The Covid-19 virus has disrupted life all around the world, and it has disrupted many businesses. A lot of those businesses are filing claims for business interruption, which is part of their regular business insurance policy. Insurance companies are balking at paying claims and have denied many business disruption claims that have been filed because of the Covid-19 virus. The mater is a legal controversy at this time. Even so, you may have paid for insurance to cover you when your business was disrupted. If you are in that situation contact a lawyer to sue for denial of a business interruption claim
Many businesses were forced to close during state lockdown, and many businesses are still struggling to get back on their feet. It will be a complicated process, and while you could file a claim on your own, you need to have some legal expertise to help you get through this difficult time. Many insurance companies are flatly rejecting claims. There are already several class-action lawsuits filed. Some states, like Oho and New York, have passed laws requiring insurance companies to pay businesses that had business disruption policies.
Many businesses did pay for this type of insurance. The policies cover a business when it must close due to a covered event, such as a fire. Many insurance companies put in a clause saying it did not cover a pandemic, which was added after the SARS pandemic in 2003. Many policies also have exclusions for when authorities close a business. Those are the two main reasons insurance companies are denying claims.
Insurance companies have the language in their policies, but many business owners feel this is unfair. Some have gone to state legislatures to get laws passed, and there has been some success in that regard. Others have gone to attorneys to take insurance companies to court.
What business owners can do
If your business is in this situation, it would be a good idea to contact an attorney to discuss your case. You might also want to contact your state legislator to see if they can help.
Review your policy to see if it has an exclusion for a pandemic, or if there is an exclusion if your business is closed by legal authorities. Be sure of what your policy says. You may still be able to sue even if it has those clauses.
You should still file claims with your insurance company even though most claims are denied. Follow any available appeals. Actively pursuing the matter will keep your rights in place.
Keep detailed records of losses caused by the pandemic. Avoid destroying any documents that could help your case.
Many states are taking action to help businesses. In California, the state Dept of insurance has stepped in. The state's insurance commissioner
has ordered insurance companies to pay claims for business disruption.
While some states are fighting for business, the insurers are being supported at the national level. Recently the Federal Treasury Dept.
, said the government should not require insurance companies to pay when exclusions exist in the contracts -- or insurance policies.
President Donald Trump
called it a "gray area" and said insurers should pay those claims when they are legitimate claims. He said it is not fair for businesses to have paid for business disruption coverage for years, and to not get anything when they need it.
The insurance industry's case
The insurance industry says it would have way more claims than it has ever had if it paid all these claims, and it feels that with the exclusions written into the policies, it should not have to. The industry has called on federal and state governments to help businesses.
Some states are taking insurance companies to task over the matter, and if you live in one of those states you may have a good chance of getting some payment. There are at least so far no states passing laws agreeing with the insurance companies.
If you are in a state that is not requiring insurance companies to pay these claims, you should contact a lawyer that deals with these types of cases today. It will be important to get your lawsuit started early because there will likely be a lot of them in the coming months as the nation tries to dig out of the Covid-19 virus.