Businesses of all kinds around the U.S. have been caught off guard by the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Whether they closed voluntarily or were forced to close, many business owners are not only counting the costs but wondering if they can survive.
Have you checked your business’s insurance policy?
As part of your property insurance policy, you may be entitled to business interruption insurance for the losses you have suffered. This could be valuable assistance at such a difficult time.
It is precisely the type of scenario that you took out the policy for and, after years of paying insurance premiums, you may assume that it’s time to get something back.
However, for many businesses, it is not that simple. The small print in insurance policies has led to delays and denials of assistance from insurers.
The lawyers at Sinel & Olesen, PLLC are committed to helping business owners like you make business interruption insurance claims to help you ride out the difficult months ahead.
What is business interruption insurance?
Business interruption insurance is also known as “business income coverage”.
You may have taken out a policy in case something happened that prevented you from earning an income for a period of time.
The insurance is designed to help replace lost income and pay for expenses when a business is impacted by a covered loss.
The question for many business owners at this time is:
Does my standard property insurance policy or business owner insurance policy cover income loss during a pandemic?
In general, these policies cover losses suffered from fire, wind, water pipe breaks, lightning, etc. Standard policies focus on losses caused by “direct physical loss of or damage to property.”
The COVID-19 pandemic is somewhat new territory so plenty of claims are being knocked back by insurance companies.
So, the answer to whether you are covered for losses suffered due to closure during the pandemic will be found in the wording of your insurance policy.
Unless you are familiar with your policy and are prepared to follow up with your insurance company, it is certainly possible that you will end up with nothing.
But that does not have to be the case.
COVID-19 business interruption claims
There is no doubt that business insurance companies are busy at present. The number of claims that they are having to wade through is high, especially in the hardest-hit areas like New York.
You may find that your claim for business interruption insurance is delayed or, worse, disputed or denied.
Meanwhile, the bills you have to pay do not wait. The suppliers to whom you owe money will not stop calling. Your employees still need to be paid.
You need your insurance payout sooner rather than later.
Legal assistance can assist you in making a claim and ensuring that it rises to the top of the pile for payment.
Our insurance coverage attorneys have great experience in interpreting the intricacies of these policies and in fighting client claims with insurance companies.
We understand their language and are familiar with the ways in which they may misrepresent the terms of your policy.
You should not accept your insurer’s denial of coverage for COVID-19. We are ready to prove your losses and fight your case with them.
Coverage for losses
The wording of insurance policies is notoriously difficult to understand and interpret. Your insurance company may try to argue that the Coronavirus does not constitute “physical loss or damage”.
They may also try to deny your claim for business interruption insurance under the “civil authority” provision of policies, arguing that no physical loss was present outside of your property (despite a civil order that required your business to close).
It may be argued that your business closures did not result in direct physical loss of property so you are not covered. There may even be a “pandemic” exception or virus/bacteria exception in your policy.
However, your policy may also provide coverage for lost profits resulting from damage to your business. This can be argued even if you are initially denied compensation.
It is often surprising how an insurance company changes their approach when they know that you have legal representation and are prepared for litigation, if necessary.
If you have suffered losses due to closure during the pandemic and been denied compensation or suffered long delays, our legal team may be able to assist you.
Has your business suffered losses during COVID-19?
Business interruption insurance claims can be complex and interpretation of the wording of your policy is key.
Experienced legal representation can help you get the compensation you deserve.
To have a business insurance claim attorney review your policy and claim for losses with your insurance company, please contact us.
As Sinel & Olesen PLLC continues to protect and serve those harmed and made most vulnerable by the COVID-19 pandemic, we are pleased to announce that we have partnered with Dalli & Marino, LLP to form The COVID Business Interruption Law Firm, also known as Dalli, Marino, Sinel, & Olesen, LLP, to help fight for the rights of business owners who have been denied critical business insurance coverage during this time.
For more information, visit www.business-insurance-lawyer.com.
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