The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented and catastrophic impact on businesses both large and small across the United States. Because of mandatory closures, restrictions on in-person sales, and associated loss of income, many “non-essential” businesses—and even some essential ones—have been forced to lay off or furlough employees and close their doors until the current emergency passes.
To make matters worse, many companies who purchased business interruption insurance in an attempt to prepare for such a disaster have had their claims denied by their providers, despite their obvious need for the coverage. If your West Palm Beach company has suffered losses due to COVID-19, the legal team at Domnick, Cunningham, & Whalen is prepared to help you file a claim with your business interruption insurance provider and recover the benefits you deserve.
Problems with Interruption Insurance Coverage for COVID-19
When business owners buy interruption insurance, they hope that it will protect them from income losses in the event their business is forced to unexpectedly shut down. Historically, this kind of insurance has covered events like fires, hurricanes, and vandalism, but recently many businesses have had to close due to the non-physical threat of the novel coronavirus.
Unfortunately, “non-physical” is a crucial descriptor when it comes to recovering benefits from this specific policy, because many providers require a business to suffer some form of physical damage in order for the insurance to kick in. This means that many insurers in Florida and across the nation are refusing to pay out on claims related to COVID-19 closures and income losses, as the pandemic has caused no overt damage to business property.
It is important to note, however, that most courts have yet to establish a universal definition for what constitutes as a “physical loss”, so eligibility for business interruption insurance benefits in West Palm Beach could be litigated on a case-by-case basis. A qualified business interruption attorney could discuss with an individual policyholder what is possible in their situation.
Potential Options for Recovery in West Palm Beach
Depending on what kind of insurance coverage a business owner has and what their particular circumstances are, there could be a few different ways to recover benefits during the pandemic. For example, a policy with a Civil Authority coverage clause may allow recovery of benefits due to a closure mandated by the government.
Likewise, Contingent Property and Dependent Property insurance may allow for coverage based on closures and losses. However, both these kinds of coverage usually require some form of damage to business or adjacent property in order to allow for recovery.
In many cases, the only way for business interruption insurance policyholders to avoid having a claim rejected is to file under infectious disease coverage, which not all policies provide. Fortunately, state legislators are likely to address these gaps in coverage soon, and in the meantime, qualified legal counsel could help file a comprehensive claim and contest an insurer’s rejection.
An Attorney Could Help with a Coronavirus Business Interruption Claim in West Palm Beach
In these uncertain times, you should take every available precaution to protect your company from COVID-19 effects, including seeking assistance from the business interruption insurance policy you pay into. Even if your insurance company has already denied your claim, you may still be able to make a recovery with help from a seasoned legal representative.
The legal team at Domnick, Cunningham, & Whalen has over 40 combined years of experience litigating complex cases based on bad-faith insurance claim denials, and a strong record of holding insurers accountable for failing to meet their contractual obligations. To find out how we could help you, contact a West Palm Beach business interruption claims lawyer today to set up a consultation.
Speak to a member of our team today.