According to www.sba.gov, small businesses make up the following share of the U.S. economy:
- 99.7 percent of U.S. employer firms
- 64 percent of net new private-sector jobs
- 49.2 percent of private-sector employment
Those of us who own and run a “small business” have dedicated our professional lives to building our business so that we can provide for ourselves and, more importantly, for our families. And while our hard work and dedication may protect the business in some ways, we rely on insurance to protect it from those things we cannot control, such as a catastrophic loss due to fire, theft, storm or water.
We also purchase insurance to protect the business from general liability or business management claims. However, just because the insurance policy is issued to a business, and not necessarily an individual, does not mean that an insurance company can shirk its duties to treat the insured fairly, reasonably and in good faith. Business owners of businesses of all sizes should expect to receive the coverage and protection they purchased, and to be treated fairly in the process of their claim for loss.
What Duties do Insurance Companies Owe Business Policyholders?
Insurance companies owe business policyholders the same duties they owe to individuals. These include the duty to:
- Promptly process a claim for loss and not intentionally delay a claim
- Conduct an adequate and reasonable investigation of the claim
- Fairly assess the amount of damage, i.e. not low-ball the amount of damage a business owner has sustained
- Not place the insurance company’s interests above the policyholder’s interests
- Not force the insured/business through hoops in order to obtain the policy benefits, such as making repeated requests for supporting documentation, requiring the insured to provide repeated recorded statements or examinations under oath, or forcing the insured to demand appraisal when the insurance company fails to pay what it owes
- Communicating timely with the insured and responding timely to communications from the insured
- Accepting coverage for claims where coverage is provided in the policy, i.e. the duty to not unreasonably deny claims for loss
If your business has suffered a loss or if you made a claim to your insurance carrier for a loss that you feel has been unfairly denied, you want an attorney who has the experience of handling such matters and the knowledge to know your rights under the policy and Arizona law. Douglas Dieker has been practicing in the area of insurance claims and insurance coverage disputes for nearly twenty years. He has experience in handling all types of claims for businesses, including:
- Fire losses
- Storm losses
- Theft and burglary losses
- Water losses
- Business interruption claims due to loss (loss of business income)
- Denial of coverages pursuant to Commercial General Liability (“CGL”) policies
- Denial of coverages made under Business Management policies
Douglas Dieker, P.C. Will Fight for You
If you have suffered a loss, Douglas F. Dieker, P.C. will fight for you to obtain the full benefits of your business owner’s policy. If you feel your insurance company has breached the duties owed to your business, as highlighted above, Douglas F. Dieker, P.C. will fight to make sure you obtain fair and reasonable compensation to account for those damages, which could include not only the damage sustained due to the loss, but lost business profits and damage to your business reputation.
Get in Touch Today
Contact Douglas F. Dieker, P.C. immediately if your business has sustained a loss and you need help through the quagmire of the insurance claim process, or if you think your insurance company isn’t handling your claim timely, fairly or reasonably. Douglas Dieker has extensive experience handling such claims on behalf of business owners of all sizes, from sole proprietorships to billion dollar multi-national corporations.
Being a business owner himself, Doug understands the frustrations and aggravations you are experiencing and offers free initial consultations and handles most claims on a contingency basis. If we don’t recover anything for you, you don’t owe us a fee. Contact us today and we’ll help get you back where you belong – running your business to provide for you and your family.