Business Interruption & Loss of Business Insurance
Civil authorities across the country have ordered many businesses to close to the public, both large and small, and it’s having enormous consequences for millions of Americans.
Most business insurance policies include coverage for lost earnings due to government shutdowns. This coverage is typically called “Business Interruption” and “Civil Authority” coverage.
If you have a business interruption insurance policy and your insurance company is denying, delaying, or underpaying your claim, call us. Even if you think they are right, contact us to take a Second Look at your case, for free.
We’re Here For You
Morgan & Morgan Insurance Recovery Group is the largest and one of the most successful plaintiffs’ law firms in the nation. Morgan & Morgan Insurance Recovery Group represents policyholders nationwide against insurance companies — one of the many ways we hold insurance companies accountable.
Our firm has recovered over $9 billion on behalf of our clients. Over the last 30 years our policy holder attorneys have assisted 1000’s of clients make recoveries against their own insurance companies.
Please fill out our no charge case review form to find out how our business insurance claim dispute attorneys may be able to help you.
Let Us Take Another Look
At this difficult time, we offer a free, “no-risk” review of insurance policies for businesses that have been closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s important to act as quickly as possible because so much misinformation and confusion surrounds these insurance claims.
The National Restaurant Association U.S. restaurants will lose $225 billion over the next several months due to coronavirus government closures. While social distancing measures and forced business closures may be important to preserve public health, there’s no doubt these strategies devastate businesses both large and small.
If you are a business owner, you may think turning to your insurance company for help starts the solution. Your commercial insurance policy should have business interruption coverage that insures you for losses like these. Business interruption coverage is a complicated area of insurance law, though, and understanding the language of your particular insurance policy will be the first step in the process
Even with business interruption coverage, owners face challenges getting the compensation you deserve after suffering losses. The most common challenge starts with policy language limiting this 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 the coronavirus did not suffer direct physical.
The Challenges of Business Loss Causes
Some courts also hold business losses caused by a threatened loss—from flood or fire, for example—are not physical losses. In some states, then, you may not have business interruption coverage for the coronavirus unless you can prove that your business was actually contaminated, and you were forced to close as a result. Adding to the difficulties: other courts decide that business losses caused by pandemics or even diseases like E. coli are direct losses and are covered under these policies.
Business owners should keep in mind, however, courts across the country have not settled upon a uniform rule for when insured property has suffered a "direct physical loss." Courts in a number of jurisdictions have determined contamination and other incidents rendering property uninhabitable or otherwise unfit for its intended use constitutes a "direct physical loss" sufficient to trigger business interruption coverage.
The determination of whether "physical loss" has occurred under your policy will therefore require a close examination of the particular facts and the particular policy of your case
Since the 2003 SARS outbreak, some insurance policies also explicitly exclude damages caused by a virus or bacteria. A standard insurance clause excludes payment “for loss or damage caused by or resulting from a virus, bacterium, or another microorganism that induces or is capable of inducing physical distress, illness or disease.” But, these other policies, however, only exclude coverage for losses caused by bacteria --- and not viruses like the coronavirus. These language nuances heighten the need to speak with an attorney who can carefully review your policy.
Civil Authority Closures
Your insurance policy may also have “civil authority” coverage—a special coverage for lost business income when your business is closed by order of a government entity. Many court decisions make a strong case civil authority coverage will cover business losses caused by government-ordered business closures due to the coronavirus crisis, since the current closures are directed at the specific businesses.
U.S. businesses suffer staggering losses caused by the coronavirus. Insurance companies will try every excuse to avoid covering these losses. Business expect protection when they purchase business income insurance coverage. Businesses pay year after year for protection if they are unable to continue normal operations. These businesses deserve advocates with the skill and resources to fight for their rights. These businesses deserve advocates with the skill and resources to make sure insurance companies hold up their end of the bargain.