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Claims involving commercial structures can present a number of challenges to the claim professional. Multiple stakeholders, unique building construction, and the financial impact of business interruption are among several issues that may add complexity to commercial building claims. Recognizing and understanding those specific issues and taking a systematic approach to loss adjusting for commercial buildings helps cut through potential issues and may ultimately control indemnity and claim expenses for insured parties.

When examining commercial losses, adjusters must take into account three major considerations. The first is multiple stakeholders. Multiple property owners and tenants; primary leases and subleases; mortgages; and liens all impact the investigation of a building loss and are therefore essential considerations in the adjusting process.

The second major consideration is construction uniqueness. Commercial building structures are classified by commercial underwriters into six occupancy categories, which are outlined in Figure 1.

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