Our Corpus Christi lawyers fight back against blanket wrongful denials.
The Coronavirus has affected businesses across all industries. Restaurants, hotels, retail stores, entertainment venues, bars, and more have been forced to close completely or partially.
If you’re facing severe cash shortage from closing or substantially scaling back your business, you are not alone—and if you’re like most other business owners, you took out a business insurance policy precisely for a situation like this.
After paying thousands of dollars in premiums, you expect your insurance to kick in and help keep your company afloat.
Yet most insurance companies are issuing blanket denials to businesses suffering from COVID-19 losses. Insurers like Nationwide, Liberty Mutual, and Farmers are in auto-deny mode and have no intention of paying policyholders’ claims. Thousands of businesses have reported that their claims have been denied, and some insurance companies are discouraging policyholders from filing a claim at all.
Our lawyers fight back: Your business interruption policy may very well cover losses related to the Coronavirus pandemic. You don’t have to accept a coverage denial from your insurance company. The Williams legal team can help you determine if your policy covers COVID-19 losses, if your claim has been wrongfully denied, and what action to take to secure the payout you deserve.
Some states have proposed laws that would require insurance companies to fulfill Coronavirus business interruption claims. Still, this legislation may be too little, too late by the time it is enacted.
If your insurance company has denied your claim, or if you are concerned that it will deny your claim, it’s imperative that you talk to a lawyer now and consider your options. Contact our firm today for a no-cost consultation.
What is Texas business interruption insurance?
Also known as business income insurance, business interruption insurance is a type of coverage that’s commonly included in general business insurance policies. This type of coverage is designed to replace lost income and cover operating expenses if the policyholder’s business is forced to close for reasons outside of their control (for example, property damage from a tornado, or a forced closure by a government agency, known as civil authority).
Business income insurance can cover:
- Revenue you would typically make
- Rent, lease, and mortgage payments
- Loan and other debt payments
- Relocation costs if you need to temporarily or permanently move
Business interruption policies vary depending on the insurance company, and large businesses may have their own highly customized plans. Of course, the amount of coverage varies from business to business as well.
However, one thing is clear: business interruption insurance intends to help cover costs incurred during an unforeseen closure.
Many insurance companies are denying Coronavirus claims because they say the pandemic has “not caused property damage.” In past court cases, however, judges have determined that physical damage is “any impact on property which prevents the property from being used for its intended purpose.” There is no question that the Coronavirus (and the government response to it) has prevented business owners from using their property in the way they intended.
Additionally, if your policy includes a “virus or disease exclusion,” do not assume you are ineligible for coverage. Courts often interpret these clauses narrowly (i.e., more favorably for the policyholder). Before giving up on your claim or accepting a denial from your insurance company, talk to a lawyer. An experienced insurance lawyer can review your policy and help you determine what is and is not covered.
What to do if your insurance company denies your claim:
- Don’t wait. Following a coverage denial, your insurance company may require you to respond within a certain time frame. Additionally, if there’s even a small chance you will take legal action against your insurance company, it’s best to begin the process immediately. Your claim may be time-barred by a statute of limitations, and any delay on your end may extinguish your chances of a successful outcome.
- Contact a lawyer. Insurance companies are notoriously slow and frustrating to deal with, but a lawyer can help move the process along. If your insurance company knows you’re working with a lawyer, it may be willing to pay your claim without putting up a fight. If further legal action is necessary, an experienced lawyer can file a lawsuit and fight on your behalf. Most importantly, a lawyer will communicate with your insurance company for you, allowing you to focus on your business.
- Document everything. Keep track of all correspondence with your insurance company. Preserve emails and letters, and ask for written explanations of every decision your insurance company makes. This paperwork may become important in a future legal claim.
How a business interruption insurance lawyer can help get your claim paid
If you haven’t filed a claim yet, a lawyer can perform a thorough review of your policy and determine your rights and coverages. This will ensure that your claim is filed properly.
If you’ve already filed a claim, do not waste your time in a back-and-forth with an insurance company intent on denying it. Businesses who involve an insurance lawyer typically get more money, more quickly, so you can go back to focusing on your business.
In many cases, an experienced lawyer can not only help you recover payment of the denied claim, but additional damages and interest. You may be entitled to compensatory damages for economic harm to your business, as well as attorney’s fees to cover your costs for taking legal action.
Businesses around the country are filing lawsuits against their insurance companies for failure to cover Coronavirus losses. Do not wait to see if these lawsuits are successful before filing your own claim. Maximize your chances of a positive outcome by taking action sooner rather than later.
Our bad faith insurance lawyers have taken on major insurance companies, and we believe many of their policies should be interpreted to cover COVID-19 losses. For a comprehensive review of your insurance policy and your legal options, contact our office today.
Learn Your Options If Your Business in Texas Was Wrongfully Denied Business Disruption Insurance during COVID-19.