A Novel Issue for a Novel Pandemic – Coronavirus Business Interruption Insurance
The Orlando Sentinel recently reported that insurance companies are telling businesses their policies don’t cover the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) shutdown. This issue has already sparked a nationwide feud between business owners, who say their claims are being wrongfully denied, and insurance companies, who maintain that business interruption insurance does not cover businesses in the majority of situations. Several lawsuits have been filed already throughout the nation and right here in the Sunshine State that demand the insurance companies pay out on the plaintiff’s respective claims.
What is Business Interruption Insurance?
Backup plans are always a good idea in regard to our own unpredictable situations and businesses are no different. Simply put, business interruption insurance is a backup plan for businesses. This is a special type of insurance coverage that is intended to cover a policyholder’s losses in the event that business stops or is interrupted due to some specified reason.
Does Business Interruption Insurance Cover Losses Related to the Pandemic?
The novelty of this situation means that, unfortunately, the answer to this question currently remains unclear. Even members of the federal government have attempted to clarify this issue and obtain relief for businesses by writing to insurance industry leaders in March of this year and urging them to expand coverage to include COVID-19. However, industry insurance leaders responded by differentiating between standard commercial insurance policies, which they argued were more broad, and business interruption policies. The four industry group leaders stated that the latter policies do not, and were not designed to provide coverage against communicable diseases like COVID-19.
However, many people who are struggling to hold on to their businesses in a time of sheltering in place and quarantines instead argue that there is no way that any policy could exclude a virus that no one previously heard of or contemplated. As lawsuits concerning this issue are just beginning, it has not yet been revealed how courts will view this novel issue.
What Can Business Owners do in the Meantime?
Every business owner who has a business interruption insurance policy is encouraged to pull it out and read it carefully for clues as to exactly what your policy may cover. While many policies require some form of direct physical loss or damage to the business property to be triggered, some others require only that the government place restrictions on business operations. In addition, some policies actually do explicitly provide coverage for communicable or infectious diseases, which means COVID-19 could be more easily covered.
We Are the Legal Advisors You Can Trust
Whether you are battling your insurance company as a business or are dealing with the implications of post-accident injuries as an individual, you deserve legal help from a team that will place your interests first and dedicate themselves to your success even in the face of unfamiliar territory. As the Florida business interruption insurance and COVID-19 attorneys at the Pendas Law Firm, we don’t shy away from uncharted areas of law and we have the experience and knowledge you can depend on to overcome the challenges that may lie between you and the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to begin.
The Pendas Law Firm also represents clients in the Fort Lauderdale, Ocala, Tampa, Bradenton, Miami, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Fort Myers and Daytona Beach areas.