COVID-19 Business Interruption Claims: What You Need To Know
To Our Dear Business Owners and Friends: We deeply appreciate everyone’s hard work as we sacrifice and come together as a community during this health crisis. We are resilient and will emerge healthy and stronger than ever! That’s our goal, and to achieve it, know that our office is offering free consultations to business owners, big and small alike, to review their business insurance coverages as they relate to the loss of business and expenses incurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Most businesses’ commercial insurance policies and/or commercial general liability policies include a coverage called “Businesses Interruption,” “Business Loss,” or “Business Income” loss coverage among other possible coverages. This important issue is already at the forefront of the legal/business community, as the first lawsuit in the United States has been recently filed in New Orleans on behalf of a prominent restaurant. The purpose of the suit is to clarify the legal interpretation of policy language that is included in almost every business policy, that requires “direct physical loss or damage” to your insured property for the coverage to apply. Insurers are already using that language (and other policy language) to deny claims. We believe and hope that we will succeed in having our state courts resolve these issues in favor of coverage in most cases.
I want all of you to know that unlike typical lawsuits for damages, in the case of a claim against your own insurance company, like the business economic loss claims we handle, a business can claim penalties and attorneys’ fees in certain instances. But it is a time-sensitive issue, and the sooner a claim is submitted with all the necessary documentation to support it, the sooner the “clock begins to tick” for your insurance company to pay you before incurring penalties under Louisiana’s “bad faith” statutes. We recommend that, if you have not filed a claim yet, you seek legal counsel to evaluate your policy and advise you before submitting a claim. We encourage all of our business owners to contact us at any point in the process at 866-522-3456 and to submit your business policy for review to us at [email protected] Our law office is fully operational and ready to work on your claim if your insurance company wrongfully denies your claim or makes an inadequate offer to settle it during this crisis. We are reviewing cases for business owners anywhere in Louisiana.
Attorney fees: Our initial consultation and review of your policy or policies are free with no obligation. And we will not charge you a fee unless we collect money on your claim.
Social distancing: We value your health and that of our staff, so measures are now in place so that the entire process can be by phone, email and/or teleconference.
Rental properties: If you have rental property or any business property that is affected by COVID-19, including Airbnb’s, we would be happy to review your policies to see if we believe coverage should be available.
IMPORTANT: If you have not already done so, now is the time for business owners to preserve any information necessary to potentially make a claim for business losses associated with the coronavirus (COVID-19). This includes profit and loss statements, income tax returns, and projections of losses anticipated going forward. These include not only business income losses but also costs to restore your business back to its condition before the pandemic affected your business. Such remediation expenses are not possible for some unless you are paid for those expenses by your insurance company.
INSURANCE COMPANY “FAKE NEWS”: DO NOT just take the insurance company’s or your agent’s word when they tell you there is no coverage for COVID-19, or that there is an exclusion for viruses in your policy. The Insurance Industry has taken this legal positions regarding coverage today that may not stand up to legal scrutiny in the future, and there are negotiations taking place among legal and insurance industry leaders that may resolve these issues soon, making it important to submit your claim as soon as possible. Let us advise you after a review of your policy to advise you as to the coverages and exclusions that may or may not apply.
WHAT YOU NEED TO DO NOW:
- Contact us today.
- Get a complete copy of your commercial policy with all endorsements and exclusions and your Declarations Page.
- If your policy meets our criteria for accepting representation, we will discuss the financial documentation needed to support your claims.
Of course, we realize how daunting this process may seem, especially if you’ve never had to make such a claim for business expenses and interruption before. And so we offer our help at any point in the process. Please call our office at 866-522-3456 or email us today.
Be Healthy and Safe, my friends.