should be used to cover the damages. Attorney Bill Voss explores coverage options that can help protect against large losses caused by a hurricane, as well as policy extensions that may benefit owners and renters.Whose Insurance Pays for Hurricane Damage to Office Buildings?Office buildings may be owned by the occupier, but in many cases, these buildings are rented out floor by floor to commercial tenants. In general, the owner’s insurance should cover damage to building elements—such as walls, roof, signage, fences, and landscaping—while the renter’s business insurance would cover lost inventory and property owned by the business (such as office furniture, computers, and documents). It is up to each party to make sure their business insurance policy is tailored to their specific needs, and that their policies will include coverage for hurricanes or natural disasters.It may take a combination of owner and tenant coverages to replace hurricane losses, including:Building ordinance and law. The building owner may choose to add ordinance and law coverage, which pays for the increased cost of bringing a damaged structure up to current building codes.Commercial auto damage. Renters who rely on company vehicles (such as delivery vans, taxis, or shuttles) should have separate commercial auto coverage to replace flooded or ruined vehicles. A renter may not be able to collect payment for hurricane damage unless she has purchased comprehensive coverage or her commercial auto policy specifically includes natural disasters as a listed peril.New properties. Owners may not be covered for damage to properties that have been recently acquired or are under construction. These properties may be excluded under an existing policy (unless the policy has an extension for temporary coverage of new acquisitions) or has been protected by builder's risk insurance.Equipment breakdown. Insurance may not cover damage caused by a power outage, communications failure, or interrupted utilities without a policy extension. Both renters and owners may need equipment breakdown protection. For owners, this may extend to the boiler and plumbing systems, while renter’s insurance may cover losses due to ruined computers and telephone systems.Data loss. Renters should strongly consider data loss protection to pay for the costs of recovering lost electronic documents, files, or customer and employee records. However, these policies typically will not cover losses due to faulty installation, maintenance, or modification of computer systems.Business income loss insurance. Businesses are at significant risk if they are not protected by business income loss coverage. This insurance pays for normal continuing operating expenses after a hurricane, including employee payroll, costs of relocating to a temporary location, and costs of doing business at an alternate site until repairs are complete. Business interruption coverage also reimburses business profit losses for up to six months after a covered event, while an extra expense extension may allow renters to recoup even more of their out-of-pocket costs.Seasonal business insurance. If your business relies on the profits earned in a certain time of year, seasonal business insurance can replace income losses during peak times, containing the losses to a single quarter rather than the entire fiscal year.Umbrella coverage. Renters and owners may feel the benefits of umbrella coverage, which offers an additional amount above and beyond policy limits in large loss situations.If you are struggling to get fair payment from an insurer after a hurricane, our experienced insurance attorneys will work to get the coverage you deserve from your commercial insurance carrier. Simply fill out the form on this page today to contact an insurance attorney at the Voss Law Firm or order a free copy of our book, Commercial Property Owners Must Read This BEFORE Filing an Insurance Claim.Related Links:What If the Insurance Offer for My Hurricane Claim Is Too Low?Meeting With the Insurance Adjuster About Your Hurricane DamageEnsuring a Business Property Is Covered for Losses in a Windstorm 

How to Protect Your Municipality and Government Buildings From Flood Damage
Severe flooding can strike any town, causing millions of dollars of damage as standing water enters basements, public lands, and vehicles. While homeowners will look to their own insurance policies to collect payment, city and governments must fight to get coverage under their commercial insurance policies—all while trying to hold their struggling communities together. Attorney Bill Voss offers tips on selecting insurance options for municipal properties to cover the full cost of flood damage.Flood Damage to Municipal Buildings Under NFIPStandard commercial property damage policies are usually limited in the amount they will provide for weather-related flooding—and some insurers will not provide coverage at all. For this reason, it is vital for those who run municipal governments and services to purchase flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).NFIP policies can be invaluable after a disaster, as they will pay for damage to city buildings, inventory and contents, and some costs of cleanup (such as sandbagging and environmental hazard removal). However, NFIP policies may only pay actual cash value for damaged items, meaning they will not cover the full replacement cost of the structure and contents.Vital Flood Insurance Coverage for Government Buildings and ServicesIn addition to NFIP coverage, all governmental properties should be protected by commercial property damage insurance. These should name flooding specifically as a compensable hazard, state which losses related to the flood are covered, and be tailored to the specific needs of each type of building and property under the policy.A strong flood damage policy will include coverage for:All causes. After a severe storm, the last thing policyholders want to do is quibble with their insurers over the “exact” cause of the flooding. However, many insurers will deny coverage for damage caused by combined perils, such as flooding caused by water intrusion through a damaged roof. An all-risk policy should cover all forms of flooding, including leaking internal pipes, sewer backup, and rainwater accumulation. These policies may also cover interruptions in utility services, costs of drying and dehumidifying, mold and debris removal, and replacing HVAC equipment.Building upgrades. Standing water can ruin a building’s foundation, doing further damage to structures that are already decades out of date. Ordinance and law coverage pays to bring a covered property up to current building codes and local construction ordinances, and may be applied to the entire structure when only a portion of the building has sustained damage.Heavy machinery damage. Not all government properties are the same, and the costs to restore the lost inventory of a library will be far different than replacing lost machinery in a public park or recycling center. Extended industrial operations coverage can pay for the replacement of boilers, heavy machinery, and specialty equipment needed to serve the needs of the community.Government vehicles. All government-owned police, fire, school, and emergency vehicles should be protected under a commercial auto policy, including any necessary equipment inside the vehicles (such as GPS devices or dispatch radios).Buildings under construction. Cities and counties regularly add new structures for the benefit of the public, and these must be insured during construction with builder’s risk coverage. Once buildings are complete, they must be added to an existing policy or be protected under a “new properties” extension for limited-time coverage.Business income loss. Business income loss is an invaluable form of coverage that will pay for employee payroll, regular expenses, and added costs for six months (or more) after a covered event. This endorsement also offers extra expense coverage, which can be used to open a temporary location and pay for increased costs of construction.Governmental or municipal tornado insurance claims may be much more complicated than homeowner claims, and policyholders need access to resources in order to rebuild quickly. If you are having trouble getting the insurance coverage you paid for after a flood, the Voss Law Firm can help. Simply fill out the form on this page to get your questions answered by an insurance attorney, or learn more about filing a claim in our book, Commercial Property Owners Must Read This BEFORE Filing an Insurance Claim.Related Links:Steps to Take After a Flood Damages Your ChurchProof of Loss for a Flood Insurance ClaimHow to Know If Your Flood Damage Is an Act of God 

Essential Insurance Options to Protect Municipal Buildings From Tornados
If you help run a school system, library, or even an entire city, it is vital to have a natural disaster plan in place that can be implemented at a moment’s notice. Both private and public properties may suffer extensive damage after a tornado strikes, and members of the public will be looking to you for information and guidance—which may be hard to provide if your institution does not have proper coverage. Attorney Bill Voss examines insurance options for public entities that can make it easier to rebuild and serve the public after a tornado.Special Tornado Damage Considerations for Municipal BuildingsTornados have the ability to destroy whole cities and counties in a matter of minutes, causing a flood of insurance claims from homeowners and businesses. While there are a few options for compensation for cities and towns after a disaster, the best defense a public entity has against a disaster is its property damage insurance.Managers and operators in the public sector should carefully consider the coverages and limitations in a tornado damage policy, especially when it comes to:Property damage. Most property damage policies pay to repair damage to a covered structure and the contents housed inside. However, policyholders should consider the specific needs and features of their public entities rather than a one-size-fits-all policy. For example, not all policies will pay for debris removal, water intrusion, or replacement of specialized or high-value equipment. Your entity may require a policy extension with its own deductible to cover these additional costs.Code upgrade coverage. Many municipalities operate out of buildings that were constructed over a hundred years ago, and damage to a historical property will have to be repaired in a way that is compliant with current building codes. Ordinance and law coverage, also called code upgrade coverage, can pay for the added cost of installing new plumbing and electrical systems in an aging library, city hall, or police department.Commercial auto coverage. Tornados can cause a sudden loss of entire vehicle fleets, including damage to fire trucks, school buses, police cars, city buses, and ambulances. A strong commercial auto policy will include comprehensive coverage for non-collision events (such as a tornado) as well as pay to replace any GPS devices, medical instruments, or other specialized equipment in covered vehicles.Equipment breakdown. Municipal services such as water and sewer facilities, sanitation and recycling centers, solid waste management, and street and road maintenance departments may lose the ability to perform normal operations due to the loss of equipment. Breakdown coverage can pay to replace damaged machinery, allowing the service to take on the added burden of city repairs and demolition.Data loss protection. All public entities use software programs to keep financial records and perform daily business operations. Extended power outages can cause the loss of ability to connect to the internet, access city files and documents, and serve customers online. Data loss protection can restore the internal networks of public schools, benefits offices, parks and recreation departments, and other government agencies.Umbrella coverage. Tornado damage costs can quickly max out policy limits, leaving public entities to pay for additional costs out of pocket. Umbrella insurance is a policy extension that provides an extra amount (chosen by the policyholder) if the cost of the damage has exceeded policy limits.Business interruption. Business income loss, also called business interruption, can be invaluable after a large-loss event. This coverage replaces up to six months of lost revenue after a covered event, giving operators the funds they need to perform repairs, open a temporary location, and cover increased costs of rent or transportation.If you need help with your tornado damage insurance claim, we can work to get you full and fair payment to make repairs and reopen your doors. Please contact the Voss Law Firm at 1-888-991-3212 or simply fill out the form on this page today to get answers to your questions.Related Links:Options When a Tornado Insurance Claim Has Been DelayedHow to Get Insurance to Cover Hurricane Damage to School PropertyHow Long Do I Have to Submit a Tornado Insurance Claim for My Business? 

Commercial Hail Insurance Options for Schools and Universities
Homeowners and business owners alike have to protect themselves from severe weather losses, including the annual threat of hailstorms. Attorney Bill Voss examines hail damage insurance options for owners and operators of charter schools, community colleges, universities, and other educational institutions.Maximizing Insurance Coverage for Hail Losses in SchoolsOne of the many differences between hail damage to a house and damage to a commercial enterprise is the increased scale of damage. Public and private centers of learning can have several times the square footage of roofing and windows than single-family homes—and one university can have several campuses under a single policy. For this reason, school owners and operators should choose insurance options tailored specifically for the scope of the educational institution.Owners should strongly consider additional storm damage protections on an educational property damage policy, including:Comprehensive physical damage. Hail storms pose the biggest threat to the roof, windows, and siding of a structure. If not repaired quickly, hail damage to a roof can cause leaks that result in thousands of dollars in water damage losses. While owners may save money on premiums by selecting an actual cash value (ACV) policy, the insurer will subtract depreciation from the roof before paying the claim. On the other hand, a replacement cost value (RCV) policy will pay the full amount necessary to replace all covered items, including storm-damaged inventory and ruined property owned by students and faculty.Grounds and landscaping repair. Hail storms can strip trees bare, shred outdoor flower and vegetable gardens, and kill plants that were specially selected for the beautification of the grounds. Your property damage policy may offer an endorsement to cover the removal of downed branches, debris cleanup, and reseeding pockmarked lawns.Special equipment extensions. While property damage insurance usually covers the cost of replacing anything inside a covered structure, there may be limitations on the recovery cost of high-value items. Depending on the nature of your institution, you may wish to purchase coverage for specialty equipment, such as woodworking or automotive tools, heavy machinery, computers and tablets, science and technology labs, or greenhouses and outdoor features.Commercial auto repair. Owners who own and operate a fleet of commercial vehicles will likely invest in liability insurance to protect against lawsuits after a collision. However, liability insurance will not provide payment for any losses caused by non-collision events. Commercial auto property damage can provide payment for the repair of school bus windshields and windows as well as the cost of renting temporary transportation vehicles. Owners may also purchase comprehensive auto damage insurance to cover hail damage to school buses and university-owned vehicles.Code upgrade coverage. If part of a covered structure must be rebuilt, the construction must be done in a way that is compliant with current building codes. Depending on the extent of damage and the original build date of the structure, the cost of bringing a damaged building up to code can quickly spiral out of control. Code upgrade insurance, also called ordinance and law coverage, pays for the increased costs of construction and installation of new utilities to maintain current building specifications.Special event losses. Hail damage may require certain areas or even whole buildings to remain closed until repairs are complete, depriving students and the public of the ability to use the school for special activities. If your school hosts indoor sports tournaments, proms and school dances, swim meets, fundraisers, or other annual events that bring in income, special events coverage can replace the amount generated in ticket sales, concessions, or donations.Business interruption coverage. Business income loss, or business interruption coverage, is arguably the most essential form of commercial insurance for any type of business. This coverage pays to replace lost revenue during extended closures and building repair for six months or longer, allowing owners to pay for unforeseen construction and transport costs. A school’s business interruption insurance may cover the costs of renting a temporary venue, the cost of transporting students to an alternate learning location, or the implementation of online classrooms.If you are having trouble getting the full value of your hail damage claim from your insurance company, the Voss Law Firm can investigate the details, examine your policy, and fight on your behalf. Simply fill out the contact form on this page today or order a free copy of our book, Commercial Property Owners Must Read This BEFORE Filing an Insurance Claim.Related Links:Golf Course Insurers Often Underpay Tornado Damage ClaimsDifferent Roof Coverings Affect Damage Done by Hail StonesHow to Inspect Your Roof for Hail Damage 

Special Insurance Endorsements to Cover Wind Damage to Stadiums and Sports Arenas
You may have already purchased comprehensive property damage insurance for your sports arena, including adding business income loss and extra expense coverage to protect your investment after a severe storm hits. However, windstorms cause unique damage and have special coverage exceptions that can leave arena owners underpaid for their losses. Attorney Bill Voss explores types of overlooked property coverage and wind damage extensions that can help repair and reopen a sporting venue.Special Wind Damage Concerns for Owners of Stadiums and ArenasOwners will have to close their doors to the public after a windstorm, and may only admit ticket holders once repairs are complete. For this reason, seasonal and special event coverage is one of the most important insurance extensions for sports arenas and stadiums. If your venue hosts an annual tournament, charity fundraiser, rival team championship, or major televised match, the loss of profit from this single event may make a significant portion of the year’s profits. Similarly, damage to baseball fields during the summer can cause closures that deprive stadium owners of profits during the busiest time of year.Owners should check their policies carefully to ensure that they will be covered if they experience:Texas coastal storms. Insurers may impose wind and hail exclusions for commercial properties along the Texas coast, such as in Galveston and Harris Counties. Businesses in these areas can obtain coverage through the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA), but all structures must be certified as compliant with windstorm building code requirements to be eligible for TWIA coverage.Equipment breakdown. Windstorms often result in power outages, which can cause the loss of refrigerated foods, the ability to use credit card readers or cash registers, and provide lighting and heating for games. Equipment breakdown coverage can cover the costs of an extended power outage that causes spoliation and income loss.Multiple perils. High winds often travel hand-in-hand with other hazards that may not be covered under the same commercial policy, such as flooding. Insurers may apply the doctrine of concurrent causation to deny claims where damage has resulted from a combination of covered and non-covered perils.If you are struggling to recover after a severe wind storm, our attorneys can work to get full and fair payment from your commercial insurance carrier. Simply fill out the form on this page today to contact an insurance attorney at the Voss Law Firm or order a free copy of our book, Commercial Property Owners Must Read This BEFORE Filing an Insurance Claim.Related Links:What If the Insurance Offer for My Hurricane Claim Is Too Low?Three Spring Insurance Coverage Surprises That Affect ContractorsEnsuring a Business Property Is Covered for Losses in a Windstorm 

Selecting the Right Hurricane Insurance Options to Cover to Damage to Industrial and Manufacturing Properties
A hurricane can be devastating for a wide range of manufacturing businesses, causing significant losses to both global enterprises and small-batch operations. Whether you own a chain of food and beverage services or provide specialty metal and plastic products, it is vital that you have the right type and limits of coverage to restore operations after a hurricane. Attorney Bill Voss explores industrial coverage options, extensions, and how to protect against large losses caused by a hurricane.Insurance Options That Can Protect Against Industrial Hurricane LossesThe majority of hurricane losses result from severe flooding to buildings, basements, and open land. However, many commercial policies will not cover flooding caused by a natural disaster. In addition to private commercial insurance, manufacturers should purchase a policy under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to cover hurricane-related flood losses.When it comes to selecting commercial property damage insurance, owners of industrial facilities should consider both the type and scale of operations, selecting hurricane coverage that will provide for:Heavy industry property damage. Business property insurance will typically cover an insured structure and its contents. However, the sheer size of a manufacturing facility and the specialty equipment used in production may require additional coverage, extra deductible, and higher policy limits.All-risk coverage. Although these policies may cost more than basic coverage, an all-risk property damage policy can ensure payment for natural hazards and all related perils, such as wind, water, and interruptions in utility services stemming from a hurricane.Code upgrade coverage. Building ordinance coverage, also called code upgrade coverage, provides payment for the additional cost of meeting new building laws or ordinances when rebuilding damages portions of a structure.Commercial auto damage. Many industrial operations have their own company vehicles, such as vans, trucks, shuttles, forklifts, and golf carts. If your property has its own vehicles, they should be protected under a commercial auto policy that has natural disasters listed as a covered peril. This coverage should also include any specialized equipment inside the vehicles, such as tracking devices, GPS navigation, or dispatch radios.Inland marine. Manufacturers may have thousands of dollars in completed products traveling to their many distributor locations, all of which may be lost in transit when a hurricane strikes. Inland marine coverage can be used to cover the loss of any products, materials, or machinery that are on the move, such as replacing the cost of newly-built automobiles, replacing molded metal and plastic components on their way to an assembly plant, or covering the cost of spoiled food or refrigerated products due to stranded delivery vehicles.Builder's risk and new properties coverage. If you were in the process of expanding your operations during a hurricane, your policy may not cover properties that have not yet been insured. New properties insurance provides limited-time coverage during the construction of a new warehouse or the acquisition of property to serve as a secondary manufacturing location.Business income loss insurance. A hurricane can interrupt operations for months, causing costly profit losses in steel plants, mining operations, plastic production, automotive manufacturing, cement factories, and printing and paper industries. Business interruption insurance replaces lost profits up to policy limits, and can also cover the costs of relocation to a temporary site and ongoing expenses (such as employee payroll).Umbrella coverage. Business umbrella coverage and extra expense coverage offer an additional layer of protection in large loss situations. If a hurricane causes losses that cost more than the limits of your policy, these forms of insurance provide additional payment for repair or rebuilding. Due to the large scale of industrial operations, these policy enhancements can offer several million dollars in additional compensation.If you are struggling to get fair payment from an insurer after a hurricane, our experienced insurance attorneys will work to get the coverage you deserve from your commercial insurance carrier. Simply fill out the form on this page today to contact an insurance attorney at the Voss Law Firm or order a free copy of our book, Commercial Property Owners Must Read This BEFORE Filing an Insurance Claim.Related Links:What If the Insurance Offer for My Hurricane Claim Is Too Low?Meeting With the Insurance Adjuster About Your Hurricane DamageEnsuring a Business Property Is Covered for Losses in a Windstorm 


1 2