When Florida’s government issued stay at home orders for the entire state due to the coronavirus, many businesses started to lose most or all of their revenue. Ever since this happened, there have been a number of issues that have emerged related to claims under business interruption insurance policies. Owners expect to be paid even though a viral outbreak may not be listed in an interruption insurance policy.
Many businesses went into survival mode after the outbreak when they were told that they would be forced to close for at least 30 days. As that month turned into another, and possible even more, it became obvious that some companies would never be able to return. Those that do have business interruption coverage have been fighting to see if they can get some of their lost revenue through their policies.
The debate over business interruptions and coronavirus
The relationship between business interruption insurance and coronavirus is still not clearly understood because this situation is very unique. For example, many commercial property insurance policies cover a business in the event of a forced or unforeseen closure. This is usually meant for weather related emergencies like hurricanes or accidents and fires, but it can also be applied to a government mandated closure.
Due to the time length of recommendations for social distancing and other precautions, some businesses are trying to argue that this constitutes a long term type of damage to their business. Lawsuits are beginning to emerge from those in the restaurant industry saying that things like contaminated air and surfaces will force continued shutdowns as this puts customers and employees at risk. Some states are already considering passing laws to force insurance companies to pay out claims if the virus was involved, however this may be seen by courts as a retroactive law, which is generally illegal in American jurisprudence due to the fact that the companies would be forced to honor terms that were not actually written into the policies.
Insurance claim denials
There are situations where insurance companies work to deny legitimate claims to save money. This usually happens with claims related to hurricanes, fires, and other forms of weather based damage. However, there are concerns that coronavirus shut downs will create another category of claim denials.
Some attorneys focus their practice on helping people deal with insurance companies. They can provide advice and guidance related to the specifics of your policy and bring a lawsuit if it seems that your provider is illegally denying a claim.
Speak with an insurance attorney today
There are lawyers in Florida who handle various kinds of insurance claims. To learn more, contact:
2423 First Street, Fort Myers, FL 33901