New Orleans Business Hurricane Claims Attorneys
The last thing any Louisiana business owner wants to deal with after a hurricane is an insurance company trying to get out of settling a valid claim. If you think your insurance company is dealing in bad faith, Fishman Haygood’s team of experienced New Orleans hurricane claims attorneys is here to help. We’ve successfully litigated many high-stakes cases involving substantial property damage, business interruption, and other claims in the aftermath of natural disasters like Hurricanes Ida and Katrina.
Hurricanes Are a Fact of Life in Southern Louisiana
If you own or operate a business in New Orleans or Southern Louisiana, it’s not a matter of “if” you’re going to be struck by a hurricane, it’s simply a matter of when. It only takes a few minutes for the wind, rain, storm surges, and other destructive forces associated with a hurricane to decimate a business that may have taken generations to build.
Owners must protect their businesses as much as possible from hurricane-related losses. That’s why many business owners opt to purchase hurricane insurance. Hurricane insurance helps reduce their out-of-pocket expenses when it comes to covering business losses or making repairs to a business after a hurricane.
Ensure You Get the Insurance Coverage Your Business Requires
It’s important to get the exact type and amount of coverage you require. In Louisiana, hurricane insurance policies can cover many types of damage, including:
- Property damage caused by wind, water, or hail
- Business interruptions while you make repairs
- Loss of use
- Loss of inventory
- Utility service damages caused by storm-related power, water, or sewage interruptions
- Business interruptions due to storm-related disruptions in the supply chain
You may want to have a business insurance attorney read the policy carefully to ensure it provides the total protection you need.
Steps to Take to Protect Your Business After a Hurricane
Here are the steps you need to take to protect your business immediately following the storm:
- Take pictures and videos of the damage before cleaning, repairing, or throwing anything away.
- Make a comprehensive list of all the damage.
- Track all of your expenses. Keep receipts.
- Duty to mitigate your damage: Anything you can do to stop further damage from occurring you must do to avoid losing insurance coverage. You should seek reimbursement for mitigation costs from your insurer later.
Business Interruption and Loss of Use
- Gather financial information to support your business interruption claim, such as general ledgers, customer orders, contracts, and tax documents.
- Keep track of extra expenses incurred by the business interruption.
- A mandatory evacuation order is not required for your parish in order for business interruption and loss of use coverage to be triggered.
- Coverage for business interruptions and loss of use can depend on your policy and the extent to which your business was interrupted, or you lost the use of your business. These claims can be complicated and often require an attorney because insurers often inappropriately deny coverage
Loss of Inventory
- Itemize the inventory you have lost.
- Keep track of the costs involved with replacing your inventory.
- Take pictures and videos of lost inventory before cleaning or throwing anything away.
Getting Your Claim Paid
- Provide all of the photos, videos, and documentation of your damage and expenses that you have collected to your adjuster.
- The adjuster will come to your property to assess your physical property damage.
- Don’t accept the first offer from the insurance company unless you are sure they are offering you full coverage for all of the damages you have identified at replacement value.
- When applicable, make sure your insurance company is fully compensating you for all economic losses, such as loss of use and business interruption damages. If you are unsure, contact an attorney.
When to Contact a New Orleans Hurricane Claims Attorney
While insurance companies make it easy for businesses to purchase hurricane insurance, they often make it difficult to file and collect a claim for hurricane-related damage. The insurance companies employ many tactics to delay and deny paying a hurricane insurance claim. It’s against the law for an insurance company to negotiate a claim in bad faith. You may need to speak to an attorney if the insurance company:
- Fails to thoroughly investigate your claim
- Denies all or part of a claim
- Unreasonably delays the processing, adjustment, or payment of your claim
- Refuses to pay for all repairs covered under your policy
- Gives you a repair estimate that’s insufficient for the work that’s needed
- Refuses to consider any supplemental or additional claims for loss
Fishman Haygood Is Here to Protect Your Interests After a Natural Disaster
If insurance company hassles are impacting your business, contact the attorneys at Fishman Haygood. We have extensive experience when it comes to resolving first-party and third-party commercial insurance coverage disputes. Our team of New Orleans hurricane claims attorneys has helped many Louisiana business owners obtain the full settlement they are owed by an insurance company. We can assist you through every step of the claims process, from examining the language in your policy to aggressively negotiating on your behalf with a stubborn insurance company to representing your case in court.
Don’t wait too long to reach out for legal help — you only have a limited time in which to file a claim after a hurricane. Contact us through our website or call us at (504) 586-5252 to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your business insurance problem.