When a natural weather disaster occurs, it can cause serious damage to both commercial and residential properties in the storm’s path. Insurance companies are expected to cover these losses, as they can occur at any time. However, after a Lubbock hailstorm damaged a local sports center, the center’s commercial insurance carrier failed to provide coverage during a time of need. Our client entered into a premium insurance plan with Beazley USA Services that was valid from April 2018 to 2019. But, its claim was denied insurance coverage for commercial property damages resulting from a 2018 hailstorm.
The insurance policy at issue contained a deductible provision, which confirmed coverage for damages to the interior of Premier from wind, hail, and named windstorm damage, including damages by wind driven rain. One of these weather-related incidents occurred in May 2018, when a wind and hail storm hit the Lubbock area and caused substantial damage to our client’s roof system, HVAC, interior, exterior, and more. Immediately after the storm, our client filed a claim with Beazley, alerting the carrier to its commercial property damage. Unfortunately, Beazley rejected the claim.
Despite utilizing preferred vendors JS Held and Koontz Engineering to inspect the property, Beazley continued to delay claims resolution and ignored the insured’s requests for updates. Months after the inspections, Beazley rejected our client’s sworn proof of loss and still refuses to pay in full for the damages covered under the policy.
Hailstorms and Commercial Property Damage
A form of solidified precipitation that varies in size from pea to grapefruit, hail is incredibly destructive. Many commercial properties suffer from hail-related losses annually due to severe storms. Though natural weather events are often covered by commercial insurance policies, some business owners struggle over inaccurate insurance assessments, delays, and low offers for legitimate claims.
Even the smallest hailstone can ruin a company’s shingles, damage paint, or dent vehicles and siding. Hailstorms that produce large hailstones can create even more serious damage, including shattered windows and structural damage to the building. In most hailstorms, business owners can expect to see damage to the following components of their commercial structure:
Siding and exteriors
Air conditioning units/HVAC
Company issued vehicles
Other company-owned property
Houston Commercial Property Damage Claims
When a weather event damages commercial property, it can leave business owners unsure of what to do. Flooding, fires, hail, and wind damage are all potential risks for any property. Regardless, most commercial properties are business investments and dealing with commercial property damage can hurt the livelihood of the businesses involved.
Though most commercial property insurance plans cover weather-related damages, many insurance companies will fight these claims. These ongoing disputes can last for long periods of time, leaving businesses unable to operate as they wait for necessary repairs.
At Raizner Slania LLP, we understand the frustrations associated with insurance carrier denials. If you or someone you know has suffered damage to commercial property and were unreasonably denied coverage, contact the experienced commercial property damage attorneys at Raizner Slania LLP today for a free consultation.