Has Your Business Been Interrupted By COVID-19?
During these trying times, many business owners are left struggling to find solutions to survive the financial hardships due to COVID-19 or Coronavirus. Luckily, your business insurance policy may cover you from complete financial devastation.
A note for consideration: not all policies are the same, so it is essential to thoroughly read your insurance policy documents for specifics related to your current situation and compensation.
What Is Business Interruption Insurance?
Business interruption insurance helps for the losses and expenses a business may incur due to a temporary company shut down following a disaster.
Sidenote: Business interruption insurance is not a policy separate from your insurance policy, but rather, it is an addition to an existing policy.
Know Your Business Interruption Insurance Policy
You must have a strong understanding of your insurance policy and what coverage is available. Due to your insurance policy’s complexity and structure, it would be best to have an experienced attorney review your commercial insurance policy.
The ability to file a successful claim against your provider depends on the language in your policy. Though there may be specific exclusions in your policy for bacteria or viruses, under civil authority coverage, you may still be entitled to business interruption coverage.
Lawsuits Filed For Business Interruption
Lawsuits have been filed against insurance carriers seeking recovery for losses due to COVID-19 under civil authority. Under civil authority, the government ordered the closure of businesses to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Claimants argue that losses due to business closures under these provisions are covered within the insurance policy.
Don’t wait to take action. Review your policy coverage to determine if you can file for losses due to COVID-19. Coverage may be available for your business.
What Does Business Interruption Insurance Cover?
Business interruption insurance typically protects a business against events such as fires, thefts, lightning, etc. Be sure to review your business insurance policy documentation to know more specifically what disastrous events your insurer will help cover.
The following are commonly covered under a business interruption insurance policy:
- Fixed Costs
- Temporary location
- Commission and Training Cost
- Extra Expenses
- Civil Authority Ingress/Egress
- Employee Wages
- Loan Payments
What business interruption insurance does not cover:
- Broken items
- Flood damage
- Undocumented income
The period of coverage, or “restoration period,” is typically defined as the start date of the disaster or closure through the return to normal operations, or conditions that existed before the business closure. It is essential to review your insurance policy documents to understand when your coverage periods start and how long it will last.
What Can You Do?
While issues regarding business interruption claims are being addressed by the courts and lawmakers, taking the following steps will help you contest any denials by your insurance provider for the future:
- Review your policy details. Do you have a business interruption policy? Get a copy of your insurance policy and look for the types of losses covered, as well as any exclusions or limitations. Even better, have a lawyer review your policy as the language and structure may be often confusing.
- Determine the notification period. What is the timeframe to file a claim with your insurance company for company losses? It is important to file within this frame. Document all communication with your insurance company either through email or letter.
- Start building your case. For the success of a business interruption claim, make sure to document the impact of COVID-19 on your business. Prepare documents showing the financial impact of the virus. Include the loss of revenue (based on your policy), customer attrition rates, and incremental expenses incurred (i.e., security or cleaning services).
As legislators consider steps to compel insurance companies to honor business interruption claims, insurance companies will be more inclined to deny most COVID-19 claims. Filing your claim now will establish your company’s right to challenge the claim as the legal outlook emerges.
Was Your Business Interruption Claim Denied?
If you filed a business interruption insurance claim with your insurance provider due to COVID-19 and were denied speak with a business interruption claim attorney today to discuss your situation. Our skilled trial lawyers are ready to file lawsuits if you have been wrongfully denied insurance coverage to protect your rights as a policyholder. If your business is hurting or no longer operational due to COVID-19, your business interruption insurance should be available to you.
Speak With an Experienced Business Interruption Attorney Due to COVID-19
Though insurance companies will be denying and discouraging many insurance claims as a result of COVID-19, Shiner Law Group is available to help you fight for your business’s rights under the coverage provided within your insurance policy. Our attorneys can review your commercial insurance policy for free, and you pay nothing unless we get a recovery from your insurer. To speak with a lawyer today, call (561) 777-7700 or fill out our free online consultation request form.