Insurance Law 101: Loss of Use Explained

When it comes to property law, loss of use can be applied to any type of property and can occur in many different situations. Any time property becomes unusable, or even partially unusable, the owners can claim loss of use damages. This type of claim is possible when the property becomes unusable not because of direct damage, but for other reasons, examples of which will be given below. In most cases, this will mean they have to file a claim against their insurance company to recover the damages associated with the loss of use. If another party is directly responsible for the situation, it may be necessary to file the lawsuit against that party. Loss of use can have different meanings based on the type of property involved.

Loss of Use in Residential Property

When your home suffers a large amount of damage from a hurricane, fire, or a large water leak, you may be unable to live in the property while it’s damaged or in the middle of repairs. After Hurricane Irma, many people were required to evacuate their home. Some homeowners had to wait a few days before they could return until power could be restored or until the roads could be cleared of debris. Many were forced to incur expenses for food and living arrangements until these conditions could be fixed. Additionally, some homeowners would have to leave the properly entirely while repairs were being made since the repairs were so drastic. Depending upon the terms of your policy, you can claim loss of use and be compensated for things like the costs of a hotel room, a rental car if you couldn’t access your vehicle, and possibly even getting some new clothes. The specifics of what you can claim will depend on exactly what you could and couldn’t use, and for how long.

Loss of Use in Commercial Property

One of the most famous examples of commercial loss of use occurred back in the 1970s when the Hancock Tower in Boston was being constructed. Due to some issues with the construction, the 500 pound windows in the 790-foot tower were falling out and crashing to the ground. When the issue was discovered, the area around the building was blocked to keep people safe. A restaurant that was located nearby (though not in the tower) made a claim for loss of use because of the fact that people couldn’t get to their property. The courts ended up agreeing with their claim and awarding them damages for the loss of use.

Loss of Use in a Rental Property

If you have renters insurance, you can likely make a claim for loss of use should you become unable to use the property. This would apply both to residential renters insurance and commercial. Since your rental agreement is specifically for the ability to use the property in question, it is clear that becoming unable to use that property will represent real damages on your behalf.

We are Here for You

If you have lost the ability to use any type of property, and your insurance company or other party is refusing to compensate you, we are here to help. Even if you haven’t yet filed a claim, we can help ensure it is done properly to avoid delays or denials. Contact Barnard Law Offices to schedule a consultation and discuss your options.

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Barnard Law Offices

The Barnard Law Offices, L.P. has been protecting the rights of Floridians for four generations. Together our attorneys bring years of insurance claim advocacy and trial experience to the table. We don’t believe in half-hearted measures when it comes to proving your claim: after inspecting the damage to your property, our office will engage or connect you with high-quality third-party professionals to assist you with your claim and assess your property damage. Our talented team is dedicated to serving each client’s needs with a passion and commitment that makes us stand out among our peers.

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