MyPhillyLawyer is a well-established business insurance law firm serving Greater Philadelphia and the surrounding area. With years of experience and many successful settlements and jury verdicts, our business interruption insurance attorneys are well known and respected among insurance company adjusters, opposing counsel and trial court judges. This helps us obtain favorable results for many clients who have been denied their business interruption claims.
To say that the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted Philadelphia businesses would be an understatement. Ever since mid-March, when Governor Wolf signed an executive order requiring the closure of schools, government offices and non-essential businesses, many businesses have seen their income completely dry up.
Business owners who purchased business interruption insurance may have initially been optimistic that the insurance company would help them cover the costs associated with their loss of income. However, almost universally, insurance companies have been denying these claims. At MyPhillyLawyer, we represent businesses large and small in insurance disputes, including those involving business interruption claims. With extensive experience and a successful track record, the attorneys at MyPhillyLawyer are prepared to help you and your business navigate the complexities and unknowns regarding business interruption claims in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Business interruption insurance is a type of business insurance coverage that replaces a business’ lost income in the event of a disaster. The classic example of a business interruption claim is if there was a fire that required a business to temporarily shut down. The business owner could then file a claim with their insurance carrier, seeking to recover the income that they would have earned had the business remained open. Typically, business interruption insurance is not sold as a separate policy, but is included in a comprehensive business insurance policy or as a rider on an existing policy.
While every insurance policy is unique, generally a business interruption insurance policy will cover the following:
Business interruption insurance is critical for businesses to be able to get by after a disaster such as the COVID-19 pandemic. However, for many business across Pennsylvania, business interruption claims have been denied, leaving business owners wondering why they have been paying insurance premiums.
When it comes to determining whether a business interruption claim will be approved, insurance companies will look to the specific language of the policy. Business interruption insurance policies typically provide benefits when there is a direct physical loss of use or damage to property related to a covered loss. Coverage may also be provided if an government act required the closure of the business. Unfortunately, most insurance companies in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania have been denying business interruption claims based on the fact that, as they see it, there has been no physical loss of use of property or damage to property. Similarly, insurance claims are rejecting claims based on the fact that the government required the closure, again basing the denial on the fact that there was no actual physical damage to any business property. Some policies also contain exclusions in coverage for losses caused by viruses, bacteria or pollution.
Business owners have legitimately argued that the virus contaminating surfaces inside a business results in a direct physical loss of use of their property, insurance companies have not been persuaded.
Generally, insurance companies and the insured are free to come up with the terms of a policy. And as soon as the parties agree and sign the appropriate documents, the insurance policy represents the agreement between the parties. Thus, if there is a dispute, the court will generally look to the insurance policy first. However, lawmakers can pass legislation to clarify or define certain terms in an insurance contract.
In fact, lawmakers across Pennsylvania have taken action in an attempt to help small business through the introduction of several bills that would clarify the situations in which business interruption insurance would cover losses related to COVID-19.
Insurance companies can be notoriously difficult to work with. While Philadelphia business owners may have done everything they thought possible to protect their business from the effect of something such as the COVID-19 pandemic, insurance companies may still deny a claim. The Philly insurance dispute attorneys at MyPhillyLawyer have extensive experience enforcing business owners’ rights under their insurance policies. We have decades of collective experience holding insurance companies to their obligations, and standing up for the rights of businesses as well as individuals who have been injured in all types of personal injury accidents. To learn more, call 215-254-6391 locally or toll-free at 866-907-2231. You can also fill out our online form and an experienced attorney will reach out to you as soon as possible.
Our top priority is providing high-quality legal representation. This means that our business interruption insurance lawyers will keep you informed and go the extra mile to get the compensation you need and deserve.