The coronavirus pandemic has drastically affected businesses throughout Philadelphia and the surrounding areas. Many have been forced to close to mitigate the spread of the virus, while others have attempted to adjust their businesses to function remotely. The significant loss of revenue and profit has put a financial strain on both businesses and their employees. To address this unprecedented economic challenge, numerous owners have filed business interruption claims with their insurance companies.
The effects of the coronavirus are widespread, and many Philadelphia businesses are struggling. It is vital to have our Philadelphia coronavirus (COVID-19) business claim attorney represent your interests when you contact your insurance carrier. If COVID-19 negatively impacted your business or if your carrier denied your insurance claim, contact our experienced Philadelphia lawyer. Call the Reiff Law Firm at (215) 709-6940 for a free, confidential consultation to review your options.
Business Interruption Insurance for Disrupted Philadelphia Businesses During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Business owners pay for business interruption policies to ensure their company could continue to survive an unexpected disruption of operation, or “covered perils.” Insurance policies will vary in their exact coverage, but most will cover the following:
- Lost profits during the interruption based on the previous month’s earnings
- The operating expenses and any costs the business continues to incur
- Training costs if a company needs to retrain employees on replacement equipment
- Reasonable expenses above the fixed operating costs necessary to sustain the business
- The expenses associated with temporarily operating in a different location
- Loss of income due to a mandated closing by the government or civil authority
Philadelphia business owners face a variety of risks. Most are commonly understood risks, such as interruptions from water damage, weather damage, construction, fire, theft, or pests. However, business owners need to ensure operations are protected from many different adverse events. You should read through your policy thoroughly to confirm the list of covered events meets your needs.
Typically, business interruption insurance policies go into effect after a physical loss or physical event. For example, a fire that destroys the premises or necessary equipment would usually trigger a business interruption claim. Many insurers added specific provisions to exclude viruses or diseases after the SARS pandemic. If your policy has a viral or bacterial exclusion, contact our Philadelphia attorney immediately to help determine your legal options.
Philadelphia Companies Denied Business Interruption Coverage Due to COVID-19
Often, insurance companies will attempt to avoid their obligations by citing ambiguous clauses or provisions in their policies. Many insurance companies might argue that the COVID-19 pandemic is not a foreseeable physical event that should be covered under their policy.
For an event to trigger a business interruption claim, the company usually must suffer a quantifiable loss. For example, if a restaurant lost a substantial part of the kitchen and dining area due to fire damage, the insurance would cover the lost income until the property damage is restored.
If your insurance claim was denied, there might be options available to get your claim covered. One option is to re-file your claim and reclassifying the type of event. For example, many businesses in Philadelphia are closed due to government mandate rather than the disaster itself. If an insurance company argues that your business did not suffer a physical loss and denies your claim, a claim that the business was closed by the government might work instead.
While a viral exclusion could prove challenging, a business interruption claim is often denied for other reasons. If your business’s operation was disrupted due to the coronavirus, our law firm could assist your business in a variety of ways:
- We will provide case law and legal arguments as to why COVID-19 is an event that should be covered.
- We will gather all required documentation to demonstrate that interruption in business resulted in a tangible loss of income or property loss.
- We will prepare a detailed list of the potential additional costs your insurer would face if their denial was without merit.
- We will work to meet all claim deadlines.
- We will maintain constant communication with your insurance company to keep the process moving forward.
- Our firm will prepare for and take additional legal action if necessary.
Potential Changes in Pennsylvania Law Effecting Philadelphia Business Interruption Claims from Coronavirus
A handful of states, including the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, have introduced legislation that would require insurers to cover business interruption claims retroactively to March 6, 2020, if the coronavirus directly caused the disruption.
The pending House Bill 2372 requires companies that provide coverage for loss or damage from a business interruption to include coverage for a global pandemic. At the time of this article, the bill was being considered by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Insurance Committee. While this is an important development, you should still retain our knowledgeable attorney to help you with your claim and to fight for your rights if the bill fails to pass.
Call Our Philadelphia Coronavirus Business Interruption Claim Attorney for a Free Consultation
Philadelphia business owners have spent thousands of dollars to obtain business interruption insurance. Now, when nearly the entire country is shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, business owners need their insurance to provide the funds to weather the storm. Unfortunately, many insurance companies will use provisions in their policies to deny struggling Philadelphia companies the coverage they need. Contact our experienced Philadelphia coronavirus (COVID-19) business interruption claim attorney to represent your interests. Call the Reiff Law Firm at (215) 709-6940 for a free, confidential consultation to review your options.