According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), business interruption insurance generally covers:
Most business interruption policies specify the events in which this sort of coverage is provided, and generally such events are:
What is unclear is the utility of business interruption insurance in the face of the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)-related economic slowdown (or shutdown).
Business owners throughout the United States—including Florida—are facing unprecedented uncertainty about economic policy and how it will impact the short- and long-term future of their business operations.
The mandate from the Office of the Governor that only essential businesses remain open in Florida has:
As a result of revenue streams drying up, many business owners have had to:
If you are one of many small business owners that has felt the strain of coronavirus-related measures and mandates, you may be running out of patience and options for keeping your business open.
One possible avenue to financial relief for your business that you may have explored is business interruption insurance.
Many business owners have some sort of business interruption insurance as part of either their business owner’s policy (BOP) or their property and casualty insurance policy. Yet while some business owners have some measure of business interruption insurance, it is not always clear what is covered by business interruption insurance.
In general, natural disasters and other forms of unanticipated property damage are covered. Depending on the language in your policy, a stoppage caused by a virus may or may not be covered—as many business owners have already discovered.
Even if you have specific language in your business interruption insurance clause that precludes you from coverage in the case of contamination or bacteria—or even a virus specifically—you do not have to take “no” for an answer. In fact, for many business owners, taking “no” for an answer is not an option.
The circumstances surrounding the current economic slowdown are unprecedented in several ways. The mandate that businesses shut down—for Floridians and Americans alike—is the first of its kind because of its:
Such issues mean that normal circumstances may not necessarily apply, even in the case of clear wording in an insurance policy. If your insurance policy is unclear on what is covered by business interruption insurance in circumstances such as these, a lawyer may be able to help. They may also help by:
Your business (and so much more) could be on the line if you are unable to secure financial coverage. Do not hesitate to ask for help from a lawyer who will fight for you and your business.
These are uncertain—and for many small business owners, defining—times. Our team wants to help our fellow Floridians make it through this time so that they can continue to thrive once normal business operations resume.
Call our team at The Landau Law Group today at (866) 703-4878 for a free consultation regarding your business interruption insurance (or any other matters) that we may be able to assist you with.