In addition to taking a grave toll on communities around the world, the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has caused significant disruptions and losses to businesses. Many have had to close their doors and are suffering serious economic hardship. However, there are some ways to mitigate this damage, including filing an insurance claim for business interruption. Our attorneys at Moore Law Firm are well-versed in dealing with all types of insurance claims. We can review your insurance policies, determine whether you may be eligible for this type of compensation, and fight to help you get the compensation you deserve to save your business.
What Is Business Interruption Insurance?
Business interruption insurance is coverage that protects against lost business income in a disaster. It’s usually part of a commercial property policy or included in a comprehensive package policy as an add-on or rider.
Coverage For Business Interruption And Profit Loss
Most commercial property insurance policies include coverage not only for property damage, but for income loss that results from that damage as well.
An insurance policy may cover income loss due to:
- Damage to the business’s property (business interruption)
- Damage to a customer’s, supplier’s, or manufacturer’s property (contingent business interruption)
- Government action such as stay-at-home or evacuation orders (interruption by order of civil authority)
- Damage to property that is not owned by the policyholder but attracts customers to the insured’s business (leader property)
These types of coverage are triggered by property damage, which poses challenging legal questions. Does the mere presence of the novel coronavirus cause or establish property damage? Does this damage play a role in the loss of income?
Non-Structural Property Damage
Although the novel coronavirus doesn’t cause physical or structural damage to property, it’s transmitted via infected surfaces and through the air. The virus may be present in buildings on countertops, desk, doorknobs, and any number of places, as well as on outdoor surfaces, and experts still aren’t sure how long it can survive. Physical damage to insured property is usually required to trigger coverage. However, it’s not unprecedented for courts to find that the mere presence of a harmful substance (the virus) may constitute property damage, which may trigger income loss and business interruption coverage. These types of cases are complex. Our attorneys are well-versed in the law and the tactics insurance companies employ to avoid paying claims.
What Business Interruption Insurance Covers
Profits – A policy may provide compensation for profits that would have been generated if the event hadn’t occurred.
Fixed costs – Operating expenses and other incurred costs of doing business may be reimbursed.
Payroll – Employee wage coverage is vital to keeping employees while a business is shut down. The Novel Coronavirus has put millions out of work, and employers are struggling to make payroll.
Taxes – Business interruption coverage helps pay taxes that are still due even though a business isn’t open.
Loan payments –This coverage can also help a business make monthly loan payments, even if they’re not generating income.
Extra expenses – Compensation for reasonable expenses beyond fixed costs may also be covered.
Contingent Business Interruption
Supply chain and customer losses are increasing at a rapid pace as COVID-19 spreads, affecting both domestic and global suppliers and customers. This type of coverage doesn’t necessarily need to include distributors or manufacturers of goods. For example, it could also apply to the subway that brings customers to your business, or the hotel next door that attracts patrons to a restaurant.
How Our Attorneys Can Help
Figuring out whether you have business interruption coverage and filing a claim can be daunting, especially in these unprecedented times. Many of the issues posed by the spread of the novel coronavirus are new to everyone involved, and there’s no doubt that insurance companies will try and deny or minimize these claims as often as they can.
Recovering compensation through your business interruption coverage may be an uphill battle, so having an experienced attorney to represent your interests is critical. Proper legal representation can mean the difference between keeping your business (and your employees) afloat during this unprecedented period. At Moore Law Firm, we have more than 35 years of experience in going up against insurance companies and recovering maximum compensation for clients in personal injury cases. We’re ready to use our knowledge and negotiation skills to help businesses recover the compensation they deserve to save their livelihoods and help them get back on their feet.
Contact Us To Learn More
If you’re a business owner who needs assistance with filing a business interruption claim due to the novel coronavirus, our team at Moore Law Firm can help. Call 251-445-7602 or contact us online to schedule a consultation. We serve clients in Mobile and throughout the state of Alabama.