American Association of Justice

Commercial and Business Insurance

Business Insurance – commonly referred to as Commercial Insurance – is vital for businesses to function and survive. We have experience representing businesses in New York and New Jersey in insurance denial cases.

A business can suffer damage to its building, inventory, or other property due to a covered loss or event. The damage can be so serious that it can result in the cessation of the business. In these situations, business or commercial insurance coverage is critically important.

In addition, a business can be the subject of a lawsuit involving injury to another person or business. Insurance provides important protections in these situations for both the business and the injured plaintiff.

When the Business Suffers a Loss

Businesses can suffer a variety of different losses that are, or should be, covered by insurance. For instance, a business could be severely damaged from a fire, natural disaster, environmental cause, due to theft or vandalism, or some other scenario.

When a covered loss occurs, the business could suffer loss, damage or harm to:

  • The building or property where it is located;
  • Valuable business property and inventory; and
  • Business interruption (which is the lost income the business suffers).

These losses make receiving an insurance payment critical to the survival of the business.

Of course, the applicable insurance coverage can depend on the type of business. For instance, a corporation in the high-tech sector may be susceptible to harm or loss caused by a technological event or cyberattack. A more traditional business, such as a restaurant, may have a more conventional type of loss – and hence insurance claim.

After suffering a loss, the business should promptly report it to the insurance company and then document and photograph the loss. In addition, a proof of loss must be submitted to the insurer.

When a Business is Subject to a Lawsuit

When a business is named as a defendant in a lawsuit, the insurance company should provide it with a legal defense and cover any settlement, judgment, or verdict up to the policy limits.

Sometimes, however, the insurance company will disclaim coverage alleging that the incident does not fall within the scope of insurance coverage or that a coverage exclusion applies.

We have had great success representing clients in these cases. For instance, a state court ordered that a commercial liability insurer had to provide a defense and indemnification for our client in a defamation action.

Answers to FAQs
Is There a Time Limit, or Statute of Limitations, in Which to File a Lawsuit Against an Insurance Company?

The statute of limitations for a breach of contract case is 6 years. Most insurance policies, however, contain provisions that shorten this period often to only one or two years. Accordingly, if your claim is denied, you should promptly consult with a New Jersey or New York business or commercial insurance denial lawyer.

Often, if a claim investigation is running up against a short statute of limitations set forth in the insurance policy, the parties will enter into a “tolling agreement” that extends the limitations period.

I Have Heard About Something Called an “Appraisal Process.” What is That?

Insurance policies permit either the insurer or the insured to demand the appraisal process when the insurer is willing to cover the loss, but there is disagreement about the monetary amount. The parties will jointly select an independent “umpire” who will make a binding determination of the damages.

When Do I Need a Lawyer During the Claims Process?

There is no stock answer to when a lawyer is needed. Of course, it is almost always better to be represented by counsel. But oftentimes, the economics of the claim must be taken into account. Generally speaking, a lawyer is needed when a claim is denied, because the only recourse for the business is to file a lawsuit. A lawyer can also be helpful during the claims process, especially if complex issues arise.

What is Your Legal Fee?

Frequently, we represent businesses in commercial insurance coverage cases on a contingent fee basis. This means we only get paid a percentage of the total recovery at the end of the case. We are, of course, always available to be retained on an hourly basis.

At the Law Offices of Eric Dinnocenzo, we have vast experience representing clients in commercial or business insurance claim denials. Please email us or call us at (212) 933-1675 for a free consultation.

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