After a sports bar in Tampa, FL was forced to shut its doors as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, its owner notified their insurer, Lloyds London, on March 17th of its business interruption losses. The owner, who was certain his/her losses would be covered by their business interruption insurance policy, received a letter from their insurer on March 23rd that notified them that they were denied coverage. Rather than accept their insurer’s decision, the bar, Prime Time Sports Grill, filed suit against Lloyds London in U.S. District Court in Tampa on April 2, 2020.
The lawsuit states that Prime Time typically sees a monthly revenue of $150,000 with operating expenses totaling to $120,000. With a policy that carries a $200,000 limit for business interruption losses, Prime Time “is seeking a declaratory judgment that the policy issued by Underwriter to Prime Time provides coverages for the losses stemming from the COVID-19 governmental suspension of business operations for business income, extra expenses, and all other coverage extensions up to the limits of the policy” [Source: Business Insurance].
The news source did highlight that the Florida bar owner is being represented by an insurance claims attorney who stated that “courts have previously interpreted the direct physical loss trigger to mean any fortuitous event that is unintended from the perspective of the insured, which would include a government-ordered closure.”
Now, Lloyds London isn’t the first insurer to deny business interruption claims stemming from COVID-19 losses. In fact, many insurers are being acknowledged for their failure to approve claims. While some business owners are hoping their insurer will reconsider their decision, others are taking action. Several lawsuits have already been filed on behalf of business owners in Florida and other states in the U.S. as a result of having their business interruption insurance claim denied.
When should a business owner contact a Florida insurance claims attorney?
If you own a business in Florida that has experienced losses related to COVID-19 and your insurer denied your business interruption claim, it may be time for you to start looking for a reputable FL insurance claims denial lawyer. While you can communicate with your insurance agent to see if the company is willing to work with you, it is unlikely that your claim will be approved without you having a legal expert representing you. The fact is, insurers have already assessed just how much it would cost the industry to cover one months’ worth of losses and insurers aren’t willing to part with that much money.
Therefore, if you are looking to get your COVID-19 losses covered, you are going to need to hire a Florida insurance lawyer with a significant amount of experience, and USAttorneys.com can connect you with one now.