Our business interruption insurance lawyers are helping business owners damaged by the Covid-19 crisis.
Our award-winning attorneys sue insurance companies that wrongfully deny claims.
Our nationwide network of insurance litigation lawyers sues insurance companies throughout the United States. We have the skill, experience, and resources to fight them in court.
Businesses, both large and small, are facing tremendous losses and even bankruptcy caused by the government shutdown. Unfortunately, many insurance companies are denying valid claims.
If your business has suffered a loss due to the Covid-19 outbreak, you may be covered under the business interruption coverage in your business insurance policy.
This coverage can help you recoup the financial losses suffered during the government-mandated shutdowns.
Many insurance companies have already sent preemptive denial letters to policyholders.
Insurers are telling all policyholders there is no coverage for business interruption. Of course, this is the insurance company trying to ward off claims that may be payable to the policyholder.
Don’t be scared off by your insurance company. And don’t let a rejection or denial of your claim be the end.
You may actually be covered under your policy and owed substantial money.
Call an insurance claim lawyer for free legal advice. We will listen to your story and let you know if we can help you.
- Covid-19 business loss statistics in the United States
- What is business interruption insurance coverage?
- Types of businesses affected by Covid-19 outbreak?
- How to make a claim under my business interruption policy
- What is an insurance policy exclusion?
If you have a case, we will sue the insurance company for you.
If we accept your case, we will represent you under our No-Fee Promise. This means there are no legal fees unless you get an insurance company settlement. It does not cost anything to start.
For a risk-free, no-obligation case review, contact our experienced insurance attorneys now.
Covid-19 Business Loss Statistics in the United States
Small, medium, and large businesses are closing down throughout the United States.
By the end of March 2020, more than 50% of businesses were closed in the country. The number increased even greater in some major cities.
In fact, in large cities like San Francisco, Seattle, New York, Boston, Detroit, Chicago, Newark, Pittsburgh, and Baltimore, the percentage of closed businesses has reached 60%.
And, it is not just the closed business that are suffering. Many businesses still open have experienced sizeable reductions in employee staffing and revenues.
Even when the economy reopens, many businesses will either not recover or may take years to recover.
What is Business Interruption Coverage?
Business interruption insurance is included in most company insurance policies.
Many times, an additional premium is collected under commercial property insurance. This coverage is essential to businesses that are shut down, closed, or interrupted for any number of reasons.
There are several different types of coverage under the business interruption insurance section:
1. Business Interruption (BI) insurance: Business income coverage to pay for the loss of income that occurs during the period of time the business is down, especially when a property is being repaired or other efforts are being made to re-open it. It is meant to compensate the insured for the income lost during the period of restoration or the time necessary to repair or restore damage to the covered property.
2. Extended Business Interruption (EBI) insurance: Insurance coverage to recover lost income after the business is reopened but until it reaches its pre-loss level.
3. Contingent Business Interruption (CBI) insurance: Insurance coverage for the insured’s loss of income resulting from damage to the property of others.
4. Civil Authority Coverage: Additional insurance coverage for losses caused by actions of civil authority, like government shutdowns, that limits access to the area surrounding a business. This impedes access to your facility and causes financial harm.
5. Dependent Property Coverage: Insurance coverage for losses arising from the shutdown of operations of another business. This includes suppliers, retailers, or other companies that attract customers to your business.
6. Extra Expense Coverage: An added insurance coverage that reimburses expenses to restore business operations. It also covers costs to avoid or minimize a business suspension.
Types of Businesses Affected by the Covid-19 Pandemic
Virtually every business in the United States has been damaged by the pandemic. These include:
- Factories and manufacturing plants
- Restaurants and diners
- Hotels, motels, and inns
- Grocery stores, food suppliers, and party stores
- Retail stores, bakeries, and coffee shops
- Pre-schools, private schools, and universities
- Daycare centers and nurseries
- Real estate businesses, apartment complexes, and rentals
- Movie theaters, concert venues, and playhouses
- Sports teams, leagues, and stadiums
- Gyms, health clubs, and martial art studios
- Yoga and Pilate studios
- Indoor recreational activities
- Car dealerships and repair shops
- Medical offices, dental offices, and surgical centers, and MRI centers
- Law firms, accounting offices, and professional businesses
- Veterinarian offices and pet groomers
- Electricians, plumbers, and contractors
- Hair salons, barbershops, and nail salons
- Limousine, charter bus, taxi, and transportation companies
- Flower shops and landscaping businesses
- Conventions, conferences, and seminars
- Wedding halls and banquet centers
- Event planning companies
- All other businesses and companies
How Do I Make a Claim Under My Business Interruption Policy?
The first thing to do is to review your policy to see if you have business interruption insurance coverage. Chances are very likely your policy contains that coverage.
Your insurance declaration page may state the amount of liability covered under that provision.
Next, you should discuss your claim with an experienced business insurance lawyer. It is necessary to have the certified policy to reviewed to determine if you have a valid claim.
If you submit your claim directly to the insurance company without consulting with an attorney, be careful with the language you use in making that claim. It is best to file your claim “under all coverage terms of the policy,” rather than stating a specific reason.
You may later be limited to the specific reason you initially stated in your claim instead of all potential basis for coverage.
Additionally, many policies have specific conditions precedent in the policy. This is the requirement that certain information and documentation must be submitted along with your claim.
After a claim is submitted, the insurance company will review your claim to see if it is a covered loss. Most times, you will receive a letter denying your claim.
The next step is to have a lawyer determine the likelihood in succeeding in an insurance dispute lawsuit.
What is an Insurance Policy Exclusion?
Your business insurance policy may be more than 100 pages long. It is filled with terms, definitions, and explanations. Many sections of the policy define covered claims and excluded claims.
Exclusions are specific claims that are expressly not covered under the policy.
Many times, the insurer will deny a claim based upon a written exclusion. However, you should not deem that rejection as the end-all. Many denials are wrongfully determined by the insurer.
For example, your insurer may tell you that you are not covered for a Covid-19 loss because “there was no direct physical damage to your property.” However, this may not be a valid basis for denying your claim.
Do not simply accept this rejection. Contact our insurance claim attorneys now.
Does Business Interruption Cover Covid-19 Pandemic Claims?
The determination of whether your Covid-19 losses are covered under your business interruption section will be based on a number of factors.
Every case is different because much of the determination will be based strictly on the terms of your insurance policy.
What is the “Virus Exclusion” in My Insurance Policy?
Many insurance policies contain a specific “virus exclusion.” Some policies have language that states that there is no coverage for a loss “caused by or resulting from a virus.”
The insurance company will likely argue that this exclusion alone provides the basis for denying your claim. However, the virus exclusion may not be a reason for rejection.
Other facts and terms of the policy may provide coverage. Also, many virus exclusions are not well written. Courts may determine the policy language is ambiguous.
In those cases, the clause is invalid and unenforceable. This means the exclusion does not apply and you are entitled to coverage under your business policy.
For example, your business was likely interrupted due to government actions. A shutdown mandated by the federal, state, or local government may be construed differently than the virus shutting down your business.
The policy language and definitions are the keys to determining if the virus exclusion bars your claims or provides you with coverage for your business losses.
What if My Policy has a Pandemic Exclusion?
Some policies even have “pandemic exclusions.” These exclusions are likely more binding and favorable to the insurance company.
However, it may not be specific and therefore not applicable to your losses. Again, an experienced attorney can review your policy and provide free advice.
How Do I Know if My Covid-19 Interruption Claim is Covered?
A detailed legal analysis is needed to evaluate your policy, your losses, and the laws in the state where your business is located.
Every state has slightly different statutes, regulations and case laws that apply to insurance policies. Your claim may or may not be excluded.
The fact is that this is a new area of insurance disputes and the real answer of whether there is coverage is to be determined.
Our insurance lawyers expect many denied claims will result in lawsuits and the courts will determine these issues.
In most cases, there will not be a definite “yes” or “no” whether you will win your case. Ultimately, the result will depend on the ruling of a judge and maybe even a higher appellate court.
Legislative Efforts in Several States
Several states are putting forth legislative efforts to prevent insurance companies from denying Covid-19 business interruption claims. These include New York, Massachusetts, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Louisiana. Many other states are expected to push for similar legislation.
Can I Sue the Insurance Company for Denying My Claim?
If your claim was unlawfully denied or rejected, you can sue your insurance company under the business interruption coverage of your policy. The lawsuit will be filed at the proper courthouse and demand payment for your losses under the policy.
The outcome of most insurance lawsuits is determined by the judge.
Attorneys for the parties will file extensive written briefs arguing their positions in the case. The judge may allow oral arguments by the attorneys or can decide the result based upon the briefs alone.
How Much are Settlements in Business Interruption Lawsuits?
Every case is different and based upon the losses of the insured. An appraisal by a certified appraiser is often the basis for determining your losses.
Additionally, a forensic accountant or economist can review your books to provide the damages suffered from the pandemic.
Depending on the terms of your policy, may be able to recoup all losses to date suffered due to the pandemic.
In addition, you may be able to claim future losses until your business fully recovers and is back to pre-Covid-19 revenues.
What are the Lawyer Fees to Sue my Insurance Company?
If our insurance claim lawyers accept your case, there are absolutely no legal fees unless you reach a settlement with the insurance company. And, we pay all of the case costs and expenses.
It costs nothing to start your claim.
Our fees are based on a percentage of your settlement. So, we have every incentive to win you the highest possible insurance settlement.
And, we get paid our fee when your settlement check arrives.
Contact a Business Interruption Insurance Lawyer
Our business insurance lawyers can help you if your business suffered losses during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Your insurer may have improperly denied your claim, leaving you facing serious financial uncertainty or even bankruptcy.
Contact us to discuss your case to see if you are covered under the business interruption clause of your insurance contract.
We provide a free consultation and case review.
Mr. Buckfire was more than helpful. A really outstanding person, he helped us so much through our struggles and did everything in his power to get us a settlement.
This was our first experience needing an attorney and Buckfire and Buckfire came highly recommended. Dondi Vesprini did a great job explaining the legal language and calming our nervousness when dealing with the paperwork. If the time comes when we need their help again, we wouldn’t hesitate to call Dondi at Buckfire and Buckfire, P.C.
I’m the kind of person who researches everything before purchasing anything or hiring anyone. That’s what lead me Buckfire Law Firm. I called and was connected with Bob Lantzy. Let me tell you, from the very beginning Bob was seriously awesome! I read another review that said Bob felt like a friend and that couldn’t more true. He really does make you feel that way. Bob had no problem answering the one million questions I had, he always kept me in the loop, and helped me get the most I could in my settlement. If I ever need an attorney in the future, I would not hesitate to give him a call.
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