COVID-19: Can You Dispute the Denial of Your Business Interruption Claim?
During these trying times, many small and large businesses alike are not certain whether they will survive the unmeasurable economic blow from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The coronavirus crisis has affected Florida’s businesses differently: Some had to reduce hours, while others limited their services to take-out or switched to remote working. But most had to close their doors completely due to the state’s stay-at-home order.
COVID-19 Pandemic and Insurance Coverage for Businesses
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses are turning to insurance companies to obtain compensation for the economic losses caused by forced closures. However, many are unable to recover a penny because insurers are denying coronavirus-related business claims.
“Business interruption insurance does not cover damage caused by viruses or diseases,” insurance companies argue. But are they telling the truth? Unfortunately, yes. Most business interruption policies require “direct physical damage” to be eligible for coverage.
However, certain policies are not as strict about the “physical damage” requirement and allow business owners to recover damages caused by the coronavirus crisis. Also, many insurance companies are trying to take advantage of the mass confusion surrounding business interruption coverage amid the pandemic. If your coronavirus-related business claim is valid, but the insurance company denied your claim, talk to a Miami insurance dispute lawyer.
Business Interruption Coverage and Coronavirus
Many business owners in Florida and other parts of the nation purchase business interruption coverage under their commercial property damage policy. As Florida is no stranger to hurricanes and other “acts of God,” many local business owners opt for insurance coverage that would cover any losses caused by natural disasters.
Business interruption insurance is one such coverage that provides coverage for lost profits and extra expenses associated with natural disasters. Many business owners mistakenly thought that this type of insurance would also cover their losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
However, that does not appear to be the case; at least for most businesses, it doesn’t. In fact, the majority of economic losses sustained by a company during the COVID-19 pandemic will not be covered by their business interruption policy simply because it does not cover damages related to viruses and diseases.
Insurance companies reject disaster claims made by affected businesses during the coronavirus crisis because there must be “direct physical damage” as a result of the disaster in order for the business interruption coverage to apply. Luckily, you may be able to dispute the denial of your business interruption claim.
What to Do if Your Insurer Denies Your Business Interruption Claim?
But what should you do if your claim does not meet the “physical damage” requirement when seeking compensation through your business interruption policy? What are your options if your Florida insurer denied your claim? First and foremost, you have a right to dispute the denial.
Since every policy is different – and policy wording may vary from one policyholder to another – whether or not your claim will be denied depends on your circumstances, type of business, terms of your insurance plan, as well as your lawyer’s experience and persistence.
Depending on the wording in your business interruption policy, a knowledgeable Miami insurance coverage dispute attorney may be able to find a loophole that will help tap into your coverage during the COVID-19 pandemic.
During these unprecedented times, insurance companies face increased pressure from policyholders, which is why the denial of your business insurance claim might have been purely accidental. Contact our Miami commercial litigation attorneys at Pita Weber Del Prado to review your insurance policy and determine whether your claim will be honored. Call at 305-670-2889 for a case evaluation.