Commercial Property Damage Insurance Claims Process:
STEP 1: You contact your insurance agent or carrier, who in turn contacts their adjuster.
From this point forward, your agent will have no further say in the way the loss is handled. In many cases, the adjuster will be an independent company that handles multiple claims for your insurance company. It’s important to remember that the adjuster works for your insurance carrier, not for you.
STEP 2: Your insurance company’s adjuster prepares a scope and estimate of your damage.
The insurance company will contact you to schedule a time to inspect your losses. Often, you will be one of hundreds of losses that will be handled by the insurance adjuster. Insurance company adjusters have quotas to meet and they get paid based on volume.
QUICK TIP: Pay attention to specific requests from the adjuster.
Compliance with their instructions, within reason, is likely one of the conditions of your insurance policy. For example, your adjuster may request that you:
- Provide pictures and photographs of the damaged items prior to the storm
- Segregate the damaged items from the undamaged ones
- Accommodate additional inspections of your damage by other evaluators, such as engineers.
STEP 3: You gather independent scopes and estimates for your commercial property damage.
You may receive solicitations from roofers, rehab contractors and public adjusters who want to help you with your claim. Screen each vendor thoroughly before you request independent scopes and estimates from them.
QUICK TIP: Does your independent scope and estimates match those offered by your insurance company?
If not, consider having your policy and claim reviewed by one of the experienced commercial property insurance attorneys at McDonald Law Firm.
STEP 4: Your insurance company responds to your claim by…
- Offering you a fair and reasonable settlement. Great news (and lucky you!)
- Requesting an “examination under oath,” or a “proof of loss”
- Offering to settle your claim for less than you believe is fair
- Denying your claim outright
STEP 5: Underpaid or denied? Believe you’re being treated unfairly by your insurance company? You have options.
- Call us for a free, no-obligation claim and policy review. We’ll review the language of your insurance policy, assess the damage to your business and evaluate the reason for your insurance company’s decision. If we find there is a discrepancy in your claim and the insurance company’s response, you can decide whether to hire us to resolve the problem. Best of all, securing our services will not cost you anything out of pocket. We work on contingency, which means there are no legal fees unless we successfully resolve your case through settlement, mediation or a trial.
- You may decide to request an appraisal. Most commercial property insurance policies have an appraisal provision. In an appraisal, both sides hire appraisers who will meet to try to determine the amount of the loss. If they are unable to agree, an Umpire may be appointed.
QUICK TIP: Don’t go it alone. Call us before you go to appraisal.
We provide aggressive representation on behalf of our clients in order to assert their right to recover up to the policy limits on their commercial property damage claim.