CALL (800) 863-5312 TO SPEAK WITH LAWYERS IN TEXAS about Winter Storm BUSINESS INTERRUPTION INSURANCE FOR FREE
While winter storms are common across the United States, they are less common in many southern states like Texas. The impact and damage that winter storms cause to infrastructure and businesses may be severe and crippling. However, if your business was damaged in a winter storm and you have winter storm business interruption insurance coverage, you may be entitled to compensation.
If your business is facing losses caused by a winter storm like Winter Storm Uri, another natural disaster, or weather event, you should contact the experienced business interruption insurance attorneys from Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 today for a free consultation. If we are not able to win your case, you will not owe us anything.
WHAT IS BUSINESS INTERRUPTION INSURANCE COVERAGE?
Perhaps the most common way that businesses may be able to seek compensation for business losses caused by a winter storm may be through the business’s commercial property insurance policy. If the business’s coverage includes business interruption coverage, any loss of earnings or revenue suffered by the business as a result of property damage or direct physical loss that was caused by an insured danger may be covered. This coverage may typically provide compensation for the business’s loss of gross revenue after subtracting any expenses that were saved by the reduced or suspended operations.
Business interruption insurance coverage often includes compensation for a specified amount of time needed by the impacted business to rebuild, restore, or repair the damage or lost property. Some policies may even extend this covered period to include the necessary time to bring the business’s operations back to pre-storm conditions. However, hiring an experienced business interruption insurance lawyer in Texas is often crucial to successfully pursuing the compensation you may be entitled to when filing a claim with your insurer.
BUSINESS INTERRUPTION INSURANCE AFTER A WINTER STORM
Insurance companies may attempt to deny your claim, disputing your claims over the amount of potential revenues that you “lost” or disputing the method used to calculate your business interruption claim. An insurer may claim that there was no covered business interruption, saying that your policy requires a complete halting of your business operations to support a claim. Indeed, an insurance company may claim that either you did not suffer a complete cessation of all business operations, or some part of the interruption was caused by an economic downturn rather than being solely caused by damage to your property from a covered event, such as a winter storm. A skilled Zinda Law Group lawyer may help you substantiate your claim with your insurer with evidence and data that makes it more difficult for your insurer to dispute or deny your claim.
MEASURING BUSINESS INTERRUPTIONS AFTER A WINTER STORM
One of the most common areas of dispute in claims for business interruption insurance caused by a winter storm and submitted by a business is the measurement used to determine the amount of loss. In typical situations, the performance of a business before the disaster may be the most accurate measurement for how the insured business may have performed if the catastrophe had not occurred. However, if your business interruption was caused by a catastrophe impacting a wide area not unique to your business, your insurer may claim that the measurement of your business interruption should include the impact of post-loss economic conditions of the area impacted by the catastrophe. If your claim follows such a wide-impact catastrophe, there may be two common approaches for measuring your loss that your Texas business interruption insurance lawyer may help you understand:
The “Economy Ignored” approach only looks backward and measures your loss against your business levels before the catastrophe without considering the winter storm’s impact on the local economy, the market, or demand. Unsurprisingly, impacted businesses often argue that this “Economy Ignored” approach should be used while the insurance company will argue that post-storm economic conditions should be included.
The “Economy Considered” approach is often advocated for by insurance companies. They may try to claim that the business should be compensated only to the point where it would have been if it had been able to continue operating within the post-storm economic environment instead of shutting down.
Notably, neither of these tests consistently benefits the insurance company or the business in every situation. Rather, the outcome relies on the unique circumstances and facts of each case. For example, some businesses may have actually benefitted from the conditions caused by a winter storm, such as a hotel operating at full capacity as temporary workers come to the area to repair damage caused by storm. In this example, the “Economy Considered” approach would actually be more beneficial to the business rather than the “Economy Ignored” approach. Finally, which method used to calculate the extent of your losses from your business interruption may ultimately depend upon the specific language included in your policy as well as the applicable jurisdiction’s law.
HOW LONG MAY YOUR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION CLAIM TAKE?
The length of time to obtain any compensation you may be entitled to for your business interruption insurance claim after a winter storm may depend on the specific circumstances of your claim. Your claim may take several months or even a year or more as the insurer may dispute your forecasted earnings, the approach used to calculate your business losses, or other aspects of your claim. Their team of lawyers may delay your claim as long as possible while disputing any evidence you use to support your claim.
HOW ZINDA LAW GROUP CAN HELP YOU FILE A BUSINESS INTERRUPTION INSURANCE CLAIM AFTER A WINTER STORM IN TEXAS
Business owners who have suffered interruptions to their business as a result of winter storms in Texas should contact an experienced business interruption insurance lawyer to help you understand your legal options. For example, your insurance policy may include specific procedures to be followed or they will try to justify denying your otherwise legitimate and covered claim.
Some of the benefits of hiring the skilled team of professionals at Zinda Law Group include:
- The insurer may take your claim more seriously.
- You may be able to more quickly obtain compensation.
- Your lawyer may help you calculate and document:
- the extent of loss of any rents,
- the loss of projected sales,
- the cost of extra expenses related to operating during restoration, and
- financial projections for the period your business’s operations were reduced or suspended.
After these calculations and documentation, your attorney may also help you prepare your business interruption claim to submit to your insurer, while including all necessary documentation and supporting evidence such as schedules, reports, and documentation from qualified experts.
What Documentation Must be Filed in a Business Interruption Insurance Claim?
Your attorney may also advise you on how to compile specific documentation supporting your business interruption insurance claim, such as:
Notice of Loss
Most business insurance policies may generally require you to notify your insurance company “as soon as possible” or “as soon as practical” after the interruption to your business began. You should be mindful of the deadline included in your policy for notifying your insurer of the interruption to your business caused by the winter storm.
Proof of Loss
Your insurance policy also likely requires that you submit some “proof of loss” which provides a summary describing the amount and extent of your losses suffered from the business interruption. If you need an extension of time to submit your proof of loss to the insurer, your lawyer may work with your insurer to obtain a written agreement to extend this deadline for submitting your proof of loss or in meeting other policy deadlines.
Shortened Limitation on Claims
Business interruption insurance policies often include a “suit limitation” provision which generally provides that any lawsuit to recover under your policy—such as if the insurer denied your claim—must be initiated within a certain amount of time. This time frame may be shorter than the applicable state statute of limitations. Depending on the state, a limitation shorter than the statute of limitations set by the state may not be enforceable, while other states may allow these restrictions to be enforced when included in insurance policies agreed to by the insured business and the insurance company.
Meanwhile, Texas law provides for a two-year statute of limitations on business insurance claims, and also provides that any limitation which sets a limitations period shorter than two years will be void. Your business interruption insurance lawyer in Texas may closely examine your insurance policy for shortened limitations period or other language that may impact the filing of a potential lawsuit to seek compensation under your insurance policy.
CONSULT THE BUSINESS INTERRUPTION INSURANCE LAWYERS AT ZINDA LAW GROUP TODAY
At Zinda Law Group, our experienced team of business interruption insurance lawyers may be able to help you file a claim with your insurer to pursue any compensation you may be entitled to after your business was forced to suspend or reduce its operations due to a winter storm. If the insurance company attempts to underpay your claim or denies it outright, our lawyers may also help you potentially file a lawsuit seeking compensation based on your policy. Our skilled attorneys have years of experience helping businesses pursue the maximum compensation they may be entitled to for a business interruption covered by their insurance policy.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.