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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 

Tornadoes Cause Fatalities and Damage Across Cities in Alabama and Georgia
Authorities have confirmed that at least 23 people have been killed and many remain missing after tornadoes swept through eastern Alabama and Georgia on March 3, 2019. Attorney Bill Voss advises those affected by the storms to seek alternate shelter until it is safe to return to their properties, and to document the damage to homes and businesses in order to get fair payment on their insurance claims.Multiple Tornadoes Cause Devastating Losses Across Alabama and GeorgiaAccording to the National Weather Service, at least a dozen tornadoes struck Alabama and Georgia on Sunday afternoon. Two tornadoes with recorded wind speeds between 136mph and 165mph touched down near Beauregard, Alabama, cutting a wide path of destroyed homes and businesses that reached southward into Florida.In a single day, the storms have caused immeasurable losses, including:Fatalities and injuries. A six-year-old boy and an eight-year-old girl are included in the more than 20 people who lost their lives in the storm, with search crews expecting a higher death toll as rescue efforts continue. Injuries reported have included minor scrapes and bruises to broken bones and severe trauma.Catastrophic property damage. Homes in Talbotton, Georgia, were completely destroyed, while neighboring gas stations, bars, and industrial parks were reduced to rubble. In Eufaula, Alabama, tornadoes collapsed the roof of one municipal fire department and overturned planes at a local airport. Unfortunately, homeowners and commercial property owners will likely see delays in insurance claims due to the large scale of the disaster.Power and service outages. Approximately 40,000 people are experiencing indefinite power outages due to storms in Alabama and Georgia. Downed trees and damaged cell phone towers interrupted communications, while branches and debris blocked roads and hindered rescue efforts. One fallen cell tower lay across U.S. Route 280 highway in Lee County, Alabama, blocking traffic in both directions.If those affected by the tornadoes do not get adequate compensation from homeowners or commercial insurance providers, they may feel the financial effects of the storm for years into the future. If your home or business suffered significant damage, the Voss Law Firm can examine your tornado damage policy and help get the funds you need to rebuild. Simply fill out the contact form on this page today or order a free copy of our book, 10 Mistakes You Cannot Afford to Make When Filing Your Insurance Claim.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? 

How to Protect Your Office Building or Commercial Rental From Flood Damage
You may have purchased property damage insurance to protect your office building from fires and vandalism, but if you don’t have adequate flood coverage, prolonged rain can mean the total loss of your investment. Attorney Bill Voss examines the different types of flood coverage and how property owners can select options to protect their commercial office space.Flood Damage to Commercial Buildings Under the NFIPThe first thing you should understand about commercial property damage policies is that they usually do not cover weather-related flooding. Flooding from a natural disaster is typically only compensable through the federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).While these policies are a necessity for building owners, these kinds of claims can quickly run into problems, including:Cause of damage disagreements. Flooding may or may not be covered depending on the exact nature of the damage, especially if the property was struck by multiple perils in a short space of time. For example, if high winds tore the roof off of the structure and allowed rainwater to enter, NFIP adjusters may shift the claim to your windstorm insurance policy (through the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association or a private insurer).Actual cash value. NFIP policies may only pay actual cash value for the structure and its contents, leaving the owner out-of-pocket for any depreciation on the property. In addition, these policies still have deductibles that must be met before the claim will be paid.Loan repayment. NFIP provides both insurance coverage and federal disaster loans, and it is important to understand the terms of each before you borrow more than you can pay back.How to Protect Your Office Building From Flood DamageIn addition to your NFIP policy, you should invest in commercial property damage insurance that specifically covers flood protection. The policy should cover internal flooding (from burst water pipes), water intrusion (from a leaking roof), and natural disasters (such as flooding in the aftermath of a hurricane). This additional coverage may be costly, but can be invaluable when a storm costs millions in losses—especially for businesses along the Texas coast.In addition to covering flood risks under multiple policies, office building owners can also head off flood damage costs by:Inspecting walls and basements regularly. If your business is on or has a lower level, it is a good idea to schedule inspections every six months to ensure that there are no cracks or damage that could lead to water intrusion. If the structure is new, owners may invest in preventive flood-proofing measures, such as wraps, caulking, or waterproof sprays. For older buildings, owners should consider paying the extra cost of ordinance and law coverage, which will cover the costs of bringing a damaged property up to current building codes and local construction ordinances after a flood.Knowing what is and what is not covered under your private flood insurance. Even if you have a specific flood policy, not all losses related to the flood will automatically be covered. In addition to structural damage and inventory losses related to flooding, coverage should pay for the cost of drying and dehumidifying, mold and debris removal, boiler replacement, and cleaning HVAC equipment.Selecting cost replacement endorsements. There are many different policy endorsements that offer extra protection against a covered loss, and each one should be considered carefully. One of the best policy enhancements is business income loss, which covers your company's net profits, payroll, and regular expenses for a set period of time after an adverse event. This endorsement also offers extra expense coverage, which can be used to rent temporary office space, cover construction costs, and reimburse other costs stemming from a covered event. Finally, seasonal insurance can replace lost income from your busy season or a certain portion of the year when profits are highest. However, none of these endorsements will apply unless you have specifically included flooding as a covered event for each one.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

Insurance Coverages That Can Help Schools Recover After a Tornado
Educational institutions provide a valuable service to students of all ages, but those futures could be wiped away without a strong insurance policy. Commercial insurance for schools can protect your students, faculty, and facility—but there are many options specifically for educational institutions that may be worth the extra investment. Attorney Bill Voss examines insurance options for learning centers that can help students and staff recover after a tornado.Special Tornado Damage Considerations for Schools and UniversitiesWhether you oversee a charter school, learning annex, community college, trade school, major university, or other public or private educational institution, it is vital that you have insurance that is tailored to the specific needs of your school. Comprehensive commercial physical damage insurance will go a long way toward making repairs, but there are also some essential add-ons to a property damage policy, including:Special equipment losses. Property damage insurance will typically cover the structure as well as the inventory and furniture inside, but there may be limits that do not allow replacement of specialty equipment. Owners may need to purchase additional coverage for high-cost items, including sporting equipment, bleachers, science and technology labs, and computers and multimedia equipment.Commercial auto. Commercial vehicle coverage can replace lost or damaged school buses, shuttles, and employee vehicles, and it may also cover additional transportation expenses (such as renting school buses or charter vehicles until repairs are made).Inland marine coverage. Tornadoes can affect multiple districts, and any inventory that is not on your insured property at the time of the event may not be covered. With inland marine insurance (also called "floating" property insurance), any school property damaged at another location will be covered, such as sports paraphernalia, audio/visual equipment, and equipment that has been rented to students and teachers.Business interruption. Business income loss is one of the most important forms of coverage for any commercial enterprise. This coverage pays to replace lost revenue while repairs are underway, allowing the university to open a temporary location in a safe area, or operate portable or online classrooms for students impacted by the tornado.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? 

Fire Insurance Options for Owners and Renters of Commercial Office Buildings
Office buildings offer a win-win option for owners and renters: renters can conduct their business outside the home, and owners have regular rental income from relatively low-risk businesses. However, both the building owner and occupier are responsible for protecting themselves from fire losses—and insufficient coverage can put both parties out of business. Attorney Bill Voss knows that the key to getting full payment for a fire damage claim is for owners and renters to select the right insurance options that will address the unique needs of each business.Collecting Fair Payment After a Fire Damages Your Office BuildingYour commercial fire insurance needs can vary depending on a number of factors, including whether you work out of a leased office or own the building, the type of business you operate, and the equipment you use on a daily basis. If you lease or own commercial property, you should consider the following forms of fire insurance protection:Commercial property damage. If you own the building that houses a business, your commercial property insurance will pay for fire losses to the structure, the outdoor signage, and fences and landscaping. Depending on the extent of coverage, it may also include expenses for site cleanup and debris removal, fire department service charges, restoring items that have sustained smoke and soot damage, and hiring professional drying or odor removal services for your location.Building ordinance and law. Commercial building owners will be responsible for rebuilding their structures in a way that is compliant with current building ordinances. Building ordinance and law coverage can pay for the added expense of bringing the damaged property up to code.Rental property damage. If you own the business but work out of a rental space, your commercial rental insurance should reimburse you for any company property that is damaged in a fire. Your landlord’s insurance should cover damage to the roof and walls, while your policy provides payment for your office furniture, computers, phone systems, inventory, employees' belongings, and equipment.Business auto insurance. If you have a delivery van, shuttle, or other company vehicle, commercial auto insurance can be used to repair or replace these vehicles if they are damaged by fire.Newly-acquired property. If you have added a new complex or recently constructed a new property to lease as a commercial space, the property may not be insured under your current policy. A policy extension to cover new acquisitions can provide temporary coverage (usually up to 30 days) to give you time to purchase full coverage on the new addition.Equipment breakdown. A fire that started due to a defective electrical system, boiler explosion, or other equipment can be costly to replace if they damage wiring throughout the property. Equipment breakdown insurance covers extensive damage caused by electrical and mechanical components.Company records. A fire can destroy valuable documents, tax forms, payroll records, business contact lists, and other papers necessary for the success of your business. Records restoration insurance can pay for the added expense of recreating your company files after a covered loss.Seasonal business insurance. If your business sees an uptick in revenue at a certain time or year (such as accounting firms during tax time), a fire during the busy season could mean a greater loss of profits. Seasonal business insurance can replace the income lost during a peak time for the company, allowing the business to end the year without going into the red.Business income insurance. This vital form of commercial coverage can help cover expenses while your business is closed or under repair after a fire. Business income insurance can be used to pay for continuing operating expenses (including employee payroll), the cost of renting a temporary location during restoration, and the costs of relocation and advertising fees while you do business at an alternate site.If an insurance company is denying coverage after a fire at your place of business, 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, Commercial Property Owners Must Read This BEFORE Filing an Insurance Claim.Related Links:Does My Business Insurance Cover Damage Caused by Fire?Cold Temperatures Can Increase Your Risk of an Indoor FireWhat Hotel Owners Should Know Before Filing Fire Insurance Claims 

Getting Maximum Coverage After Hail Damages Your Stadium or Sports Arena
Hail damage is not just a concern for homeowners, but a constant peril to anyone who owns a business. Proprietors of sports stadiums, football and baseball fields, and outdoor arenas have to take care to protect their property and their profits when storms sweep through—and a failure to consider the full breadth of the property can lead to underpaid claims. Attorney Bill Voss examines hail damage insurance options for owners of sporting venues and fields, including policy endorsements that can make it easier to recover after a storm.Insurance Options That Can Protect Against Hail-Related LossesMost hail claims involve damage to roofs and windows, and commercial buildings are no exception. While hail damage to a sports arena’s roof may seem trivial, a punctured roof can cause thousands of dollars in rain and water damage losses if not corrected quickly. Owners should take a careful look at their policies to determine whether their weather damage coverage contains anti-concurrent causation clauses, as well as any exclusions that could be used to deny coverage.If you own an arena, amphitheater, coliseum, or stadium, your insurance policy should have a variety of protections, including:Physical damage at replacement cost. While an actual cash value (ACV) policy will subtract depreciation before issuing payment, a replacement cost value (RCV) policy will pay the full amount necessary to replace covered items with those of “like” kind. An RCV policy will allow you to replace damaged equipment to industry standards without sacrificing the quality experience your visitors expect from your venue.Equipment extensions. Hail damage in an open-air stadium can affect lights, scoreboards, digital billboards, seats, security cameras, card readers, gates, and other highly-specialized equipment. Owners may need to consider whether investing in enhancements for specialty equipment is worth the added cost.Code upgrade coverage. All damaged structures must be rebuilt in a way that is compliant with current building codes. If your arena was built over 10 years ago, it could take millions of dollars to bring the entire structure up to code. Upgrade coverage pays for the cost of additional construction, demolition, and installation of new utilities.Grounds and landscaping. Even if the inside of your stadium is protected from the elements, hail storms can shred trees, kill plants, and leave pockmarks all over your grounds. A property coverage endorsement may pay to remove branches and other debris, as well as to replace plants, sheds, and outdoor features.Commercial auto. If you have team buses, shuttles, or other company vehicles that are stored in the open air, you may want to invest in comprehensive damage insurance to cover hail damage and other non-collision losses.Inland marine. Inland marine coverage will pay to replace damaged property that is stored at a location other than the insured property, or was damaged while in transit to the stadium.Builder’s risk coverage. If a portion of your arena is undergoing expansion, you should invest in builder’s risk insurance to cover the new structure while it is under construction.Special event losses. Hail damage can cause extended closures that force teams to play at alternate venues. If your arena regularly hosts tournaments, fundraisers, championship games, or other major events, you may wish to invest in special events coverage to replace lost income from the event. If you earn more profits in one part of the year, seasonal insurance can replace any income lost during the busy season due to a covered loss.Business income loss. Business income (or business interruption) insurance provides a lump-sum payment to replace lost profits caused by a covered loss. Profits can be replaced for six months or longer, giving owners time and funds to conduct repairs.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 

Insurance Options That Can Help Homeowners Recover After a Wildfire
Wildfires are a constant threat to people living and working in Texas. Since the only security homeowners have is their insurance policies, it pays to be extra careful when selecting wildfire coverage. Attorney Bill Voss explains what is and is not usually covered under standard fire insurance and how to select options that will fill in the gaps if a wildfire destroys your property.Coverage Options That Are Vital to a Homeowner’s Recovery After a WildfireThe first thing you should do is ensure that wildfires and forest fires are specifically named as an insured peril on your homeowners insurance. If they are not, it is wise to invest in a separate wildfire policy, especially if you live in an area that has been afflicted by brush fires in the past. The most basic policies should allow for the repair or replacement of the dwelling, plus coverage for additional living expenses (like rent, food, and transportation) during your evacuation and while your home is repaired.While these coverages are less likely to be in dispute, owners typically have problems getting full coverage for:Personal property. If you have extremely valuable assets on the property, the policy limits you choose should be enough to replace the most expensive of your belongings.Other structures. This may be offered in addition to coverage of the family dwelling and pays to repair or rebuild unattached structures such as sheds, barns, or gazebos.Fire department charges. Most homeowners policies will include a certain amount for a portion of the service charges assessed by fire departments, but a wildfire can significantly increase these costs.Vandalism and theft. Houses are often vandalized before owners can return safely, and what little was not destroyed may have been carried off by thieves.Smoke and soot damage. Even if your home or belongings have been spared from the fire, they may retain smoke and soot damage that ruins their value.Landscape losses. Insurers may pay only a percentage of the loss of living plants on the property, including trees, shrubs, gardens, or greenhouse plants.Debris removal. Insurance companies may offer an endorsement for cleanup and debris removal, which is only the fraction of the costs in a large loss.Texas homeowners often pay more for coverage if they live in close proximity to known wildfire areas—and despite their high premiums, they are often denied coverage after a loss. 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 

Commercial Insurers May Not Cover the Full Cost of Hurricane Damage to a Municipal Building
Public entities such as schools, government buildings, and even parks owned by municipalities have specialized coverage needs. A hurricane doesn’t discriminate between private and public lands, and can cause interruptions in utilities, damage to roads and playgrounds, and forced rebuilding of older structures. Attorney Bill Voss explores coverage options for municipalities and how to protect against large losses caused by a hurricane.Tailor Your Hurricane Coverage to the Specific Needs of Your Public EntityWhether you operate a small village or a sprawling municipal district, your insurance company should be ready to shoulder the burden of hurricane repair costs. The right insurance should protect your property and your reputation, allowing you to continue to serve the public while the physical damage is under construction. A strong municipal hurricane insurance policy should provide for:Property damage. Property damage policies can vary widely depending on the size of the building, contents, and the specific inventory and equipment housed inside. Beware of one-size-fits-all policies that may not cover the full extent of replacement damage. For instance, it may take more to replace all of the damaged books and electronics in a library than in an office building.Code upgrade coverage. Municipal buildings such as libraries or town halls may be decades out of date, and governments will have to ensure that the entire structure is up to code during restoration. Upgrade coverage pays for the additional cost of installing new utilities and meeting new building regulations, as well as demolishing aging structures.Auto damage. If your insured property has its own vehicles (such as law enforcement vehicles, fire trucks, public transportation, and emergency vehicles), you should definitely invest in commercial auto to replace hurricane-damaged vehicles. This coverage should also include any specialized equipment used or stored in the vehicles, such as radar detection in police cars or medical equipment in ambulances.Data compromise. Nearly all public entities rely on online platforms to do business, and a long-term outage after a natural disaster can place schools and government agencies at risk of data loss.Equipment breakdown. This insurance can be invaluable if hurricane damage has interrupted the normal functioning of sensitive equipment, such as sanitation and solid waste management, water treatment utilities, or machinery in trash and recycling centers.Flooding. Most commercial policies will not cover flooding caused by a natural disaster. City properties can be insured under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), but agencies should examine the requirements carefully to ensure coverage.Inland marine. While property coverage may protect the structure and contents at your business address, it will not pay for materials and inventory damaged in transit. An inland marine policy extension pays for equipment that is frequently on the move (such as survey equipment), stored offsite, or on its way to your location.Builder's risk. If one or more of your properties was already undergoing renovation when the hurricane struck, a builder's risk policy will pay to replace structures and materials lost during new construction.Umbrella coverage. Umbrella insurance allows you to recover an amount over and above the amount of the policy if the damage has caused you to exceed policy limits. This extra protection can be invaluable in large loss situations, and may pay to open a temporary location while the primary site is under repair.Our experienced insurance attorneys can advise heads of counties, parishes, cities, and other municipal agencies of their rights after a hurricane, and we will 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?Meeting With the Insurance Adjuster About Your Hurricane DamageEnsuring a Business Property Is Covered for Losses in a Windstorm 

Protecting Industrial Complexes and Manufacturing Facilities From Wind Damage
Whether you are a local manufacturer working on a small-batch shop basis or own several production lines across the country, it is vital that you have adverse weather coverage to protect your business. Attorney Bill Voss explores the unique insurance risks for these businesses and how to choose the special coverage options for the type and scale of your facility.Essential Wind Coverage for Owners of Industrial and Manufacturing FacilitiesWhen it comes to selecting coverage against windstorm damage, owners should consider the following insurance options:Property damage. A good property damage policy will cover the full range of your property after a windstorm, including warehouses and office space, office equipment, outbuildings, and inventory.Extra equipment. Basic property damage coverage may limit the amount of the claim to a figure that does not cover your expensive industrial equipment. Consider adding extensions that specifically cover the most costly items (such as fermentation tanks for beer or wine, conveyors and production line equipment, and heavy machinery) or those that are at most risk in a wind storm.Power outage. An extended power outage after a wind storm can cause lower production output, spoilage of food and beverages, and other income and inventory losses. Power loss protection can be customized to the particular needs of your business, such as replacing refrigerated inventory, renting temporary lighting and heating services, and replacing business income from the outage.Commercial auto. Your business may rely on a variety of different vehicles, including delivery trucks, vans, and passenger cars. A strong business auto insurance policy will provide not only liability coverage, but comprehensive coverage for damage caused by a non-collision event.Specialized inventory endorsements. There may be a policy tailored specifically to your type of industry, such as textile manufacturers’ insurance to cover clothing and furnishing losses or metal and plastic manufacturers’ insurance to protect products and inventory lost on site.Inland marine coverage. Manufacturers can lose thousands of dollars of inventory if a truck or offsite storage facility is compromised in a storm. Inland marine insurance pays to replace any products or materials that are damaged in transit.Equipment breakdown coverage. Also called boiler and machinery coverage, this insurance covers breakdowns due to a variety of causes, including power surges. It can pay for repairs or replacement of damaged machinery, as well as the lost income and business interruption the loss of the equipment has caused.Data loss coverage. If a power outage or power surge resulted in the loss of financial records, customer information, or other important electronic data, this coverage can help pay for the costs of IT services to restore company records.Business interruption and extra expense. Manufacturers may be unable to meet quotas due to an adverse event, depriving them of their profits and business agreements with retailers. Business income insurance provides payment to cover expenses while production is stopped or slowed due to repairs. Extra expense coverage can pay for the costs of overhead, including employee salaries, rent, or even relocation expenses.Seasonal insurance. Manufacturers who rely more heavily on profits from a specific time of the year may benefit from seasonal loss insurance, which can make up the difference in profits for the quarter and avoid end-of-year losses.Anti-concurrent causation. Wind storms may come hand-in-hand with other perils, such as rain, hail, and power outages. Unfortunately, insurers may refuse to cover damages under the doctrine of concurrent causation—damage resulting of a mix of covered and non-covered events. Owners should read their policies carefully to ensure that all losses will be covered when perils combine.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 

Top 5 Causes of Property Damage Claims for Small Businesses
Small business owners are often worried about protecting themselves against customer injuries due to slip and falls or product liability. While these claims may be expensive— and are definitely worth the cost of insurance—they are not the only perils that face owners of small and medium businesses. Attorney Bill Voss explores the biggest property damage risks to small business owners, and how to make smart coverage options to protect your profits.Kinds of Property Damage Likely to Lead to Small Business Insurance ClaimsThe Hartford, a major insurance provider, released a report that analyzed over a million commercial insurance claims over a period of five years. The results showed that the most common claims are not always the costliest, but they can quickly add up and cause major business losses.Businesses most often file insurance claims as a result of:Business income loss. The most expensive claims resulted from damage to the business's reputation, an average cost of $50,000 for each claim. While owners can invest in liability insurance specifically to cover reputational harm, he or she may also be able to recover lost income during this period by selecting business income replacement insurance.Fire. Although fire claims cost an average of $35,000 over the course of the study, there is no telling how much damage a fire will do until after the flames have been put out. Business owners should have a comprehensive fire policy, as well as install fire detection and suppression systems to reduce the chances of a blaze.Wind and hail. Small business owners suffered an average of $26,000 in wind or hail damage to structures, inventory, outdoor signage, landscaping, and other commercial property.Water damage. Water intrusion and freezing damage cost small businesses an average of $17,000 from probate insurers, but this number is considerably higher for floods caused by natural disasters.Theft. While one out of every five claims in the report was due to burglary or theft, the average cost of these claims was around $8,000, making it the least expensive of the perils in the study.If you are having trouble getting an insurer to cover the costs of damage to your business, we can help. Simply fill out the form on this page today to contact 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:Large-Loss Fire Risk and Insurance Concerns for BusinessesYour Commercial Policy May Not Cover Hail and Wind Damage to a ChurchHow Farmers, Ranchers, and Other Agribusinesses Can Protect Against Flood Damage Losses 

The Right Insurance to Protect Your Sports Arena From Fire Damage Losses
After a fire breaks out in your sports arena, your commercial insurance coverage can make the difference between reopening in time for next season or permanently closing your doors. Unfortunately, many insurers underpay or deny these claims, depriving owners of one of their biggest investments. Attorney Bill Voss explains how owners can protect themselves against fire damage and how to create a policy that will cover the full extent of fire losses.Vital Fire Insurance Options for Stadiums and Sports ArenasOwners of football stadiums, baseball fields, hockey rinks, and other arenas know the importance of investing in liability insurance in case someone is injured on their property. However, commercial property insurance is just as vital to protecting your interests, especially after a fire spreads through the structure.In order to provide the most protection, a commercial fire damage policy should include:Property damage. A basic commercial property insurance policy will provide compensation for damage to the building, inventory, or equipment up to a certain dollar value. However, owners should carefully choose whether these losses will be covered at actual cash value or replacement value.Sports equipment. Many forms of equipment (such as turf and goal posts) must be maintained to an industry standard. Your insurance selections can offset the costs of buying new equipment that meets requirements of game play.Specialty equipment. Owners may need to invest in enhancements for specialty or high-value equipment, such as lights, score boards, digital billboards, Jumbotron screens, or Zambonis.Business auto. Comprehensive commercial auto coverage will pay for coaches, team buses, shuttles, and other vehicles that are damaged by something other than a collision, such as flame, heat, or smoke damage.Water damage. Firefighters use thousands of gallons of water to extinguish the flames, which can pool in basements, subfloors, and utility areas. Your insurance should cover the cost of replacing carpets, seats, electronics, and other equipment damaged by firefighting efforts.Builder’s risk coverage. Owners who are upgrading or expanding their arenas should secure builder’s risk insurance to cover the new and existing portions of the structure that are undergoing work. A spark from a welder’s torch or a loose electrical wire can easily turn into a blaze, and without additional coverage these losses may not be covered.Seasonal business insurance. If your field or open-air stadium relies more heavily on income from the summer season than in the winter, you may need the extra protection of seasonal insurance. Seasonal business insurance can replace missing profits during the busiest time of year, allowing the owner to offset any permanent losses.Inland marine coverage. Equipment floater coverage and inland marine coverage pays to replace property that is in transit to your arena, held or stored away from the insured property, or is mobile and can travel to many locations (such as lighting rigs or sporting equipment).Business income insurance. Also known as business interruption insurance, this coverage pays to replace lost profits for a fixed period of time after the fire to allow owners to rebuild. Some policies allow business income losses to be extended for up to a year to allow for large-scale repairs.Once you have submitted a fire insurance claim, it is important to follow up with the insurer to ensure that your claim is being handled properly. If you feel that the insurance company is not following the guidelines of the policy you have in place, you should contact an insurance claim attorney to learn what your next steps should be.When insurers take unreasonable amounts of time to pay out or refuse certain aspects of a claim, we 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, Commercial Property Owners Must Read This BEFORE Filing an Insurance Claim.Related Links:Large-Loss Fire Risk and Insurance Concerns for BusinessesTips for Preventing Structure Fire Losses on Commercial PropertiesWhy Every Commercial Fire Insurance Policy Is Different 

Your Property Damage Insurance May Not Cover the Full Costs of Restoring Buses and Transport Vehicles After a Hail Storm
Hail damage is a constant risk for commercial vehicles, as even a brief storm can shatter windshields and dent bodywork. While these claims can cause minor setbacks for businesses with one or two vehicles, companies that rely on an entire fleet for daily operations will need specialized and comprehensive coverage to stay afloat. Attorney Bill Voss takes a look at the hail damage insurance options for owners of shuttle, bus, and taxi companies, and examines coverage endorsements that can make it easier to recover.Hail Damage Coverage for Commercial Transportation VehiclesMost commercial vehicle owners have property damage coverage and liability coverage to protect them after a collision. However, this form of property damage does not apply to damages caused by a non-crash event, such as a hailstorm. Owners will have to select additional forms of insurance that will cover weather-related damage, as well as replace the income that will be lost as a result of extended repair times.If you own a limo, bus, taxi, or shuttle service, you may be able to protect your profits, holdings, and business’ reputation by:Selecting comprehensive physical damage insurance. Comprehensive damage insurance covers losses caused by an event other than a collision, including severe weather, theft, fires, or vandalism. If a comprehensive policy is cost-prohibitive, owners may also add hail and weather damage as a “specified peril” on their insurance policies, giving them control over which events will and will not be covered.Investing in rental insurance. It may be necessary to keep damaged vehicles after a hail storm rather than perform immediate repairs, since insurers may want to inspect the damage on each vehicle before paying the claim. Rental insurance allows you to continue serving your customers with alternative forms of transportation while your claim is processing.Opting for towing coverage. The costs of towing a single vehicle may be minimal, but it can increase rapidly if the entire fleet is damaged. Towing insurance pays for the expense of towing damaged vehicles to a repair location or a storage facility until repairs can be properly assessed.Insuring all vehicle accessories. Transport companies often rely on in-vehicle technology, such as satellite navigation systems, mileage meters, dispatcher radios, and even video screens for passenger entertainment. An accessories enhancement to your coverage can cover the considerable cost of any expensive devices installed or mounted inside the vehicle.Increasing business income coverage. If several vehicles have been damaged, you may suffer lost profits as your customers go elsewhere for their transportation needs. You may wish to consider extending your business interruption coverage until your fleet is complete, replacing up to a year’s worth of income.Considering seasonal insurance. If you rely more heavily on your vehicles at a certain time of the year (such as New Year’s Eve or during a summer festival), seasonal insurance can replace lost profits during peak times. In many cases, seasonal insurance can be collected in addition to business income loss, allowing businesses to survive a bad quarter and reopen with all resources intact.Taking weather-preventive measures. Investing in adverse weather precautions can not only lower your premiums, it can reduce the chances of your filing a claim. Common tactics include housing vehicles in a concrete structure with a strong roof, training employees how to respond in a sudden storm, and removing vehicles from surface lots when hail has been forecasted.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 


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