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Facing a Business Interruption Due to Construction Damage? A Public Adjuster Can Help!

Inspector looking at damage inside home

It may begin slowly, perhaps a daily audio onslaught of construction workers, drilling and jack-hammering, then the constant vibration from heavy equipment, followed by dust and debris. Over time, you notice that even your new office equipment is not functioning properly. Cracks in your walls have begun to appear. Not long ago, a building in your neighborhood had collapsed, prompting its demolition. That was bad enough, as your street was closed off, and you were prevented from operating your business for a time. That business interruption was brief but expensive. Now a new structure is rising in its place. You have valid concerns that the collapse, demolition, and now construction may be negatively impacting your building which is directly next door. You have concerns, including what impacts to expect? And more important, what can you do about it? You may have heard about business interruption insurance claims, but how do you know if you qualify? Or, who can you turn to for advice and assistance? United Public Adjusters & Appraisers, a leading public adjusters firm, has this advice for business owners facing these issues. Our team can assist you with documenting and preparing solid business interruption claims, as well as construction claims.

In addition to the complexity and expense in having to repair or replace property damage you believe to have been caused by nearby construction, handling the construction claim on your own is not advisable; especially if you are not well versed with insurance policy language. That’s because insurance carriers will likely deny claims for adjacent construction by stating your property damages are pre-existing or that the damage is due to some obscure and unlikely cause such as ‘earth movement’ (which is hard to justify in Manhattan, as it is founded on bedrock). United Public Adjusters & Appraisers is well versed in handling such roadblocks and, yes, smokescreens. We begin by scouring your insurance policies for exclusions and also by fully analyzing the exact causes of the damages to your property and assets. Additionally, our team will be glad to assist you to document, prepare and submit construction claims to your insurance carrier.

Your United Public Adjusters & Appraisers team is also fully conversant with Civil Authority Clauses/Public Authority Clauses. These are insurance policy provisions that outline whether a business can recoup any income losses due to a forced business closure when a government entity denies access to a covered property. A recent example in Manhattan occurred when a parking garage collapsed. Surrounding residents and businesses were forced to evacuate for an indeterminate period. Local businesses that were impacted lost income, revenue, and possibly clients. Income, revenue, and in the case of local restaurants and grocery stores, perishable inventories were lost. Their property insurance may cover lost income while their business had been closed due to property damage, but these coverages do not always contain provisions that protect a business that is unable to reopen after an evacuation.

Any business that faces these dire consequences would do well to contact our team immediately. We are aware that insurance policy clauses require that the income loss be directly linked to the civil authority’s evacuation order. This means that the business interruption insurance claim citing a loss of income cannot be caused by the disaster, such as the parking garage collapse itself, instead by the order to leave the property. Even if your business has not been impacted by a nearby disaster, demolition, or adjacent construction, United Public Adjusters & Appraisers advises that you consult with our professionals to ensure that your enterprise has adequate coverage, especially if you are located in an urban area. Once we review your policies, we may advise that you purchase additional business interruption insurance coverage to increase your level of protection as well as to provide peace of mind.

Why wait for the unthinkable to occur? Contact United Public Adjusters & Appraisers now for a policy assessment and minimal business impacts should your business be impacted by adjacent construction damages and/or a forced evacuation.


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