Commercial Property and the Margin Clause

commercial property

There are many different reasons to buy insurance. You may find yourself worrying about whether to buy one or more policies, putting out thousands per year for protection that may never be needed. The greater worry, however, is what could happen if you did not purchase insurance. Without auto insurance, you could find yourself facing an enormous lawsuit if someone were injured due to your negligence—or serious property damage to your own vehicle left unpaid for if you had an accident without anyone else even involved. Without homeowner’s insurance, if your home suffered catastrophic damage and became uninhabitable, you could have little recourse for rebuilding. Without medical insurance, your health could be in jeopardy—and without life insurance, your surviving spouse and heirs may be left hanging in the balance, quite literally.

Commercial insurance is on another level entirely, however, as it not only protects all the hopes and dreams and hard work you may have contributed decades to, but also because it reduces any financial risk to your livelihood—and without that, protecting your family can be extremely challenging. In working with your insurance agent, however, you may feel overwhelmed with the complexities of understanding what your risk is, what you need, how much you can budget for premiums annually, and which deductibles to choose.

Understanding the basics of your policy, from coverages to exclusions, limits, and endorsements can be an ongoing education in itself—and it should be that way as you purchase insurance and then confer with your agent about updating it at least once a year if necessary. Complexities such as the margin clause may have you shaking your head wondering how it benefits you at all—and the answer is that it generally does not as the insurer adds the margin clause as an endorsement to your policy to offset the latitude of a blanket limit should there be the potential for a major pay-out.

The margin clause usually comes into play if there is a catastrophic loss to your commercial property that has become more valuable over time—without any updates regarding the value being discussed with your agent or resulting in changes to your initial policy. Substantial limits are placed on your property with the margin clause, meaning that only a specific percentage of the value of your commercial property would be paid for in a claim. You could be left paying thousands more on your own. It is critical to discuss all the details of your policy with your insurance agent—and whether your policy contains a margin clause or not, if it is not being paid, you may be a victim of bad faith practices. Signs of bad faith usually include unreasonable delays or requests for large amounts of documentation that may not seem relevant, or other intimidation tactics, along with complete denial of the claim with little explanation.

If you suspect your insurance company may be denying your claim in bad faith, contact the attorneys at the Bolender Law Firm. If a dispute over a claim cannot be easily resolved through a call or written communication, our attorneys will advocate on behalf of policyholders through litigation, arbitration, or non-binding mediation. Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate level. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!

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