Commercial Property Insurance Disputes
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What is Property Insurance in a Business Setting?
In a business setting, property insurance may protect the business from losses associated with company property, buildings, and other assets. This is usually designated as “commercial property insurance." Commercial property insurance is one of the two major types of commercial insurance, with the other being general liability insurance.
What Does Commercial Property Insurance Usually Cover?
In most cases, commercial property insurance covers most real property, and other items that are associated with normal business operations. They usually cover losses to such items that occur as a result of reasonably foreseeable circumstances, such as theft, vandalism, and some natural disasters like earthquakes, storms, and fires.
Commercial property insurance usually covers the following types of business property:
- Buildings owned or rented by the business, which are being used for business operations
- Trade fixtures like lighting systems or heating/ventilation systems
- Machinery and equipment used for business operations
- Office furniture
- Computers and other electronic devices like printers, laptops, etc., used by the business
- Various items in inventory, stockrooms, and supplies
So, commercial property insurance packages usually cover these and other items that are used in the normal course of business operations. The insurer and the insured business can also negotiate for the coverage of more specific property items like company cars.
What are Some Common Commercial Property Insurance Disputes?
Commercial property insurance disputes can arise if the parties aren’t clear as to some of the different terms or policies. For example, some common commercial property insurance disputes may involve:
- Pricing: There may be disputes as to how much the insurance company will cover for damaged items. For example, the insurance company might only be willing to pay for the market value of the item at the time of the damage, whereas the insured business may be expecting coverage for the full purchase price of the item.
- “Fixtures”: As in many property disputes, there can be dispute as to what actually constitutes a “fixture”. In most cases, the term “fixture” means any apparatus or equipment that can’t readily be removed without causing some damage to the property. However, in practical terms, this can raise many disputes
- Non-Covered Items and Events: Most commercial property insurance plans don’t cover floods. Other natural disasters or specific types of property damage may not be covered as well
Thus, one of the main sources of dispute with regards to commercial property insurance is the expectation of what will be covered and what won’t. In most cases, such disputes can be avoided by a thorough review of the insurance contract, with necessary edits being made as needed before signing. This may require the skill and expertise of a lawyer.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help With Commercial Property Insurance Disputes?
Commercial property insurance disputes may often have to be resolved in court through a civil lawsuit. In most cases, the advice of a lawyer is needed to deal with the various laws and items of evidence involved in such a case. If your business is involved in any commercial property insurance disputes, you should contact a business lawyer immediately. Your attorney can help instruct you regarding your legal options, and can represent you and your interests in a court of law.
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Last Modified: 05-07-2014 11:32 AM PDT
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