Filing a Claim for Business Interruption During Coronavirus Pandemic
Posted On behalf of Pfeifer Morgan & Stesiak on Jun 30, 2021 in Advice
Many businesses are struggling to survive during the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting shutdown order. While some business owners were fortunate to obtain an emergency loan through the federal Paycheck Protection Program, others were not. However, if you purchased a business interruption insurance policy, you may still be able to recover compensation for your losses and other expenses.
While there is no guaranteed outcome, our South Bend business interruption claims attorneys provide a zero-cost legal consultation. We can discuss the terms of your policy, as well as your potential eligibility for pursuing a claim due to the COVID-19 outbreak and economic shutdown. We do not get paid until you do, so there is also no financial risk.
We are able to manage every aspect of your case while social distancing, thanks to eSign and other technology. That means we can review, process and manage claims without the need for an in-person meeting.
Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak has recovered millions on behalf of the clients we have represented. Our firm’s founder, Daniel H. Pfeifer, is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum - an association with membership from less than one percent of U.S trial lawyers.
Do I Have a Valid Claim for Losses Resulting from The Coronavirus?
If you purchased insurance for protection from business interruption damages, you may be eligible to recover compensation for losses sustained due to COVID-19. However, every business situation is unique, so we recommend that you contact a reputable attorney to discuss your potential claim at your earliest convenience.
This pandemic, and the economic challenges resulting from it, are unprecedented and affecting businesses across the U.S. Reopening your business after shutdown orders are lifted may be next to impossible without compensation from business interruption insurance. A successful business interruption insurance claim could determine whether your business survives.
Many business interruption policies are all-risk and designed to provide protection from property damages or loss. Most policies will also have a list of perils that are included, such as damages resulting from fire or natural disaster, along with others that are specifically excluded.
At Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak, our South Bend business interruption claims lawyers are prepared to review the specific terms of your policy to determine whether you may have a valid claim. Other considerations that may factor into your eligibility include how Indiana state laws may apply, whether your business was part of a mandatory stay-at-home order and the specific wording of your policy.
If you have already filed a claim with your insurance provider and were denied, we still encourage you to contact our firm to see how we may be able to help.
Our office is available to take your call 24/7 at (844) 678-1800
What Type of Compensation Does a Business Interruption Policy Provide?
When a covered peril results in monetary losses, a business interruption insurance policy provides compensation to cover those losses and other related expenses, including:
- Lost revenue
- Operating costs (employee compensation, rent, etc.)
- Loss of profits
- Tax payments
- Reopening Costs
- Litigation fees
- Utility expenses, such as electricity and phone services
Your policy may provide compensation for these individual expenses for as much as a year, or a reasonable time period that the insurance company determines will enable you to rebuild and reopen your business. However, it is important to read the terms of your policy to understand the limits of each type of compensation, as some of these benefits may only be provided for a short time.
If we find you have a claim and we represent you, our licensed attorneys are prepared to fully manage your case and pursue maximum compensation for the losses you have sustained.
Why Business Interruption Claims Over COVID-19 May be Denied
Even though the pandemic is ongoing, many business interruption claims have already been denied by insurance providers. There are many reasons why insurers are denying these claims, but some of the most common explanations include:
No Property Damage Occurred
As stated previously, business interruption policies are typically written to provide coverage for property damages that businesses suffer. Your insurer may deny your claim on the basis that viruses are not included as a compensable peril, and the resulting coronavirus shutdown did not result in any physical property damage to your business. However, depending on state law, the language of your policy, and other considerations, that decision may not be enforceable.
Your State Did Not Issue a Mandatory Stay-at-Home Order
Most businesses fell under Indiana’s government-issued, mandatory stay-at-home order. However, your insurance company is not going to change a denial decision on that basis alone. Even businesses that were considered essential have had revenue losses caused by the economic crisis. That is why we recommend that you contact an experienced business interruption claims attorney for a second opinion.
Your Policy Specifically Excludes Viral Outbreaks
Many policies state specifically that viruses and other microbes are excluded as a covered peril. This exclusion was implemented because of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak of 2003, but it may not enforceable in all policies. We encourage you to speak with your attorney to learn whether you may still be able to pursue a claim if your policy has this type of exclusion.
You Missed the Deadline for Filing a Claim
Most insurance policies have a short timeframe to file a claim following a covered loss. If you miss the filing deadline, you may lose your opportunity to obtain compensation for your losses. Many business owners may delay filing immediately because they may believe they must first finish compiling their total losses. However, this is not necessary, and we do not recommend delaying the process. You may continue to track your losses and other related costs, even after you initiate the claims process.
If you already filed your claim and were denied, our attorneys may be able to help you contest that denial and obtain the compensation you need. At Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak, if we cannot obtain a settlement from the insurance company, we are prepared to go to court on your behalf.
Call our firm for answers to your legal questions at: (844) 678-1800
What to do if Your Business Has Been Interrupted by the Coronavirus Pandemic
If your business has been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak and resulting shutdown, we recommend you begin pursuing your options for recovery immediately by contacting one of our qualified South Bend business interruption claims lawyers. We are available to determine whether your claim is valid. If your case does have merit and you choose to file a claim, we are prepared to initiate legal action on your behalf immediately.
If you pursue a claim through our firm, you will need to gather certain documentation to help us build a strong argument on your behalf, such as:
- Your business interruption insurance policy
- Expenses you were unable to pay due to COVID-19, such as rent, tax bills and utility costs
- The timeline of events that led to the closure of your business
- Records of your business’ revenue history prior to shutting down
- Previous and current bank statements
- Inventory reports
- Invoices and purchase orders
- General ledger accounts to indicate the extra costs accrued due to the shutdown
- Budgets and cost projections to show pre- and post-closure numbers
- Monthly profit and loss statements
Our attorneys will use these and other details to determine whether your case has merit, and if it does, how much compensation you may be eligible to receive under your policy. The clock may already be ticking, so we encourage you to contact an attorney to learn more about your eligibility. Waiting to file may result in a denied claim for failing to comply with your insurer’s deadlines for pursuing a claim after a loss.
Contact a South Bend Business Interruption Claims Lawyer Today
At Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak, we offer a completely free business interruption claim consultation to determine your eligibility for legal action. Our firm has been advocating for victims in Indiana for decades and recovered millions on their behalf. If you have a case, we are prepared to pursue maximum compensation for your business. If a settlement cannot be reached, we are prepared to represent you in court.
A member of our legal team can take your call anytime, day or night, so we encourage you to contact us as soon as possible for your no-risk consultation. There is no obligation to pursue a claim, and you do not pay us any money while we represent you. We do not collect our fees unless we first obtain a recovery for you.
We understand that you may have many legal questions during these uncertain times, and we are prepared to provide the answers you need during your free claim review. We remain fully open and have several secure methods for handling new and existing claims without the need for a face-to-face meeting.
Call Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak for legal help at: (844) 678-1800