Landlord and Business Insurance Claim Advice and Help

Post Landlord and Business Insurance Claim Advice and Help Question (below)

On the other hand, have the answers handy (including personal consultation with Ron Cercone) with an insurance claim advice eBook from You will find eBooks for your particular claim type, whether it’s a business or a landlord rental property claim or a “deluxe” version eBook which includes other eBooks. View the business claim eBook entitledBUSINESS INSURANCE CLAIM ADVICE AND HELP – ALL ASPECTS description and table of contents or the landlord rental property claim eBook entitled LANDLORD RENTAL PROPERTY INSURANCE CLAIM ADVICE AND HELP description and table of contents.


Here are a few words of general advice:

Making a landlord or business insurance claim is not a science, it’s an art. It’s like a board game. Timing and patience are crucial. Sometimes there are several different moves you can make, and it’s impossible to know which one is the best. So you make a “judgment call.” Don’t beat yourself up or waste too much time deciding. Once you make a decision, don’t look back. Think about your next move. The game strategy can change daily as you exchange information with the insurance claims adjuster.

Generally speaking, the game requires that you gather information in three areas: your insurance policy, building construction and insurance claim law. You can improve your settlement using just one of these items alone or a combination of two or all three. You should pursue all three in the order listed until you are satisfied with your overall dollar settlement.  You could get nothing more from the insurer using the policy, but find items of construction that were missed or under priced. You may hit dead ends with the policy and the repair estimates, but be able to find some law that required the insurer to pay for an item that was previously denied or under paid.

Keeping a written record is crucial. Keeping your mouth closed and your ears open is crucial. Treat adjusters like little gods especially in the beginning while you build your file. Get everything in writing and fax your letters. Even a hand written note on notebook paper is better than nothing. Now there is a record and the adjuster is legally bound to answer in so many days, such as 14 days, in California. Faxes get more attention than emails, because they make better evidence in court.

If you want to maximize your landlord or business insurance claim and play the game smart, you have to be patient. This game could last for a year or two, so you may as well prepare now and do it correctly. With most business insurance claim policies, you should have coverage for loss of income, extra expenses and loss of rents (landlords). This should be for as long as the claim is being actively negotiated by both sides. Which leads to another important consideration – all policies are over ridden by the laws in your state. So even though your policy may say you have 180 days to claim replacement cost coverage on your contents, for example, the law in your state may say you have one year, or even two years if the claim is disaster related.

95 Responses to “Landlord and Business Insurance Claim Advice and Help”

  1. January 24th, 2009 at 5:05 pm #Thomas Treakle

    How do I file a claim against an auto dealer’s “Garage Keeper’s” policy for damages caused to my vehicle when they were doing service work when the dealer refuses to give me the policy information or make good on the repairs? Basically they blew the engine and the repairs will cost more than the vehicle’s worth.

  2. January 26th, 2009 at 3:17 am #admin

    Hello Thomas,

    If the car dealer is unwilling to report your claim to his insurance carrier, your only alternative is to sue him. Your car dealer is gambling that you will just give up and go away. And his insurer cannot open a claim file without the consent of their policy holder.

    Now here is your leverage, once he gets the notice that he is being sued, he has to report the suit to his insurance carrier. If he does not, then the insurer may not defend him or even pay the judgment if he loses in court.

    Although the liability part of his policy covers him for acts for which he is legally liable, and one is not “legally” liable until there is a court judgment, most insurers will attempt to settle without going to court, since going to court costs everyone more money in the long haul.

  3. January 26th, 2009 at 5:50 am #Thomas Treakle

    I have retained an attorney on this, and your advice is well received. I was hoping that there was a way to find this information without filing, but this is a principle thing now more than a $$ issue. Thanks for your suggestions and advice.

  4. March 9th, 2009 at 1:14 pm #anastasia

    Hello! Thank you for your help! I have a very small seasonal business, handknitting and selling accesiries (hats, scarves, etc.) I had a stall at Reading Terminal Market last Christmas season and stored my stuff at the Market overnight. On October 29th most of my inventory got stolen. I had filed a claim with my insurance company (Ohio Casualty Ins. – part of Liberty Mutual Group) We have been going back and forth with the insurer as to how much I had lost in business as a result if the theft. They have referred me to their audit department and I have been very cooperative and provided them with every record I had. It has been 4.5 months since I filed the claim and they still have not settled it. I am falling back on my business loan payments and unable to go ahead with my business plan before I get the money from settlement. I contacted superwisors at both departments that are handling the case (the officer and the audit department), they say they will do their best but they are still not letting me know what exactly do they need to process it and how long will it take to complete. I am wondering if I should sue for time and business lost as a result of their actions (or, rather, inaction) with it. I have a small claim so I am not sure if a lawyer would be interested and what other options do I have to make them speed it up. Thank you! Anastasia

  5. March 11th, 2009 at 1:27 am #admin

    Hello Anastasia,

    Your “small claim” is either not so small or it has some big problems for them to be delaying like this for 4.5 months. You need a lot more help than I could possible give you here. Consider the eBook entitled “BUSINESS OWNERS INSURANCE CLAIM ADVICE AND HELP – ALL ASPECTS, Subtitle: HOW TO PLAY THE GAME – DELUXE VERSION (W/APPENDIX)” on the products page, business section. Look at the table of contents. It will help you with the inventory as well the loss of income, “extra expenses” and teach you how to communicate and get attention when you are getting nowhere with the adjuster and his manager. The cost of $89.95 is a drop in the bucket compared to what your claim is worth and what you would pay a lawyer or public adjuster.

    If you want us to look at your policy for no charge, you can email a scanned copy to However, any questions or discussions we have will need to be via this blog so everyone can learn from your experience.

  6. July 29th, 2009 at 6:31 am #State Risk Manager

    A covered building experience a theft loss of several items one of which is a set of keys that fit 13 locks. The keys of course are covered subject to the deductible but would the cost of re-keying the locks be covered under a standard ISO commercial property form?

  7. July 30th, 2009 at 5:09 pm #admin

    Hello State Risk,

    Great question! Just my opinion, at first thought I would have to say no, since the policy is basically a “property” policy. Unless there are “additional coverages” or “extensions of coverage” type clauses in the policy, or endorsements adding re-keying, I would again say no.

    However I suppose an argument could be made that if the locks came with keys, the locks are now not working because part of “the assembly” or “package” was stolen and so the insured would be entitled to completely new locks with keys and the insurer would get the salvage? So perhaps the insurer would be wise to pay for the coding ($20-$30 per lock normally, but perhaps a discount could be given by the lock smith for 13 locks?) instead of replacing the locks and keys.

    The only reason insurers cover re-coding door locks in automobile policies is because the entire lock is being replaced on one door, for example, and the vehicle owner should have a reasonable expectation that all the door locks should match without having two sets of keys.

  8. August 21st, 2009 at 5:25 pm #Amber

    I own a 4 unit apartment building in Arizona. A parked tow truck rolled down the hill and hit the building. The building is about 35 years old. Because it is 4 units the local city inspectors consider it commercial. Being a commercial building all work done is required to have architectural plans, permits and a structural engineer. The tow truck companies insurance carrier is tell me that because the building is so old, the new code requirements (that were not in place when it was built but now are required) are not covered by them. They say they are only responsible for the depreciated value of the building repairs not the actual value. Do I have a leg to stand on? And to extent is their liability?


  9. August 22nd, 2009 at 10:00 pm #admin

    Hello Amber,
    Yes, they are right, because they only owe you what is required by the law, not an insurance policy. You are better off to turn in the claim to your own insurance. Most insurance policies pay full replacement cost without depreciation. And many policies now days have “code upgrade” endorsements. Your insurer will try to collect back from the other insurer and get all or part of your deductible back.

    The tow truck owner is only liable if there was negligence on his part. For example non maintained brakes, but not for example if some vandals pushed it down the hill.

  10. October 14th, 2009 at 5:20 am #Jay

    We are planing to file insurance claim for the inventory we have lost either from our customer and/ or by our yard/ trucking partner.
    Can you please help me with the procedure indetail for both instance…

  11. October 15th, 2009 at 10:59 am #admin


    If you have a full business policy, it should pay you for what you paid (wholesale) for your inventory and retail for your business personal property (eg. tools, furniture, fixtures, etc. Your customers should get the “market value” (used value) of their property lost. I suggest the eBook Businessowners Loss Deluxe to guide you through it. Its on sale 50% off with a money back guarantee.

  12. January 22nd, 2010 at 10:52 am #Jason

    I run a chain of video game stores, and outsource repair of certain consoles to a company run out of a shop in the repairman’s backyard. He kept the expensive consoles (PS3, XBOX 360, wii) under lock and key, yet someone managed to break in, destroy his cabinetry and steal around $6000 worth of equipment.

    My question is, can I file claim under my business insurance? Or would it have to go through the repairman’s?

    Thank you!


  13. January 22nd, 2010 at 5:00 pm #admin


    Well it depends. If you don’t have RCV with your own insurance, then go after the repair man’s insurance, which will only pay ACV (depreciated value). Also there would be no deductible with the repair mans insurance.

    And make sure that any repair man you give work to gives you a copy of his declaration page showing he has insurance to cover you.

  14. March 5th, 2010 at 10:03 am #Loretta Santos

    If you have a damage claim and the insurance pays more than you can have it repaired for; is the excess amount taxable?

  15. March 5th, 2010 at 11:48 pm #admin


    Insurance claim proceeds are not taxable, because it is theoretically to replace stuff you already paid taxes on. It would be like selling your personal property for money, you don’t pay taxes on that.

  16. May 21st, 2010 at 10:44 am #Jordan

    I was a delivery driver for a restaurant. At one of my deliveries, I was the victim of an armed robbery. The robbers took the food, my money and a gold chain around my neck. I am trying to get reimbursed from the restaurant for the stolen gold chain. Do you know if the restaurant’s insurance policy would cover that loss?

  17. May 22nd, 2010 at 8:11 am #admin


    I doubt it. You could ask them, but I think they would need a special endorsement. Now if they were negligent in some way, not providing security etc., you may have a liability claim and or court claim.

  18. July 6th, 2010 at 3:50 pm #Maria

    I have an RV park business recently damaged by a fire and the insurance company is claiming they have no liability. I’ve heard there are companies out there who step in and help when this sort of thing happens? How do I proceed and who do I contact?
    Thank you.

  19. July 8th, 2010 at 9:47 pm #admin

    You could hire a public adjuster and or attorney. The PA is cheaper than the attorney. If the PA cannot get the claim covered, at least a good public adjuster will document the file for the attorney to take over and litigate. For advice on how to choose a good public adjuster, go to the Considerations page at And also consider the eBook there on denied claims.

  20. September 13th, 2010 at 9:58 am #Mike

    I own a small retail store. Of course, we were robbed; cleaned out of our inventory. I did get reimbursed for all of the lost invnetory valued at cost.
    However, I decided not to replace all of the inventory; I carry much less inventory. Because of this, does anyone know if the monies I did not spend are taxable? I don’t think so but I cannot determine where his may be an IRS ruling. Any thoughts are welcome!

  21. October 25th, 2010 at 12:06 pm #Melissa

    I was hit by a pizza delivery car last week. It was clearly his fault as I was in traffic and he was entering traffic and the damage was on my driver’s side door. I filed a claim against his auto insurance company but I am now worried that the claim will be denied due to the fact that he was working as a pizza delivery guy at the time of the accident and I doubt an 18-year old kid has taken out commercial insurance. What recourse do I have? Can I filed a claim against the company he works for? If so, how does one going about doing this? Any idea of the typical outcome in a situation like this?

  22. October 25th, 2010 at 12:46 pm #Jordan

    I was a delivery driver for a restaurant. At one of my deliveries, I was the victim of an armed robbery. The robbers took the food, my money and a gold chain around my neck. Can I pursue a claim under my homeowners policy for the stolen gold chain? Would such a claim be covered under a homeowners policy? I didn’t have the gold chain specifically listed under the homeowners policy but do have jewelry coverage. Thanks.

  23. December 22nd, 2010 at 10:40 pm #Laura

    Some body thelf my truck my insurance recover it and bringme a check for repair the truck but the body shop tacke the ckeck and never finish to fix my truck , right now the case is in court by my question the body shoop need to have a general liability insurance ? because other body shop check my truck and I need to pay for fix my truck but the first body shop refuse to return the money and I need to fix my truck, you thin the insurance of the bussines can help me………

  24. March 4th, 2011 at 10:04 am #Hal

    Building and contents were gutted due to fire. Our Ohio Franchise License expired in January 2007 without our knowledge. Claims adjuster will not proceed until re-activated. Accountant has re-applied – don’t know when re-activation will resume. Can our claim be placed in “suspension” until this is resolved, or are we just being stalled. Further, business owned by seperate “C” corp independent from building owned by LLC (same pricipals). Adjuster will not move forward even on building due to the Ohio Franchise issue?

  25. June 19th, 2011 at 1:40 pm #Michael McElroy

    My building and content burn with a 100% total lose. Mississippi is a value state. Should my insurance company pay me face value of my policy for my building and my content. My content is imported from China. They have all my proof of purchase with cost. I was told when I got my policy that I should insure my content for the value here in the USA.

  26. August 3rd, 2011 at 12:15 pm #Amanda

    I am currently trying to locate the insurance company of a business. The business refuses to give me their information. Is there a way to identify the insurance company without asking the business directly? Any information would be helpful. Thank you.

  27. August 5th, 2011 at 9:31 am #Jason

    Unfortunately that information is only available by getting it from the business.

    I would assume you have a claim that you are attempting to file with their insurance company. If that is the case, simply make a claim, in writing, to the company itself. Many times the company is required to notify the insurance company of any claims against it. That may be a route to get what you want accomplished.

  28. August 5th, 2011 at 9:35 am #Jason

    Michael McElroy,
    Sure Mississippi may be a value state but that only applies to a occupied primary resident. It doesn’t apply to anything other than that. Now, your building is likely a commercial building and it could have either ACV or replacement coverage. That depends on your policy and coverage.

    When it comes to inventory, the value of that inventory is based on what it would take to replace it with inventory in the same manner that you acquired it from initially. It is not related to the market value in the US. It should be insured for what it would take to replace the inventory and not a penny more otherwise you are over-insuring.

  29. August 23rd, 2011 at 7:39 am #Mr. Kite

    I own a small business and was asked to replace some car parts for a client by his insurance. Do I need to provide receipts for the parts replaced?

  30. August 23rd, 2011 at 3:53 pm #Jason

    Mr. Kite,
    If they request the receipts. But probably not.

  31. November 21st, 2011 at 1:08 pm #blythe

    what action can a lawyer take if the adjuster is not returning any calls, nor his his supervisor? Isn’t that illegal?

  32. November 22nd, 2011 at 2:13 am #Jason

    blythe, that seems like a good question to ask a lawyer. Since they would be the one taking the action, if any, they would know what best to do.

  33. November 25th, 2011 at 7:22 am #Jessica

    Today, I was informed by the owner of the auto repair garage that is replacing the engine in my Suburban that the wheels, tires, battery and catalitic converter have been stolen from my vehicle. Do most auto repair garage’s have insurance that cover the theft of vehicle or parts of vehicles?

  34. November 26th, 2011 at 8:42 am #Jason

    Any reputable auto repair facility will have insurance. Not all of those that have insurance will have coverage for theft while the vehicle is in the shop’s care, custody, or control.

    Simply make a claim with the repair garage. Ask for their insurance company so you can make a claim or simply ask for them to pay for the stolen items.

    If that does not work, you might have comprehensive physical damage insurance that covers theft on your own policy. If so, make a claim with your insurance company.

  35. December 15th, 2011 at 12:59 pm #Cheryl

    I am helping out a friend whom has started a business. The company vehicles was robbed of tools and parts totaling around 13,000.00. When they went to file the claim the actual insurnace company advised they was under insured and penalized them 8,000.00 dollars. Can you advise me why this was done, why the insurance agent advised him to make claim the claim for the employees tools which put him over the amount by 4,000.00 and why she did not advise him as he added to his company that he needed to change insurance amounts? This may cause him to go out of business and he looked to a insurance agent to make sure his company was taken care of. Thank you for any help regarding this.

  36. December 15th, 2011 at 5:12 pm #Jason

    We would like to address you concerns. However in order to do so, we need to understand what you have posted. Please re-organize your post so it makes sense and we will address your questions asap.

  37. January 6th, 2012 at 10:38 am #Ericka

    I hired a company (franchise) to refinish my brand new hardwood floors (I used a product on them that left a dull apperance and I wanted them back to “normal”), and in the end the owner of the franchise RUNIED my floors! I took the owner to small claims court, but was only awarded $1,000.00 (the amount I paid him). I tried going through my insurance company, but they said because I hired a company to fix my floors I need to go through his business insurance. I just tried filing a claim through his insurance company, but they said they wont help me because it’s conisdered negligence for his “quality of work.” I have no idea what I need or can do from here. I feel like I’ve exhausted all avenues. It’s going to cost over $15,000.00 to replace my floors that this franchise owner ruined. Do you have any advice? Can I hire a lawyer and take him to a bigger court or that considered double jeporady? Any advice would be helpful.

  38. January 6th, 2012 at 8:39 pm #Jason

    No, this would not be considered double jeopardy because that only applies to criminal acts.

    It is correct insurance doesn’t cover what they call a person’s “work product” because if a company didn’t do it correctly, they can do it again and do it correctly the next time it’s done. The insurance company doesn’t insure anybody’s “work product”.

    You have done everything you can do. Can you sue him again? No, because the court has already settled this matter entirely. Their determination was that you were correct and because you were correct, they awarded you $1000.00. That is called a judgment the end of that entire situation and dispute.

  39. January 10th, 2012 at 9:28 am #Paula R

    There is a water pipe leaking out side of my business by the curb and gutter. The city I live in says I am responsible for anything from the main to my building. Does insurance usually cover this type of problem? The water leak is outside but there is a lot of cement torn up, a backhoe, boring machine, equipment and overtime.

    What is the best way to get this submitted to the insurance company for some type of coverage? Your answer would be greatly appreciated.

  40. January 10th, 2012 at 4:25 pm #Jason

    Contact your agent and make a claim. There may be covered for this but that will depend on what caused the pipe to break. The claim will get that all started to determine if there is coverage.

  41. January 24th, 2012 at 2:23 pm #Joe

    I have a situation with an insurance company that paid out a claim to me on my buisness where we had damaged an engine and needed to replace it. They asked for three different venders where the product could be replaced along with supporting documentation regarding engine. The claim started on 7-28-11, They sent out two different engineers to look at damage and to evaluate my competency for assembling engine. They paid the claim in november 2011. Now they are coming back asking for more information and a deposition regarding where i purchuased the engine / how i got its value and lots of other things that make it feel like they are going to sue me. They didnt even request back the damaged block and im tired of holding on to it. My questions are : Can i throw away this damaged block? Is it standard for this type of inquiry? Should my communications with the insurance company be through council? Can they legitamitly sue me over this claim even though it was already paid and their “over payment” was between 3000 and 4000 dollars on a 25,000 claim. Thanks for your help.

  42. January 24th, 2012 at 4:23 pm #Jason

    First of all, you know the details of your claim and what is going on. We don’t know anything about it at all. You will need to give us some back ground on what happened, the things that led up to where they currently are right now, and what your claim concerns. Is this a BAP, a General liability policy, an E&O policy. You see, if you don’t provide use with useful information, all we can provide you with is useless information in return. The decision it entirely on you. You ask us if you can throw away this damaged block. You ask if there is a standard for this inquiry. We have no idea what kind of inquiry your are talking about. Can you provide us why you believe you should ask if your communication should be through an attorney? You indicates this was overpaid by $3-4000 but we have no idea about anything about your claim. If you are attempting to confuse us, you are doing an excellent job. If you want us to understand you, we will need you to provide the best advice to us that you can. If you want us to provide as vague of an answer to you as your question to us, all you have to do is ask for that and we will try our best.

  43. February 7th, 2012 at 8:07 am #nadia

    i have secured a judgment in court for damage a drunk driver caused to my business property…originlly i didnt want to file a claim with my insurance and went ahead on my own and won ..but now i am unable to collect…can i shift the liabilty to my insurance company file a claim and lat then go after it..this happened in april 2010

  44. February 7th, 2012 at 4:47 pm #Doug

    I had roof damage last fall, and our adjuster came out and presented us with a check after doing an estimate, less 15% holdback for depreciation. I got several estimates and wound up getting the repairs completed for less than the initial payment. They initially tried to deny me the depreciation amount because of a time expiration, but I later got them to agree in writing to pay it because it was hail damage and contractors were very backed up due to the volume of houses needing repairs from the same storm. They said once I sent them the invoice from the contractor showing the work was done, they would release the depreciation. However, once they saw the amount was less than they had paid, they changed their stance and are refusing to refund the depreciation amount. Is this legal? it is through Farmers Insurance.

  45. February 7th, 2012 at 9:32 pm #Jason

    It seems legal. Do you have a reason why it wouldn’t be legal?

  46. February 8th, 2012 at 5:54 pm #Wilson

    I sued a small business that damaged pieces of art that I paid to have framed. I won and have a judgement against the owner. The owner denied damaging my pieces, refused to make good on the damaged pieces and denied having insurance. Basically has thumbed his/her nose at me and the judgement.

    When I tried to collect on the debt the owner filed for bankruptcy. In the bankruptcy hearing the owner acknowledged having business insurance currently and during the time period in which the work I sued over was done. The owner never reported my suit to the insurance company.

    Does the insured not have a duty to report a legal action against them, by law, to the insurer? How do I find out who the insurer is to notify them of this and the judgement against their insured?

    Thank you.

  47. February 8th, 2012 at 7:14 pm #Jason

    People do the oddest things in life. You would think if he had insurance he would have alerted his insurance company so they could help him. That means there are 1 of 2 things going on. The first is that he doesn’t care about what happens in his life or the second is that he doesn’t have insurance.

    Obtaining a judgment is about half the battle dealing with money owned to you. The other part is collecting the judgment. Sometimes getting the judgment is the easy part but collecting it is the most difficult about this 2 part thing.

  48. March 14th, 2012 at 5:58 am #Abubakkar

    Dear Sir,

    is the theft covered in Electronic equipment policy under the endorsement 504 (when the equipment was in locked condition)

    please reply me at above adress

    Best Regards,


  49. July 31st, 2012 at 3:24 pm #Jennifer M

    Hello – I found your website looking for further info on fallen tree and rental home coverage. We had a 250+ year old oak (confirmed by the insurance company as “insured against peril – windstorm) fall on our rental house.

    The adjuster came out and saw the house prior to any actions being taken (police caution tape, the back bedroom in shambles with tree coming through the ceiling, etc). This was only a “limb” that fell off of the larger section of tree.

    They covered the “dwelling” repair no problem but would only cover the portion of the tree removal that was actually “touching the roof”. We did that and it cost us $1200 out of pocket he said was “maintenance”. After that was complete and construction repairs were begun (about 6-7 days) we were out of town and received frantic calls from the renters AND a neighbor saying that the rest of the huge tree was in imminent danger of falling.

    We got a tree company out there immediately upon our return and they confirmed our suspicion – the rest of the tree had to come down it was an imminent safety and property hazard of the rest of the tree falling.

    I notified the adjuster (from out of town with the calls, the next day when the tree company came out, and afterward when I submitted the receipt). I never got a response.

    Today (about three weeks after the limb fell, and about two weeks after we had the full tree removed at a cost of $7500) we received a check that was noted “Full and Final Payment on Dwelling”. I sent him an email and haven’t cashed the check because I smell something sneaky here.

    Our policy says it covers reasonable repairs to immediately secure safety and the property from further damage (which the other half of the tree was). We cleaned up the lawn afterward ourselves (from five days of cranes, loaders, chippers, construction equipment, tree removal equipment, etc and submitted a bill for an additiona $350. Again no response.

    When he came out the day of – he tried to make it clear that only the dwelling itself was covered – but shouldn’t the insurance cover the “insured against peril” and “reasonable repair”? I’m afraid we’re going to be out of pocket over $10,000 that we just don’t have. We only rent the property becuase we can’t sell the property with current values. I’ve never had a claim before but its insured for $216,000 and the claim total has paid out (to date) $21,200.

    Am I out of luck?

    Sincerely –

  50. September 5th, 2012 at 7:46 pm #Tom

    Do i really need insurance on a vacant commercial building for investment property thats paid for.

  51. September 6th, 2012 at 11:42 am #Jason

    No you don’t need insurance. You would not be covered for any damage that would happen to the building though. It’s entirely up to you.

  52. September 26th, 2012 at 12:07 pm #Brenton

    I have a small business, I recently hired two sub-contractors to do very minimal work for me. They work just a few hours a week for me, they work out of their own homes and use their own sewing machines to complete the work. Last week one of them stabbed herself with a needle and made a comment about how she could sue me for hurting herself. My question is, can she sue me because she got hurt doing work for me?

  53. October 4th, 2012 at 1:40 pm #Ann

    The board of a condo association hired a tree service company through their landscaper because the bid was lower than the service we had always used. The service used in past had an A+ rating with the BBB. The service used had NO rating and estimate of cost was on landscaper stationary stationary stationary…landscaper recommended tree service. They came a week early …we had not told residents. These trees are in a precarious place…on a bank at rear of condo buildings. Between buildings & lake there is only about 6′. Trees are very old and very tall…higher than a 2 story bldg….one is right next to patio. When the trees or tree fell it landed on another tree about 30 ft away on same bank…that tree was not to be cut down. That tree became a Y as it came up from trunk a few ft from bottom. Now one part of the Y of the tree is torn off. Condo people are very upset.

    We did not even have their insurance as yet…it was supplied the next day and reads as follows:
    Insr /Type of Insurance / Addl/Subr/Policy Number/policyEFF/policyEXP

    General Liability CL-Pending ?091812 / 091813
    A Claims made 0
    Occur (checked)

    GenlAggregate limit applies /
    policy box checked

    Far right column states limits: Each Occur $1,000,000
    Damage to rented
    Premises $ 100,000
    Med Exp 1 person $ 5,000
    Personal & Adv Injury $1,000,000
    General Agg $2,000,000
    Products-comp/op agg $2,000,000

    At bottom across from signature it says:
    Certificate holder:


    Pleasecontact the agency for a personalized
    proof of insurance

    Then statement concerning cancellation
    before exp date.

    Signed by Authorized representative of Independent Insurance Company

    Can you explain what this says. There are other things written on form but not marked. It seems to me that possibly this insurance was just purchased before doing the job on Oct 1,12. And maybe the landscaper was getting cut by referring! Maybe the board too trusting? What is CL-Pending? Do we have a claim for tree basically cut in half?

    Any light you can shed would be most helpful before we pay this or call insurance company!


  54. October 4th, 2012 at 2:21 pm #Ann

    I thought name and e mail would not be published!! And yet, there it is…can you explain please?

  55. October 4th, 2012 at 8:33 pm #Moderator


  56. October 6th, 2012 at 11:51 pm #Ann

    I’m sorry…I was just checking for answer and realized that e-mail address is just in comment box…I guess in case I make another comment.

    Looking forward to an answer!


  57. October 23rd, 2012 at 8:48 am #Jason

    The tree cut in half seems to be from the work effort of the contractor. The contractor’s insurance likely will not cover that because that tree cut in half resulted from the contractor removing the other tree. Their insurance company’s view is that if the damage occurred that resulted in that cut-in-half-tree, the contractor can do his work over again and not cut the tree in half the next time.

    It’s basically a continuous loop problem because the contractor can’t remove the other tree again because it is already removed. The result to that cut-in-half-tree resulted as part of the contractor’s work product and contractor’s work product is not something covered by the insurance policy because the contractor has control over their work.

    The only remedy is cutting the tree down again and not damaging the other tree. In the end, there is no liability coverage by his insurance. The contractor may be personally liable for that other tree’s damage but that would require the contractor to address the damage by him personally accepting responsibility for the other tree’s damage.

    The contractor can voluntarily offer and deliver a remedy for that damaged tree or the condo association can sue him for a remedy but his insurance company will not get involved for him.

  58. October 23rd, 2012 at 8:55 am #Jason

    Anybody can sue anybody for any reason in the world. The thing is that there has to be cause to sue you. It’s very likely the sub-contractor will not prevail because you had no control over their operations that resulted in her injury. The independent contractor relationship you have with that other company creates a separation between the 2 businesses. Her suggestion of suing you has no substance.

  59. October 23rd, 2012 at 12:54 pm #Ann

    Thank You, Jason.
    Your response brings other hypothetical questions concerning coverage. What does a tree cutters insurance cover, if anything? What if, due to their poor knowledge of cutting trees in a difficult location, the tree cut had fallen on the condo building causing damage. Who would pay for the damage?
    As you state above that would also be the tree cutters product and not be cov’d, unless I am reading you wrong.

    If that is correct, what is the purpose of insurance? How in the future can a person or complex protect against mistakes made by tree cutters?

  60. October 23rd, 2012 at 5:31 pm #Jason

    We don’t answer hypothetical questions on here because there are so many variables in real-life claims that it would be impossible to answer hypothetical scenarios. Real-life situations are already difficult and then sometimes we don’t have enough information to answer accurately.

    The tree cutter would be personally liable for doing any damage to another tree but the insurance would not cover him for the damage he caused. Let’s put it this way – if you sued the contractor, the insurance would not step in to defend him. If you received a judgment, the insurance would not pay. You would have to collect it from the contractor. And this gets even more complicated. You would likely have to sue the landscaper and the tree contractor because there is now a business barrier between the landscaper, the tree contractor, and the condo association.

    Again, the purpose of insurance can be as complex as what is the purpose of life. Insurance serves a lot of purposes but it won’t cover for the acts or failures of their insured businesses or their employees in many excluded situations.

    Bonds and sureties are a good example of ways to have some protection for damage contractors may do. Also, the contractor can be asked to set up a cash fund held in escrow for situations like you described which is very much like a bond situation.

    Also, another situation is to write up stipulations in the hiring contract that compensation for their service can be voided if they do certain things – like damage other trees. There are a number of things that can be done. Contractors and businesses are looking for work and they are capable of providing you extra protections in almost any situation. Generally if you require something, the contractor will follow through or simply not get the job.

  61. December 4th, 2012 at 10:15 am #Sid

    My Question: Section 8 landlord liable for turning heat back on if tenant penalized for altering the meter?

    Details: My section 8 tenant was fined $1500 + past due bills by the utility company for altering the meter to steal heat. I want him to pay the fine and the owed utility bill payments to get the heat turned back on for himself and to prevent my pipes from freezing. If he does not do this, and the pipes freeze as a result of this, does the insurance adjuster have any right to refuse to pay the claim (by saying it was a result of me not turning the heat back on even though it was my tenant’s fault)?

    I’m losing sleep over this. Please help, and thanks in advance.

  62. December 4th, 2012 at 10:34 am #Jason

    Your tenant has nothing to do with your insurance coverage. Your tenant has been fined and that should be none of your concern. Right now, the need to have heat in your property relies on you if your tenant fails to provide it. You need to take all reasonable measures to maintain heat in your insured property to avoid a loss.

    Additionally, in order for a loss to be covered, it must be both sudden and accidental. Because you are aware of the fuel source being stopped, there is no way the loss will be accidental. Without heat, the pipes will freeze and will cause damage. The only unknown is exactly when the damage will occur. Your expected claim for freezing damage can be denied based on these circumstances if you fail to take action to get heat in the unit.

  63. December 5th, 2012 at 1:20 pm #Sid


    Your answer prompted me to take appropriate action. Thank you for the thoughtful detailed fast response!

  64. December 9th, 2012 at 4:55 am #Ethan Edwards


    My house was seriously damaged during Hurricane Sandy. The lower level of a two story house completely demolished. I had just rented that level to a wonderful couple some months earlier. I had a homeowners policy with no flood insurance however I had sewer and drain backup coverage as well as coverage for lost income as a landlord. They are denying both aspects of this policy because they say the cause was “flood”. Do I have any argument against them on this point?

    Also, I had serious roof damage with two major leaks to the upper side of the house. The adjuster came and spent literally less then ten minutes looking at that part of the damage. He did not even examine the roof. He sent his assistant to take some pictures of the leak damage to the interior while he wrote up the uncovered damage in the lower part of the house because at that time he did not know the details of the policy and thought I had flood insurance. When I protested that he should look carefully at the roof damage and the damage to the interior from the leak he said photos are just fine for making the estimate.

    I believe this part of the damage alone will cost me $20,000+ to repair since the interior of one room had very special antique wood paneling that was ruined. They just sent me a check for only $9000. Looking over my policy it seems to say that there is a deductible of $2500 PER LEAK! That’s a surprise.

    Anyhow, they did not send any itemization with this check and I have no idea if they are covering everything. I want to cash the check because I am financially quite strapped after the disaster but I also want to negotiate a more fair settlement.

    Your advice is appreciated. Thanks

  65. December 9th, 2012 at 7:57 am #Jason

    Ethan Edwards,
    Regarding the water damage to the lower are of the house, there is no coverage for that damage. The lower property damage has caused the dwelling to be inhabitable. There is no lost income available because the loss of income needs to be result from a covered cause of loss in order to be triggered.

    Call your insurance company and ask that they send you an estimate that substantiates the $9000. The estimate should have been sent to you along with the check. You are going to have to review your policy so your deductible won’t catch you off guard in the event of another loss.

  66. February 5th, 2013 at 10:20 am #Bailey

    A friend has a business policy. Over the weekend a peice of equiptment worth 6k was stolen (welding machine) His insurance says he should have put this on his equiptment list and is denying a claim. Any suggestions? Thanks!

  67. February 5th, 2013 at 11:31 am #Jason

    With the information you provided and the lack of knowledge of the policy coverage, it is very difficult to provide any suggestions. Commercial policy coverage for business personal property vary by what kind of policy he has in force.

  68. February 19th, 2013 at 9:09 pm #lisa

    I’m leasing a property to a realative using it as a consulting service. In the lease it states that the lessee is responsibility to obtain liability insurance for any and all claims in respect to the property. They added a home business endorsement to their homeowners policy which also applies to off premise liability. They also purchased an e & o policy for this type of business, but it excludes bodily injury. Someone has tripped on the property and is sueing the business and me. I have no insurance on the property. Will the lessee’s insurance policy cover this and how should the claim be filed. No mention of this fall came and it happened over a year ago.

  69. February 20th, 2013 at 9:05 am #Jason

    You own this property and lease this property to a relative of yours who conducts consulting operations out of the property rented from you.

    Someone was injured on the property rented by your relative. You received the notice of a claim for an event that happened over a year ago on that property.

    The E&O insurance is insurance for your relative who operates the business. That policy only covers your relative for things she fails to do or she does that is negligent stemming from her consulting business.

    People that lease property generally don’t have insurance for injury situations because that falls to the owner of the property by default. This is true even if it’s required in the signed lease.

    The property insurance you have for the leased place that you own would be the policy for the property that would provide liability and/or medical coverage. From what you wrote, you don’t have insurance coverage for this owned property. If you are liable because of something you did or didn’t do to make your property safe from this person falling, you can be found responsible for this person’s injury.

    Since you don’t have insurance, consider the claim filed because you are the one responsible for what happens on your owned property. Because you and your relative’s business is being sued, it’s time to get an attorney. You need to defend yourself from that injury claim.

  70. June 3rd, 2013 at 4:48 pm #Garry Dhaliwal

    Our Property Claim on Commercial Vacant Buildings in Memphis, TN got denied due to fault of Swett & Crafford agency from Atlanta, GA.
    How do we force Swett & Crafford to file claim to their E & O Poicy ??

  71. June 3rd, 2013 at 7:21 pm #Jason

    If you want to force Swett and Crafford to file a claim, you will have to sue Swett and Crafford. Consult with an attorney to determine if the “fault” you claim falls under the parameters of errors and omissions.

  72. June 17th, 2013 at 11:58 am #Duke

    I have a section 8 question. I have a building where I am getting quotes on coverage. I have been told that if I have any section 8 tenants in the buildings I would not be able to get coverage. Would this not fall under Fair Housing and do not insurance companies have to follow it too? I have been told this by two different companies.

  73. June 17th, 2013 at 4:10 pm #Jason

    I don’t know the details of section 8. This really is a claim forum and compliance of insurance to county, state, or federal regulations is not something I would know anything about.

  74. July 30th, 2013 at 11:32 pm #Judy Harris

    My brother-inlaw is a certified machanic He had a shop Plus a service truck. He decided to close his shop and work out of his truck. At the time he closed his shop he had a bond of 3 million. He went to his broker and reduced that to 1 million. verified his insurance on his service truck plus set his tool value at 30,000. Shortely there after his truck was stolen. It was properely secured and he still had all keys, which he turned over to the insurance company.
    He was notified that his truck was found the bed was missing all tools, welder, compressor, genarator, and the truck was burnt.
    Now the insurance company said they would pay for a 3 day rental on a vehicle. He would have to pay it and they would reimburse him.
    Now this is his business it has been almost 3 months and finally the adjuster came out last week.
    Two days ago the insurance called and said they would only pay 14,000. This was for truck tools time off his business.
    I told him this was not right, and needs to consult with an attorney before he does anything else
    Is there anything he can about this?

    Thank you so much for listening

  75. July 31st, 2013 at 4:42 am #Jason

    Business insurance contracts can have a lot of different types of coverage. You are providing the information to us second hand and I, just like you, don’t know enough about his policy(ies) to make a comment or provide reliable advice.

  76. September 3rd, 2013 at 8:48 am #Gary

    I am a land lord. A renter just moved out and there pet left all sorts of pee stains all over the hard wood floor. I called my insurance Co. they said that if I claimed it, it would be a deductible for ever time the dog left a spot, $1000 each time. Has anybody ever tried to claim this kind of pet damage?
    He also said that just asking to claim it, like finding out if it was possible, could result in high premiums. Really?

  77. September 3rd, 2013 at 10:25 am #Jason

    It would be reasonable to consider each pee stain to be it’s own claim. Sure the one pee stain may have completely ruined the wood flooring and the subsequent peeing would have been damaging a floor already damaged.

    That is not the worst of your concerns. An animal peeing in a dwelling is of the category normal wear and tear. It arises from allowing an animal that is not trained, patially trained, or fully trained to be indoors. Many landlords charge a higher security deposit for animals or do not allow them at all. We have to accept that an animal, if not left outside to do its business, will have accidents over time.

    The other issue is that damage caused by domestic animals is specifically excluded in common dwelling polices and it’s very likely also excluded in your policy. I’m fairly certain the pet that did this is a domestic animal.

  78. March 23rd, 2014 at 7:56 pm #Roger

    My business building suffered roof damages caused by heavy snow 3 yrs ago. The insurance adjuster determined the damage and sent check to cover the cost. The contractor found it absurd with the amount given and a quote was submitted. The insurance out-sourced an engineering company to evaluated the loss and came back with suggestion for repair instead of original evaluated replacement of roof and rafters. The proposal did include a different amount should the town disapprove the repair(not meeting the building code). However, the town will not inspect the building until construction is underway. How can I get the town to disapprove the proposed repair strategy (which I believe to be a cope-out for a more reasonable payment) for processing the replacement agreement? (the third party company is located outside of this state, hence I believe not license to design repair to the town’s specific code).

  79. March 23rd, 2014 at 9:33 pm #Jason

    A commercial business policy, form #BP 00 03, provides that you have 2 years from the date of loss as a contractual statute of limitations. If your loss was 3 years ago, that means your claim is fully settled whether you did the repairs or not.

    An engineer will provide for repairs that meet the local building requirements for which they are submitting their proposal or plan. The engineer’s proposal will meet building code requirements in your area. It doesn’t matter where an engineer is located because they have access to necessary code requirements for any state, county, or city. A contractor must conduct the repairs based on the engineer’s plan. There should be no conflict with the proposed work, the actual work, and the building codes.

    Although that seems to be your concern, it is no longer a concern of your insurance company because your repairs are outside the 2 year window.

    Although codes vary based on location, the codes are pretty much based on international, federal, and state standards. I would venture to say the applicable codes that apply to your building are based on your state and/or county adopting the UBC (Universal Building Code) which is tied into the ICC (International Code Council). The code in your area may be changed slightly or ameded (but probably not) and that is easy to obtain for engineering compliance. Rather than trying to get something denied by your building inspector, you should have gotten the repairs completed. At this point, it’s too late to involve your insurance company with the repairs.

  80. June 9th, 2014 at 10:03 am #Janice Zani

    My husband recently passed away which forced me to close our convenience store. The building (we own) is up for sale and my businessowners insurance policy is up for renewal. The total premium due is the same as last year, but there is no longer a business in operation and they know that. Shouldn’t there be a reduced premium, or should I be getting a new policy just on the property? It seems ridiculous to be paying the same premium when I have no income.

  81. June 24th, 2014 at 8:48 pm #misty

    Hello, today I was parked at my job in the parking lot, backed into my usual spot & left all my car windows down. When I went to my car on my lunch, I found the inside of my car completely soaked with water. The sprinklers at the office had come on & one of the heads must have turned & was shooting water for atleast 30 mins thru one of my rear windows ( because I was backed in) it was shooting directly towards my dashboard. My radio no longer worked but the car still started. I called the landlord & they told me pretty much not their problem. Few hours later my car would’nt even start. I called my car insurance to make a claim but I worried that if the computer was damaged they will total my car. The book value could not replace my car even though its only 7 yrs old. My problem is I think the landlord should be liable but they said no. Im not sure what to do now even if the car can be fixed I still have a deductable with my insurance. Please help Im not sure what to do & cant afford another compatable car to what I have or dont have anymore.

  82. July 9th, 2014 at 11:57 am #greeneyed

    I filed a possible hail damage to a shingled roof on my business property in August of 2013 and when the adjuster came found no damage denied the claim. Two weeks later I got a letter in the mail they increased my policy due to incorrect sq footage of the property they had on file. Then in April of this year we noticed leaks from the ceiling in some rooms and called the insurance. The adjuster came again and took pictures. They denied the claim again due to unknown cause of loss they said MOST LIKELY condensation or PROBABLY snow blown under the roof. After further investigation by the construction company it was determined that it was condensation. Now the insurance replied that it is covered unless it was accumulated in less than 14 days. The insurance has no facts that this happened in a longer period of time not to cover the claim since the mold was very little just starting. However the claim is still denied they refused to renew my policy. I complaint with the ND commissioners office and got them to renew the policy. They did and now they increased my premiums by 9% dropped the building coverage by 230,000 and changed the policy to now paying at replaceable coast not actual cash. ND commissioners office is telling me that there is nothing they can do with my situation. Where do I go from here? Please advice

  83. July 9th, 2014 at 9:10 pm #Jason

    Find a different insurance company. There is no other advice I can provide.

  84. July 28th, 2014 at 11:39 am #reshawn

    I moved into my apartment. In May 2014. I wasn’t giving the apartment (unit #) that I was promised. The one I live in had problem with the A/C leaking water on the floor. The maintenance men have been to fix this issue three time already. Over the weekend it must have started leaking again. Carrying my luggage in the apartment I slipped on the water came down hard on my wrists.

    I fractured my wrist back in March 2014. So I have pre. Existing injury. Being that I have told the property manager about this issue several times. And the maintenance crew has attempted to fix the issue three times already. Can I file a claim? And if so who would I file a claim with my renter insurance or the apartment complex insurance company?

  85. July 28th, 2014 at 8:20 pm #Jason

    Your renters insurance only covers your personal property and any liability you would have for anyone making a claim against you.

    File a claim with the apartment complex insurance company. If they don’t submit your claim to their insurance company or they refuse to provide you with information who their insurance company is, you would have to sue the apartment complex for their insurance to get involved.

  86. September 16th, 2014 at 12:39 pm #Monica


    While our company was removing the siding on an apartment building, a resident came out claiming we are responsible for this antique gun falling off the wall and breaking. The property management says we are liable too. We have insurance but isn’t this covered under renter’s insurance? Thank for any advice.

  87. September 16th, 2014 at 12:58 pm #Jason

    If an antique gun was on the wall so loosely that it fell off just because siding contractors were present, that means the gun was not properly secured to the wall. That seems to be the fault of the gun owner, not your company.

    It doesn’t matter if the gun is covered under renters insurance or not. Is your company going to be responsible for waking up babies who are sleeping during the day? Is your company responsible when someone slips in the tub because that person was startled becase she heard pounding outside? I say your company is not liable unless the gun owner can proof your company is responsible for his gun breaking. I don’t think he can prove that.

    I believe the property manager is incorrect.

  88. September 10th, 2015 at 12:41 pm #Carol Thompson

    I work in a 12 story office building. There is a café on the first floor.
    I have a photo club that meets in the café after hours 3 – 4 times a month Instead of payment, we provide the café with photos for their walls.

    Now, after 9 months, I’m told we can’t meet because we do not have liability insurance…for after hours.

    There is a security guard on duty 24/7. The building locks its doors at 6 pm…but I have a swipe pass card so I can come/go at any time. I called my insurance agent and asked him to add liability insurance on my existing homeowners insurance and he said “I do not need insurance for there since our club is not buying/selling anything.” We meet to teach photography to amateurs…having more senior level and professional level photographer do this thru videos, demos, etc.

    The café manager gave us permission, but the real estate and property managers are insisting we do need this. Please advise.

  89. September 10th, 2015 at 8:00 pm #Jason

    I tend to agree with your agent. Other than finding a different place, you may have to work it out with the property managers.

  90. January 8th, 2016 at 12:37 pm #Peter Lapoint

    Hello, I was trying to get a grocery store going awhile ago and had trouble opening it. In the time of trying to open it, the store got broke into and the person stole all my cigarettes. The insurance company said they would not take the claim on the cigarettes, because they had expired, so it wasn’t considered a loss. I told them I paid full price for them when they first came in and I had full insurance coverage on them. I also told them to show me in my policy book where it says it does not cover expired product, my policy book does not say that. My local insurance agent that works with this insurance company even said they never heard of not covering outdated product and they also did not see it in my policy book. This insurance company didn’t mind cashing the checks every month, but they don’t want to pay anything out. I told them that, if I got the store open, I would be able to exchange them like credit, so I don’t know why they won’t honor the claim. Thank you.

  91. January 9th, 2016 at 7:05 am #Jason

    I don’t know the specifics of your commercial insurance policy. If the claim denial is about no financial loss because of product age, that doesn’t seem reasonable. Perhaps you may want to consult with an attorney.

  92. February 24th, 2016 at 10:17 pm #Will

    My contractor flooded both of my bathrooms upstairs. I found out about one when I saw a very long stain on the living room ceiling. I found out about the second one when I stopped by the house after midnight and water was everywhere on the bathroom floor and adjacent rooms. I took pictures of the stain and video of the water I found after midnight. The contractor told me everything was okay and nothing was damaged. Dumb me, I did not know any better and trusted him. After a couple of months, I have noticed stains coming through the paint, water damage to my cabinets and I think water damage to my hallway frame on the first floor. I did have another contractor look at it and he said the contractor should have filed an insurance claim to see the extent of the damage. Is this true? Can I still file a claim with his insurance?

  93. February 25th, 2016 at 5:17 am #Jason

    Yeah, but try to get that information out of the contractor if you don’t already have it. I don’t know how the water came to escape from both of the bathrooms so I can’t tell if your contractor is negligent for anything. Also, I don’t know what he was doing in your home so I don’t know if the resulting water is part of his work product. If it’s part of his work product, his insurance would not cover it. The remedy they would insist is him redoing his work product without doing any subsequent water damage. Yes, I know that sounds impossible to do it again without damage but what that amounts to is the contractor repairing the damage he did on his own and at his expense.

    What I’m really trying to say is just file a claim with your insurance company and let them handle this. They will then try to get the contractor to pay but that might not even happen.

    As far as you asking what your recent contractor said is true – who cares what he says since it doesn’t matter at this point?

  94. October 5th, 2018 at 12:51 pm #Amanda M Lopez

    My husband runs a landscaping route mowing properties and accidently damaged one property costing them $1200. We are not licensed, or insured and never claimed to be and dont advertise to be. He never signed a contract they never agreed upon anything aside from mow the yard and do the bushes for a set price. The customer wants us to pay for the $1200 in damages but this couldn’t be a worse time. Our business isn’t legit yet and we just dont have the money. Can we be sued and loose the lawsuit even though no agreement was ever made on any repairs needing to be done if he were to cause damage. I am under the impression that is the risk they take hiring an unlicensed contractor. We dont have a TIN or business account. We feel bad and want to help pay for over tine but they are threatening to sue if we dont give them the full amount.

  95. October 5th, 2018 at 4:13 pm #Jason

    If your husband damaged property because of something he did, he is liable for the damaged regardless if he has insurance or not. There is an inherent contract (implied arrangement) that he does not cause damage while he does things for the property owner. It’s not the business (which you indicate isn’t legt.), it’s his damage he caused that is of concern.

    He can lose the lawsuit regardless of a contract. If he is the one who did the damage, then he is the one liable for the damage. The property owner doesn’t assume the actions of your husband when he causes damage to the property regardless if he has insurance or not. The only assumption here is that he would not be responsible for damaged he causes and that is a wrong assumption. They have every right to sue him. If he can make an arrangement to pay over time they are willing to accept, that may work for everybody.


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