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Coronavirus Business Interruption Insurance Claims

The ongoing Coronavirus health crisis has staggering implications for U.S. businesses.  Cities and counties throughout the nation have ordered businesses to close – or operate in a reduced capacity – in an effort to limit spread of the virus.  As the crisis continues, many businesses will likely sustain economic losses that will threaten their ability to employ their previous workforce and indeed, their very existence.

Before a business owner simply accepts such a loss, they should carefully review their company’s insurance policy.  Many Business Owners Insurance policies include coverage for business interruption losses due to circumstances beyond the insured’s control, including loss due to the action of a civil authority, such as a city council or mayor.

To determine whether the company’s insurance policy provides potential coverage for a business interruption loss, consult the policy’s “Declarations” page, which is usually included within the policy’s first few pages.  It will identify the broad categories of coverage that the policy provides, and the limit for each coverage.  If it includes a line item for “business interruption,” “business income,” or a similar category, the policy may insure the loss.

Of course, the devil is in the details.  The policy’s specific provisions, including endorsements, exclusions, and conditions will determine whether and to what extent the business is covered for its lost income due to a Coronavirus shutdown.  These are oftentimes difficult provisions to interpret, especially for business owners or managers who do not have significant experience with insurance policy language.

The team at Hill, Kertscher & Wharton, LLP has extensive experience litigating complex insurance related disputes, including those involving the inclusion, omission, and interpretation of specific terms and policy provisions.  If you would like us to review your policy and determine your rights to compensation, please contact Blake Frye at bhf@hkw-law.com or 770-953-0995.  All information is strictly confidential.