Munley Law is currently handling cases involving business interruption insurance claims.
Contact us for a consultation, free of charge.
The novel coronavirus has prompted orders for non-essential businesses to close their doors, causing small business owners nationwide to lose revenue. In order to survive, many have turned to their business interruption insurance policies, only to have their claims denied.
Six states including Pennsylvania have introduced legislation that would extend business interruption coverage to include closures forced by a global pandemic. Meanwhile, multiple lawsuits have been filed against insurers who have refused to pay, and more are sure to follow.
If you are a small business owner whose insurance company has denied your business interruption claim during the COVID-19 pandemic, we invite you to contact us for a free consultation.
Insurers resist paying for these claims because they know it will be costly. To be successful, you’ll need a serious legal team with a long history of winning major payouts from insurance companies. Munley Law has been listed in “Best Lawyers in America” for decades; we have earned the highest peer and client ratings in our industry and have won hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients. Let us put our experience, skills, and reputation to work for you.
We are a small business with big resources; we will fight for the small business owners who need an advocate.
Small businesses are the lifeblood of our community and economy. We, too, are a small, family-run business. We are fortunate to have been able to work remotely and continue to operate during this time, and we want to use our advantageous position to fight for those who have not. That has always been the Munley Law mission – fighting for what’s right, and standing up for those who have been wronged.
Contact a business interruption insurance lawyer for a free case review. We are available 24/7.
Was Your Business Interruption Insurance Claim Denied?
The purpose of business interruption insurance is to compensate businesses for lost earnings suffered due to some type of disaster or circumstances beyond their control. Business owners have paid expensive premiums over the years only to have their claims denied when the need was present. These hardworking men and women deserve compensation.
If your business interruption insurance claim was denied, you’re not alone. Business-owners across the United States have been denied and are fighting back. A group of celebrity chefs including Wolfgang Puck have even gone so far as to lobby President Trump to intervene against an insurance industry that is desperately trying to avoid paying these claims.
Ultimately, in many cases, it will be up to the courts to resolve coronavirus business interruption claims. That’s where Munley Law comes in. We will take on the insurance company on your behalf, with our team of experienced trial lawyers ready to take your claim to court if necessary.
After the 2003 SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) outbreak, many insurers amended their business interruption policies to specifically exclude pandemic-related losses from their coverage. If your policy does not explicitly exclude pandemic-related losses, you may have a stronger basis for a claim. However, even if you do have a virus exclusion on your policy, don’t give up just yet. This may not be a barrier to recovery but may affect how your losses must be asserted. A business interruption lawyer at Munley Law can review your policy at no charge to advise you on how to proceed.
Civil Authority Coverage
“Civil authority coverage” applies when a government authority orders a business to close due to the danger presented by physical damage to other property in close proximity to the insured’s. While many businesses were forced to close due to state and local emergency orders, insurers may deny civil authority coverage on the grounds that the COVID-19 closures do not qualify as a covered cause of loss.
However, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling in Friends of DeVito v. Wolf concludes that the COVID-19 pandemic is sufficiently similar to “any other natural disaster that might trigger the proper exercise of emergency executive authority.” The ruling therefore suggests that business losses from coronavirus-related closures should be covered just as they would be in the event of a hurricane or other natural disaster.
Pennsylvania’s COVID Insurance Bills
State lawmakers in Pennsylvania have introduced bipartisan legislation that would help policyholders seeking compensation via their business interruption policies.
Senate Bill 1114, also called the “COVID-19 Insurance Relief Act,” would include “the presence or detection of COVID-19 on the property or in the municipality in which the property is located” as a form of property damage, and would define Governor Tom Wolf’s emergency declaration and forced business closures as a civil authority order satisfying the requirements of civil authority coverage policies.
Similarly, Pennsylvania House Bill 2372 calls for business interruption policies to include global pandemic or virus transmission among the covered perils. The bill would also allow insurers that pay these claims to apply to the Pennsylvania insurance commissioner for relief and reimbursement.
The legal team at Munley Law can help make insurance companies pay.
Just because your claim was denied does not mean you’re out of options. We have seen thousands of cases involving insurers who were forced to honor their policies when faced with a legal fight. The experienced trial lawyers at Munley Law can help you collect the compensation you rightfully deserve. We will begin by reviewing your insurance policy and then we will build your case for you. All the while, we will remain closely attuned to any changes in the law that may affect your ability to recover your losses.
The consultation is free, and we never collect a fee for our services unless we win your case. Call, chat live, or fill out our contact form for a confidential case review with a business interruption insurance lawyer.
Business Interruption Insurance FAQs
Q: What is business interruption insurance?
A: Business interruption insurance is a type of commercial insurance to help protect businesses in case of a disaster. While other types of insurance cover damage to the property itself, business interruption insurance applies to losses specifically related to loss of income and other costs that arise when a business is forced to close or suspend its normal operations.
Q: What does business interruption insurance cover?
A: Some of the losses covered by business interruption insurance include: lost profits, fixed costs that will be incurred during closure, additional expenses necessary for modified operations (for example, “extra expenses” for facilitating remote work, or hiring a delivery driver), employee wages to allow you to retain your employees, tax payments, and loan payments. Every policy is different, so the expenses and business interruption losses you are owed will depend upon your circumstances.
Q: How do I know if I have business interruption insurance?
A: Business interruption insurance may exist as a stand-alone policy, or as an add-on to a commercial property policy. The best way to know if your business is protected by contacting your insurance agent to inquire about your policy.
Ultimately, if you’re unsure, a business interruption insurance lawyer at Munley Law can review your policy to help you understand your options.
Q: Are pandemic-related closures covered on my insurance policy?
A: The answer will depend on your policy and your situation. The coronavirus pandemic forced numerous businesses to close or alter their operations and incur significant losses. The threat of contamination with a life-threatening virus, along with the mandatory closures ordered by state and local authorities should be covered under the business interruption insurance policies that business owners have paid for. Of course, each case is different. For example, if you have an “all-risk” policy, this may strengthen your ability to collect payment. On the other hand, if your policy includes language that explicitly excludes virus related closures, it may be more difficult.
Remember: just because your insurance company tells you that pandemic-related losses aren’t covered doesn’t mean you’re out of options. A business interruption insurance lawyer at Munley Law can review your policy and take on the insurance company to get your claim paid.
Q: What is an “all risk” policy?
A: An “all risk” policy provides coverage for losses or damages except those specifically excluded from the policy. A “stated peril” policy, on the other hand, only provides coverage for specific situations. Most of the commercial insurance policies we have seen are “all risk” policies.