Oklahoma is known for its rough weather. Like other states in the plains, it has a relatively large number of tornados every year.
It also has other severe storms with high winds and hail, which can damage commercial buildings, especially roofs. Most claims filed with insurance companies for commercial property damage involve damage to roofs.
The reality is that it does not take too much to damage even a newer and well-constructed roof. Once the damage is done, then the interior of the building is exposed to water damage, mold and other consequences of having an ineffective roof.
If an owner does not repair the roof promptly, they may lose their building or face an astronomically high repair bill. Of course, fixing or replacing a damaged roof is itself an expensive and unexpected project.
Unfortunately, insurance companies too often deny claims for damage to roofs.
To give just one example, most property insurance policies include exclusions for normal wear and tear.
Basically, these exclusions mean that an insurance company is not going to pay for a roof that has just gotten older and needs to be replaced. Businesses should save for these expected costs themselves.
However, many insurance companies might blame what is in fact wind or other covered damage to a roof on pre-existing wear and tear to the roof and then deny the claim.
Owners of commercial buildings may need to advocate for their rights
In these sorts of circumstances, the owner of a commercial building may need to advocate for their rights.
Insurance carriers must follow state law and the terms of their insurance policies when investigating and deciding claims. Specifically, they have to deal with their own policyholders in good faith.
If they fail in their responsibilities, policyholders who have suffered financial losses because of their insurance companies’ inaction may have legal remedies that could include compensation beyond the limits of their policy.