Considering an apartment insurance claim settlement offer?
Most apartment building owners lose tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars by accepting the insurance company’s initial damage estimate and offer.
The initial estimate and offer should always be considered the first, not the final.
When an apartment complex is damaged by a storm, fire, or even tenant negligence, most apartment owners’ first thought is “do whatever is necessary to resume normal operations”.
However, focusing solely on physical damage and not the overall financial impact to the owners’ business invariably leaves money on the table.
Why an owner should never accept the first estimate of damages or settlement offer:
1. The first offer is never the best offer.
2. Additional damage and therefore money can be “found” by asking for a re-inspection.
3. Money for goodwill or to “sweeten the pot” is usually available.
4. Adjusters focus on the physical damage, not the business operation losses.
5. Insurance companies have very little incentive to pay claims in full; if the owner accepts the first offer, they keep the rest.
The simple answer is to read the policy; but most commercial insurance polices are complex. The full range of benefits is not always easy to understand.
A better answer is to have a highly rated insurance claim attorney read the policy in light of the current situation. A reputable and experienced attorney with a partnership-style approach will often examine your situation and policy at no charge.
What if the situation gets worse or the insurance company will not offer the needed amount?
Fortunately, commercial insurance policies and Texas insurance laws provides that the insurance company pay for the owner's attorney’s fees and costs for a wrongful denial (or partial payment) of a claim. For this reason, experienced property insurance attorneys will typically handle your claim on a contingency basis, meaning if you pay nothing out-of-pocket for their representation.
Many apartment building owners do not know that they can hire an insurance claim dispute attorney to fight the insurance company and have the insurance company pick up the bill.
The bottom line is that apartment building insurance claims can be complex and insurance companies hope to minimize the pay out to owners. Owners should seek experienced professionals to counter their tactics and maximize the financial recovery.
An experienced insurance claim dispute attorney should get recover money over and above what the owner, contractor, or a public adjuster is able to get - and better yet, is only paid on net new money. It is a no-lose scenario for property owners.
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