Your business or commercial property may have significant damage after a storm, fire, or theft. In that case, you could get money for property repairs through your commercial property insurance. If you need to relocate or cannot open for a period, you may have coverage through another policy. A Clearwater commercial property damage lawyer from Dolman Law Group could help you understand your coverage and file your claim.
At Dolman Law Group, our property damage attorneys know how commercial property insurance and business interruption insurance policies work and how to file these claims. We could help you document the damage, file your claim, and demand fair compensation from your insurer based on your policy's terms. In addition, we provide free initial consultations so you can learn more about our services. Contact us today to get started.
- Dolman Law Group: Clearwater Commercial Property Damage Attorneys
- Our Clearwater Business Property Damage Attorneys Know How to Document Losses
- Our Property Damage Lawyers Can Review Your Clearwater Commercial Policy
- Our Clearwater Commercial Property Damage Attorneys Manage Clients' Claims
- Our Property Damage Lawyers Can Fight Clearwater Claim Denials
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Clearwater Commercial Property Damage
- Let Our Clearwater Commercial Property Damage Lawyer Help With Your Claim
Dolman Law Group: Clearwater Commercial Property Damage Attorneys
Dolman Law Group's personal injury lawyers handle many insurance disputes for clients. This includes property damage claims and lawsuits in Clearwater, FL. Our commercial property damage lawyers could help you get the money you need to repair your building, replace your personal and commercial property, and cover the cost of your business's interruption based on your insurance coverage.
Insurance company representatives probably do not like to know we are handling your case. However, the insurers respect our lawyers. They know we understand their industry and how they should operate, and we hold them to a higher standard. We fight for our client's rights based on their policy terms. We do not allow insurers to take advantage of our clients.
Our team believes the personal connections we foster with each client set us apart from other firms. While many attorneys never get to know their clients, our relationship with our clients remains central to everything we do. Knowing our clients' unique circumstances and concerns allows us to provide the representation, advocacy, and support they need.
Not only will you have an attorney who handles your claim from start to finish, but you will have their cell phone number. You can contact them via phone call, text, or email. You can also reach another knowledgeable team member. Someone can give you prompt and accurate information when you need it.
This could include:
- Case updates
- Answers to your questions
- Peace of mind about concerns
- Explanations about your policy, claim, or other legal documents
Dolman Law Group generally works based on contingency. We do not ask our clients to pay anything upfront. Instead, we work for a percentage of the payout—so, if you don't get compensation, you don't pay. We can discuss this amount and other details about our fees during your initial consultation with our team. We understand that every dollar may prove essential for our clients, even temporarily, when they close their businesses. We want you to keep your money in your pocket.
Our attorneys provide free policy reviews and consultations for property owners or occupants who have damage to their buildings. This includes homeowners, small businesses, and even large corporations. We could handle your claim so you can focus on getting back to work.
Our Clearwater Business Property Damage Attorneys Know How to Document Losses
At Dolman Law Group, our attorneys handle property damage claims daily. Whether damage occurred at your home or business, we know how to document what happened, the cost of repairs, lost property, and other covered expenses. We understand the most common causes of property damage and how to build a claim accordingly.
The Hartford analyzed insurance claims from small businesses over five years and found the most frequent causes of damage were:
- Burglary and Theft: About one out of every five business insurance claims stemmed from a burglary or theft. This could include break-ins, hold-ups, stealing money or merchandise, or an inside job carried out by an employee. This is a common type of commercial property damage claim. Depending on the nature of the theft, businesses can replace items and resume operations relatively quickly once they get their payout.
- Water and Pipe Damage: About 15 percent of all commercial property damage claims occur because of water or freezing damage. While Clearwater only has one or two nights below freezing each year, you could see this kind of damage. In addition, water damage can occur because of roof or window damage, when an appliance breaks, or when you have other pipe issues. Ensuring key employees know how to shut off the water can help reduce this damage.
- Wind and Hail: Wind and hail damage often tops the list of common homeowners insurance claims but makes up only 15 percent of commercial property damage claims. However, this number may be higher in Clearwater than in other areas because of the increased risk of thunderstorms and hurricanes.
- Fire: About ten percent of all commercial property damage claims come from fires. Fire is especially dangerous to a structure because it moves quickly. In addition to damage from heat and flames, water and smoke damage can prove common. Therefore, fire repair and remediation cost so much more than other repairs.
- Vehicular Accidents: A careless or reckless driver sometimes smashes into a building and causes significant damage. These accidents can prove expensive or even catastrophic events for small businesses. However, they are rare. This leads to less than five percent of all commercial property damage claims.
While they comprise only a small part of total claims, car accidents have the highest average payout of all incident types.
Average payouts included:
- Vehicular Accident: $45,000
- Fire: $35,000
- Wind and Hail Damage: $26,000
- Water and Freezing Pipes: $17,000
- Burglary and Theft: $8,000
Each claim comes with different circumstances, and many factors affect these payouts. When we initially meet, we cannot yet know what payout you could get based on your policy's terms, but our team can assess your case before demanding fair compensation from your insurer. Once we investigate your case's details and evidence, we can give you more insight into the possible financial recovery in your case.
As a part of this process, we can also work to understand the risks your location poses. In Clearwater, you could face an increased risk of flood damage, storm surge, hurricane wind damage, sinkholes, and more. Ensuring you have adequate coverage for each of these events is essential. Insurance policies often exclude damage from floods, sinkholes, earthquakes, and landslides.
Our Property Damage Lawyers Can Review Your Clearwater Commercial Policy
If your Clearwater business suffered property damage or losses, our team can review your insurance policies and help you understand the coverage based on your policy terms. Each circumstance and policy is different, so having someone knowledgeable about insurance on your side can prove helpful. We can help you identify and document your covered losses, file your claim, fight for the compensation due to you based on your policy terms, and help you get back on your feet.
In general, commercial property damage insurance can protect your assets from fires, weather damage, theft, vandalism, and other incidents. The coverage available in your policy could include:
When a covered event causes damage to a commercial property you own, your insurance policy likely covers repairs up to the policy limits. Structure damage could vary from relatively minor, such as broken glass or a kicked-in door, to catastrophic. Roof replacements, new front windows, and new flooring are common needs after a fire, storm, or another incident.
Our team helps clients understand the damage and get real-life estimates for repair costs. Insurance companies often underestimate the actual cost of repairs as a way to underpay their policyholders. We can ensure you understand what repairs will cost before you accept a settlement.
In addition to structure damage, many appliances, furnishings, and other items sustain damage in covered events. Your commercial property damage should pay out to cover the replacement cost or actual cash value of these items, depending on your policy terms.
The insurer will likely ask you to inventory and document the value of your losses, which many business owners find difficult. This can prove especially true after a catastrophic fire, hurricane, or tornado. Our team knows how to make this process easier and can help you compile a list of missing or damaged items for the insurer.
Every insurance policy has exclusions. Earthquakes and floods are often excluded in property damage policies, whether commercial or individual. You will need to add additional policies or coverage if your property faces an increased risk of flooding, storm surge, sinkholes, or landslides.
Unlike homeowners insurance, commercial property damage coverage does not usually cover temporary relocations. Instead, a separate policy pays for these expenses.
Business interruption insurance covers:
- Lost revenue when your business must temporarily close
- Expenses related to temporary relocation
- Other expenses during the period when your building cannot operate due to property damage
Our attorneys know that you need to make repairs quickly—and you need to get an insurance payout as soon as possible. When your business has damage, you may miss work and much-needed income, which can affect your family and your employees. After all, your employees need their paychecks, and so do you. Having the right insurance coverage and knowing how to deal with insurance companies is key.
At Dolman Law Group, our team identifies the necessary policies, reviews the terms, builds strong support for your claim, and demands a fair payout. We can help even if the insurance company already denied your claim or refuses a just settlement.
In some cases, other parties may bear liability, as well. We can determine the best and quickest way to recover compensation for you and pursue the best option for your business. You can expect our team to have your best interests in mind throughout this process. We can fight for you, your necessary repairs, and your bottom line.
Our Clearwater Commercial Property Damage Attorneys Manage Clients' Claims
As your property damage attorney, our team members take our job seriously. We know the importance of your claim to your business. You need to get the money you need quickly and without dedicating too much of your time and energy to the process. You need to focus on getting your business back open and bringing in income for your family and your employees.
We ensure we take the necessary steps to protect your rights as a policyholder and pursue fair compensation based on your policy terms. You can expect us to manage all communication with the insurance company, challenge any denials, and negotiate for a fair payout that repairs your damage and replaces your damaged property.
We can work on your claim at any point in the claims process. Some clients call us before they begin their claim, shortly after the damage occurs. This allows us to handle the case from start to finish. Others call us when they hit a snag in the process.
This could include:
- The insurer offers only a lowball settlement.
- They underestimate the cost of repairs.
- They demand additional documentation for your damaged property.
- They try to tell you that your policy does not apply.
- The adjuster behaves rudely.
- They have unreasonable demands.
- They delay a claim assessment for too long.
Lastly, some clients enlist our help after they receive a claim denial from their insurance company. No matter when we start on your case, we can take care of it for you.
We know how to build strong support for your claim and document your damage for the insurance company.
This could include providing:
- The cause of your damage
- The estimated repair costs for your building
- An inventory and value for your property losses
- Other documentation as necessary
For those whose insurance company has stringent demands for documentation or denied the claim for insufficient evidence, this may make all the difference. Our team could provide the necessary photographs, videos, and documents to show what happened and prove you deserve a fair payout based on your coverage. We often negotiate with insurers to reach an agreed-upon settlement in these cases.
Many cases settle without a lawsuit, and most lawsuits do not go to trial. However, this is not true in every case. Our team fights for fair payouts for our clients. We prepare every case as if it will go to trial, and we are not afraid of suing the insurance company if it refuses to compensate our clients according to their policy's terms.
When we sue in a local civil court on behalf of a client, we need to follow the law, rules, and protocols. For example, we may only have up to five years from the date that damage occurred to file a complaint under Florida law. Missing this deadline could jeopardize your ability to take the case to trial. Our team can ensure your case remains on track and meets all necessary deadlines based on state law.
Our Property Damage Lawyers Can Fight Clearwater Claim Denials
If your insurance company denies your claim, they should send you a written notification of their decision. This letter should include the reasoning behind their decision.
Our attorneys can review your letter and help you understand:
- Why they denied your claim
- If you can fight this denial
- What you need to do to challenge the decision
- How our lawyers could help
Some reasons why insurers deny commercial property damage claims include:
- Missed Deadlines: Insurance companies set deadlines for notifying them about an event and filing a claim. Missing one of these deadlines could jeopardize your ability to recover compensation based on your claim. Our attorneys could provide documentation to show a good reason for missing the deadline.
- Missed Premiums: When you miss one or more premium payments, the insurance company may cancel your policy. While they should notify you before and when this occurs, this does not always happen. Remember to pay every premium on time, or you could risk your coverage. Unless you can show you paid the premiums, you have little recourse to challenge this denial.
- Insufficient Evidence: Whether the insurer needs more evidence, overlooks key facts, or fails to review your materials closely enough, insufficient evidence can lead to denial in several ways. Sometimes, a reconsideration from the insurance company can help. In other cases, we must provide the necessary documentation to support the claim.
- Excluded Cause: Many insurance companies use exclusions in the policy to avoid paying for repairs or losses. You should understand your coverage and document the cause of your property damage to fight this type of denial. Our team can help.
- Misrepresentation: If the insurance company believes you lied about the cause of your property damage or were dishonest about your losses, they could deny your claim. You both agreed to work together in good faith, so they do not want to uphold their end of the deal if they believe you misrepresented something in your claim. Our attorneys could step in and show you were not intentionally dishonest or otherwise did not misrepresent the facts of the case.
If you receive a claim denial notice, connect with our team immediately. We could fight the denial and recover the money you need to repair your property and replace your damaged furniture, appliances, equipment, and other items. However, time is of the essence. We may not have long to file an appeal or take other steps to pursue justice in your case.
Sometimes, contacting the insurer to let them know we are handling the case will convince them to reconsider your claim. This often proves true if we can provide additional supporting evidence for the claim. In other cases, we may need to file an official appeal and navigate the insurer's process to challenge their decision. We may also sue the insurer if your case's facts support a lawsuit.
You do not have to try to go through the claims process on your own, especially after the insurance company denies your claim. Our attorneys can help you take the necessary steps to protect your right to a payout based on your policy terms.
These steps could include:
- Reviewing your insurance policies and coverage
- Determining why the insurance company denied your claim
- Gathering additional evidence and building strong support for the claim
- Fighting the denial, possibly by navigating the insurer's appeals process
- Taking any necessary steps to secure the money you deserve based on your policy coverage
Our lawyers know how stressful and frustrating it can feel when you need your insurance company to cooperate and cover your losses, but they refuse to honor your policy. We can help assess your coverage, explain your options, and handle your case from here. You do not have to fight the insurance company alone.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Clearwater Commercial Property Damage
Our attorneys represent many business owners in various industries. Over the years, we find that many have come to us with similar questions. While we encourage you to connect with our team for a free case review and get specific answers based on your circumstances and policy terms, we provide general answers to some of the most commonly asked questions below.
How Can a Commercial Property Damage Attorney Help Me?
The health of your business is essential for your livelihood and career. Our attorneys understand that you want to get back on your feet and get your operations back to normal as quickly as possible after a disaster. To this end, we help our clients understand their insurance coverage, document their covered expenses, and negotiate for a fair payout from their insurer.
We handle these claims from beginning to end, allowing you to focus on other things. You do not have to try to deal with your claim, property repairs, business relocation, and other related concerns while still trying to manage your everyday tasks. We stand ready to help.
When Can I Hire an Attorney to Handle My Claim?
Our commercial property damage lawyers can go to work on your Clearwater case at any point. Many people want us to deal with their claims from start to finish. This can make it much easier on them and require much less of their time. Sometimes, clients enlist our help after a hiccup or roadblock with their insurance companies. This could range from an unreasonable delay to a rude adjuster to claim denial.
If you believe you need help with your claim at any point in the process, we encourage you to contact us to learn more. We offer free initial consultations with our team.
How Can I Learn More About My Policy and Coverage?
Our team of knowledgeable Clearwater commercial property damage attorneys provides consultations for business owners trying to navigate the claims process after a fire or weather event. We can review your policies and explain your coverage based on the details of what happened and the damage that occurred. You do not have to take the insurance carrier's word about what your policy covers and what it does not.
Our lawyers fight to ensure each client gets the compensation due to them based on their policy terms. We believe the insurers must uphold their end of the deal when it comes to paying their policyholders.
What Is Business Interruption Insurance?
Business interruption insurance can prove a good investment for a business owner. When you face damage to your commercial property, it may prove difficult to run your business until you get money from the insurance company, complete repairs, and replace your lost equipment. All of this can take weeks or even months.
Business interruption insurance helps you keep your business afloat during this time. It may help you pay your employees and yourself, ensure any necessary bills get paid, and could even cover some temporary relocation costs.
What Does My Insurance Cover as a Lessee?
Your insurance coverage may be different if you do not own the property. When you lease a building for your business, the property owner likely maintains the commercial property damage policy, while you may have coverage for your furnishings, equipment, and other contents.
Our team can assess your policy and help you understand your next steps to recovering money and getting your business back open. This could include documenting and valuing your losses, working with the owner on building repairs, relocation coverage, and more. We know that you need to get back to work as soon as possible, so we can fight for a fast, fair payout.
Who Is Liable if I Have Damage Caused by Another Business?
Some issues occur because of another property or business owner. This is especially common in shared spaces or close commercial districts where water leaks, fires, and other issues can cause damage to numerous businesses at the same time. In some cases, your commercial property damage insurance will still offer the best option for repairs and equipment replacement.
Under some circumstances, however, your insurer could deny your claim and point you toward a case against the other business or another liable third party instead. This usually occurs when another party's negligence or intentional actions cause the damage. Our team can help you understand your options and seek compensation for your losses.
What Should I Do if I Receive a Claim Denial Notice?
If your insurance company denies your claim, they will send you written notice.
If you receive this letter, you have two options:
- Reach out to our team to handle your denial
- Follow the instructions in the denial notice to challenge the decision
We encourage you to contact our team to determine if we may make a good fit to help you handle your appeal. This process can feel stressful, time-consuming, and frustrating. You likely have more important things to worry about. Our attorneys have familiarity with these processes and often handle them for our commercial property damage clients.
How Do I Pay My Property Damage Attorney?
At Dolman Law Group, our attorneys work based on contingent fees. Our fees depend on us handling your claim and recovering compensation in your case. We only get paid when you get a payout. We do not charge any upfront fees or bill for hourly rates. Instead, we receive an agreed-on percentage of your total financial recovery.
We can discuss how this fee structure works in more detail during your consultation with our team. We want to ensure you have answers to your questions and feel comfortable with how we charge fees before you sign your contract and we represent you.
How Can I Learn More About My Options After Commercial Property Damage in Clearwater?
Dolman Law Group has a team member available to review your options with you for free. We offer these complimentary consultations so property owners can learn their rights, assess their coverage, and get more information about recovering compensation for repairs and other covered expenses.
You can speak with a knowledgeable team member from our property damage team serving Clearwater today. We want to ensure you understand how we could help you with securing the money you deserve based on your policy terms.
Let Our Clearwater Commercial Property Damage Lawyer Help With Your Claim
At Dolman Law Group, our team provides free consultations for business owners whose structures suffered damage from a storm, fire, theft, or another covered concern. We could help you file your claim, document your damages, fight a denial, or take other steps to secure compensation and get your business running again. Your free case review comes with no obligation, and we charge no upfront fees to start your case. We work based on contingency fees, so we charge no hourly rates or retainers.
Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 N Belcher Rd
Clearwater, FL 33765
Phone: (727) 451-6900