How Long Do I Have to File a COVID-19 Business Interruption Claim?
If your business lost revenue from COVID-19 closures and interruptions, there are time limits for filing a Business Interruption (BI) claim. No matter what type of commercial insurance coverage you purchased, every policy has specific language regarding the deadlines for filing these claims. The contractual terms of some Business Interruption policies require that claims be submitted during the typical policy period dates, but these will vary across carriers and policies.
Don’t make the mistake of waiting too long. The best– and most prudent– course of action is to file your COVID-19 Business Interruption Claim as soon as possible. Many businesses have stalled the process after getting pushback regarding policy exclusions, unaware that they could be jeopardizing their rights to compensation for financial losses during the pandemic.
File your Business Interruption claim as soon as possible
As noted above, many companies have Business Interruption coverage as part of their commercial property insurance. If you are uncertain about policy details, or filing requirements, contact Douglas & London for expert legal assistance. Don’t be dissuaded by agents who claim that because there is no “direct physical loss of property,” your COVID 19 business interruption insurance claim isn’t valid.
A number of lawsuits based on denied COVID business loss claims have been brought in both state and federal court, and litigation against insurers may pave the way for thousands to recuperate their losses.
Even if your total losses cannot yet be calculated, you should not delay filing your claim for BI coverage. With states mandating more restrictions, many businesses are still losing revenue, but even if you are shut down and incurring more losses, comply with your policy’s deadlines.
If you are uncertain about exclusions or policy language, consult with an experienced New York City business interruption insurance lawyer, who can verify your BI coverage for coronavirus losses. The possibility of a denial should not deter you from taking action. Insurance companies are looking for ways to skirt financial liability for compensation during the pandemic, but they may ultimately be required to pay these claims in full.
Steps you can take right now
After reviewing your Business Interruption policy with legal counsel, the next step is filing a claim. In some situations, this can be done by your insurance agent or broker, or you may have to do it yourself via written letter or email. Make sure you comply within the prescribed time limits, which can be surprisingly short.
When filing your claim for pandemic-related business losses, confirm that you are seeking all coverage available under your BI policy. When asked by the claim examiner the reason for your business interruption, the most prudent response is “government-mandated shutdowns and COVID 19.”
After that, it’s essential to keep detailed records that support your claim. Keep track of all receipts, paid invoices, and financial statements that speak to the scope of your losses. And remember, it’s in your best interest to get legal advice if you have any doubts.
Can you file a BI claim before you re-open?
Yes, even if your business is still closed, you are encouraged to start the process right away. If deadlines are missed, you stand a much lower chance of recovering benefits for lost revenue and operational expenses. Contact the broker or agent who sold you the commercial policy, or provide direct notice of the claim to your carrier.
Contact Us Today For a Free Case Evaluation Regarding COVID-19 Business Loss Claims
Legislation and civil rulings regarding COVID 19 Business Interruption claims are still evolving. In the meantime, eligible policyholders should file their claims and seek legal representation as needed.
To discuss this, contact Douglas & London for a free case evaluation.