COVID-19 has struck a devastating blow to the U.S. economy. Non-essential businesses across the country have been forced to close in light of local orders and requirements. This has made it difficult for a whole host of businesses, many of which pay premiums for business interruption service. But what happens when those insurance policies don’t pay out?
Thousands of businesses across the country have lost billions of dollars after being forced to close as the result of local COVID-19 restrictions on non-essential businesses. Other businesses have had to modify their operations which has also resulted in losses. It is estimated that small businesses will suffer losses from $250 billion to $430 billion a month. Many of these businesses have, for years, been paying high premiums for business interruption insurance. This insurance is designed to cover the losses a business sustains after a disaster. It would seem, given the emergency declarations both federally and on the state level, that these insurance policies would now apply. However, insurance companies are fighting their duty to pay out on these policies.
Insurance companies argue that a pandemic was not anticipated to be part of the coverage of business interruption insurance. However, a pandemic was never anticipated by anybody and should surely fall under the category of disaster. Companies argue that the lack of geographic boundaries that come with a pandemic make it difficult for them to spread out their risk. However, this is what insurance is designed for, to cover losses. Insurance companies are also arguing that it is the job of the government to fully help businesses recover. While there has been some help from the government for some businesses, it is not covering all losses. In some cases, insurance companies are even seeking immunity from the government to prevent them from having to pay out on their policies.
Businesses have paid premiums for this insurance and should be able to receive the coverage they paid for. There are now lawsuits across the country where businesses are suing their insurance companies in an effort to get paid what they deserve. The lawsuits allege that a business has suffered a physical loss or damage when it is unable to conduct business due to a pandemic. Because the policies do not explicitly exclude coverage for pandemics, then they should pay out.
An Experienced Attorney Can Help
If you are a business who has been denied assistance from your business interruption insurance due to COVID-19, you should have your case evaluated by an experienced attorney. Gregg Goldfarb has over 20 years of experience helping businesses. Contact us online or call us at 305-374-7000 to schedule a free consultation.