Businesses May Get Compensation for Coronavirus Losses After All
A light seems to be brightening at the end of the tunnel for business owners amidst the talks of reopening the country: on April 10, Trump spoke during his coronavirus task force briefing and acknowledged that he feels insurers should pay business-interruptions claims, so long as the insurance policy does not exclude pandemics.
The Coronavirus has Wreaked Unparalleled Havoc on America’s Businesses
The impact of Trump’s opinion, and of course the ultimate legislation that could come from his influential opinion, is huge for business owners as it is safe to say that most business owners have felt a negative impact from the coronavirus. Between greatly decreased sales and/or profits, struggles to pay/retain employees or dealing with mass layoffs, tensions with suppliers, fears from customers, and more, the coronavirus has completely changed the daily operations of most businesses throughout the world, and that is just speaking for those businesses who have been fortunate enough to keep operating during this pandemic. Goldman Sachs recently published an article stating that half of small business owners only saw being able to operate for another three more months due to the coronavirus’ impact on their operations. As a country that prides itself on small businesses, we can not let this virus destroy our country’s backbone.
At The Eberst Law Firm, we foresee that business-interruption claims will be commonplace soon, and we are preparing for this new wave of claims by constantly staying on top of the changing laws. We suspect and already see that the insurance companies could try to retaliate against this new influx of claims by trying to find loopholes for minimizing and/or denying claims altogether, and we are prepared to fight for your business as this is coverage that you pay for and deserve, especially during an unprecedented event like the coronavirus.
Businesses Suing their Insurers over Denial of Business Interruption Claims
Much to the dismay of legendary chef Thomas Keller, he has been forced to shut down three of his famed restaurants due to the coronavirus, including his famed Napa Valley restaurant “The French Laundry”, and his business-interruption claim was denied by his insurance company. CBS News just published this article today which discusses how Keller and a group of other chefs are banding together to sue their insurance companies, as they were under the impression that they were covered for losses such as this. Interestingly, CBS News noted that Keller’s policy with The Hartford stated it would pay for, “direct physical loss or direct physical damage caused by fungus’, wet rot, dry rot, bacteria, and virus”. The exact reason for the denial by The Hartford wasn’t provided in this article, but we suspect that denials such as this will be common. One of the chefs commented regarding the denial, “That’s not fair. That is not what we pay our business insurance for each and every month.”
More & More States Pressuring Insurers to Pay Business Interruption Claims
According to a recent article by “Business Insurance”, South Carolina is the latest state to propose a new bill that would cause insurance companies to have to cover business interruption claims due to the coronavirus; the other states who have already championed bills like this are Pennsylvania, Louisiana, New York, Ohio, Massachusetts and New Jersey. As the article states, “S.B. 1188 would amend the state’s 1976 property insurance code to require insurers providing coverage for loss of use and occupancy or business interruption to cover claims directly or indirectly resulting from the global pandemic, “including all mutated forms of the COVID-19 virus,” the bill states””. Some insurance companies hold that such bills could threaten the overall well-being of the insurance companies. However, we know that businesses have paid billions to insurance companies over the years, so we believe that they should be adequately prepared to tackle this unique situation in order to take care of their insureds.
Consult with an Experienced Attorney regarding your Business-Interruption Coronavirus Case
In an ideal world, insurance companies would do the right thing and pay business owners what they deserve, but at The Eberst Law Firm have been dealing with insurance companies for decades, and we know that fair settlements aren’t just simply doled out by insurance companies. We believe you deserve the highest amount of compensation possible for taking a significant loss from the coronavirus. Insurance premiums are paid every month by business owners for protections against circumstances just like this.
We strongly discourage unrepresented business owners to try and tackle the insurance companies on their own, especially since the insurance companies are already showing resistance to paying claims that include this type of coverage outright. It is clear the insurance companies are likely going to put up a fight against these claims, and we are ready for the challenge. Call us today at 772-225-4900 for a free consultation with our office today; we will happily speak with you over the phone, and you won’t have to come to our office in person.
Photo by Anastasiia Chepinska