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Lawyers For Business Interruption Insurance

Business Interruption Insurance

and Novel Coronavirus/COVID-19

What You Need to Understand

Thousandsof businesses in the United States and throughout the world are feeling the impact of the novel coronavirus. The virus not only holds the potential to harm the health of its victims, but also the longterm income potential of any business owner due to loss of business caused by stay-at-home orders and any additional disruptions caused by future spikes in COVID-19 hospitalizations.

How do businesses of all size combat the potential loss due to the pandemic? The concern sparked by a national crisis forces business owners to look to their insurance policies for a potential answer to the loss of business income.

Before you consider this to be your solution for income lost to a state mandated pandemic closure, you need to understand that insurance policies are customizable and that the discussion below is based on general language that may not be found in your own insurance policy. This means that, to understand the level of coverage available to you, it is vital that you talk to an attorney to have a thorough review of your business insurance policy completed.

Even if your policy specifically excludes losses related to a pandemic, we still want your business loss orbusiness interruption insurance policy to be reviewed. The case law relating to COVID-19 is evolving and fluid. Therefore, there is a chance your insurance policy may cover losses related to the coronavirus.

Understanding Business Interruption Coverage

The primary purpose of business interruption insurance is to make the insured business whole in the event of a disaster. The loss of business and expense loss needs to be supportable. In other words, you need to make a record of the loss to ensure that it is not based on speculation.

Will My Business Insurance Policy Cover Losses Associated with Coronavirus?

Presently realized, or even anticipated, loss of income is a key concern for the owners and stakeholders in any business in light of the virus. Few business insurance policies directly outline coverage for a pandemic. Most policies are vague or do not include language on anything like COVID-19.

A few policies may include language for business interruption caused by communicable disease. Even when this language is included in a policy, the policy itself may still exclude for contamination due to disease, pathogenic organism, virus or bacteria. It is important that you keep in mind that some exclusionary language may not reference “viruses,” which couldprovehelpful to businesses impacted by physical property damage duringthe COVID-19. The reality that this language could exist in your business insurance policy means it is of the utmost importance that detailed policy review is completed.

What Happens If I Do Not Have Insurance Coverage for a Business Interruption Caused by a Pandemic?

The claim can be challenging, even without the exclusion explained above. However, there could also be more claim opportunities under insurance policies that do not contain limits for communicable disease. Do not forget that insurance claims for business interruption will require verifiable physical loss or damage for the insurance coverage to be triggered, so the claim would need to be documented in this context.

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Do I Have Insurance Coverage If the Federal, State or Local Government Requires My Business to Shut its Doors?

Many business insurance policies include specific language and restrictions related to the actions civil government and military authorities. In general, a declaration of a state of emergency will not change the terms of the insurance policy. However, if the civilian government requires that you clean or frequently disinfect the property, then it might become easier to support that physical damage did indeed occur, which is a requirement to recover losses for business interruption.

Is There Additional Coverage Associated with COVID-19 That Might Exist in My Insurance Policy?

Take some time to review your business insurance policy for Contingent Business Interruption coverage. The coverage under this type of insurance policy protects you from losses due to damages to property owned by other people. This will often encompass something like a fire occurring at an adjacent property, which then limits access to your place of business. In the case of this dangerous virus, if the pandemic causes damage to a product supplier, your business might be covered for losses that stem from an interruption to the supply chain.

Will the Government Help?

Events of this size and scope may require additional funding from the federal government. While the potential passage of legislation is unknown, it is not outside the realm of possibility. That said, it is not a good idea to simply sit back and wait for the federal or state government to take action.

What Will I Need to Know to Leverage Business Interruption Insurance for COVID-19 Losses?

Here are important tips to help you navigate your insurance regarding business interruption losses:

Request a copy of the business insurance policy and its declaration page

Request a copy of the business insurance policy and its declaration page

Time is important

Time is important

You need to document your losses

You need to document your losses

Document normal expenses that were not incurred due to the disruption of business

Document normal expenses that were not incurred due to the disruption of business

Identify when business is initially expected to be restored to normal levels

Identify when business is initially expected to be restored to normal levels

Attempt to mitigate losses

Attempt to mitigate losses

Remain in frequent contact with the insurance adjuster

Remain in frequent contact with the insurance adjuster

Preparation of documentation is vital

Preparation of documentation is vital

Contact a Qualified Business Interruption Attorney As Soon As Possible

If your rental property, hotel, retail store or small business has suffered financial losses as a result of the coronavirus, you will want to contact a Florida business interruption insurance attorney as soon as possible to discuss the specifics of your claim. The Tampa, FL attorneys from Action Legal Group are well-versed in getting both people and business owners the compensation promised under the language of the insurance policy. Contact us today at 813-296-6401 for a no-risk consultation about your COVID-19 claim.

Please call Action Legal Group today. We can help you.

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Action Legal Group Attorneys are consistently recognized as among the best lawyers by their peers and prominent Attorney rating agencies including Super Lawyers, American Association for Justice, Leading Lawyers, Avvo, and others.