Whitfield Bryson Investigates
COVID-19 Business Interruption Claims
As COVID-19 is sweeping through the nation and the world, many people and businesses face disruption and uncertainty. Whitfield Bryson LLP is here to help.
While health and safety are top priorities, the closure or reduction of businesses by mandatory or voluntary stay-at-home orders has the potential to devastate businesses. Whether your business is closed or working at reduced capacity, or facing lay-offs, furloughs, or lost profits, financial help is needed right now to ensure its continued survival. It is precisely for situations like COVID-19 that businesses purchase business interruption insurance: to make sure that you are protected no matter what.
This business income insurance provides coverage specifically for the loss of income when there is a suspension or reduction of your operations. The coverage is dependent on what caused the interruption to your business.
The first step is to determine if your business has “business interruption coverage.”
A review of your full policy, is necessary to determine whether COVID-19 is covered. The next step is to figure out what events are covered by the policy. Typically, this is referred to as a “covered peril” or “covered cause of loss.” Most policies will specify the events covered or excluded.
Business interruption coverage typically reimburses a business for a variety of monetary losses. This includes lost revenue, lost profits, closure, or reopening costs, and even the costs of litigation. Covered events could include canceled events, supply chain disruption, and blocked access to the premises due to civil authority orders.
It is important to note that while business interruption coverage in general may often apply for a time period of up to a year, some included coverages may be for a limited time. Your full insurance policy should identify the coverage limits.
Many insurance carriers have already begun to deny claims or partially deny claims for business interruption insurance, citing policy terms and claiming that situations like COVID-19 were never considered as being covered events.Such denials may be improper, and the time to dispute the denial is usually limited.
Businesses purchased business interruption insurance to cover emergencies. As this pandemic continues our attorneys, Dan Bryson, Scott Harris and Pat Wallace are here to help business owners navigate the uncertain waters of business interruption claims and COVID-19.
We will review and litigate claims on a fully contingent basis (no fee unless recovery obtained) and help our clients receive the help to which they are entitled.
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