LET’S GET UP TO BUSINESS
Imran Malik of Malik Law, P.A.
Hurricane Dorian may have missed us but it has still caused some devastation to our neighbors in the Bahamas and some parts of southern Florida. In a special release of the Let’s Get Up To Business podcast, Jordan sat down with Imran Malik this morning to discuss what you can do to help our Bahamian neighbors and some steps you can take to protect yourself when the next storm comes through.
If you would like to help with efforts to assist those impacted by Dorian in the Bahamas, you can drop off any food donations at our offices, the offices of the Malik Law firm and those locations mentioned in the attached flyer. If you’d like to make a monetary donation to the cause, you can do so through the Global Giving (https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/hurricane-dorian-relief-fund/), World Central Kitchen (https://wck.org/news/hurricane-dorian) or the Salvation Army (https://give.helpsalvationarmy.org/give/166081/#!/donation/checkout). Thank you!
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Episode 17: Imran Malik of Malik Law, P.A. – Full Transcript
Imran Malik 0:00
These things can take away you know, file a claim your Justin may only come out seven days, 10 days depending on, you know what type of claim it is
PQ or a world where costs down, profits are up, and customers are clamoring at your door you’re listening to. Let’s get up to business from Jordan. Our interviews with business owners, service providers and area experts can teach you how to create a world of success and profitability. If you’re looking for an attorney to assist in your business formation, employment agreements, or other legal business needs, contact Jordan law at 407-906-5529. You can also reach us on the web at Jordan law fl.com. Jordan law, we protect you and your business.
Jordan Ostroff 1:08
Hello, and welcome to Let’s get up to business with Jordan law today is a special super hurricane edition. Joining us is Mr. Malik with Malik law. Hi, Jordan. Thanks for coming.
Imran Malik 1:20
Thanks for having me.
Jordan Ostroff 1:21
So tell us a little bit about yourself and what you’re going to talk about today.
Imran Malik 1:24
Absolutely. I am happy to be here. I think this is a great initiative that you’re doing for everybody here in Orlando and and anybody else that’s listening. I am a plaintiff’s attorney. I primarily practice in the area of insurance litigation, and specifically home insurance litigation and or commercial business litigation. So obviously, you know, with the arcane that recently just passed us. We’ve been really fielding a lot of lot of questions about those types of issues. That’s the type of work that I primarily do.
Jordan Ostroff 1:58
For the most part, the European sending people suing their own insurance, right?
Imran Malik 2:02
That’s correct. I represent insurance essentially.
Jordan Ostroff 2:05
Okay. So I know you’re doing you’re raising some stuff for the Bahamas.
Imran Malik 2:10
Yes. Thank you for bringing that up. You know, we are having a drive right now, where we are collecting anything that people wish to donate, especially extra hurricane supplies that you know, everybody around here has, because we didn’t really get much. We’re collecting all of that stuff. And we’re going to have it put together and shipped out to the Bahamas to help our neighbors over there. Because, you know, they needed they needed they got hit pretty bad.
Jordan Ostroff 2:38
Yeah, I know. You know, we lucked out with what 20 mile an hour winds and just a decent amount of rain, but they were getting 150 hundred and 75 mile an hour gusts.
Imran Malik 2:45
Yeah, I mean, you know, the, the the crazy thing about that is that as far as we know, it measured as a category five, but you know, oftentimes when the wind goes beyond that, there’s no measurement for it. So all we know is is that it is the bomb was at a minimum of a cat five, which is tremendous, tremendous storm. So you know, we gotta help our neighbors out.
Jordan Ostroff 3:07
So anybody listening who wants to donate? Where can they go do that?
Imran Malik 3:10
Absolutely. They can drop it off at my office, which is at 1061 Maitland center Commons Boulevard. Maitland Florida, or if they want to come and drop it off at your office, we’d be happy to have somebody here, come over here and collected, you know, yeah, no prob convenient.
Jordan Ostroff 3:26
So our offices at five, four or five Delaney Avenue, we’re building three, Orlando, Florida, three to 801, just south of Fort by Lake Lucerne.
Imran Malik 3:35
Awesome. Thanks, Jordan.
Jordan Ostroff 3:36
You have of course, so we’ve got so let’s say you know, we have somebody who knows they have an issue with their own insurance company, they’re having some issues, they know they need your help, what’s the best way for them to contact you.
Imran Malik 3:46
So you can find me on the internet. My website is www dot Malik law IMALIKLAW. com, or you can call my office 407-500-1000. And consultations are always free with us. So anybody who has an issue, free to contact us anytime.
Jordan Ostroff 4:06
And I always have to give a shout out that he’s one of the only people that looks in person the same he looks on his billboards. He didn’t he didn’t have to pay for Photoshop.
Imran Malik 4:16
Well, you know, take it, man. Thank you.
Jordan Ostroff 4:19
So tell me a little bit more about you know, the kind of stuff that you do, what are the major issues that you’re representing people on?
Imran Malik 4:25
Yeah, so you know, primarily, we represent a lot of homeowners throughout the state of Florida work from the Key West, all the way up through the panhandle and handled cases all over the state. You know, these are home insurance type cases involving oftentimes water damage is very, very common home insurance claim and commercial insurance claim actually, pipe breaks or roof leaks, that type of water damage that ends up, you know, causing substantial damage to the homes or businesses and also causing more, which is a significant issue here in Florida. I also handle claims regarding fire losses, total fire losses, lightning claims, I mean, you name it anything to do with damage to your home or your business is something that I’ve probably done.
Jordan Ostroff 5:17
So we’re recording this episode on the six I think it’s going to release later today. So what would a homeowner or business owner what should they do right now now that we’re, you know, a couple of days past the hurricane, go around the property check. I mean, what’s what’s important for them to be doing now?
Imran Malik 5:32
Yeah, that’s a great question. You know, a couple of things I would say is, number one, just do a, do a visual check of your home, the exterior of your home, especially make sure that there’s no you don’t see anything, any kind of debris on your lawn, maybe some shingles may have flown off, something like that, you want to be aware of those things, you want to make the repairs, because because an important thing is you know, under your all the insurance policies, you have a duty to mitigate your damages. So you have to make sure that your property is kept in the secure condition. Otherwise, you could forfeit coverage. So you know, check your property, make sure everything is good enough course, now is always a good time to check your policy, make sure that you have the coverage that you need.
Jordan Ostroff 6:16
So one of our let’s say one of our business owners owns, you know, multi level property. Is it serious enough that they should bring in a company with a cherry picker or something to be able to check the roof? We’re just going around it? It’s probably okay.
Imran Malik 6:28
Yeah, I you know, with the with the, with the nature of the storm that just came by, I think you’ll be okay with the visual inspection. You know, we didn’t really have super strong winds or anything like that, but, but just check and be sure. And it’s you know, oftentimes, it’s the gut check. If you feel like you have an issue or you feel like something maybe needs to be checked out. Have you checked out? You know, because it’s better safe than sorry, really?
Jordan Ostroff 6:51
And what about checking the inside and make sure there’s no you know, water damn spots, tiles down, whatever.
Imran Malik 6:57
Yeah, so for example, with my building, the first thing I did when I went back in there was I walked around inside inside the entire building looked looked at the windows of the building to see if there’s been any water that had come through. Oftentimes a sign of water damage is a paint, you know, the paint bubbles up in and around areas where there’s been water that has come through or underneath the baseboards, you’ll see some water, so I was looking for for those types of signs. But thankfully, you know, touch wood, I didn’t see anything. So I think we’re okay,
Jordan Ostroff 7:28
I think this tables real words, I think, you know, that’s good information, you know, I wouldn’t think to check for the pain or the baseboards, you know, I always kind of look at the ceiling to make sure, but I guess that makes a lot more sense, especially if it’s getting trapped behind your paint or something.
Imran Malik 7:40
Yeah, I mean, you know, the big things with with these types of storms, you know, the wind, oftentimes, oftentimes blows rain into the building. So it’ll blow through any kind of crevices that you have around the windows, especially around your entrances, your doorways, water can come in through wind driven rain underneath the doors, and you’ll find pools or puddles collecting there. So those are the areas that you want to check first to make sure that, you know, everything is there’s nothing wet. And also if you do see signs of wetness, you know, you have an issue there, you know, and you want to want to have it checked on maybe have a handyman, come out there and, and, and do some repairs there so that you can secure your building.
Jordan Ostroff 8:21
So let’s say somebody does their walkthrough today, or they you know, they walked earlier this week, they don’t see anything. Are they off the hook? Or do they need to be rechecking? You know, week, two weeks a month, just to make sure that there’s nothing that wasn’t too visible?
Imran Malik 8:35
Yeah, you know, I think if you if there was going to be damaged from this storm, right, I think you would probably see it right away. So if you don’t see anything now, I think you should be okay. But you know, like I said, you want to make sure you maintain your property. So you know, have you have us, you know, scheduled maintenance work done on the building to make sure everything is speaking span.
Jordan Ostroff 9:01
Any advice you have for people going forward to proactively help their buildings if you know, God forbid, or the next storm isn’t like this one for us?
Imran Malik 9:10
Yeah, well, you know, the biggest thing I would I would tell people is that, you know, look at your policy. If there’s one thing that you want to make sure that you have in good order is your insurance policy, and make sure you have the right type of coverages, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve spoken with clients have told me Oh, you know, I had this, I had this pipe break in my building, and I had all this water damage. But turns out, I don’t have coverage for water damage. And you know, when I hear that I just, I just feel crushed, because I know exactly what what happened is that their agents have told them, I’m going to save you a little bit of money, you know, so I will just not give you coverage for water, your policy premium goes down, and then you know, it’ll be cheaper for you and people. Obviously, when you’re running a business, you know, you’re trying to keep your costs down, you think it’s fine. But But you know, you’re giving up a lot of security just for small credit. And it’s really not worth it, you know, because number one water damage, for example, that’s the most common home insurance or property insurance claim in the state. So if you’re excluding that, then chances are, you know, if you do have damaged, it’s going to be water you’re not going to have covered. So make sure you don’t shortchange yourself on your insurance policy, for some kind of small credit that your agent might be willing to throw your way. You know, always make sure you tell your agent, listen, I want to make sure I have coverage for you know everything and and send me the declaration page so that I know what coverages I have any. And you know, behind this, sometimes it’s difficult for me to understand what those policies say, you know, so if you’re concerned about whether you have the right type of coverage, reach out to somebody, you know, they should call you up or or call somebody who’s familiar with looking at these things. So that, you know, you can just verify for your clients. Yes, you know, okay, you guys are good. You have the type of coverages we need. I mean, that’s really, really important. So if you haven’t done that, you know, we we escaped a big one, you know, I would tell people to certainly look at their policies, make sure they have the coverage they need.
Jordan Ostroff 11:13
Yeah, I mean, I can imagine if you know, if that hurricane was 100 miles further west, moving it slowly. That was the damage, it would have wrecked their
Imran Malik 11:19
us. Oh, man, it would have been, it would have been pretty bad. You know, I mean, I have been through truck when Charlie came through and Ivan, and, you know, Irma, and when I was looking at this one, I was telling myself, this is a this was a big one, you know, but I’m glad and I’m grateful that that, you know, it didn’t hit us but feel feel for our neighbors in the Bahamas, you know, step up and help help them out.
Jordan Ostroff 11:47
So obviously, you know, you’re making sure your homeowners Make sure your business insurance policy covers water damage, what are some of the other you know, small things like that, that people will not get coverage on that they should?
Imran Malik 11:58
Yeah, so let’s talk about business owners, you know, business owners, and important coverage I would recommend is for loss of business income, okay. And that’s a coverage that a business owner would be entitled to, if, for example, they sustained a water damage claim, or they sustained some kind of loss, which would effectively prevent them from from doing business in that location, where you can get this type of coverage that would pay you for the money that you lose out from whilst your property is being rebuilt or being put back into a condition where you can open your business. But there’s an important distinction that that you need to be aware of, or the view of the listeners need to be aware of essentially, two types of coverages what’s called a loss of business income, and this loss of business profits. All right. And those are two separate things, income is income, profits or profits. And oftentimes, I run into cases where somebody has covered gender, their policy for loss of business profits, but then there’s a huge dispute between the insurance and the insurance company as to what that profit is, because that’s a specific calculation, you know, so you want to be aware of these things, ask your agents about these things, so that you get the right type of coverage does I mean, I’m in favor of lots of business income, obviously, because income is something that you can, you can show through past, you know, records of what your income was. But profits sometimes can get a little bit trickier. Because profit margins vary, you know,
Jordan Ostroff 13:31
so it’s going to be one or the other, or you can get both.
Imran Malik 13:34
Well, I’ve seen I’ve oftentimes just seeing that one over the other.
Jordan Ostroff 13:37
Okay. So in loss of business profits, I mean, that allows the insurance company to argue, hey, you wouldn’t have made money this time. Exactly. Regardless of not having any money come in.
Imran Malik 13:46
Jordan Ostroff 13:48
Okay. So let’s say, you know, we’ve got our business listener there, who already has covered for loss of business income, and maybe there’s somebody who’s, you know, closer to the coast, had a little bit more damage, or I know, you know, the last time we hadn’t go through, there were huge parts of 95 that almost caved in. Yeah, that would have stopped a lot of businesses from getting traffic, right, what did those business owners need to do, what information they need to collect to, you know, have the best claim possible to make sure they’re staying on their feet.
Imran Malik 14:14
So you know, especially when it comes to these loss of business income or loss of business profit claims, the biggest thing that the insurance companies want to look at is your, your accounting records, you know, we’ll look at your tax returns, they want to look at your balance sheets, they want to look at your profit and loss sheets, they want to see how your business was trending for the past three years or five years, just depending on the extent of the claim. For example, right now, I currently have a client, who, you know, he owns a very big medical practice. And, you know, he, he does sophisticated things in his medical practice, and he had an issue with the property resulted in this business being shut down. And this guy lost, you know, six, seven $100,000 worth of revenue from the time that this was lost. And he’s in a huge fight with his insurance company, because they’re claiming that he never had the records to substantiate his claim. And we’re saying he did. But But, you know, this is oftentimes where the battle lies is in your records and your record keeping. So have a good accountant, you know, have somebody who’s going to be able to keep these records for you, so that when you need them, you’re able to produce them.
Jordan Ostroff 15:28
Okay, so get those records together as soon as possible.
Imran Malik 15:31
Yeah, get them together, I’ll keep them you know, oftentimes, everybody, nowadays, we use QuickBooks and things like that, just keep them updated. So when you need them, you got them. So there isn’t really anything that they can do proactive, just keep keeping good records. I mean, that’s really the biggest thing for these for the loss of business income claims, essentially, it’s, it’s, it’s all it’s all kind of paper trail, you know, that’s what you’re looking for. So as long as you are able to, to do substantiate that claim, then you should be fine.
Jordan Ostroff 16:00
Okay, so but so and submits. So basically, the insurance companies will look back on how you’ve done, you know, in July for the last three, whatever, August, September, okay, yeah. What? Alright, so we’ve got, you know, make sure you’re covered for water damage, make sure you’ve got the loss of business income, not the loss of business, profit protection, what are some of the other little things that you see policies missing, that can be huge?
Imran Malik 16:23
Well, you know, again, depending on the nature of your business, if some of you, if some of your clients are retail establishments, you know, or grocery stores or gas stations, you know, you want to make sure you have great liability coverage, you know, because everybody knows, you know, there’s abundance of slip and fall claims, personal injury claims that come in, even though I’m a plaintiff’s attorney, you know, I would tell, I would tell business owners, make sure you have coverage for that type of thing, because, you know, in the course of doing business, these things happen. And if you don’t have coverage, and and somebody files are claiming against you, then you could be personally liable for, or your company could be liable for paying out those damages if you don’t have the correct insurance. So liability coverages are important and recommended, you know, for commercial insurance policies, oftentimes, they can range from 500,000 to a million, which probably be sufficient to to afford you with with coverage. Again, depending on the size of business, that’s right.
Jordan Ostroff 17:25
I mean, in a lot of times, you may be talking about $100 a year to go from 500 a million dollars in coverage. I mean, it’s, it tends not to be that expensive. I mean, obviously, I’m sure if you’re a roller skating rink, or one of the Sure, you know, indoor bounce house places or the trampoline spots will be a lot more but the I in the my, you know, my general liability insurance is I think the only quote I’ve ever gotten that was surprisingly low. Every other one is always surprising, Lehigh. That’s right,
Imran Malik 17:51
exactly. But it’s worth its weight in gold when you need it, you know, so, so make sure you have it, make sure you have liability coverage, make sure you have the loss of business income coverage, those are important coverages for any business, and you want to make sure that, that you have that protection and peace of mind. If God forbid, something happens,
Jordan Ostroff 18:14
any other, you know, hyper technical or certain types of coverage, you see people lacking that they should have,
Imran Malik 18:21
you know, so the the only other issues that we see come up, come into the homeowners context, okay. So I don’t mean to switch gears, but it’s important because business owners are homeowners too, you know, but what happens is, is, is you’re seeing more and more the prevalence of policies that are limiting or putting caps on certain damages. There’s a $10,000 water cap policy that you can get now, which you do not want to have $10,000 not a lot of coverage, right, that
Jordan Ostroff 18:53
that’s not even one pipe.
Imran Malik 18:54
Exactly, exactly. You know, and you’re seeing insurance companies, in the homeowners context, you know, trying to think, to say that if you if we give you a $50 credit, then we have the right to pick the contractor to come in and repair your home. And I personally have an issue with that. And I will share my concerns about that, but I’ll let your your listeners come to their own conclusions. I mean, really, to me, the problem with that is that when you have an insurance company selecting contractor to come into your home, you really have no control over the type of work that they’re doing, the quality of work that they’re doing. And those contact is know that they’re being paid by the insurance company. So they’re going to come in and do the least amount of work really, that they can and get out so that they can get paid. So they’re not really working for the homeowner, they’re more kind of working for the insurance company. So I caution people about that dynamic. And I would tell them that, you know, if you have the opportunity, or if your agent says, Oh, well, I’ll give you credit $50 credit on your policy, if you allow the insurance company to have their preferred contractor do the work, I would just tell them, it’s not worth it for me, just, I’ll pay the extra 50 I want to have people that I trust to come in and fix the home, you know, so also, I imagine it kind of messes you up from a timing standpoint, too, because if the insurance companies got you know, 150 houses that need to be serviced, you know, they’re not hiring every single contractor in the area certainly have to wait an extra couple days. That’s a fantastic point, Jordan, I mean, you know, again, imagine if the storm had come through, and you had one of those policies, you wouldn’t be allowed to have your own contractor come in and fix your home, you’d have to wait for the insurance companies contractor to come in and do it. And just like you said, they probably have your home and 10,000 other homes, you know, who knows? And who knows how long that would take so so you know, those are the things that you don’t think about normal people don’t think about those things when you getting an insurance policy. You know, that’s the last thing really what’s on your mind, when you getting interest policy, like how much does it cost? Right? What kind of, you know, credits do I get? Where do I sign? You know, but but really give it a little bit more thought? because these things are important. They really are?
Jordan Ostroff 21:12
Well, I mean, you’re, you know, you’re buying insurance to get peace of mind. Really, it’s just unfortunate. If you’re, you know, if you’re cutting corners, you don’t actually have the peace of mind when you truly need it.
Imran Malik 21:21
Yeah, that’s and that’s always the case. That’s, that’s how I get my call to people call me and they say, Oh, this is what happened. And I look at their policy. And I know, straight away that they were they were trying to buy a cheaper policy, but unfortunately, they don’t have coverage, there’s nothing we can do to help them.
Jordan Ostroff 21:38
So how, I guess how quickly are these cases resolving? I mean, you have cases that are four years old, more or less?
Imran Malik 21:45
You know, I just kind of it varies. I hate to give you the lawyer answer.
Jordan Ostroff 21:49
Yeah. It depends. It
Imran Malik 21:50
depends. But, uh, but but really, you know, I would say that there’s two types of cases. Okay, these cases where, which I claimed denials, outright claim denials, which I find the insurance companies tend to litigate more, because at that, once they’ve denied a claim, they’ve basically had an engineer, some kind of expert retained, to give them that determination that this claim is not covered. And those cases tend to take longer to litigate. I have some cases that have been in litigation for denied claims like that, you know, for a couple of years, maybe.
Jordan Ostroff 22:28
So you got some homeowners or business owners waiting years to get coverage?
Imran Malik 22:32
Yes, absolutely. Unfortunately, insurance companies, you know, they tend to, they tend to litigate, you know, they tend to fight those.
Jordan Ostroff 22:43
When and when you’re saying claim denials? I mean, that’s, is that going to be Oh, this your roof wasn’t damaged by the hurricane, it was damaged by something else? Or is that going to be this isn’t covered under your policy? Or both?
Imran Malik 22:53
both go? You know, we see insurance companies, certain insurance companies kind of notorious doing that, because, you know, every single denial I see as the exact same reason, and I know, something’s not right there, you know,
Jordan Ostroff 23:06
that was the only rubber stamp they had that day.
Imran Malik 23:09
You know, could be could be. And so, you know, that’s how we know, these other carriers, we have to fight and we’ll find out, we’ll find every single one of you know, if I, if I think there’s an angle, then then I will, I will fight the case, because I believe in, in my clients, and I believe in in this process that we have. So So, you know, that’s on the denied claims. The other kind of claims are what I call short pay, or, you know, a dispute about $1 valuation. So in other words, insurance company covers the claim, but they only pay $5,000. And we have we believe the claims are worth 10,000. Right?
Jordan Ostroff 23:50
When you say we believe I mean, that’s the contractor and saying that’s what it costs. That’s
Imran Malik 23:55
right. That’s that’s basically the homeowners because they go out and get the Gwan and get quotes from contractors in the marketing, contract design, say, listen, there’s no way your home can be fixed for 5000 bucks, right? Because there’s things that they haven’t paid for. And then the reimbursement rates that they’re, that they’re paying are not market rates, they’re just based off of whatever their own calculation is. So that’s where the valuation dispute occurs. And those cases tend to get settled a lot faster. I mean, usually, the, you know, between three, three weeks and three months, I would say I can get a lot of those knocked out, because at that point, insurance companies understand where whenever the fights just about dollars and cents, that can be a tough fight for them. Because they know that, that you know, juries will look at this and they’ll they’ll they’ll think to themselves, you know,
Jordan Ostroff 24:48
we got john smith homeowners is this giant, mega state exact policy. Exactly. So when you say like, here three weeks to couple months, that’s not from when the damn which takes place. That’s from an after it’s fixed after the insurance companies jerking the homeowner around?
Imran Malik 25:05
Well, actually, three, when I went on that timeline reference was from the time I filed a lawsuit.
Jordan Ostroff 25:11
Okay, so that’s even so we’re talking further.
Imran Malik 25:14
All right, from the time I get retained, and I filed a lawsuit, it will take me three weeks to two, maybe three months to settle those types of claims. From the time I filed a lawsuit or denied claim, it could take me three months could take me a year, you know, just depends on on, like I said various things, the insurance company who the insurance company is, what the basis of the denial is. And because I do this on a frequent basis, kind of have a good gauge of which insurance company is doing what and and that’s how I’m able to know which cases we can take and which ones Unfortunately, we can’t take.
Jordan Ostroff 25:47
So we’re talking about, you know, months to years before it ever gets to you. And then another month, two years for to get resolved that?
Imran Malik 25:54
Yeah, you know, I think
people need to understand the nature of this business, you know, so for every claim that the insurance company does not pay out or denies, right, I would say out of every 10 claims, maybe four of them, seek an attorney and continue the process. The other six people may just accept it and move on. So it’s a numbers game, right? And so insurance companies understand that. So, so not every single person who has a claim denial, or, or should have done their claim, decides to take it a step further and fight it, they just accept it. You know, and the other four people that do fight, and ultimately they’ll get paid, but it’s a much longer road, you know, but at least they get paid in the end. But that’s unfortunately, where we are with this business.
Jordan Ostroff 26:40
So from the insurance company standpoint, I mean, if you’ve got a case that’s on the fence, and you know that there’s a 50% chance, if you deny it, nothing’s going to happen. And then if they’re, you know, even if it does, there might be a, you know, 20% chance you still win the case. Yeah, I mean, that incentivizes the insurance company to deny, you know, any remotely questionable claim.
Imran Malik 26:59
Absolutely. Unfortunately, that’s, that’s the way I see it, then. And, and, you know, Jewish companies are in the business of making profits. They’re not in the business of, of paying, you know, because the more they pay, the less profits they make. And so people need to understand these that constant. There’s that constant dispute going on there between profits and people. Ultimately, it sounds cliche, but that’s what it is.
Jordan Ostroff 27:27
Well, the only thing the insurance company sells is the insurance, right? I mean, so if they, if they pay out, that’s the only way they’re losing money.
Imran Malik 27:36
That’s how it works. Yeah, that’s how it works. Now, the other important thing that I think we should share with the listeners again, is, you know, we’re fortunate here, right now in the state of Florida, that we have laws in place that say that if you are an insured, okay, so if you’re a homeowner, or even if you’re a business owner, and you have a dispute with your insurance company, and and you have to file a lawsuit against them, if you are successful in your lawsuit. In other words, even if you recover $1, in your lawsuit against the insurance company, the insurance company has to pay all your attorney fees and costs as well.
Jordan Ostroff 28:11
So let’s say you’re not taking a cut of what the insurance companies paying them, the insurance company has paying you extra.
Imran Malik 28:16
Exactly, exactly. So the you know, it’s important for people to know that, that my services don’t cost them any money. Because I’ll take I take cases on contingency, which means I don’t get paid unless I win. So I like I said, I have a good, good, good idea of which cases are good in which case is I can’t do much on. So if I take your case. And if I find it. And if we prevail, then I know that I’ll at least get you paid plus I’ll get my attorney fees paid was is huge incentive and it’s much needed. And it’s essential, really, here in the state of Florida otherwise, most people won’t be able to afford one year to your lawsuits against the insurance company. Right. Imagine. So it’s a great law. I hope I hope that the legislature keeps it around for a long time, even though there’s a lot of pressure on them right now from the insurance industry to get rid of it.
Jordan Ostroff 29:08
Yeah. Well, so that’s interesting. You know, they had a study that just came out by the insurance companies for, you know, personal injury for the car accident stuff that found out that insurance companies pay, you know, 46 to 54%, more when there’s a lawyer. So even if the lawyers taking their 33 to 40% cut, the homeowner still ends up with about 15 to 20% more, right. But in your case, it’s even better than that, because yours is just going to be extra fees. Yeah, the insurance company has to pay to you.
Imran Malik 29:34
Correct? Correct. It’s whatever, whatever the client is owed, whether it’s, it’s $100, or $100,000, I collect that. And then I collect my attorney fees and costs on top of that, you know,
Jordan Ostroff 29:48
and I imagine that gives your clients even more leverage.
Imran Malik 29:51
It does, because, you know, the statutory claim for attorney fees is, is is a hammer, so to speak, you know, for the insurance companies, because they understand that they end up litigating claims that that they know they should have paid, it could cost them a lot of money in attorney fees, if they don’t prevail. So there’s an incentive for them to resolve these cases.
Jordan Ostroff 30:12
Well, and it sounds kinda like the pic stuff, you know, if I’m sitting there as the insurance company, and this person represents themselves, and I’m capped at 10 grand, but if they’re represented by an attorney, then I might be paying the attorney $200,000 and not pay the person that 10 grand in Greece is that we could grease the wheels to get stuff resolved faster.
Imran Malik 30:29
That’s a great point, you know, and that’s exactly what happens. But, again, unfortunately, I see insurance companies still wanting to fight those claims, and then they lose, and it ends up costing, costing a lot of money, but
that’s just the way they are. That’s the nature of their business.
Jordan Ostroff 30:45
So now that we’ve you know, I always love how half of our podcasts we end up kind of scaring people, at least at least for me, you know, all the terrible stuff. That’s what you’re not getting the cases where the insurance companies doing, let’s call it the right thing. I’m doing the easy thing, right?
Imran Malik 30:59
That’s right. That’s right. I’m not I’m only seeing I’m only seeing the ones where they didn’t do the right thing.
Jordan Ostroff 31:04
So can you kind of walk me through, you know, let’s say we’ve got somebody who’s on the coast, you know, terrible damage to their business from the hurricane and everything, they put in a claim for that loss of business income, and the insurance company ends up paying out, I mean, walk me through kind of, from their perspective, what that process would look like, when it does end well. So they have an idea of, you know, what are sort of the red flags that would come up that would cause them to think maybe I do need to bring you in?
Imran Malik 31:27
Jordan Ostroff 31:30
Best questions, but you know, it’s because I’m dumb enough to
ask and that’s really what it boils down to.
Imran Malik 31:35
I guess this there is no dumb questions, he
Jordan Ostroff 31:38
just dumb people.
Imran Malik 31:40
But uh, but really what the processes is, you know, if you have a claim, if it’s either property claim or your business has been affected, the first thing you want to do is call your insurance company and open up a claim. And that can be done either you calling your insurance company directly, or you can call it insurance agent and tell them Listen, I’ve had a claim I need to open a claim up and they may be able to do it for you. But you want to on that initial call. You want to tell your insurance company exactly what it is that you’re claiming all the damages that you think that have occurred on your on your premises or with your business so that everything is documented.
Jordan Ostroff 32:22
And then from let me jump in there for a minute and my criminal defense hat Okay, insurance fraud is the thing do not commit insurance fraud Do not leave stuff out if you you know if more damage gets found later that you did not know about great but don’t don’t under overplayed in this first calls, because they will Yes, they will do everything they can there to you know, not only deny your claim, but potentially charging with well get you arrested for a felony?
Imran Malik 32:46
Yeah, yeah, no, you know, report what it is that, that that’s happening, what’s happened, so that they have it, they’ll give you a claim number. And usually the next step is that they’ll have an adjuster come out and take a look at the property or if it’s a business income, claim that having somebody come on and meet you so that they can discuss that claim. And understand that those people work for the insurance company. So even though they may come out and talk to you and get information from you, you know that you’re giving them that information. But, you know, remember that you have to make sure you’re protecting yourself and that you’re giving them what they need, so that they can pay you. Alright, so once that adjuster comes out and makes that initial inspection, or does the initial evaluation, you can ask the insurance company for their estimate that they put together for the damages to the property, or if there’s an estimate or evaluation on your loss of business income claim, you can ask them to give that to you. And if they provide that to you, and if it’s a valuation that you agree with. And when I say you agree with, you know, oftentimes, if it’s something that needs to be done to your building, you have a contract, and you can have a contract and listen, do you think you got everything fixed with with what they’re paying me? If the contract was like, yep, I got it, then you really don’t have an issue, you know, you can say, okay, we we agree with the valuation, they may have you sign a release. Again, if you agree with what they’re paying you and if you think that’s fine, you can sign off on it, but
Jordan Ostroff 34:14
the release being at you accept us paying at least this amount without and waive your right test paying more correct, okay? Correct, yes.
Imran Malik 34:24
But you know, be be be cautious with that, make sure that that’s that they’re paying you for everything. And if that’s what if, if you’re happy with it, then you can sign off on it, and you’ll get paid. And you can get the repairs done to your to your property. Or if it’s a loss of business income claim, you know, you collect that money, and at least have that money to cover you for the time that your business was, was not operating. And, and bear in mind, you know, I’ve not really talked about timelines, but these things can take a while, you know, you find a claim, you’re just a me only come out seven days, 10 days, depending on, you know, what type of claim it is?
Jordan Ostroff 35:01
Well, especially if it’s if it’s 100 200 houses. So, um, I had something that came out, let me see if I can catch where I wanted it. Oh, so same thing like personal injury, right? You have a duty to help out your own insurance company? Yes, you have a duty to answer all their questions. Yes. And then I would imagine it you also probably want to get a homeowners inspection or a business owners inspection, done on the property yourself independently, just to make sure there’s nothing else. Right?
Imran Malik 35:31
Exactly. Right. I mean, you know, it’s always important to have your own people come in and estimate, estimate the damages. Because again, you know, they trust companies adjusters will estimate it. But, again, like I said, they work for the insurance company. So have your own person come out and look at it and do evaluation, just so that you have something to compare it to. And then you also touched on this point about a duty to cooperate, that’s very important, you have to do that under the terms and conditions of your policy. You have to cooperate with your insurance company, to the extent that you need to provide them with documentation. If they request to take an examination of you, you have to make yourself available for that. You have to do those things. Otherwise, you could void your coverage.
Jordan Ostroff 36:16
Do you represent people at that stage where it’s going? Well, but they have to go in for deposition or recorded statement or something?
Imran Malik 36:23
Yes, I do. I represent people in what we call pre suit scenarios where they’ve had a loss, and they’re just overwhelmed with the situation. And they tell me, okay, man, can you help me with with the claim, just file it for me and do everything for me? And, and we absolutely do that? Although, because that’s pretty shoot, I do it on a percentage basis, right, because I can’t get fees until the lawsuits filed. Exactly. Right. Okay. Right. So, you know, and I know, I’m gonna get the lawyer answer. It depends. I mean, what’s, what’s the timeline where they should feel like they’re being slow played and reach out to you? You everything seems to be going right? It’s going slowly? I mean, what’s that timeline? Yeah. So in the homeowners context, there, they have a law that says within 90 days of the submission of your claim, the insurance company needs to make a coverage determination, and either pay the claim or deny the claim, or they save their circumstances beyond their control. But a good rule of thumb is 90 days from the day that your claim has been filed. If you’re over the 90 day time period, and you haven’t been paid, or you haven’t gotten information from the insurance company, whether it’s a homeowner’s claim, or a business claim, that’s when I would say it’s time to speak to a lawyer and see what See if you can, you know, have somebody step in and push this along for you.
Jordan Ostroff 37:40
So 90 days from when it’s filed
Imran Malik 37:42
from the claim is filed. Correct.
Jordan Ostroff 37:44
Alright, so that that would be the very, in essence, the very beginning of it would be when the claim is fine. Yes. Okay. And I mean, I’m assuming that’s the, you know, we get hit with three hurricanes in three months will give the insurance company extended time frame, right, this will be the sort of things that allow that to be extended, or their special things
know, you know,
Imran Malik 38:03
those are the types of things that you can, you know, you can be a little bit more patient with the insurance company with that, listen, at the end of the day, you know, our goal is just to get the tourists coming through the right thing. And if and if doing that means we need to be a little bit patient with them. As long as we know that they’re going to they’re going to pay and they’re going to afford to with coverage, then that’s fine, we can do that, you know, we just want to make sure that they’re doing what they’re supposed to be doing.
Jordan Ostroff 38:28
All right. So check the property, file the claim, immediately get your own independent evaluation, comply with your insurance company fully. Give them about 90 days. I mean, what else do they need to know before? Before they know that they need to reach out to you?
Imran Malik 38:44
Well, you know, if, if 90 days is a good,
like I said, a guideline, sort of, if you haven’t received any kind of letter or correspondence from the insurance company within that timeframe, saying, Hey, listen, this is what we’ve going to be paying, or if they’ve denied the claim, within that timeframe. We’ve denied this claim, because we believe there is no coverage under your policy. We’ve denied this claim, because we think that you didn’t cooperate with us, or you get a letter saying, congratulations, we’re covering this claim. But here’s $2,000. Okay, gotcha at that point, you know, okay, well, that’s not what I was expecting. That’s not what I think I should have been paid, you can give me a call, and we can see what’s going on.
Jordan Ostroff 39:27
Alright. So it seems like we got a pretty much, at least from the 10,000 foot view, kind of an overview of walking them through the process. And then obviously, some of the red flags that have been raised for them to need you. Yeah. Right. Anything else that we need to cover along these lines?
Imran Malik 39:44
No, you know, I think the most important thing is don’t, the most important information I want to share is, you know, don’t shortchange yourself on, on your insurance policy, get the coverage that you need, believe me, you know, you don’t know how badly you need it until you need it. Right. So, so get the coverage that you need. And, and, you know, by all intentions, insurance companies, I you know, I hope that they do the right thing. So when you have a claim, submit your claim, be honest with them, tell them what it is. And hopefully they’ll do the right thing and pay you and if they do great, I’m happy for you, you know, I’m happy for for everybody. But if they don’t, for whatever reason, give us a call. And and and we can help.
Jordan Ostroff 40:29
And I want to address the you know, this, this came up so much when I was a prosecutor and I’d be prosecuting these DUI manslaughter or these DUI, serious bodily injury cases. And I called the victim’s family and asked them what’s going on. And they’re talking to me about the physical therapy and everything. And always be like, Hey, you know, do you have a personal injury lawyer, just so I can make sure that we’re on the same page, like, they may not want me to get restitution for you, whatever. And they’re always Not always, but oftentimes, I get the well, we don’t want to be those kind of people. And I, it really bothered me, because you have this, you know, you have this concept that going after your own insurance company, or going after what you’re owed for the insurance company makes you those kind of, you know, that kind of person? Yeah, you know, and it amazes me, like, we go back to the, you know, McDonald’s case where lady burns herself, and everyone’s like, Oh, this lady got $2 million, you know, for spilling hot coffee on herself, right. But when you look at it, really, you find that McDonald’s knew they had the coffee too hot, she only wanted 10 grand for medical bills, they told her to go pound sand, they had 100 other burns, that was only two days worth of coffee, you know, this whole thing. But it’s amazing. They’ve created the system, you know, that has convinced people not to be, quote, those kind of people. And there, you know, there’s no stigma having to bring a lawyer in just to make sure that you get what you’re owed that,
Imran Malik 41:40
you know, Jordan, I mean, again, you’ve hit the nail right on the on the head, you know, I think it’s I think what’s important is for people to understand this, and you pay for this insurance, okay, it’s not for free, they’re not doing you a favor. By giving you money, you pay for that you pay for putting your property into the condition, it was probably to the last securing you pay for protecting your business in the event, a covered loss occurs. Okay. So when you file a claim with your insurance company, there’s absolutely nothing that you’re doing wrong. And look, not every single claim results in litigation. Like I said, there’s some claims that I resolved pre suit, where as long as there’s a satisfactory outcome, then there’s no need to take the next step into litigation. litigation only occurs when we have cases where people really in our opinion, and the opinion of our clients, and they’ve been wronged by the insurance company, and they’ve been, they’ve been, you know, not treated fairly. And so that’s when we take the next step. And and I completely get what you’re saying, you know, there’s this stigma about when I don’t want to be, you know, I don’t want to be somebody who files a lawsuit against somebody, I don’t want to do that. Well, you know, in my context, you’re not suing another person. Right? You’re suing an insurance company. Many of us make several million dollars profit per quarter.
Jordan Ostroff 43:03
Okay, so, so go off and not paying out Yeah,
Imran Malik 43:06
so don’t feel, don’t feel too bad about it, they’re going to be just fine. You know, the unfortunate thing is that the insurance business is a numbers business, it’s not a people to business. So an insurance company gets your claim, they look at it in terms of numbers, and, and if, and if, and if you want to make sure you’re treated as a person, then you have to make sure that they understand that you expect to be treated that way, and you were willing to go all the way to get to be treated that way, you know, so, so, you know, be aware of that. And you talk about the McDonald’s case, and which is a great example really because of the information that was disseminated about that case and, and and how that affected people’s views. Oh, this lady sued because she drank quite coffee, but they didn’t really understand the details behind it. And I would say to people that are listening, the same thing you know, be aware of the information that you’re receiving me aware of its sources me aware of, of where that information is coming from oftentimes, that information may have may have a bias behind it, you know, and that’s why it says what it says so so read everything for what it is worth but then I asked everybody to come to their own conclusions don’t just believe things on face value because it’s come out of someone’s you know, it’s or it’s written because it’s written somewhere or it’s come out of newscasters mouth
Jordan Ostroff 44:27
or something well and even you know, and no offense to our news agencies but they are business as well so you’re never gonna read an article that says you know, local attorney does proper job and gets family exactly what they deserve from the insurance company because that’s not an article anyone’s going to want to read unfortunately that doesn’t make the news it’s always going to be you know ridiculous thing happens by homeowner ridiculous thing happens by insurance company right? All right. So you know again, let’s let’s circle back to you know, how lucky we got how thankful we are to not have been hit by a category five hurricane. Unfortunately, our friends in the Bahamas, you know, we’re not so lucky and even even with you know, I didn’t realize that they have some of the most stringent Building Standards there. And you still have entire towns that just got 90% wiped out really quickly. Yeah. So let’s get one more shout out for your you know, where they can drop stuff off for you guys to send down there. Yeah, like
Imran Malik 45:18
I said, you guys, you know, the reoccurring theme that was going through my mind when when the storm came through was you know, help your neighbor and the bombers got hit with the full force of a category five hurricane and that’s that’s something that’s quite devastating. You know, and we have to be there for the stationary hurricane. I mean, this is just two days it’s not
Jordan Ostroff 45:40
just 200 mile an hour winds blowing through this is 200 mile an hour and standing there on top of you for 48 hours. Yeah,
Imran Malik 45:46
that’s not that’s not a good situation. So so we’re doing a drive and we’re doing it in conjunction with some other partners. You can check out the the my Facebook page at Malik la PA Facebook page for more information. You know, and we’re collecting any kind of products, anything that people wish to donate, and then we’re going to have that all packaged and send over to the bombers. Please drop it off at my office Malik la pa 1061 Maitland center Commons Boulevard Maitland Florida, or very graciously at your office, Jordan, thank you.
Jordan Ostroff 46:20
No problem. We’re at five, four or five Delaney Avenue building three, Orlando, Florida three to 801 just south of downtown by Lake Lucerne. Awesome. Thank you very much. If people can people donate money as well.
Imran Malik 46:32
So we’re just collecting stuff items. Okay. But But you know, there’s so many I’ve seen sites out there where people are collecting money. I believe Amazon’s doing seven just make sure that you make
Jordan Ostroff 46:42
sure your money’s on the restaurant. Yeah,
Imran Malik 46:44
just make sure you know where your money’s going. Just give give it to any anybody anything,
Jordan Ostroff 46:48
not Jim Bob’s airlifting station. Yeah.
Imran Malik 46:50
But But whatever anybody can do is awesome. You know, let’s let’s let’s do something for me.
Jordan Ostroff 46:57
All right. And speaking of our much local music, much closer neighbors, you know, we’ve got somebody who we knows need your services? Can you give us your contact info again, as well?
Imran Malik 47:05
Yes, My website is www.ie Malik law. com, or you can call us 407-500-1000. Check us out on Facebook. We are available at any time and we’d be happy to to speak to you about your your legal needs.
Jordan Ostroff 47:24
And with this being our you know, semi emergency hurricane episode, I’m not going to do the shout out for reviews for us. But I will still end this the way we end all of them. So I’ll give you the last question that everybody gets Mark and edit out whatever dead time you need. If somebody takes nothing else away from this, what is the one piece of advice that you want as many business owners as possible to now?
Imran Malik 47:46
You know, I think it comes down to your insurance policy.
Please make sure you have the right coverage under your policy. Because if you don’t have the right coverage, I can’t help you. No matter what I mean, I’m a good lawyer, but I’m not a I’m not a magician I can I can make coverages appear out of nowhere. So spend the time with your agent to make sure that you have the coverages that you need. Some of the ones that we discussed today, it’s very, very important in your business and for your home to be important
Jordan Ostroff 48:17
and shameless plug for myself, you know, and if you have a business attorney or need a business attorney, that’s also something they will review, we will look at it from a legal standpoint as well as an insurance standpoint, because it does, you know, good to be legally protected. If you’re not financially protected with insurance as well.
Imran Malik 48:33
Yes. And like I said, you know, sometimes it’s difficult to to understand those policies. So if you’re not fully understanding, reach out, give them you know, call, they can call you and you can put some eyes on it, at least you you’ll be able to tell it Tell your clients or tell your customers he has Okay, you guys are good. And that’s all you need.
Jordan Ostroff 48:52
And you know, a couple hundred dollars more on the insurance policy and a couple hundred bucks for somebody to review it can save you 10s of thousands, if not more millions of dollars as this, you know when you actually need your insurance. Yes,
Imran Malik 49:04
I see it. I work it every day I see that situation happen. And I tell people you know, it’s worth its weight in gold. So don’t try to change yourself on that kind of thing.
Jordan Ostroff 49:14
All right. Thank you so much for joining us.
Imran Malik 49:15
Thank you for having me, Jordan. It’s been a pleasure, man. This is very cool.
Jordan Ostroff 49:18
It’s always nice to see you.
Imran Malik 49:20
You’ve been listening to let’s get up to business from Jordan. We hope you enjoyed the podcast and would consider sharing the show. We would also love an honest five star review through iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, or whatever pod catcher you use. If you are interested in being a guest on the podcast, please contact Producer Mark through email that Mark at Jordan la fl.com. Use this subject line podcast guest in your email mail. Thank you. We look forward to speaking to you again soon.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai