The owner of the Egg Works and Egg & I breakfast restaurant chain opened his first Egg & I in Las Vegas, Nevada in 1998. In an effort to protect the business he had just started along with the employees he hired, Brad Burdsall says he purchased business interruption insurance coverage [Source: Eater]. Over time, Burdsall managed to grow his business and now operates nine restaurants.
While Burdsall was under the impression that his insurer was going to be there to protect the restaurant chain he “built from the ground up,” it wasn’t until the COVID-19 pandemic that he realized his insurer wasn’t prepared to keep the promises it had made. After Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak ordered non-essential business to close on March 17th, Burdsall was only able to offer curbside and takeout options, and his profits were suffering.
Like many other business owners, Burdsall turned to his insurer for help. After filing a business interruption claim, he was informed that it wouldn’t be covered. Insurers in Nevada and many other states in the U.S. are arguing that business interruption coverage typically only covers losses that are related to physical damage caused by an emergency or disaster (i.e. fire or flood) but not pandemics. Displeased with how his insurer handled his claim, Burdsall filed a class-action lawsuit against US Specialty Insurance/Tokio Marine and ACUITY on April 24th in the U.S. District Court in Nevada.
Burdsall’s lawsuit alleges that “the restaurant chain’s business-interruption policy covers “all risks unless they are specifically excluded.” Although Burdsall’s policy “specifically excludes losses caused by avian influenza viruses, the lawsuit argues that it does not include COVID-19.” The restaurant chain owner later spoke with Eater, sharing his thoughts on the matter. Burdsall said that “this insurance was supposed to be there as they promise in their policies when it was needed. This insurance was bought to best position the Egg Works to resume normal business operations as soon as possible.”
How should a business owner in Nevada respond to a denied business interruption claim related to COVID-19 losses?
Many insurance companies have made it clear that they aren’t willing to work with their policyholders who are seeking relief under their business interruption policies. It is for this reason that a large number of business owners are turning to the legal system and suing their insurance carrier. With that said, if your insurer denied your business interruption claim, while you can file an appeal, your insurer will likely turn around and deny that as well.
Therefore, it would be in your best interest for you to let USAttorneys.com help you retain a Nevada insurance claims denial attorney who can help you take the required steps to fight back against your insurer’s decision.