Has Your Business Been Interrupted by the Coronavirus?
The COVID-19 pandemic has had far-reaching implications across the globe and has impacted nearly every business here in the United States. If your business has suffered losses because you were forced to close your doors and your business insurance carrier is denying your rightful claim for reimbursement, read on to find out what recourse you have.
What is Business Interruption Coverage?
If you’re a business owner, you have insurance to protect various aspects of your business. For example, if your workplace suffers a fire or a governmental order requires your business to cease operations, business interruption insurance covers your resulting losses, including coverage for lost business income when a business cannot operate.
If you are a policyholder, your insurer is supposed to help you cover your losses in the case of a negative event outside of your control—as our country is experiencing right now with the deadly coronavirus epidemic. Government shut-down orders have caused billions of dollars of economic damage and have caused thousands of businesses to shut down, or to lose revenue by having only partial operations.
On top of this, the insurance industry thrives on maximizing profits, as any sector of the economy does. During unprecedented public health crises, this focus on profits often comes at the expense of small business owners who aren’t getting the coverage they are owed.
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Businesses being impacted include, but are not limited to:
- Restaurants and bars
- Retail stores
- Salons and spas
- Child and pet daycare centers
- Gyms, pools and health clubs
- Golf and social clubs
- Amusement parks
- Entertainment companies
- Construction companies
- Contractors, including photographers, videographers, and marketing and consulting firms
- Non-life-sustaining healthcare providers (i.e. Non-Emergency Medical Providers, Dentists, Periodontists, Physical Therapy)
Problems With Policies and COVID-19 Business Interruption
Business interruption policies may include language that actually limits coverage to income losses caused by a “direct physical loss of or damage to property.”
This means that a business owner must prove that their company has suffered interruption due to actual physical damage first in order to recoup their losses. With pandemics, this is challenging given the scope of many small business owners’ current business interruption claims
For many restaurants, gyms, salons, and other businesses that rely on in-person service, the specificity of this policy language can be devastating. However, there are certain policies that cover business interruption losses based on “civil authority” closures. This would help businesses mandated to close by civil authorities, as is the case with current lockdown measures imposed by city and state authorities. Insurers know this, and since the recent SARS and Ebola outbreaks, many insurance companies have started to include “virus exclusion” language in order to further limit business interruption coverage.
Navigating the intricacies of complex insurance policy language can be tricky. Many affected business owners are also busy, having to maintain their focus on ensuring they have enough money for payroll, commercial property leases, and other operational expenses.
If you’re overwhelmed by the challenges that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is posing against your business, contact our business interruption attorneys today for a free consultation.
What are your options?
The United States Government has made strides to help keep businesses afloat in tandem with social distancing mandates to halt the coronavirus spread and flatten the curve. The Payroll Protection Program is one such program, which grants loans to qualifying businesses to help keep employees on payroll during this difficult time. Even with these efforts, many businesses are severely struggling because they aren’t getting the insurance payouts they rightfully should.
If your business cannot operate, you have paid premiums so insurance coverage will reimburse your losses. Sadly, despite the payment of these premiums, insurance companies are denying these business interruption claims. If your business has suffered economic damages due to the coronavirus pandemic, contact us today. We may be able to help.
Get a Free Consultation With a Business Interruption Lawsuit Attorney
If you are paying for a business interruption insurance policy and are running into issues with getting your insurer to cover operating expenses, consult our attorneys.
Anapol Weiss is a leading Philadelphia law firm, with business interruption lawsuit attorneys ready to take up your cause. Our attorneys have years of experience in insurance litigation. We’ll fight for you and help you navigate the state’s complex legal system in order to get the compensation you deserve. Don’t delay. If you’re experiencing difficulties in getting an insurer to follow through on your business interruption insurance claims, contact Anapol Weiss today to set up your free case evaluation.