Updates in the Law
The swift spread of the Coronavirus pandemic has caused an estimated $2.7 trillion in economic losses, and large and small businesses alike are continually feeling the impact. Stay-at-home orders forced the closure of businesses deemed “non-essential” and severely limited other businesses’ income.
Federal legislation has offered disaster and forgivable small business loans; however, these loans will not compensate businesses for all lost revenue or additional expenses. Therefore, businesses should review their property insurance policies and business interruption coverage carefully to determine whether they have a claim for lost business income due to COVID-19 or government orders. After speaking with clients, we have learned there is a common misconception that insurance policies will not provide coverage for interruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This may not be true; rather, the facts of your claim and your specific policy language will determine whether or not insurance coverage is available.
While it is true that some policies contain exclusions that will bar such claims, it has been suggested that there has been an effort by insurers to overstate the effect of those exclusions and lack of coverage for COVID-19 related claims in order to dissuade the public from filing such claims. For example, depending upon the language of your policy’s virus exclusion, if it has one, the exclusion may only apply to physical damage to property claims and not claims of direct physical loss, which could be loss associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Accordingly, your insurance policy should be reviewed carefully and, where appropriate, a claim should be filed to preserve any possible rights you may have. If you would like assistance in reviewing your policy and possible options, or have any questions, please feel free to contact our office or email any of our attorneys. If you have already submitted a claim and received a denial letter, we can still review your claim.