The Coronavirus pandemic has been devastating to businesses and communities. The impact to our families and small businesses around the country is far reaching and the long-term effect of this crisis is hard to comprehend.  Many businesses have been forced to close due to civil executive orders and others due to economic conditions or a conscious choice to protect employees from illness.  This pandemic has irrevocably changed the landscape of our society and many of us have had to make difficult decisions that we know will negatively impact our businesses and our employees.

These closures have resulted in significant business losses including having to shut down for good.  Based upon our experience in handling insurance claims for over 20 years we have developed this page to provide helpful information for those of you who have business insurance claims and we are providing a free policy review as to your available insurance coverage.

Coronavirus/COVID19 Claims – Am I Covered? 

Many policy holders who have purchased business interruption coverage are asking – am I covered for the coronavirus impact to my business? Most applicable insurance policies were purchased before January of 2020 and will not have any mention of Coronavirus.  However, you may have purchased coverage triggered by a world crisis, civil closure orders or a pandemic. Insurance companies began selling this specific coverage after the SARS and Ebola virus scares, and you may have selected specific coverage for associated business losses.

We recommend a thorough review of your policy to determine the extent of your business loss insurance coverage.  If you are unsure whether your policy provides for coverage related to the coronavirus pandemic or if you have been denied coverage we will help you interpret your policy to determine whether you are entitled to benefits under your policy.

Exclusions For Viruses—What Do I Do Now?

After prevalent mold contamination claims and other claims related to viral and bacterial infections, insurance companies started including “exclusions” in their policies.  These exclusions, in most cases, prevent policy holders from recovering damages from losses related to contamination or losses from viruses like the Coronavirus.  We recommend allowing an attorney to review your policy to identify any possible exclusions, and to determine whether you may be afforded coverage under different provisions of the policy or based on relevant case law in your jurisdiction.  We are providing a free review of your insurance policy to determine whether you are eligible to recover any and all business losses caused by this pandemic.

Deceptive Trade Practices Related To My Business Interruption Claims

In certain states, those purchasing insurance policies are considered “consumers” and may assert claims for deceptive trade practices related to insurance disputes. Claims made under these consumer protection laws allow recovery of a business’s actual losses and in certain cases three (3) times the actual loss plus attorney’s fees.   You may be entitled to these enhanced damages. We are available to review your policy and the circumstances of any denial of your insurance claim to determine whether you may be entitled additional money for your insurance company’s deceptive or illegal practices.

Legislative Action Relating To Coronavirus Insurance Claims.

There are some states with pending legislation that would help provide relief to business owners looking to file business interruption claims. We recommend you pay attention to your state government to see whether they pass any legislation that could offer some form of financial assistance. We are following all legislative initiatives during this coronavirus pandemic, and we are here to advise you regarding any changes in the law as our government reacts to insurance policy disputes.

How Do I find Out Whether I Have Business Interruption Coverage?   

Free Policy Review

To start your review please complete the form and upload your policy below. If you need assistance call or email clientintake@smithclinesmith.com

What Documents Do I Need To Pursue My Business Interruption Claim? 

An experienced attorney will help you understand the steps necessary to protect your potential business interruption claim.   To properly assess your claims you will need to:

  • Obtain a copy of your insurance policy. Look for your Declarations Page, which lists all coverage and exclusions. If you cannot locate a copy of your policy, contact your insurance agent to have them send it to you.
  • Keep record of all losses incurred as a result of the Coronavirus/COVID19 pandemic. This should include all losses related to payroll, closures, and other business operation expenses. If you have incurred expenses related to transforming your business in light of the executive/government orders, please maintain accurate records regarding those expenses.
  • Gather historical documents setting your your business revenue for the last two years including tax records, profit and loss statements, balance sheets, income/revenue statements, payroll records, and any documents submitted under the recent Payroll Protection Plan.
  • Any records or correspondence between you and your insurance company regarding your business interruption claim. Any statements by your insurance carrier may be supportive of your legal claims.

State Executive Orders