Lawyers for Tennessee Multi-Family Dwelling Property Claims
Prompt and professional advocacy for insurance disputes in the Southeast and Midwest
Owners and the Homeowners Association for apartment complexes, condominiums, townhouse units, and other multi-family homes have a special urgency in getting their insurance claims paid on time and in full. In the case of emergencies or necessary repairs, families need to know where they will be staying and what arrangements they need to make for alternate living. The owners need to restore their dwellings to code requirements quickly, as rental incomes won’t be coming in while the repairs are being made. And, multi-family units that need to be rebuilt may need to undergo a whole new round of building and governmental inspections.
At McWherter Scott & Bobbitt, our Tennessee-based multi-family dwelling and insurance dispute attorneys have the experience you need. For example, we helped two apartment complexes obtain a three-million-dollar award when windstorms caused severe damages. Our attorneys work with professional experts to determine the true cost of repairing or rebuilding damaged units. We understand how to counter the arguments the insurance adjusters, engineers, or attorneys will make to limit or deny your claims. And, we’ll negotiate with adjusters and fight your case when needed so that your family, or the tenants in your units, can get back home.
Tennessee’s multi-dwelling insurance laws
Multi-dwelling can refer to smaller two-to-four family homes, townhouses built for several families, apartment complexes, or condominiums. The co-owners of multi-dwelling units can obtain building insurance pursuant to state law § 66-27-117, which reads, “The co-owners may, upon resolution of a majority, insure the building against risks, without prejudice to the right of each co-owner to insure such co-owner's apartment on such co-owner's own account and for co-owner's own benefit.”
There are separate laws for condominium owners’ associations and the owners of the individual units.
Handling multi-dwelling insurance claims and disputes
Multi-dwelling insurance is generally designed to protect the owners of the complex, rather than each tenant or resident. Individual unit owners should, and are typically required to, have their own residential insurance to cover losses to their personal possessions. There are also a number of separate issues involving condominiums discussed on our condominium practice page.
Our Tennessee multi-family dwelling insurance lawyers address a variety of issues regarding property claims and disputes, including the following.
The true cost to fix any damage or to rebuild the complex or homes is often the most contested issue with insurance companies. Our lawyers have experience with a full range of value disputes, such as:
- Cost to rebuild part or all of the structures
- Cost to rebuild part or all of the common areas
- Cost to repair the individual units where possible
- Cost of security and maintenance while the renovations are being made
- Equipment expenses
- Expenses needed for general contractors and subcontractors
- Money for the materials involved varies depending on the construction characteristics, including the location of the property, types of material used for the foundation, floors, exteriors, windows, walls, and all other parts of the structure
Quality multi-family dwelling insurance should include all necessary business interruption expenses. These include continuing payment to compensate for the continuing expenses such as utility expenses, insurance, taxes, regulatory fees, salaries of the staff and workers, and other fixed costs. Separate business interruption insurance and property insurance may also be required.
Loss of rent
This figure can be different depending on the type of complex involved, how long the complex was renting units, how many units were sold if condominiums were involved, and a host of other factors. Our Tennessee multi-dwelling lawyers understand which documents and what evidence is needed to prove this part of the claim.
Residents may need to have alternative living arrangements, depending on the extent of the damage. We work to ensure the insurance company addresses their full obligation to take care of displaced families.
Owners likely need to make sure the rebuilt or repaired units pass fire inspections, electricity exams, and building code regulations. Because some accident or catastrophe occurred, inspectors will be extra cautious to ensure more damage does not occur. This is especially true if the damage was due to natural occurrences such as wind or earthquakes.
Status of the multi-family dwellings
Damage claims will vary depending on whether each unit was being built, built but not occupied, or if the unit was built and occupied. Different policies apply for different sizes and different types of complexes. Vacancy clauses and co-insurance can be issues as well.
Insurance companies often look for ways to pay less than you are fairly owed and what they promised in the policy. They may point to exclusions, limitations, or conditions in your policy. They’ll often try to pay you market value damages for the damage to any property instead of the actual cost to replace the dwelling units and the content in those units.
Our Tennessee multi-family dwelling lawyers understand the specifics of insurance contracts and what arguments must be made to enforce them.
Insurance dispute advocacy across the Southeast and Midwest
In multi-unit or multi-family dwelling cases, the insurance company typically argues the value of the loss in an attempt to pay out as little as possible. They might assert that the losses aren’t covered under the building’s policy, or that exclusions apply to your situation, that you didn’t meet the terms of your contract, or a number of other defenses to your claim. Our attorneys are familiar with a wide variety of insurance company tactics, including when insurers attempt to limit payment or deny claims altogether.
We know how to analyze your policy from top to bottom, study the facts of your claim and losses, and use our professional resources to put together a fair and complete claim package to present to your insurer. Our goal is to put you right back where you were before the loss occurred.
Get prompt and professional multi-dwelling claim assistance from skilled lawyers
When you pay your premiums, you expect to have your insurance company uphold their end of the contract. McWherter Scott & Bobbitt fights for policyholders needing assistance with various types of insurance disputes. We help multi-family dwelling owners and occupants in Tennessee seek prompt and fair payment of their claims. Our attorneys also represent clients outside of Tennessee. To review your case with an experienced insurance lawyer, please call 731-664-1340 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. Our attorneys are licensed in Tennessee, Missouri, Mississippi, Arkansas and Kentucky.