Ensure Your Commercial Property is Covered Before Hurricanes Hit
Hollywood, Florida residents and business property owners know that Hurricane Season starts in June. Now is a good time to review your coverage so you have more peace of mind if a hurricane hits. Here are some tips offered by seasoned Hollywood commercial property insurance attorneys:
Hurricane Coverage vs. Standard Coverage
Just because you have coverage for your business or office space does not mean that you are truly covered in the case of a hurricane. Living in Florida, any good Hollywood commercial property insurance attorney would tell you that it is necessary to have this coverage. But some insureds make the mistake of thinking that because they got insurance in Florida that they are automatically covered no matter what. This ignores the fact that there is a difference between standard coverage and hurricane coverage.
Review the policy and pay attention to what is covered. Although some standard policies will cover hurricane damage, some do not. Others will require you to buy another supplemental policy for coverage in case of hurricanes.
While certain parts of Florida are more likely to sustain damage from hurricanes, all Floridians ought to be prepared for disaster. Make sure to review the policy closely to see what is covered. Just because the word “hurricane” is included does not mean you are in the clear. The policy should also cover damage resulting from storm surges, high winds, and flooding. The flooding coverage is extremely important because it can be devastating and is often not covered in standard policies.
Coverage for Business-Related Items/Inventory
Most people underestimate how much stuff they have and how much it is worth. A hurricane can wipe out all of a person’s possessions. This is why Hollywood commercial property insurance attorneys recommend taking an inventory of all of your possessions. You can estimate values fairly easily for big-ticket items by going online and seeing the rough valuation. And as a business owner, you likely still have receipts for most, if not all, items related to your business. That said, make sure to take pictures as soon as purchases are made (and periodically throughout the time of ownership) so that, in the event of a claim, the insurer can see the approximate condition the item was in before it was destroyed. This is not just helpful in case you have a claim, but it also helps you determine if you have enough coverage. Insureds are often surprised to find, after doing the inventory, that they would need more coverage to be whole after a hurricane.
A Note About Deductibles
Many insureds understand the term deductible from health insurance, which is the amount they must pay before an insurance company will cover the bill. It is a similar concept to property insurance but can still confuse new commercial property owners. A Hollywood commercial property insurance attorney can clear up this confusion, though. Many people are under the impression that they have to pay a flat fee for their deductible, as is the case in health insurance. But this is not always the case. Actually, in areas where hurricanes are prevalent–-such as Florida–-the standard practice is to have a separate deductible for hurricane damage.
There is no set amount, but it is instead determined by calculating a percentage. Depending on the value of the building, the amount can really set a property owner back. For instance, if a property is worth $400,000 and the deductible percentage is 8%, the deductible would be $32,000. This amount may be much more than a new business owner is able to come up with. Yet, the alternative–not fixing the damage–is often not an option. It is best for business owners to be prepared and have this amount in an account if at all possible.
Get the Help You Need from a Skilled Hollywood Commercial Property Insurance Attorney
Shopping around for insurance should happen well before a hurricane hits. If you have questions about your current coverage or have a claim, do not hesitate to contact a Hollywood commercial property insurance attorney today.