The coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic has dealt a major blow to businesses, companies, and industries of all sorts. Some companies have a better chance of keeping the lights on than others, though, thanks to “business interruption” insurance policies purchased before the pandemic. Basically, business interruption insurance will pay the policyholder if they cannot run their business as normal due to some unforeseen circumstance, like an earthquake, a big rig that crashes through the front of the store, or a contagious virus that makes it so no customers can buy a service or product.
In particular, such policies that don’t have clauses that exclude virus-based coverage should be a boon for business owners in need right now. “Should” being the keyword.
If you are a business owner with business interruption insurance coverage, then you might already know how much insurance companies are fighting related claims. Rather than getting the financial safety net you purchased, you might wind up in a fight with your insurer about the fine print of your coverage.
“Physical Damage” Caused by the Coronavirus
The primary response from insurers who are resisting business interruption claims has been that the coronavirus has not caused physical damage to the insureds’ properties. Without physical damage, there can be no insurance payout, or so claim the insurance companies that sold the policies.
The counterargument here is that COVID-19 has caused actual physical damage to covered properties. How? The presence of the virus on a surface in a business establishment renders that surface dangerous to anyone who gets near it. To make the surface safe for regular business use again, deep sanitation methods must be used – and often. In this way, the coronavirus has caused measurable damage because work must be done to restore those surfaces and that work costs time and money to complete.
Although the damage caused by the coronavirus is not visually obvious, it is there. Insurance companies need to acknowledge as much and respect the claims they sold to business owners, or prepare for an inundation of lawsuits.
Check Your Business Interruption Insurance Coverage
Do you own a storefront or commercial property in any industry that has been seriously impacted by the coronavirus pandemic? There is no better time than right now to double-check your business insurance policy for business interruption insurance coverage and whether or not it excludes damages caused by a virus. You could be sitting atop a policy that will provide a significant payout for your losses if the company that sold the policy cooperates.
For large companies and small businesses in Austin alike, legal help dealing with insurance companies is not far away. Just call (512) 400-3278 and connect with Briggle & Polan, PLLC to work with our highly experienced insurance claim attorneys. We can begin your case by carefully reviewing your business insurance policies for any mention of business interruption coverage. Depending on what we uncover, we can discuss the next steps to take, such as contacting your insurance company on your behalf to demand a fair and honest payout of the coverage.