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What Counts as Property Damage?


Injury To Personal Property Definition

Property damage involves physical damage to tangible property, which is items that can be touched or felt, unlike intellectual property, which cannot. If the property has been damaged, it typically means there has been an injury to real or personal property through another person’s negligence, willful destruction, or by an act of nature.

Property damage is separate from personal injury in lawsuits for damages from negligence or willful acts. The definition of property damage is correlated to the definition of property insurance. Property insurance refers to a series of policies that provide property protection coverage or liability coverage for property owners. The purpose of property insurance is to reimburse the owner of a property or vehicle in the case of damage or theft by another person.

Examples of Property Damage Covered by Insurance

Property insurance includes a wide variety of policies, like homeowner’s insurance, renter’s insurance, flood insurance, and earthquake insurance. Expensive property can sometimes be covered by purchasing an extra feature for the policy called a “rider.” Property insurance also protects against vandalism and theft and offers liability coverage when an individual other than the property owner is injured and sues. Oftentimes, property damage insurance claims involve physical injury to tangible property owned by the individual making the claim.

It is common for small businesses to purchase a commercial general liability (CGL) policy for protection from third-party property damage claims. Third-party damage insurance provides coverage for another person’s vehicle or property. Most insurance carriers use standard policies through the Insurance Services Office. This standard refers to property damage as the following:

  • Physical injury to tangible property, taking away the owner’s ability to use the property. In these cases, the loss of use happens at the same time as the physical injury.
  • Loss of use of tangible property that is not physically injured. In these cases, the loss of use happens at the same time as the incident.

Therefore, property damage insurance should cover both physical injury to tangible property and the loss of tangible property that has not been injured. If the claim involves loss of use, it is assumed that the loss happened at the same time as the damage or occurrence.

Most Common Types of Property Damage

When it comes to your personal property, you put a lot of effort into your investments, and it can be quite devastating when it is damaged. It can be even more upsetting when you are being treated unfairly by the insurance company you trusted to provide for you. If you believe your insurance company has violated the terms of the insurance policy, we can help you get the restitution you deserve. Some common insurance violations we can help you navigate when filing a personal injury claim include:

  • Not paying claims in a timely fashion
  • Not paying properly filed claims
  • Making bad faith claims, such as unreasonably or willfully denying benefits under an enforceable, valid insurance policy

When you work with our team, you can trust that we will work tirelessly in order to produce the most favorable outcome for your case and get you the compensation you deserve. The victims of insurance violations who we are proud to represent suffer various kinds of damage to their properties, including:

  • Damage to their homes

Our homes are often our safety nets, but this does not mean they are impervious to damage themselves. Incidents like fire, wind, floodwaters, fires, lightning, and earthquakes can threaten your home. Some policies include damages from natural events, while others do not, so it is important to be aware of the specifics of your coverage. The last thing you want when dealing with a natural disaster is to find out that you don’t have the coverage you expected.

  • Damage to their motor vehicles

Our motor vehicles are in motion quite frequently, so it makes sense that they would be prone to suffering some damage from time to time. Car insurance covers damage caused in an accident and can also pay for damage the owner does to their car. A “full-coverage” policy usually includes comprehensive and collision coverage. Even if you have a seemingly reliable coverage policy, your insurance company might try to find reasons to deny you coverage, in which case our team will be by your side.

  • Damage to their businesses

Business owners get business insurance to help them in cases of property damage, lawsuits, lost business income, theft, vandalism, and employee inquiries, and illness. Business insurance can be a great way for business owners to protect their assets and prevent risk, and we want to make sure they get what they are owed if they need to file a personal injury claim.

  • Damage to other types of personal property

Some insurance policies also include personal property coverage. This coverage helps repair or replace belongings after a loss, theft, or fire. The two types of personal property coverage are replacement cost and actual cash value. A replacement cost usually pays the dollar amount it would take to buy a new item at the time of the claim, while an actual cash value policy takes depreciation into account when determining the value. It is important to make sure you are getting what you deserve out of your policy when you suffer property damage, and our team will help you do that.

If you are dealing with property damage and believe you are a victim of an insurance violation, our team of attorneys can fight to get you the coverage you deserve. Give Belushin Law Firm, P.C. a call at (888) 918-9890 or contact us online to learn more about property damage claims in personal injury cases.