Hotel and motel owners provide convenient lodgings for individuals who are traveling or otherwise requiring temporary shelter. To remain competitive with other hotel properties, it’s in the best interest of hotel owners to invest in the safety and cleanliness of their properties and to repair any structural or property damage.
In the event of a natural disaster, accident, vandalism by guests, or theft—commercial property insurance policies can be a beneficial and cost-effective way for hotel owners to seek damage coverage and reimbursement for necessary repair and replacement costs.
By filing a hotel damage claim, hotel owners can seek coverage for these damage-related costs in order to resume business as usual as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, seeking coverage for hotel property damage is not always an easy process.
Under these circumstances, it’s reasonable for hotel owners to assume their insurance company will work quickly and efficiently to pay out their claim in full. If your insurance company has denied or underpaid your claim, however, your claim might require an additional review to ensure your insurance carrier is acting in good faith.
If you’re having difficulty securing coverage after filing a hotel damage insurance claim, the lawyers of Florin|Roebig can guide you through the process of disputing a claim or filing a bad faith insurance claim against your insurer to secure a fair settlement.
Common Types Of Damage In Hotel Damage Insurance Claims
Property owners in the hospitality industry can face any number of circumstances that might lead to hotel property damage and property loss. This damage can be structural, affecting the foundation of the building and infrastructure—but the actual losses from this damage will typically be far more expansive.
Actual losses from hotel property damage can include unexpected costs such as those related to meeting guest needs in the event of a disaster.
In the wake of a hurricane, for instance, guests may need to be evacuated from the premises. Natural disasters and other accidents may require adjusting future reservations, processing guest refunds, and spending additional money to protect the reputation and structural integrity of the property.
Common types of hotel damage and hotel property loss claims include:
- hurricane damage
- fire damage
- smoke damage
- ice and snow damage
- water damage
- foundation damage
- vandalized property
Hotel property damage or property loss can have costly implications for hotel owners, including the potential loss of customers.
Missing an insurance payment or failing to insure your property for comprehensive property damage coverage can result in huge losses for hotel owners and may lead to the interruption of closure of your business.
Types Of Hotel Property Insurance Coverage
Commercial property insurance policies typically include several forms of coverage intended to insure losses related to structural property damage, refunds and re-booking fees, lost income, and more. The amount of coverage, and types of covered losses, you have access to will vary according to what’s included within your policy.
These are the most common types of coverage included in commercial property policies for businesses within the hospitality industry:
Business Property Insurance
Business property insurance insures hotel establishments for physical losses caused by damage to the property’s infrastructure or other contents within the hotel. This may include coverage for plumbing and electrical systems, heating, and other forms of structural damage.
Business Liability Insurance
Business liability insurance provides coverage for damage that might occur to the personal property of guests, or guest injuries that occur on the property.
Business Personal Property Insurance
Business personal property insurance typically offers coverage for damaged furniture, electronics, and other expensive items on the hotel premises. Note that some policies define personal property as any personal property that is under the control, custody, or care of the hotel establishment.
Business income is a form of coverage that can cover losses related to the repair and replacement of property in the aftermath of a disaster. This might include income lost from reduced occupancy or temporary closure.
Additional Types Of Coverage
Hotel establishments may also choose to purchase additional policies, such as cyber liability insurance, signs coverage, umbrella liability, and business auto policies.
Depending on where you lived in the United States, insurance for losses from specific types of events, such as flooding or hurricanes, may require the purchase of separate policies.
To learn which types of property damage coverage are included in your policy, carefully review the coverage details outlined within your policy or contact your insurance company directly for more information.
What To Do If You’ve Suffered Hotel Damage
After suffering hotel property damage or property loss, the first step you should take before contacting your insurance company is to document the damage.
Information and details to record in your documentation:
- how many guests have been affected
- extra expenses (e.g. evacuation costs, re-bookings, refunds, repair and replacement, etc.)
- estimated cost of the property damage
- types of property damage
- photos and videos of the property damage
- receipts to prove your ownership
- estimated timeline for how long it will take to repair or replace property loss
- estimate for lost income
Before contacting your insurance company, consider reviewing your insurance policy carefully to ensure you are only filing a claim for insured losses. Filing a claim for losses that are not covered under your policy may result in delayed payment or a denied claim.
Consult your insurance policy directly to find instructions on how to file a claim with your insurer and seek compensation for covered losses.
What If My Insurance Company Denies My Claim?
Our lawyers commonly receive complaints from commercial property owners who report having their insurance claims wrongfully denied or undervalued according to the extent of their losses.
In the wake of a disaster that poses consequences to your income, hotel occupancy, and business reputation, a denied insurance claim is the last difficulty hotel property owners want to face.
If you believe your insurance company has wrongfully denied your hotel damage claim, consider these common reasons why insurance claims can be denied and how to tell if your insurer has acted in bad faith in denying your claim.
Reasons Why Insurance Claims Are Denied
There are several valid reasons for which an insurance claim for hotel property damage might be denied by an insurer. In some cases, denials can occur due to clerical errors that may be easily fixable with a few calls to an insurance agent.
Reasons why hotel damage claims might be denied:
- failing to include enough information
- filing for losses that aren’t covered under your policy
- missing or late payments
- missing the deadline to file for coverage
- failing to provide proof of the damage
- damage caused by normal wear and tear
- coverage limits have been met or exceeded
- suspicion of fraud
- human errors made by the insurance adjuster
When Can I Dispute An Insurance Claim?
If you believe your insurance company has wrongfully denied your claim or has offered payment that is less than what you’re owed, you may wish to file a dispute with your insurer to request they re-evaluate their decision.
If you’ve filed an insurance claim dispute within the window of time allowed under your policy, your insurance company is generally obligated to grant requests for an additional evaluation or investigation into your disputed claim.
However, if your insurance carrier is refusing to conduct an additional review of the claim, or is challenging the contents of your claim—resulting in delayed payment—it might be in your best interest to seek help from a legal professional to determine whether your insurer is acting in bad faith.
Bad-faith tactics are unlawful ways in which some insurance companies may attempt to wrongfully deny claims or reduce the amount of payment they’re obligated to provide to policyholders who have filed for covered losses.
Common bad-faith tactics used by some insurance companies include:
- underestimating the total value of your losses
- delaying payment
- claiming your filed damages are invalid or fabricated
- providing false or misleading information about the coverage included in your policy
- denying payment for covered losses
- having an untrained or undertrained adjuster handle your case
- refusing to investigate your claim
- falsely claiming you have missing or late payments
Challenging your insurance company for bad-faith tactics can be an intimidating task and may require time that you don’t have. In the event of an insurance claim dispute, a lawyer can be a useful ally to handle communications with your insurance company and fight for fair compensation on your behalf.
How A Lawyer Can Help Your Hotel Damage Insurance Claim
Hiring a lawyer who has experience handling insurance claim disputes can be a beneficial way to expedite the process of receiving fair compensation for property losses and strengthen your claim.
At Florin|Roebig, our lawyers are committed to restoring and upholding justice in situations where business owners have had their insurance claims wrongfully denied or underpaid.
If your insurance company has acted in bad faith, our lawyers can help your claim by:
- conducting an external review of your claim
- verifying your hotel damage coverage
- collecting evidence to support your dispute
- handling communications with your insurer
- fighting for a fair settlement on your behalf
Our insurance claims lawyers have the skills, experience, and resources necessary to fight for compensation that is not a penny less than you’re entitled to under your policy.
If your insurance company continues to be uncooperative or refuses to offer fair payment, our lawyers can bring your case to trial if necessary to ensure your insurance carrier is held accountable for any actions deemed to be in bad faith.
Contact Us Today For A Free Case Evaluation
If you’re a hotel owner who suspects your insurance company is acting in bad faith, our award-winning insurance claims lawyers are ready to hear your case.
Through a no-cost initial evaluation, our lawyers can provide you with an overview of your legal options and work to ensure that you receive the compensation you’re entitled to under your property damage policy.
Don’t wait to learn what our lawyers can do to strengthen your hotel damage claim. Contact the offices of Florin|Roebig today to schedule a free case evaluation with one of the nation’s top insurance claims lawyers.