What You Need to Know About Business Interruption Insurance During COVID-19
The COVID-19 global pandemic has affected our world in ways that have already drastically impacted people’s lives. Businesses are taking a big hit as the economy collapses due to mandatory business closures and stay-at-home orders, which have resulted in less spending across the globe. Small businesses have struggled the most, and many have already been forced to shut down. Small business owners have one option that can potentially help them: business interruption insurance.
Business interruption insurance is a plan that provides businesses with financial coverage in the event of a disaster, including losses like natural disasters, robberies, and fires. If your plan accepts your reasoning, your company can provide benefits that will account for your lost income, merchandise, and additional expenses that have been caused directly by the disaster. The coronavirus could qualify as a disaster, even though many insurance companies don’t explicitly cite pandemic as disasters. The best way to find out if you can be covered is to file a claim.
Our business lawyers have decades of experience helping companies to grow and thrive and can help you file a business interruption insurance claim during this challenging time.
What First-Party Property Policies Cover
If you have a first-party property insurance policy, you may be covered not only for property damage but for lost profits that occur from the damage as well.
Coverage you may be able to obtain for your business includes:
- Government actions like evacuation orders
- Damage to the property of a customer or a supplier
- Damage to the policyholder’s property, which includes business interruption
- Damages to properties that attract customers to the business
What Do I Need to Do to Strengthen My Claim?
Business interruption insurance claims must be reported within a certain window such as 60, 90, or 180 days, so it’s of the utmost importance that you start your claim immediately after you begin receiving damage to your business.
It’s also recommended that you document your losses in-depth, from sales to customers and any extra expenses you’ve accrued. You may also need tax returns, financial statements, sales forecasts, receipts, invoices, contracts, and reports from accounting systems.
A business lawyer can help you collect all the evidence you need, as well as examine your current policy to pay attention to covered causes of loss, limitations, and exclusions. Though it’s not certain whether your company will accept your claim, it’s best to prepare and file your claim with the help of legal counsel as a precaution.
Some states have already begun introducing bills that would force some insurance providers to provide coverage for business interruption because of COVID-19. Around 15 years ago, due to the Avian bird flu, many U.S. insurance companies specifically excluded coverage for losses caused by a virus.
For more than 60 years, Bendit Weinstock, P.A. has been there for businesses when they’ve needed our help. We’ve been able to guide businesses through complex legal situations and provide counsel on topics ranging from litigation to contract enforcement. Our proven track record shows how dedicated we are to helping business clients prepare for successful futures. When you work with us, you won’t have to worry about whether we’re thinking of your best interests.