Measures put in place to reduce or control the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) are wreaking havoc on businesses nationwide. Business owners who are looking for a way to soften the economic blow of recent closures and restrictions should consider reviewing their insurance policies to see if they have coverage for the losses they have suffered.
Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. is one of the largest and most successful plaintiff’s law firms in New York. Our legal team has the knowledge, experience and resources to represent policyholders against their own insurance companies and hold them accountable. If you or your client have a business interruption insurance policy and your insurance company is delaying, underpaying or denying your claim, please contact us to find out how our business insurance claim dispute attorneys may be able to help you.
Law Firms: If your clients’ are in need of assistance with business interruption claim denials, you can trust our firm to take care of your clients.
The bottom line is that whether your business losses would be covered by your business interruption coverage depends on the facts and the language of your insurance policy, which can be difficult to understand and interpret.
If your business has property damage or business interruption insurance and it has been adversely affected by the public closures due to COVID-19, it is important to have an insurance coverage attorney review the policy to determine if your carrier should approve your claim.
Impacted businesses include but are not limited to:
Even if you received a denial from your insurance carrier or have a “pandemic” or “viral” exception, our legal team may be able to assist you.
The legal team at Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. is dedicated to helping business owners fight for their rights and get the compensation they deserve under their insurance policies for loss of business resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.
With both voluntary and involuntary business closures resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, insurers are exploring the possibility of insurance coverage under the typical Business Owner Insurance Policy. Business interruption insurance, also known as business income coverage, helps replace lost income and pay for expenses when a business sustains an impact by a covered loss. The most common covered losses under these policies include fire, wind, water pipe breaks and lightning. However, this coverage may apply to loss of business by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Social distancing measures and forced business closures are important to preserve public health, but there is no doubt that these preventative strategies are economically devastating to businesses both large and small. As a business owner, you may think that after years of paying insurance premiums you may be able to turn to your insurance company for help. After all, your commercial policy should cover these types of business interruptions – or should it?
Business interruption coverage is a complex area of insurance law. It is important for business owners to understand the language of their particular insurance policy. As an owner, even if you have business interruption coverage, you may still face challenges seeking the compensation you deserve after sustaining such loss.
The biggest obstacle starts with the language in the policy that limits this type of coverage to losses caused by “direct physical loss of or damage to property.” Insurance companies use this provision to argue that business closures related to COVID-19 did not suffer direct physical loss.
Most business property insurance policies cover property damage, but they also provide coverage for lost profits that result from that damage. This lost income coverage most often covers:
In the insurance industry, a “coverage trigger” is any event that has to happen in order for an insurance liability policy to be applied to a loss. In the case of property insurance losses, the event that triggers any of the above coverages is property damage. The determination of whether “physical loss” has occurred under your policy will require close examination of the specific facts and the particular policy of your case.
Some insurance carriers explicitly exclude damages caused by viruses or bacteria. A standard insurance clause can exclude losses resulting from a virus or bacterium, or another microorganism that induces or is capable of inducing physical distress, illness or disease. On the other hand, other policies only exclude coverage for losses caused by bacteria – not viruses like the coronavirus. Such nuances in the policy language heighten the need for business owners to immediately consult with an experienced NYC business interruption attorney who can carefully review their policy.
Your insurance policy may also include language that covers losses resulting from “civil authority closures” – a special coverage for lost business income when your business was ordered to be closed or shut down by a government entity. There are many court decisions that make a strong case that business losses sustained as a result of government-ordered business closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic will be covered by civil authority coverage – especially since the current shutdowns have been ordered by civil government authorities.
Both small and large businesses are no doubt going to suffer staggering losses caused by the coronavirus outbreak. Insurance companies will try every excuse to avoid covering these losses. As a business owner, you expect to get protection when you purchase business income insurance coverage. You pay your premiums year after year for protection if you are unable to continue normal operations. You deserve an advocate to make sure your insurance company is held up to their end of the bargain.
Some Insurance Companies with no Virus Exclusion Include:
This list is not exhaustive and if you are unsure of your policy coverage, please contact us to review your particular policy and claim.
If you have any questions about your business regarding COVID-19 or to see how we can help, please call Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. at 1-800-529-9997
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