COVID-19 Business Interruption
The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting closure of businesses by the government have caused economic losses to many Texas businesses. Some of these economic losses may be covered under the insurance policies held by these businesses. If your business has suffered economic losses caused by the coronavirus, contact our office today for a free consultation with an experienced insurance attorney. We will be happy to answer your questions and help you navigate the legal issues related to coronavirus business loss insurance coverage.Does Your Business Have COVID-19 Economic Loss Coverage?
Many businesses that were economically impacted by the coronavirus may have insurance policies in place that cover their economic losses. Many may not be aware that their losses may be covered under their insurance policy.
Whether a specific insurance policy provides coverage for coronavirus economic losses will depend on the wording of the policy. Throughout Texas, there are many types of business insurance policies in place. The specific wording of each policy defines the scope of insurance coverage and even minor differences in word usage or phrasing can significantly affect the coverage the policy provides.How Can Our Law Firm Help Your Business Deal With COVID-19 Insurance Coverage Issues?
- We Provide a Free and Confidential Review of Your Business Insurance Policy
- We Will File an Insurance Claim and Deal with the Insurance Company for You
- If Your Claim Is Wrongfully Denied We Will Fight for You in Court
During your free and confidential review of your business insurance policy, we can help you determine if your business may be covered for economic losses caused by COVID-19. If you do not have a complete copy of your policy, we can also help obtain a full copy of your policy from your insurance company. If there are several types of possible cl
If you want to move forward with making a coronavirus business loss claim under your insurance policy, we will file an insurance claim on your behalf. We will deal with the insurance company for you from the beginning to the end of the entire claims process so you can direct your time, energy, and focus on running your business instead of dealing with insurance adjusters.
If your insurance company wrongfully denies your claim, we will file a lawsuit against the insurance company on your behalf, take them to court, and fight to obtain compensation on your behalf.How Much are Legal Costs For This Type of Claim?
Your confidential business insurance policy review is free of charge. If we believe your insurance policy covers coronavirus economic loss claims, we will provide legal representation your business on a contingency fee basis.
If there is no money recovered on your claim, you will not owe any attorney fees, court costs, or litigation expenses.
If we successfully recover money on your claim, our attorney fees will be a percentage of the total amount recovered.
We will advance all court costs and litigation expenses necessary to prosecute your case. If there is a recovery, any court costs or litigation expenses advanced by us will be reimbursed from your share of the recovered amount after attorney fees have been deducted.What Are the Common Types of Insurance Coverage for Coronavirus Business Losses? Business Income/Business Interruption Claims
Many commercial insurance policies provide coverage for business interruption (loss of business income caused by the loss of suspending business operations). This type of coverage usually includes a requirement of "direct physical loss or damage to the property.' The strongest legal argument supporting insurance coverage of these claims will probably be in situations where a business had to close all or part of its premises due to confirmed presence of the coronavirus on the premises. However, each claim still ultimately depends on the specific wording of the insurance policy involved.Civil Authority (Government Shutdown) Loss Claims
Many commercial insurance policies provide coverage for business income losses caused by "action of civil authority that prohibits access" to the business or other similar language. This type of coverage usually includes a requirement of "physical loss or damage' to an area other than the business property that causes a civil authority to:
(1) prohibit access to the business as a result of the "physical loss or damage' and
(2) the civil authority's actions are taken in response to a dangerous physical condition resulting from the "physical loss or damage.'
The strongest legal argument supporting insurance coverage of these claims will most likely be in situations where a business was shut down or partially shut down by government order, such as the "stay at home order' issued in Harris County . Of course, each claim will still depend on the specific language used in the insurance policy at issue."All Risks' Versus "Named Perils' Insurance Policies
Insurance policies can generally be divided into "all risks' policies or "named peril' policies. "All risks' policies cover all risks except those that are specifically excluded by the policy language. "Named Perils' policies are the opposite- they only provide coverage for the types of perils specifically listed in the policy. Most commercial insurance policies will be "all risks' policies. The analysis used to determine if a claim is covered under an insurance policy will be different depending if the policy is a "named perils' policy or an "all risks' policy.Pandemic Coverage
Some insurance policies may explicitly provide coverage for economic losses caused by a pandemic, viruses, illnesses, or other similar language. Businesses in the medical field are more likely to have these types of policies, but other types of businesses may have them as well. Depending on the specific wording of these policies, they could provide coverage for several different types of losses suffered by many Texas businesses as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.The Insurance Industry Response to Claims for Economic Losses Caused by COVID-19?
The insurance industry has responded to filed claims for COVID-19 business economic losses by almost universally denying the claims.
According to one report, over 90 percent of the COVID-19 business interruption claims that have been filed have been denied. This is not surprising, as the insurance industry has a long history of summarily denying claims resulting from large-scale events regardless whether the claim denials are actually justified by law.
Insurance industry representatives have claimed that the amount of coronavirus business loss insurance claims is enough to bankrupt the entire insurance industry. Like most assertions made by the insurance industry, this statement should be viewed with a healthy dose of skepticism.
The insurance industry has also engaged in a messaging campaign targeting the general public and the business community using talking points based on inaccurate information. The goals of this campaign appear to be to mold public opinion about whether these claims are covered under the wording of commercial insurance policies, justify the wrongful denial of claims, and discourage business owners from considering making claims under their policies.
Some insurance companies have used the claims handling process to set traps for policyholders. In most cases, this usually involves using word traps and controlling the way information can be presented to lure the policyholder into making statements that can then be used to deny the claim. Specific examples of this include questions worded in misleading ways and forcing policyholders to answer questions using drop-down menus to choose from a set of possible responses written by the insurance company rather than using their own words.What Documents Will I Need for My COVID-19 Business Insurance Claim Review?
- A copy of your business insurance policy with all addendums and endorsements if you have it. If you do not have a copy or cannot locate it, we can obtain a copy for you from your insurance company.
- All correspondence (including electronic) and documents exchanged between you and your insurance company if you have already filed a claim.
- Financial documents for your business including accounting records, payroll records, and tax returns. We will need to calculate the value of your claim based on the language of your insurance policy and your business financial records, and provide the supporting documents as evidence in support of your claim amount.
- Whether your business closed due to COVID-19 contamination/possible contamination and any supporting information or documentation.
- The date your business closed, the reason your business closed, and supporting documentation
You still may have a qualifying claim. Our firm will provide a free and confidential thorough review of your insurance policy to see if your claim was wrongfully denied.
If we determine that your claim was wrongly denied, we can file a lawsuit on your behalf and fight the insurance company in court to obtain compensation for your claim..Have Questions or Want More Information?
Please contact our office to schedule a free consultation with our experienced lawyers. We will be happy to answer all of your question and provide more information as to how we can help your business during the COVID-19 crisis.
This website is intended to provide basic information and answer common questions about coronavirus business loss insurance claims. It is not intended to be a substitute for a consultation with a knowledgeable insurance claim attorney about the specific issues and facts of your case. If you choose to rely on any information on this website, you do so at your own risk. Nothing on this website is intended to create an express or implied attorney-client relationship.