Bridgeport, CT Business Interruption Insurance Lawyer
COVID-19 triggered an unprecedented level of business closures from March through May, pushing many local businesses to the brink of bankruptcy. Once companies ran through their PPP loans, they began looking at other ways to stay solvent, including the filing of business interruption insurance claims. However, many insurers delayed or outright denied these claims. You may be wondering, “Are there policy exclusions relevant to a global pandemic… or was my insurer acting in bad faith regarding a legitimate claim?”
Contact Bridgeport, CT Business Interruption Insurance Lawyers
Douglas and London can help by:
- Offering a FREE CONSULTATION to assess the strengths and weaknesses of your potential claim.
- Reviewing your specific policy language for vague clauses that can be re-interpreted by the courts.
- Negotiating with your insurer on your behalf for a higher settlement than what was previously offered.
- Smoothing over tense correspondence with bill collectors, landlords, and vendors demanding money.
- Advocating for your policyholder rights and pushing for legislation that will force insurers to pay.
We have represented business owners affected by Hurricane Sandy, first responders injured in 9/11, and businesses affected by their neighbors’ environmental chemical dumps. We bring in a wide range of experts to lend credibility to tough claims.
Since 2002, we have recovered over $18 billion in verdicts and settlements on behalf of our business and personal injury clients. Our legal team has the knowledge, experience, and resources to win. There is nothing to lose by consulting with a business interruption insurance lawyer at our firm.
What Does Business Interruption Insurance Cover?
A business interruption insurance policy is typically designed to “indemnify the insured against losses arising from the inability to continue normal business operations and functions” arising from damage caused by a “covered peril.” These “perils” typically include wind, fire, falling objects, lightning, and theft.
Covered losses may include:
- Income lost due to being closed
- Lost rent when the property was out of commission
- Employee wages and payroll benefits
- Temporary relocation expenses
- Loan payments
- Business taxes
Most policies provide coverage until the damaged property is restored, but some policies may provide “extended business interruption coverage” until the company reaches pre-loss income levels. Another type of coverage – “contingent business interruption coverage” – kicks in when damage to a supplier or nearby business disrupts your normal business operations. “Civil authority coverage” protects your business from a government-ordered shutdown due to catastrophe.
What Doesn’t Business Interruption Insurance Cover?
Some commercial policies are “all-risk” and cover all losses except those specifically excluded.
Policy exclusions vary, but may prohibit coverage for:
- Undocumented income
- Utilities (which should have been turned off to mitigate damages)
- Temporary power outages lasting less than a week
- Lack of physical property damage
- Partial closure losses
Since the 2002-2003 SARS outbreak led to millions of dollars paid by insurers in business interruption claims, many insurers have specifically written viral exclusion clauses into their contracts. Other policies may have exclusions for “mold, fungi, or bacteria” – but do not specifically mention viruses, diseases, or pandemics.
When faced with ambiguity in the language of their contracts, policyholders are demanding answers to questions such as:
- Under what conditions can a virus be considered “property damage?”
- What conditions prompt “civil authority” coverage?
- Can a business still collect on the policy, if it was operating for takeout-only service?
- Even when a policy has a virus-related exclusion, are those exclusions enforceable?
- In cases of limited coverage for closure due to a virus, how are damages calculated?
- Will the government step in and mandate broad-based coverage?
- Will a court precedent dictate what is or isn’t covered under these policies?
Start Your Business Insurance Claim Today
If you believe you have a claim, provide prompt notice to your insurer so you are not denied based on “late notice.” Cooperate with the insurance company to provide timely “proof of loss,” as requested. Working with a business interruption insurance attorney at Douglas and London will give you an ally you can rely upon and the best chance of success.