What Is Business Interruption Insurance Coverage?
The general purpose of business interruption insurance is to make the insured whole after a damaging event. Under normal circumstances, common examples of a business interruption include if your business was forced to close due to a fire, long-term power outage, or other significant incidents. In these scenarios, you would file a business interruption claim for the various losses you sustained, and get reimbursed by your commercial business insurance provider.
What can be recouped will vary because every insurance policy has coverage limitations and conditions that apply. Typically, business interruption insurance covers net income you would have earned, normal operating expenses, like rent and utilities, added costs related to restoring your business, costs related to minimizing damage.
Does My Policy Cover COVID-19-Related Losses?
Not all commercial insurance policies cover losses related to business interruptions. In fact, even if you carry business interruption coverage, there will be various exclusions and limitations.
- Exclusions describe types of losses not covered by the policy.
- Limitations are restrictions to what’s covered in certain situations or for a specific period.
For example, while some business interruption policies cover human infections or disease, many insurers add exclusions to deny coverage for bacterial or viral infections.
Unfortunately, and despite the current pandemic, insurance companies always look for ways to reject claims. This protects their profitability, and with the number of expected claims growing by the day, insurers will use any defense to limit what they pay.
For business owners trying to claim losses related to COVID, the most common exclusions and limitations they may encounter may include a denial based on a lack of physical loss or damage or enforcing the “communicable disease” or related “virus” provision of your policy. However, policy terms vary and these limitations are not set in stone.
By working with an experienced attorney, you can strengthen your claim, defend against an unfair denial, and recover your potential losses.
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How to Claim COVID-19 Business Interruption Losses
The coronavirus pandemic is particularly confusing because it’s like nothing modern business owners have ever encountered. They are left waiting for answers from lawmakers, but many feel ill-equipped to deal with complicated insurance documents.
Here are a few things to help guide you in filing a business interruption claim:
- Get a Copy of your Business insurance Policy – Policy wording is vital as this type of insurance is normally triggered when there is a “physical loss or damage.
- Review you policy and pay particular attention to covered causes of loss, exclusions and limitations.
- File Your Claim Timely – Most policies have strict deadlines, and time limits usually begin on the date pf the damaging event. You should contact your insurance provider as soon as possible, note the date, and write down any details an insurance representative provides.
- Keep Track of Your Losses – This may seem obvious, but you must submit evidence of the losses you sustained relating to the coronavirus. Save things like but not limited to receipts, invoices, payroll records, utility bills, and anything related to reducing the damage or losses.
- Keep in Contact with Your Insurer – Consistent communication with you adjuster is critical to meeting deadlines and providing everything required for your claim. A lapse could mean costly delays or even having your claim denied.
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What if My Claim Is Wrongfully Denied
With the flood of anticipated business interruption claims related to COVID-19, insurance companies will look for any reason to deny your claim. Some denials will be justified because there are times when an insurance policy will not cover the type of loss your business sustained.
However, insurance companies are obligated to treat customers fairly and pay out valid claims for benefits. When insurance providers fail do so, they are considered to be actin in “bad faith.” This exposes them to serious legal action and liability for damages.
Acts of business insurance bad faith include:
- Denial of valid claims for losses under the policy/li>
- Failure to defend a policyholder/li>
- Making partial payments or canceling coverage after a claim/li>
- Unreasonable delay in payment/li>
- Requiring excessive forms and reports/li>
- Inadequate claim investigation/li>
- Refusing to make a reasonable settlement offer/li>
- Making threats against an insured
If you believe your insurance company hasn’t treated you fairly and wrongfully denied your business interruption claim, then call The Law Giant right away. You can successfully defend against flawed exclusions and limitations with help from a veteran bad faith insurance lawyer with The Begum Law Group. Your business shouldn’t suffer because of an insurance prover’s bad faith actions.
Available Bad Faith Damages Include:
- The amount of actual damages/losses you suffered
- Court costs and attorney’s fees
- You can also recover up to 3 times your actual damages if the insurer “knowingly” violated Chapter 541 of the Texas Insurance Code. Referred to as “treble damages.”
Work With an Experienced Lawyer to Recover Damages
Taking legal action against an insurance company who wrongfully denied your business interruption claim is no one’s first choice. But it could be the difference in saving your business from the effects of the coronavirus.
If you carried the appropriate coverage, and were unjustly denied benefits, contact The Begum Law Group and speak with The Law Giant. We will review your policy, explain your options, and if necessary we will file a bad faith lawsuit on your behalf.
Our attorneys have decades of experience and know how to make large insurance companies take claims seriously. We aggressively pursue maximum compensation for clients treated unfairly and know what it takes to prove insurers acted in bad faith.
Let The Begum Law Group build the strongest possible case to recover everything COVID-19 cost your business. There is no obligation or risk in speaking with us because your consultation is free and we do not get paid unless we win compensation for you. Call 866-523-4167 or contact us online today.