The pandemic was the catalyst for a record-breaking spike in the number of small business owners and entrepreneurs. According to the Census Bureau, there were 4.4 million new businesses that were created in the United States alone.
Along with a new journey into entrepreneurship comes a set of new responsibilities. Now more than ever, it is important for small business owners to secure business insurance to protect themselves and their employees from any potential damages or accidents. Even business owners who operate from their own homes should obtain some form of business insurance.
What types of accidents does my business insurance policy cover?
Whether you operate from your home or a leasing office, your business insurance will protect you from property damage, lawsuits, and any other covered losses that your business endures. Depending on the type of policy you obtain, you can be covered if a customer wants to sue your business for injuries he or she endured on your property.
If your business is vandalized from a theft and any of your property was stolen, your insurance helps to cover the cost. If you make a professional error while providing a service that costs your client a substantial amount of money, your insurance policy helps cover the cost of any legal fees should the client pursue legal action.
What kinds of business insurance should I get?
There are different types of business insurance policies designed to protect business owners from all types of scenarios. For example, a business property insurance policy helps to protect a business’s buildings and contents in the event of a covered loss, such as from a fire or a tornado. Other kinds of business insurance include:
- General liability insurance.This protects you in case someone is physically hurt.
- Errors & Omissions.Also called “professional liability insurance,” E&O covers everything from accounting errors to misrepresentation. It can cover lawsuits alleging bad faith, too.
- Business interruption insurance.This covers your lost profits and revenue, as well as payroll, taxes, relocation costs and more. It covers any lost income in the event that a business has to close down temporarily as a result of theft or property damage.
- Comprehensive auto insurance.If you have company cars or vans, you’ll need a separate insurance plan for them.
- Workers’ compensation insurance. General liability protects visitors, and worker’s comp protects employees.
- Umbrella policies.These policies are designed to fill in the gaps, and to cover anything “left over” that another policy doesn’t cover.
- Cyber insurance. This policy allows business owners to protect themselves and their businesses against cyberattacks and data breaches.
When a business encounters damage from a theft, fire, storm, or other natural disaster, productivity and profit can come to a halt. In some cases, these situations can cause a business to shut down forever if the business does not bounce back in an adequate amount of time. This is why business insurance is necessary for all business owners. The insurance policy can help cover the costs of lost business income, property damage, lawsuits, and other covered losses.
What are some reasons why my business insurance claim would be denied?
Insurance carriers will deny a business insurance claim for several reasons. One of those reasons includes the claim failing to be submitted in a timely manner. Another reason is that the injury is not covered under the insurance policy. Business owners may have to review their policies with an insurance agent to ensure that they receive the best coverage possible for all types of situations. For example, many business owners take advantage of a business owner’s policy, which provides business property, general liability, and business income coverages.
Should I hire an attorney to assist with my business insurance claim?
When insurance companies either refuse to pay or outright deny business insurance claims, it can have disastrous effects for businesses, especially small business owners. After receiving a reason for your business insurance claim denial, it is important for business owners to carefully review their insurance policy before issuing an appeal letter.
You should seek the aid of legal counsel to help illustrate the best arguments for coverage using the terms of your insurance policy and the facts surrounding your situation. Sharing any additional information with your attorney that can help support your argument will definitely help your attorney present the best case for you. Remember – the “other guy” has a lawyer; you should, too.
Plus, insurance companies are notorious for using complicated, technical language and terms to justify their decisions to deny claims. An attorney who is familiar with the actions of insurance carriers can help guide you on the best course of action and help break down any complex technical jargon for you. Your attorney can also help determine the best course of action in terms of litigation, should you have to take your insurance agency to court.
How can an attorney help when an insurance claim is denied?
Insurance carriers have the options of either upholding their original decision, or reversing their decision of your denial. If your insurance carrier continues to refuse to pay your business insurance claim for no legitimate reason, your attorney may advise you to sue your insurance company in civil court. Because insurance is a type of contract, insurance carriers could be guilty of a breach of contract for failing to perform their end of the agreement.
In addition to a breach of contract, insurance carriers can be guilty of acting in bad faith against you for denying your insurance claim. Insurance carriers are guilty of acting in bad faith when insurance adjusters intentionally fail to meet an obligation of duty to their policyholders through lying and deception. Some examples of insurance carriers acting in bad faith include ignoring evidence, lying, refusing to investigate a claim, or intentionally exhausting the policyholder’s attempts to approve their claim.
The old saying – the devil is in the details – is the crux of every commercial insurance claim. The more documentation you have, the better claim you have. Hiring the skilled insurance dispute attorney from Warhurst Law means demanding compensation for all aspects of your business that are affected by a natural disaster, theft, or property damage. To speak with a Warhurst Warrior about your claim, call Warhurst Law at 251-207-1296, or complete a contact form to schedule an appointment in our office in Mobile. We represent businesses and organizations in Alabama, Florida, and Louisiana, along the Gulf and the Panhandle.
At Warhurst Law, we understand the immediacy of your situation. We also understand that insurance companies aren’t looking out for your best interests; they’re looking out for their bottom lines. Whether you’ve lost a building in Hurricane Michael or saw your home destroyed by a tornado or wildfire, or suffered life-altering injuries in a car wreck, Warhurst Law wants to help you get the compensation you need, so you can get back to your life.