Lawyers For Business Interruption Insurance
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.
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.
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.
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.