When you purchased business interruption insurance, did you ever expect that you would need it? Just like any other type of insurance, business interruption insurance is purchased as a precaution. Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus pandemic, many businesses have found themselves in dire need their business interruption insurance coverage.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected more than 200 countries and territories. Globally, there have been more than 10 million cases of positive infections; more than 500,000 people have died as a result of the novel coronavirus (as of late June). In March 2020, the U.S. declared a national emergency, which was followed by states issuing closures.
In California, for example, all non-essential businesses were ordered to close due to the pandemic. Only businesses that were deemed essential, such as grocery stores, restaurants (that provided take-out and delivery services), pharmacies, convenient stores, and banks, for instance, were allowed to remain open. Most small businesses that did not fit into the “essential” category were forced to close; others tried to adapt by offering curbside pick-up as well as delivery services.
Without a doubt, these government-mandated closures have resulted in significant losses to small businesses. Business owners have exhausted all their options – they have applied for loans and used up all their life-savings – to try to keep their business afloat during these difficult times. Many small business owners have resorted to their insurance companies and their business interruption insurance coverage.
Have you considered the possibility of pursuing a business interruption insurance claim for the losses to your business due to the pandemic and the forced closures? If so, do not hesitate to seek legal assistance with the experts at our law firm as soon as possible.
At Downtown L.A. Law Group, our lawyers have many years of experience handling all sorts of claims – including claims made against insurance companies. If you would like to explore the legal options available to you, do not hesitate to seek legal assistance with the experts as soon as possible. Our business interruption insurance claim attorneys are ready to provide you with all the information that you might need to pursue your claim and reach a successful claim outcome.
Understanding Business Interruption Insurance
What is business interruption insurance and how could it help you during this time? Business interruption insurance is a type of coverage that could help business owners with any losses – specifically financial losses as well as necessary expenses – to their businesses during unforeseen circumstances, usually disasters. Business interruption insurance could cover some of the losses/expenses listed below:
- Expenses associated with temporary locations (relocating the business to continue operations)
- Lost profits directly associated with the disaster or situation
- Extra expenses incurred to keep the business operational (these must be reasonable expenses)
- Commission and training expenses associated with training employees to use new equipment (that has been replaced by the insurance company)
- Civil Authority Ingress/Egress for the losses directly lost because of the government-ordered closures
If your business suffered losses as well as expenses during attempts to keep it afloat during the pandemic, could you be eligible to recover compensation? Based on the details surrounding the claim, you could be eligible to recover compensation for the points listed above. Ultimately, however, what you recover – if you are eligible to recover anything – will be strictly based on your policy.
Business interruption insurance policy language is often vague. Although it might explicitly include some things, it might not exclude others. Some policies claim that things that are not explicitly excluded are covered; however, some insurance companies will argue that things that are not explicitly included, such as losses caused by pandemic, are not covered.
For more information about business interruption insurance and whether you could pursue a claim, do not hesitate to seek legal assistance with the experts at our law firm as soon as possible. Our lawyers are ready to provide you with all the guidance that you need to reach a successful claim outcome.
How to Prepare to Open a Business Interruption Insurance Claim
If you are interested in filing a business interruption insurance claim, there are a number of things that you should do to prepare to open your claim. What should you do? To prepare to open your business interruption insurance claim, you should consider doing the following:
- Gather all records associated to the losses that your business suffered
- Gather all records associated to the losses caused by forced closures
- Gather all records associated to the expenses incurred associated with keeping the business operational
- Gather all records relevant to your insurance coverage, including your business interruption insurance policy
- Review your policy and the coverage offered
- Gather records of all relevant dates/notices relevant to the government-mandated closure
- Seek legal assistance for guidance in preparing to open your claim (bad faith claim)
How Do I Open My Claim?
If you have already prepared and think you are ready to officially open your business interruption claim, you should do the following:
- Gather all the information necessary to prove the losses and expenses directly resulting from the pandemic
- Contact your insurance company and speak to your representative
- Provide your insurance representative with the requested details
- Cooperate with the insurance company (the insurance company might request additional information)
After opening your claim, there will be significant waiting. It is normal for your insurance representative to contact you with updates and eventually contact you with a final decision. If your insurance company is not communicating with you whatsoever, you should consider other options.
You Could Run into Difficulties
Insurance companies have a duty to their claimants; they are legally responsible to payout valid claims. However, every payout is a loss for insurance companies. Often, insurance companies will purposefully ignore, postpone, and deny claims – simply to avoid paying claimants the compensation that they deserve (bad faith claim). Insurance companies might lie, withhold information, and even provide false information. Depending on the situation, they might also attempt to persuade claimants to not file their claims or withdraw their claims.
What can you do if this is happening to you? If the insurance company seems to be intentionally going against you, they might be acting in bad faith. You might have grounds to pursue a bad faith claim with the assistance of an experienced attorney. Although filing a bad faith claim seems to be an extra step, it can help you recover the compensation that you deserve – even if your insurance company refuses to cooperate. For more information about your right to file a bad faith claim due to your insurance company’s refusal to acknowledge your business interruption claim, do not hesitate to contact the experts at our firm immediately.
Seek Guidance from the Experts at Downtown L.A. Law Group Today
If you are interested in learning more about filing a business interruption insurance claim (or a bad faith claim), do not hesitate to seek legal assistance with the experts at our law firm as soon as possible. At Downtown L.A, Law Group, our lawyers have many years of experience handling all sorts of claims, including insurance claims. Are you ready to discuss your current situation with the experts at our firm? If so, do not hesitate to contact Downtown L.A. Law Group today.
At our firm, we are dedicated to remaining accessible to all affected parties; therefore, we offer free legal services. Our free legal services include free consultations as well as free second opinions. During our free consultations and free second opinions, our lawyers will be available to answer all your questions, address all your concerns, and provide you with all the information necessary to pursue your claim. Whether you are starting or continuing your claim (after starting it elsewhere), you can trust that our experts will provide you with the guidance that you need to reach a successful outcome. If you are ready to benefit from our free legal services, contact our firm as soon as possible.
Our firm also offers a Zero-Fee guarantee, meaning that claimants will not have to pay any upfront legal fees for any of our legal services. In addition, our firm is based on a strict contingency structure. Therefore, our clients will not be required to pay anything until after reaching a successful claim outcome. If you do not win, you will not be required to pay anything.
If you are ready to discuss your claim with the business interruption insurance attorneys at our firm, do not hesitate to contact Downtown L.A. Law Group as soon as possible.