Common mistakes in a business interruption claim can stand in the way of you getting the compensation that you deserve. As experienced Colorado business interruption insurance lawyers, we know the essential things to avoid when filing a claim. Fortunately, you can avoid common mistakes to make the claims process go as smoothly and quickly as possible. The attorneys at Bachus & Schanker, LLC, explain 10 things to avoid when filing a business interruption claim.
1. An Incomplete Evaluation
If your business closes because of Coronavirus and COVID-19, it’s a good idea to begin working on your claim right away. However, in an effort to move the case along quickly, you might underestimate your true losses.
In a hurry to get a settlement check, you might miss long-term damages and subtle losses. An incomplete evaluation is a serious mistake to avoid when filing a business interruption claim. Working with a business interruption attorney ensures that you fully value your claim in its entirety.
2. Too Little Documentation
Winning a business interruption claim requires documentation. Without the right information, the insurance company may try to deny your claim. For this reason, it may be appropriate to work with a forensic accountant. An accountant can help you develop the documentation that you need to identify and prove your losses. A business interruption lawyer has a network of resources, and they can work with a qualified forensic accountant to build your case.
RELATED: 8 Things You Need to File a Business Interruption Claim
3. Assuming All Cases Are the Same
The amount of financial compensation that you deserve depends on the terms of your individual contract. While you might think that all business insurance is created the same, it isn’t. There are some critical differences in various terms of business interruption insurance. There is basic coverage, expanded coverage and different deductibles and waiting periods that you may have selected back when you purchased your policy.
What matters is the terms of the unique policy that you have in place. Don’t assume that what applies to someone else also applies to you. The only thing that matters is the language in your own policy.
4. Saying Too Much
What you say is admissible in court. Remember that the insurance representative and the adjuster work for the insurance company. Although they are your contact people, there is no confidentiality at all with what you tell them. In fact, they can, and probably will, use what you say against you.
It’s not in your best interest to get chatty with anyone from the insurance company. Your business interruption attorney can assist you in handling interactions with the insurance company during the claims process without putting your claim at risk.
5. The Wrong Law
Business interruption claims are generally based on state law. However, it may not immediately be clear which state law applies. Your company might have locations in more than one state. The business might be in one state while the insurance company does business in another state. In addition, you might interact with customers in multiple states.
Don’t make the mistake of assuming what state law applies. Because the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic is a new crisis throughout the world, different states are developing different ways to handle insurance claims relating to the crisis. Our Colorado business interruption lawyers can help you determine what law is relevant and how it applies to your case.
6. Accepting Ambiguities
A worldwide pandemic causing a rash of insurance claims is new. It has never happened before quite like this. The insurance contract that you have isn’t going to have the words Coronavirus or COVID-19 in it.
However, that doesn’t mean that you don’t have a valid case. In fact, Colorado law says that ambiguities must be resolved in favor of the insured party. More than one possible interpretation of the policy isn’t necessarily an ambiguity. However, if the insurance company tries to tell you that there is no claim because the policy doesn’t mention Coronavirus or COVID-19, don’t take their word for it. Ambiguities often work in favor of you, the insured party.
7. Considering the Catastrophic Effect
The Coronavirus COVID-19 crisis has resulted in an unprecedented number of business interruption insurance claims. The insurance companies have a record-high number of cases to process and resolve. However, the only case that matters to you is your own. You don’t deserve any less for your business interruption claim just because lots of other people have claims, too. Don’t accept a low offer just because the insurance company is claiming there is a catastrophe. Under the terms of your contract, you deserve the full amount for your losses and damages.
8. Settling Too Soon
It’s the insurance company’s goal to settle for the least amount possible. When they make an offer, don’t assume that it’s as high as it’s going to go. The insurance company doesn’t have the final word. You may appeal, continue to negotiate or even file a legal case if the insurance company doesn’t treat you fairly. Settling too soon can result in getting less than you deserve.
9. Giving Up
Filing a business interruption claim can be frustrating. It can be even more frustrating if the insurance company gives you the runaround. If the insurance company mistreats you, don’t give up! The insurance policy is an enforceable contract.
If you don’t receive a fair payment, you can take action. Your time to file a claim is limited, so it’s important to work quickly. Giving up too soon can prevent you from getting what you deserve. Remember, there are steps you can take to pursue justice and receive fair payment.
10. Going It Alone
A business interruption case can be complicated. It is especially complex in the era of Coronavirus and COVID-19. However, you can choose to have an experienced business interruption insurance lawyer represent you.
Our attorneys have years of training and experience in insurance litigation. We’re prepared for this moment, and we’re prepared to fight for you. With our legal team, you have a team of trained specialists who are ready to handle your case in the best possible way.
Colorado Business Interruption Insurance Attorneys
Don’t make mistakes when you bring your business interruption claim. Let our Colorado business interruption lawyers help you maximize your compensation. Call or message us today for your free and confidential consultation.