Restaurant owners are valuable members of local communities and serve important roles within the broader U.S. economy. In the wake of a disaster that has caused property damage, property loss, or business interruption, restaurant owners are entitled to file a claim for losses that are included under their business insurance policy.
Having business insurance can be a lifeline for businesses that have suffered significant losses. At Florin|Roebig, our restaurant insurance lawyers are dedicated to ensuring business owners are able to receive the compensation they are entitled to under their policies to protect their business operation and avoid unnecessary financial stress.
If you’re having issues receiving a restaurant insurance claim, or need help strengthening your claim, our lawyers can offer an evaluation of your case and help you pursue financial recovery for your losses.
Types Of Restaurant Insurance Claims
Business owners purchase property insurance for their establishments in order to insure their buildings, property within their establishments, and to secure liability coverage in the event that an employee or customer suffers injury on the premises.
Common reasons restaurant owners might file an insurance claim include:
- hurricane damage
- storm damage
- water damage
- smoke and fire
- accident liability
- theft or vandalism
- damage to property infrastructure
- boiler or machinery malfunctions
Any sort of accident or property loss can have costly consequences for restaurant owners. This makes it critical for restaurant owners to possess the types of insurance policies that are needed to cover potential losses in the event of a storm, accident, or other unexpected event.
The following are some of the most common types of claims restaurant owners file with insurance companies for coverage:
Restaurant Business Interruption Claims
Business interruption insurance claims are filed for the purpose of securing compensation in the event that an accident or unexpected occurrence has required the temporary closure, relocation, or reduction of business operations.
Business interruption can threaten the income of a restaurant and that of restaurant owners, who rely on their earnings to pay their workers, maintain proper upkeep of their property, and cover all other necessary expenses.
Restaurant owners who have business interruption coverage included in their insurance policy may file a claim with their insurance to compensate for lost income during this period of disruption. This coverage may also compensate restaurant owners for rental fees and relocation costs.
The amount of compensation restaurant owners can receive, and the requirements for filing a claim, may vary depending on the insurance carrier and other terms and conditions listed within the policy.
Restaurant Property Damage Claims
When an accident such as a hurricane or fire causes damage to a restaurant, restaurant owners may have the option of filing a commercial property damage claim with their insurer to seek reimbursement for repair and replacement costs.
This may include damage to the actual building, as well as damage to property within the restaurant, such as machinery, furniture, personal belongings on the premises, and restaurant-owned vehicles.
Restaurant Accident Liability Claims
According to the National Floor Safety Institute, more than three million service employees and one million patrons suffer injury from restaurant slip-and-fall accidents each year. If restaurants aren’t insured with liability coverage, this could lead to big trouble for a restaurant owner.
After an employee or customer has suffered injury in a restaurant, restaurant owners may file a claim with their insurer to recover compensation for the amount of money that was needed to pay for workers’ compensation or to compensate a customer.
What’s Covered Under Business Property Insurance?
When purchasing insurance for their business, restaurant owners must decide what types of insurance policies they will require to adequately operate their business and insure themselves for unexpected losses.
Not all accidents that threaten the livelihood of a business can be prevented or anticipated. Storm damage, theft, machinery breakdown, and other incidents can happen at no fault of an owner nor their employees.
It’s in the best interest of restaurant owners to purchase an insurance package that includes various forms of insurance policies that are capable of insuring them for unexpected losses.
Restaurant insurance coverage may include, but is not limited to:
- property damage
- general liability
- company vehicle insurance
- workers’ compensation
- business interruption
- product liability
- professional liability
The amount of coverage restaurant owners have in the aftermath of an accident, and the steps that must be taken to secure that coverage, may vary according to the types of policies the restaurant owner has purchased.
Why Insurance Companies Might Deny Restaurant Insurance Claims
After filing an insurance claim for restaurant damage, owners may experience a feeling of relief. Unfortunately for some restaurant owners, this relief may be short-lived.
Insurance companies can deny restaurant insurance claims for various reasons. Reasons for denying a claim may be legitimate, or may occur as a result of human error.
Some insurance companies may also attempt to wrongfully deny or underpay claims to avoid compensating their policyholders for covered losses. This is known as operating in bad faith and may call for legal recourse.
Legitimate reasons an insurance company might deny a restaurant insurance claim include:
- missing or late premium payments
- filing for uninsured losses
- neglecting policy terms and conditions that are relevant to the claim
- lacking evidence to support the extent of your damage
- suspicion of fraud
- missing the deadline to file for coverage
- coverage limits have been met or exceeded
All restaurant insurance policyholders have the right to expect their insurers to uphold their end of the bargain when it comes to properly compensating them for covered losses.
However, mistakes do happen. If you’re confused or frustrated about the status of your insurance claim, consider contacting your insurance carrier to file a formal dispute.
How To Dispute A Denied Restaurant Insurance Claim
Receiving a denied claim or a coverage offer that appears suspiciously low can be a frustrating experience.
If you’re unhappy with the claims decision you’ve received from your insurance carrier, disputing your claim may be a viable way to recover the amount of compensation you’re rightfully owed under your insurance policy.
Before contacting your insurance company to dispute your claim, consider these questions:
- Have you paid your premiums in full and on time?
- Are the losses you’re filing for covered under your policy?
- Have you filed your claim within the amount of time specified within your policy?
- Did you submit enough evidence to prove your property damage/losses? (e.g. video, photos, itemized lists, repair and replacement receipts)
Insurance companies are legally obligated to investigate claims that have been disputed by a verified policyholder.
If your insurance company is refusing to review your claim, has delayed your payment, or has denied your claim on illegitimate grounds—you may need to take additional legal action to recover the compensation you’re owed.
Do I Need A Lawyer To Dispute A Restaurant Insurance Claim?
Disputing an insurance claim can be a frustrating and confusing process. While insurance companies are generally obligated to grant requests for an additional review of insurance claims, some insurance companies can be uncooperative.
Insurance companies that are not acting in the best interest of their policyholders may:
- delay claim payments
- communicate poorly with their policyholders
- provide misleading or false information about coverage
- wrongfully allege that the claim has been fabricated or exaggerated
- refuse to investigate claims
- undervalue claims
- wrongfully deny coverage
These tactics are referred to in law as bad faith insurance tactics, indicating unlawful behavior on behalf of the insurance carrier.
Insurance companies that operate in bad faith are likely to have the legal and financial resources needed to protect themselves from liability for bad faith disputes. This is not true for every business owner who wishes to legally confront an insurance carrier for unlawful practices.
At Florin|Roebig, our insurance recovery lawyers are capable of providing consultation for restaurant owners before and during the insurance claims process. We can help you file a strong claim for insurance coverage in the aftermath of a disaster or help you dispute a claim that you suspect was unfairly denied or underpaid.
Our lawyers can defend your rights against insurance companies operating in bad faith and advocate for your right to receive your entitled compensation.
Top-Rated Restaurant Insurance Claims Lawyers
The insurance recovery lawyers of Florin|Roebig are committed to defending the rights of restaurant owners who have had their insurance claims wrongfully denied or underpaid.
Voted one of America’s top law firms, Florin|Roebig has a strong record of winning cases against entities large and small in the pursuit of justice.
What our restaurant insurance claims lawyers can do for you:
- strengthen your restaurant insurance claim
- decipher the legal language within your insurance policy to clearly explain your rights to coverage
- evaluate your eligibility to file a bad faith claim against your insurer
- collect evidence to support your dispute
- handle communications with your insurer
- represent your legal interests and defend your policyholder rights
- fight to ensure you receive the compensation you’re entitled to under your insurance policy
If your insurer refuses to agree to a fair settlement, our lawyers are willing to bring your case to trial if necessary to help you file a lawsuit against the insurer for acting in bad faith.
Contact Us Today For A Free Case Evaluation
No restaurant owner deserves to become victim to the unlawful intent of an insurance company to deny coverage. If you’re a restaurant owner who is having trouble settling a claim with your insurer, our lawyers can investigate your claim and defend your rights.
Don’t wait to learn what the insurance recovery lawyers of Florin|Roebig can do for you. Get started on strengthening your restaurant insurance claim or filing a dispute today by contacting our office for a free case evaluation.