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Property damage claim denials causing stress for restaurant owner

Many Minnesota business owners have had the unpleasant experience of learning their property has sustained damage for one reason or another. Many times, rectifying such situations is as simple as filing a basic insurance claim and allowing the system to work. Property damage claim denials, however, are an entirely different matter, often causing delays, stress and bottom line instability for business persons.

A restaurant owner in another state is currently facing this type of problem. The restaurant reportedly sustained approximately $15,000 in water damage after recent flooding. Part of the problem appears to be the fact that the city re- constructed some of the streets in the area to raise them so as to prevent rising tides from causing floods. In doing so, this left some establishments (such as this particular restaurant) below ground level.

The insurance adjuster sent to assess the restaurant owner's property damage said federal coverage does not include basements, and the restaurant would now be classified as such since it is below ground level. FEMA reportedly classifies a dwelling with a floor below ground level on all sides as a basements, which the restaurant owner says does not apply to his establishment. He also explained that the flooding occurred in the first place because the city failed to turn on anti- flooding pumps during the recent storm.

The assistant city manager who is helping with the project to raise streets said the city would never knowingly construct something that would adversely affect business owners in the area. Obtaining an agreeable outcome regarding property damage claim denials in Minnesota or elsewhere often hinges upon skilled and experienced representation. A business owner seeking such assistance may contact an insurance law attorney for guidance.

Source: Miami Herald, "Flood claim denied for restaurant turned 'basement' after Miami Beach raised street", Joey Flechas, Nov. 16, 2016

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