While some business owners across the nation are surveying damage and boarding up windows after violent nights of some of the protest outcomes, they should also be looking into their insurance coverage — and quickly, experts said.
Just about all business and commercial property owners should have policies that cover riots, fire and civil unrest, and most residential and car policies cover these events, too.
1. Insurance Documentation
Attorneys who represent policy holders and insurance companies say the first thing impacted businesses and property owners need to do is pull their insurance documentation.
Basic policy documentation typically contain directions for policy holders on what they need to do, yet many businesses don’t have the paperwork readily available, according to Chris Yetka, a shareholder with Larkin Hoffman who specializes in insurance recovery.
“A lot of businesses don’t have their policies on hand,” he said. “Different policies have different language. … There may not be coverage for theft, for example.”
Yetka also said businesses need to reach out to their policy issuers as soon as possible.
For many businesses that were damaged or destroyed from the riots, documentation will be key as well as a police report.
Most insurance policies for businesses will provide assistance for income loss. But many policies use the most recent months to calculate what to pay out in lost income, according to Yetka.
Because of Covid-19 many businesses have been operating in a diminished capacity or closed altogether.
“That’s going to be the trickiest thing,” he said. “In a normal situation you’d go back and look at the last six months of income. I think there’s going to be a lot of pushback on how to calculate income loss.”
Yetka advises business owners to pull several years of income to show what business was like before Covid-19, which will show what income levels actually are when times were normal.
What else businesses need to know
Most policies have a two-year window from the date of loss in order to file a lawsuit. If a company is fighting with its insurance company on a claim, a lawsuit needs to be filed within two years of the incident.
Lastly, file a claim — even if you aren’t sure you need one.
For more ideas, read our recent article “Positive COVID-19 Cases and Death Continue to Decrease According to Los Angeles Public Health”
Call us directly 1-310-835-3373 or speak with a licensed agent at Uniamericainc.com to discuss which coverages best fit your unique situation.
Subscribe to our blog below!