COVID-19 Business Interruption Insurance Claims Wrongly Denied

04/13/2020 | Business Litigation

Whatever your thoughts on the government’s shut down of businesses, the fact is many businesses are closed and losing money.  Some businesses may have purchased insurance to cover this very thing, an interruption in business, i.e. “business interruption insurance.”  But, they may be finding their insurance claims for COVID-19 denied by the insurance company.  Obviously the COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented, and is likely not explicitly discussed in any insurance policy.  However, there are likely provisions in the policy where coverage can be found, despite the insurance company’s denial. 

The specific language in your policy will dictate whether or not your business has a claim.  For example, your policy may contain language that provides coverage in the event of business shut downs by a civil authority, i.e. government shut down.  Many policies after the 2006 SARS outbreak contain “virus” exemptions, meaning they will not cover business interruptions caused by a virus. However, a lot of the policy language is ambiguous and may contradict other provisions in the policy.  If the policy is ambiguous, it can be interpreted by a court and construed against the insurance company, meaning, coverage for the business can be found. 

You may also be entitled to additional damages if the insurance company has wrongly denied a valid claim.  Some states are contemplating passing laws to compel insures to cover claims from COVID-19 business interruptions.  If you have business interruption insurance and have had your claim denied, or need help interpreting your policy coverage, call the Poppe Law Firm at 502-895-3400 or online at PoppeLawFirm.com.