For years, thousands of business owners in Oregon have been paying for business interruption coverage to protect their businesses from disruptions. While many would have preferred to waive their right to carry the coverage as it would have saved them hundreds or even thousands of dollars each year, many wanted to be prepared for those “what if” moments. Well, when the COVID-19 virus made its way into the U.S. and developed into a pandemic, that “what if” moment became a reality after states ordered non-essential businesses to close.
It was after this that many business owners in Oregon realized that their opportunity to utilize their business interruption coverage was here. Or was it?
Insures Quickly Deny Business Interruption Coverage to Those that Submitted COVID-19-Related Claims
Rather than pay for the losses businesses incurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, insurers now argue that they don’t cover these types of claims and stopped doing so years ago after the SARS outbreak. But, because many business owners allege that their policies do not list exclusions for pandemics, they responded to their denial letter with a lawsuit against their insurer. In fact, some states have even gone as far as drafting proposals that would require insurers to pay business interruption claims associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, even if a policy excludes pandemics.
U.S. Treasury Department Shares its Viewpoint on the Business Interruption Insurance Issue
While there are many lawmakers who believe business owners should be provided with coverage for the losses they suffered as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Treasury Department seems to be taking a different stance on the matter. The Insurance Information Institute (III) said that the U.S Treasury Department recently issued a letter to members of Congress which “argued that proposals to force insurers to retroactively change business interruption (BI) policies to pay losses arising from the COVID-19 pandemic threaten the ability of the industry to serve policyholders and might lead to the insolvency of the industry.”
The letter goes on to say that while insurers should be paying for valid claims, “these proposals fundamentally conflict with the contractual nature of insurance obligations and could introduce risks to the industry.” While it is clear that there are lawmakers on each side of the issue, there is little being done to get business owners who are due coverage the money they need to keep their business alive.
With that said, if you believe your insurer wrongfully denied your business interruption claim but aren’t sure where to turn to for help, it’s time you speak with an Oregon insurance claims denial attorney. USAttorneys.com can get you connected with insurance claims denial lawyers in Oregon who can help you take legal action against an insurer that is guilty of mishandling your claim.