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Property Insurance Process

Your commercial property insurance policy is over 100 pages long. It has endorsements, exclusions, limitations, what-ifs, maybe-so’s and probably nots. It is specifically designed to limit the money you would be due in the event of a loss.

We are commercial property insurance experts. And we use this expertise to assist policy holders; not insurance companies.

The Process

If your commercial property has been damaged here is what will probably happen:

  1. You will contact your agent who will, in turn, contact the adjuster for your carrier. Your agent will then have no further say in the way the loss is handled.
  2. In many cases, the adjuster will be an independent company that handles multiple claims for your insurance company.
  3. You will start to receive solicitations from roofers, rehab contractors and public adjusters who want to “help” you with your claim.
  4. In many cases, you will be one of hundreds of losses that will be handled by the insurance adjuster. These people have quotas to meet and they get paid based on volume. They will send an adjuster who will prepare scopes and estimates oftentimes based on a cursory examination.
  5. The insurance company will offer to settle your claim for the amount their adjuster recommends. You will have very little input in the process. Your offer will be impacted by the type of coverage you have and the exclusions in the policy.
  6. You should have your own scopes and estimates prepared. These scopes should serve as the basis for your claim.
  7. If your scopes do not match the scopes offered by the insurance company your options will depend on the language in your policy.
  8. Most commercial property insurance policies have an appraisal provision. In an appraisal, both sides hire appraisers who will meet to try to determine the amount of the loss. If they are unable to agree, an Umpire may be appointed. The appointment of an Umpire is a critical aspect of the process and should be taken very seriously.
  9. Both appraisers present their evidence to the Umpire. If the Umpire and one of the appraisers agree on the loss, the decision becomes binding.
  10. The appraisal process is only used when the issue involves a determination of the amount of loss.
  11. If the claim is denied altogether or if there is disagreement over the cause of the loss, the appraisal process is not used.
  12. If the appraisal process is not used and you need a lawyer, insurance claims are becoming a highly specialized area of law. I would encourage you to hire a lawyer who understands first party insurance cases.

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Client Reviews
Tim represented us in a dispute with our insurance company over roof damage due to a hail storm in the Dallas area. We were very disheartened by the constant denials and dishonest treatment we were receiving from the insurance carrier, and Tim counseled us to remain patient while he systematically put together expert opinions and facts that supported our claim. Eventually we were able to settle our case and had the roof replaced on our apartment building just two months before the big tornado hit in late 2015. Our investment property was the only one in the area that did not sustain any roof damage! We were lucky with our timing, but we were even more fortunate to have Tim on our side. We highly recommend Tim's firm! Allan and Marian Goodman
In short order, he was able to quickly understand and master the details of our case and map out a very cost-effective, efficient legal strategy. After a series of quick wins in court, our opponent came to the table with a highly satisfactory settlement. Mr. Hoch’s ability to effectively tell a persuasive story within the confines of a courtroom is without equal. Anthony Page
Tim’s knowledge and insight regarding not just the law, but business and human nature in general was greatly appreciated and relied upon as we navigated through a difficult situation. Tim has my utmost admiration and respect both on a personal and professional basis. Phillip A. Reinsch
We use Tim Hoch to handle complex business litigation matters on a variety of topics. He combines a strategic, no-frills approach with a bottom-line mindset. He is extremely responsive, organized and thorough. We would gladly recommend his services. Richard Warren, CEO