Business Lawyer in Alpharetta178 S Main St, Unit 300
Alpharetta, GA 30009
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Business Interruption Insurance Claims in Alpharetta
Most companies in Alpharetta, especially smaller businesses and start-ups, are vulnerable to disruptions from natural disasters, vandalism, and other adverse events. Whether you were forced to shutter your company during COVID-19, or a fire, flood, or vandalism stopped you from trading, business interruption coverage may be the lifeline for your business. However, your insurer may not have your best interests at heart, and getting what you need to save your business can be challenging.
Fortunately, you do not have to go up against a powerful insurance company by yourself. If you are fighting a business interruption insurance claim in Alpharetta, Morgan & Morgan can be by your side. Our business interruption insurance attorneys can work tirelessly to protect your business. We know how to handle large commercial insurance companies and hold them accountable. Contact us now, and we can assess your claim for free.
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What Is Business Interruption Insurance?
A business interruption insurance policy can provide vital financial help for lost profits when a company has to reduce operations or stop trading altogether due to an event out of the business’s control. In other words, if you cannot trade or serve your customers, business interruption insurance should kick in. Events triggering your policy can include:
- COVID-19 shut-downs or restrictions
- Essential machinery malfunctioning
- Theft and vandalism
- Wind and storm damage
- Loss of electricity
- Fire and explosions
- Property damage, such as a vehicle crashing into a business
One significant adverse event could destroy a fledgling or fragile business. Therefore, business interruption insurance can be essential for smaller or medium-sized companies.
What Damages Are Covered by Business Interruption Insurance in Alpharetta?
Business interruption insurance can be critical for a company’s survival. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), as many as 25 percent of businesses are unprepared and fail to reopen after a disaster strikes.
Business interruption insurance can cover an Alpharetta business’ expenses and lost profits due to an unforeseen event. If you have suffered losses due to a natural disaster, theft, or another adverse event, you could claim (depending on your policy’s terms and conditions):
Your business interruption policy may cover any income you lose due to a covered event. For example, if you own a hotel damaged by a tornado, you may be unable to accommodate guests during repairs to restore the property. Business interruption insurance should cover your income loss during the time it takes to rebuild your property.
While some operating expenses will cease when you stop trading, some costs will keep accruing relentlessly whether your business is open or shut. Business interruption insurance could pay for continuing operating expenses, such as:
- Rental payments
- Mortgage costs
- Advertising expenses
- Utility costs
- Employee wages
- Business loan payments
- Property taxes
Depending on the details of your policy, you could be entitled to payouts for repairing damaged equipment or inventory. You may also be able to claim the costs of running your business from another site while your business premises are repaired.
Business interruption claims can be confusing. Moreover, big insurers do not always want to pay the total worth of a claim and may hide behind various limits and exclusions. If you are unsure what your policy covers and what you could claim for, help is available. Our Alpharetta business interruption insurance attorneys are ready to fight for the financial support your business needs.
How Do Insurers Minimize or Deny Business Interruption Insurance Claims in Alpharetta?
Business owners purchasing business interruption insurance know that significant interruption can cause their businesses to fail. Having an insurance policy to fall back on when the worst happens may make you feel safe and secure. However, when disaster strikes, insurance companies can quickly deny responsibility and minimize or refuse the payment of your claim.
An insurer may subject you to various manipulative tactics to deny your business the payout it needs to continue trading, including but not limited to:
- Failing to investigate your claim
- Delaying a valid claim
- Reducing the amount you can claim
- Making unreasonable demands for proof of loss
If an unscrupulous insurer gives you the runaround, denying you the coverage you deserve, Morgan & Morgan could help you fight back.
What Is the Difference Between Business Interruption Insurance and Commercial Property Insurance?
Commercial property insurance typically covers any damage to your property due to unforeseen events, such as vandalism, bad weather, natural disasters, and others. However, the policy does not usually protect business owners from any financial losses they sustain from being unable to trade. Therefore, business interruption insurance can be a crucial layer of added protection for business owners.
Suppose you are a property investor and own several apartments damaged by natural events such as storms or earthquakes. Your commercial insurance will pay for repairing the damage, such as roof and drywall restoration. However, the financial damages from lost rental revenue could be astronomical and exceed the physical property damage. In this case, business interruption insurance can come to the rescue, reimbursing you for lost rental income.
What Is Civil Authority Coverage in Business Interruption Insurance?
Civil authority coverage, if included in your business interruption insurance policy, can compensate you for any losses when a local, state, or federal government entity denies access to business premises. Coverage is generally provided when:
- Access to the business is prohibited
- Damages arise from a covered event under the policy
Civil authority coverage usually kicks in after a significant natural disaster, such as a hurricane, tornado, or earthquake, when considerable physical damage occurs close to the insured’s business premises. Coverage may apply even if the business itself remains undamaged by the disaster. However, since each policy is unique and coverage varies, you should consult with an attorney when a civil authority blocks access to your premises.
How Can a Morgan & Morgan Business Interruption Insurance Lawyer Help Me?
If your insurer is refusing or minimizing your business interruption insurance claim in Alpharetta, we could help you get what you need to save your business. Ways in which we can help include:
- Assess your policy to determine what you are entitled to
- Communicate and negotiate with the insurer
- Investigate and calculate your damages to determine the value of your claim
- Negotiate a fair out-of-court settlement
- Take the insurance company to court and fight vigorously for your best interests at trial, if necessary
Morgan & Morgan’s tenacious lawyers are ready to fight for what you deserve. To date, we have recovered more than $15 billion in damages for our clients and could help you get what you need to keep your business financially healthy. Our experienced trial attorneys have helped countless individuals stand up to powerful insurance corporations and hold them accountable.
Which Common Exclusions Apply to a Business Interruption Claim?
Insurance companies are quick to state that certain losses are excluded from your policy. However, since policies often contain convoluted language, it can be challenging for business owners to see the wood for the trees. Some standard exclusions in business interruption insurance claims in Alpharetta can include:
Losses From Uncovered Damages
Depending on your commercial property policy, you may not be covered for specific events such as earthquakes, floods, or COVID-19 shutdowns. Generally, business interruption is coordinated with your commercial property policy. Therefore, any event your commercial policy does not cover will most likely not be compensated by your business interruption insurance.
Lack of Proof of Business Income
Business income that you cannot prove with statements, invoices, retail receipts, and other relevant material may be excluded from coverage. In other words, you must be able to document your business income to claim damages.
Partial Closure of a Business
If your business is still trading, even in a reduced function, your business interruption coverage will most likely not kick in. Typically, a company must be inaccessible or closed if you want to claim an insurance payout. For example, if there are roadworks near your business, making parking difficult, you may have reduced footfall and revenue. However, you would generally be unable to claim business interruption damages simply due to this drop in revenue.
Am I Entitled to COVID-19 Coverage?
The closure of factories, hotels, restaurants, and retail stores to stop spreading COVID-19 has resulted in unprecedented losses for many businesses. COVID-19 claims are relatively new, and insurance coverage is not always clear for companies affected by past (or potential future) shutdowns due to the disease. Without assessing your specific business interruption policy, it is impossible to say whether you may qualify for any payment for losses suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Generally, insurers require claimants to show physical damage to business premises to qualify for coverage. However, unless your policy expressly excludes virus-related losses, you may be able to recover some of your damages, depending on the terms and conditions of your policy. The best way to determine what you are entitled to is by speaking to an attorney specializing in business interruption insurance claims.
When Should I File My Business Interruption Insurance Claim in Alpharetta?
Waiting too long to file your insurance claim can be a mistake. While hesitation is understandable, especially if you are not sure whether your policy covers the losses, you should get active as soon as possible to have the best chance of recovering a settlement.
In the first instance, it is essential to inform your insurer that you intend to file a business interruption claim. You can clarify the other details later. Our attorneys can help you with the specifics of your claim. The sooner you start filing a claim, the sooner you can receive the funds allowing your business to recover.
Do I Have to Go to Court for My Insurance Claim?
Your business interruption insurance claim will most likely be resolved out of court. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), only a few civil lawsuits are litigated at trial. Insurance companies know that a court case is expensive and, in most cases, prefer to settle out of court. However, sometimes, an insurer refuses an adequate business interruption settlement. When this happens, going through the courts could ultimately help you recover the full value of your claim, even if it can be a long process.
Either way, working with a seasoned attorney can be critical for your case. Our lawyers can protect your legal rights, communicate with an insurer, and negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf. If we realize that the insurance company is not budging, we can take them to court and fight vigorously for the best possible outcome of your claim.
Morgan & Morgan Fights Hard for Business Owners
Commercial insurance policies are complex and go hand in hand with business interruption insurance. Understanding what you deserve can be challenging. You might still qualify for a payout even if you have been told by an insurer that you do not. Some insurance companies only stay in business because they deny or reduce certain claims. Therefore, they may deny your claim right away or make a lowball settlement offer, hoping you will go away.
Morgan & Morgan understands that you might feel hopeless when your business is affected by significant losses, and your claim is denied. However, not all is lost. You can fight back when your business is on the line. Our business interruption insurance attorneys want to help you receive what you deserve when your company suffers losses due to a natural disaster or another adverse event.
We can assess your business interruption insurance claim in Alpharetta, clarify your next best steps, and fight an insurance company on your behalf. You only pay if we win, and you receive a payout. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.