Stand-Alone Commercial Buildings

It’s important for any commercial business to have insurance so they’re covered unexpected accidents, natural disasters or criminal acts. This especially applies to non-franchise businesses owners with stand-alone commercial buildings who have nothing to fall back on.

Florida insurance can be an uphill battle when insurers attempt to act in bad faith or breach your policy’s terms. If you have recently had a claim disputed or denied, you may want to contact an experienced property insurance attorney. There’s no reason your business should suffer when you’ve kept up with your insurance payments in a timely manner.

Stand-Alone Commercial Building Attorney in Tampa, FL

If you’re in need of an insurance claims attorney, contact Germain Law Group, P.A.. Michael B. Germain is an experienced commercial property lawyer with years of experiencing negotiating with adjusters and litigating in court. He can assess your policy to see what the best course of action is.

Attorney Germain has represented numerous small business owners and commercial franchises with their property claims. Contact Germain Law Group, P.A. by calling (813) 835-8888 and set up a free consultation today. We accept clients throughout the greater Hillsborough County area and surrounding counties including Sumter County, Pasco County, Polk County, Pinellas County, Hernando County and Citrus County.

Overview of Commercial Building Insurance in Florida

Types of Commercial Property Insurance in Florida

Commercial property insurance in Florida is similar to general property or homeowner’s insurance. It normally covers damages for unexpected accidents, fires, water damage, natural disasters or criminal activity such as theft or vandalism. However, Florida property insurance companies can have flexible policies and cover more or less than what’s listed above.

If you’re renting your stand-alone commercial building, you might think commercial property insurance is unnecessary. What you may not know is that your building owner’s policy won’t cover any of your personal losses, but instead will only cover structural damage to the building.

Commercial property policies generally fall under three categories, which include:

  • Basic Coverage – General stand-alone commercial insurance will cover any common peril such as a fire, extreme storm, water damage, lightning damage, and losses to crime such as theft.
  • Umbrella Liability Coverage – Policies with broader coverage insure your business from general perils such as fire or lighting damage. However, it also protects you from other perils such as flooding, falling objects or hurricanes.
  • Special Coverage – Some policies are tailor made for the policyholder. A special form commercial policy covers general losses except for those that are specifically excluded. For example, you may be protected from flooding in your policy, but not for any damage related to fires. This would mean fire damage is excluded from your policy.

Stand-alone commercial businesses don’t have other locations to rely on when an emergency occurs. That’s why insurance companies must compensate stand-alone commercial owners for verifiable claims they’ve filed. Without the support of insurance, small business owners could lose everything they’ve worked for because of circumstances out of their control.

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What Do I Do If My Insurance Disputes or Denies My Claim?

You’ve paid your premiums and your business is suffering due to unexpected damage, but your insurance continues to delay, dispute or deny your claim. What do you do?

Some insurers want to pay their policyholders as little as possible, so they make the claims process an exhausting and confusing ordeal. Fortunately, there are some steps you can do to secure what’s rightfully yours.

  1. Document all damage done to your business such as structural losses or criminal activity. This also includes any financial costs such as missed profits, unpaid salaries and past utility payments. Keep these documents in a journal or other safe place for evidence if needed.
  2. Review your policy closely to save you the hassle of trying to understand what the adjuster is saying. Policies are complicated documents so take your time because facilitating yourself with it will help you with your case.
  3. Talk to your insurance company to see their reasons for denying, delaying or disputing your claim. Be incredibly careful with your wording and be sure not to mention exclusions in your policy such as flood insurance. Take notes to review the conversation later with your attorney.
  4. Get legal counsel from an experienced property insurance claims attorney. They can analyze your policy, damages, collect evidence, draft and file your claim and even litigate for you in court. Hiring legal representation will significantly increase your chances of securing the settlement you deserve.

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What Does Typical Stand-Alone Commercial Property Insurance Cover?

Insurance companies offer different policies depending on the client. So, it’s recommended you review your policy’s terms and exclusions before filing a claim. Most insurance policies in Florida cover the following expenses:

  • Property Damage – Unforeseen damage to the building’s structure, fixtures, machines, raw materials, inventory or furnishings. It can also include criminal activities such as vandalism, arson or theft. The coverage will depend on the type of damage the building suffered such as water or fire damage. Many policies exclude certain damages such as flooding or hurricane-related losses.
  • Business Interruption Losses – When a business sustains unanticipated damage, it hurts your profits significantly. Business interruption provisions in your insurance provide the funds necessary to sustain your business while operations are suspended due to a common peril.
  • Extra Expenses – Your policy may cover the expenses that incurred while mitigating your business loss or the increased cost of continuing your business in the wake of a natural disaster or catastrophe. It can also reimburse you for moving your business to a temporary location until your property is restored.
  • Payroll Coverage – Some insurance policies will provide salaries as a continued expense. They may even be able to pay hourly employees for a specific period until the property has been repaired.

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Additional Resources

Florida Insurance Commissioner Advocate – Visit the official website for the Insurance Commissioner Advocate, an organization that brings attention to questionable insurance practices and promotes healthy market rates for insurance premiums. Access the site to learn their major initiatives, how to prepare for a hurricane and advisory groups.

Florida Insurance Laws – Visit the official website for Online Sunshine, a collection of Florida state laws to read legislature related to commercial insurance. Access the statutes to read the policy caps, what’s covered under them and penalties for breaching the policy contract.

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Insurance Lawyer for Stand-Alone Commercial Properties in Hillsborough County, FL

Has your business suffered because your insurance company continues to deny or dispute your claim? If so, contact Germain Law Group, P.A.. Michael B. Germain is a skilled property insurance attorney with years of experiencing handling difficult insurers. He will assess your case and steer you in the right direction towards compensation.

Contact us now at (813) 835-8888 and schedule a free appointment today. Germain Law Group, P.A. represents people throughout the greater Tampa area including Tampa Bay, Bradenton, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Brandon, Temple Terrace and New Port Richey.

This article was last updated on June 21, 2019.