As a result of the consequences of the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) many businesses will suffer revenue losses due to lack of customers or due to governmental orders to shut down. Many business owners may look to their commercial insurance policies business interruption coverage. If you have not reviewed your policy you should check it to see if you have this coverage. Whether a claim is covered will come down to the specific language in your policy.
In general business interruption coverage is triggered by “physical damage.” Similarly many policies have exclusions for communicable diseases, pollutants which cause a “loss of use” of business facilities. Nonetheless specific examination of the language of the policy will be critical. For example, a business may have a broader definition of a covered loss, or an all risks policy which covers more than just a physical loss.
Some insurance policies may provide coverage for expenses and profits arising out of coronavirus events. Theses events may include government mandated shutdowns and cleanups. Events that may also be covered would be losses due to disruption of distribution channels, supply channels, and denial of access to property or inventory because of civil authorities, or loss of use due to virus contamination.
Many policies include exclusions for bacteria will not apply. COVID-19 is a virus and bacteria exclusions should not prevent payment of a claim. Policyholders may also convince courts that other broader definitions in exclusions such as “contaminant” or “pollution” may not be applicable to deny virus related claim.
If you have sustained substantial losses and have a policy you think may cover your loss you should start the claims process immediately. If you want an expert review of your policy and particular facts of your case contact Gump & Faiella for a free consultation. 1-800-264-3455 or firstname.lastname@example.org