If you are a business owner, you likely have multiple insurance policies in place to make sure accidents and disasters do not leave you ruined. During the COVID-19 pandemic, some coverage will yield a valid claim, and some may not due to exclusions or policy language.
At Stabinski Law, we can help you understand each policy you have in place and file and fight for valid claims and benefits.
Business Interruption Insurance
Whether your business interruption insurance is part of your first-party property insurance or an independent policy, it is the first place you should look for coverage. Most of the time, these policies cover property damage claims that cause you to lose access to your business. While Coronavirus may not constitute property damage in the traditional sense, you may be able to recover benefits if your policy has coverage for loss of use Under “civil authority” coverage.
Physical contamination with COVID-19 can also constitute physical damage but may be hard to prove. Additionally, many policies have written exclusions for bacterial and/or viral protections. Overall, whether or not you are covered will come down to the language of your policy.
If your policy excludes only bacterial infection, for instance, you can argue that COVID-19 is a virus and is thus covered. Citing executive orders, like the one in place in Florida, may also help you make a business interruption damage claim if you rely on the “civil authority” coverage and other relevant language.
While some policies have well-defined exclusions, others allow any claims that aren’t excluded specifically. Because this is a largely unprecedented situation, disputes are bound to arise.
Luckily, our insurance attorneys can help.
Supply Chain Insurance
Even businesses deemed “essential” by the Florida executive order may not be able to operate normally. In anticipation of supply chain disruption, many companies purchase contingent business interruption insurance to account for these losses.
Typically, you will select which suppliers you want coverage when you first form your policy. You may also have coverage if the market for your product is suddenly interrupted. In any case, your insurance could cover increased costs, lost or reduced operations, and loss of service.
Keep in mind that exclusions can still apply and the rules surrounding COVID-19 remain largely unwritten.
Event Cancellation Insurance
Performance and event venues have been hit particularly hard by the Coronavirus pandemic. Fortunately, event cancellation insurance tends to cover a wide range of emergencies. Many of these policies specifically allow for infectious disease coverage, but many insurers are writing exclusions retroactively or adding them to every new policy they sell.
If your policy was written before 2019 ended, you likely won’t find an infectious disease exclusion, but pay special attention, as your policy may have been changed without your consent.
If someone gets hurt on your property or while you are providing them with services, you could face liability. Occupations with high liability risks, like our heroes within the medical field, carry liability insurance for this reason. If you’re facing a third-party liability claim, you will need to turn to this coverage.
Do not back down if your insurance company tries to delay, deny, or otherwise shirk your claim.
All employers with 4 or more employees in the state of Florida must carry workers’ compensation insurance. This insurance covers any injuries or illnesses a worker sustains or contracts in the course of their employment.
While workplace exposures to COVID-19 may be difficult to pinpoint and prove, all valid workers’ compensation claims should be honored.
Business owners are struggling during the Coronavirus pandemic, but many of them have insurance policies that will help.