Business interruption coverage is a particularly complex area of insurance law. But one thing is simple: Insurance companies are beholden above all to their bottom lines, and they will use any excuse to deny your claim.
For this reason it’s important to understand some of the reasons that might give for denying or delaying payment of your business interruption insurance claims. Reviewing the language of your specific policy will be the first step in the process.
Physical Damage Standard
To begin with, in some cases the courts have held that business interruption coverage only applies if there has been physical damage to the premises. During most natural disasters (e.g. hurricanes), this standard seems reasonable.
However, the current coronavirus pandemic, which is no less a disaster, isn’t causing physical damage to storefronts. As such, there are questions about when or even if interruption caused by coronavirus will qualify as physical damage. This issue is by no means settled, but insurance companies will use it as an argument against paying you.
A more underhanded means to avoid paying out a business interruption insurance claim could be hidden deep inside your current policy. After the 2003 SARS outbreak, some commercial insurance policies began to include clauses that explicitly excluded damages caused by biological and microbial agents.
If you read your policy closely, you might see clauses stating that you aren’t covered for losses caused by “bacteria” or losses caused by “a virus or bacteria.” The good news is that an experienced lawyer can use these language nuances against an insurance company (e.g. a bacterium and a virus are not the same thing). Because the exact wording of your policy is critical in these instances it’s important to speak with an attorney who can carefully review your policy.
If your company has been hurt by a natural disaster or the current coronavirus pandemic, your business interruption insurance policy might be your path to recovering some of your economic losses. Call the Personal Injury & Accident Law Center today at (561)372-3800 for a free insurance policy review.