What Should I Do If My COVID-19 Claim Is Denied?
You paid your business interruption (BI) insurance premiums faithfully, fully expecting that your insurance company would be there for you if your business were interrupted due to circumstances beyond your control. Coronavirus is certainly beyond anyone’s control, but now your insurance company has denied your Covid-19 claim. Now, stuck in pandemic limbo, you want to know your options. Without compensation for business interruption, your piece of the American Dream is in jeopardy.
During this unprecedented time, it is crucial that you keep careful records of all losses pertaining to Covid-19 interruption. This includes not only your company’s financial information but also personnel records. Keep any correspondence with your insurance company.
Just as we all faced the pandemic together, do not feel you must face your battle over a Covid-19 business interruption insurance denial alone. Seek out an experienced attorney specializing in BI insurance matters.
A New York City business interruption insurance lawyer at Douglas and London will guide you through possible options, including filing a lawsuit against your insurer. Many business interruption denials by insurers may be improper, and even demonstrate collusion on the part of insurance companies to protect their bottom lines at the expense of policyholders who are struggling to keep their businesses afloat.
We will protect your rights and fight aggressively to recover the compensation you deserve.
Commercial Insurance Policies
Review your commercial insurance policy carefully. After SARS broke out in 2003, many insurers excluded virus or similar coverage from their policies. However, just because there is a virus exclusion in your policy does not automatically mean you will never receive compensation. Other elements in the policy, including civil authority provisions, may provide an avenue for coverage.
If the insurer’s decision not to pay for Covid-19 losses is inconsistent with their policy, you may have grounds for suing the insurance carrier for bad faith and breach of contract.
Many business interruption insurance policies include physical damage as a requirement. That is because they are geared more toward business interruptions from fires, natural disasters, and other issues causing damage to the property.
Business interruption insurance should provide funds for:
- Employee salaries
- Fixed costs
- Loan payments
- Lost profits
- Temporary relocation
Extraordinary Situation, Ordinary Tactics
There is no question that the situation the world finds itself in because of the coronavirus pandemic is extraordinary. However, the insurance carrier’s reaction to this catastrophe is, unfortunately, business as usual.
Insurance companies want to pay out as little in claims as possible. When it comes to the mass claim denials that are occurring with Covid-19, many insurers know a good percentage of businesses will simply give up trying to obtain compensation. That is exactly what they are counting on.
They are also counting on demoralized business owners not to file claims within the timeframe required by the insurance company to submit such claims. If you fail to file your claim in a timely manner, the insurance company can deny it based on the time factor alone.
Civil Authority Coverage
Even if your policy specifically excludes coverage for viruses or bacteria, it may include coverage if your business shut down due to civil authority mandates. That is the case for virtually every non-essential business during the lockdown.
Some New York legislators are considering legislation to force insurance carriers to honor business interruption loss coverage from Covid-19.
New legislative developments on this issue are evolving rapidly, and courts should make major decisions in the near future.
Contact a New York City Business Interruption Insurance Attorney
If your business’ insurance claim was denied, contact a New York City business interruption insurance attorney at Douglas and London immediately. Schedule a free consultation by texting or calling 24/7 or completing our online form.
We will review your insurance policy and advise you of your options. We will work with you on a business interruption insurance claim denial appeal. Since we work on a contingency basis, there is no fee unless you receive compensation. Hablamos Espanol.