It’s no surprise that the COVID-19 Coronavirus crisis has resulted in a large number of insurance claims and lawsuits. With the sudden disruption of life as we know it, business owners need help from every possible resource. One of the most common types of insurance claims to stem from the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic is business interruption claims.
Business Interruption Claims and COVID-19
Business interruption claims are claims on an existing insurance policy. Relating to COVID-19, they are based on the fact that a business owner is unable to conduct business as usual because of the pandemic. The claim asks for reimbursement of lost income and other covered losses.
When done properly, business interruption claims can be a lifesaver for a struggling business. However, mistakes in the claims process can prevent an insured party from getting the compensation that they truly need and deserve. Fortunately, many of the most common mistakes are avoidable. Here are seven mistakes to avoid when filing a business interruption claim:
1. Gathering Too Little Evidence of Losses
An insurance claim always depends on your actual losses. You can claim damages for your actual losses, minus deductibles and limitations. To win your case, you need to have detailed evidence of your damages due to the interruption of your business.
Showing what losses you have means putting together statements, accounting records and other kinds of documentation. Many business interruption claims fall apart because the owner fails to document their losses appropriately. Our business interruption insurance claims lawyers can help you get it right the first time, or we can help you correct errors and omissions that may have resulted in an unfavorable initial determination.
2. Not Reading the Policy
Each business insurance contract is unique to the company that takes out the policy. There are various policy provisions that you may or may not have elected to do at the time that you purchased the policy. There are different levels of deductibles, exclusions and add-ons that can change your coverage. All of these little nuances might seem insignificant, but they can ultimately make the difference in what you recover for your claim.
Many claimants make the mistake of not reading their policies. Don’t rely on what the insurance company tells you about what is covered in your contract. It’s crucial to read it for yourself to ensure that you’re being treated fairly. The Adam S. Kutner legal team has experience reading and interpreting insurance policies, and we can help make sure that you don’t miss any provisions that may work in your favor.
3. Saying Too Much to the Wrong Person
Your insurance broker is not your attorney. As a result, you can’t count on them to act on your behalf or in your best interests when you make an insurance claim. What you say to your insurance broker can be held against you when it’s time to file your business interruption claim.
Attorney-client privilege is between you and your attorney only. On the contrary, there are no secrets kept between a business owner and their insurance broker. When you work with a business interruption attorney, they speak to the insurance broker on your behalf. They make sure that you don’t unintentionally reveal any information that could ultimately hurt your claim.
4. Putting Out a Press Release
When you have a business interruption claim, statements that your business makes are fair game as evidence. It can be tempting to want to tell the public that everything is okay. You might want to project a message that you’re not suffering and that you’re open for business as usual. However, if you fall into this trap, the insurance company may use your press release as evidence that you haven’t suffered any business losses.
Be sure to proceed carefully. An experienced attorney for COVID-19 business interruption losses can help you weigh all of the relevant considerations. They can help you navigate public statements carefully while ensuring that you can continue operating your business to the maximum extent possible.
5. Forgoing the Forensic Accountant
There may be some cost associated with proving your business interruption claim. You may need to employ the services of a forensic accountant in order to show how you have suffered losses because of the interruption.
A forensic account is valuable for multiple reasons. Not only do they help you produce the documentation that you need to prove your claim, but they can testify on your behalf if necessary. A forensic accountant isn’t essential for every case. Our business interruptions claims lawyers can help you determine if a forensic accountant could be beneficial to your case.
6. Taking the Insurance Company’s Word for It
The insurance company might tell you that you don’t have a valid claim. They might deny your request just to see if you try and fight it. For many policyholders, they are all too willing to accept the insurance company’s word. Ultimately, you have a right to take your claim to court and fight insurance bad faith.
When filing a business interruption claim, avoid the mistake of assuming that the insurance company has the final say or that they have tried their best to help you. Fortunately, having your claim denied is not the end of the road. You have the right to representation from an experienced attorney at all times who can fight for the coverage you deserve.
7. Going It Alone Without a Business Interruption Claims Attorney
When you have the assistance of a business interruption claims attorney, you can avoid making serious mistakes in the process before they happen. With an experienced legal team on your side, you have trained and skilled advocates who get it right the first time. Your business interruption claims attorney holds the insurance company accountable for processing your claim accurately, fairly and effectively.
Business Claims Interruption Attorneys Taking New Cases Now
If you’ve suffered a business interruption due to COVID-19 or any other reason, you may have the right to make a business interruption insurance claim. Our attorneys for business interruption claims are a dedicated and determined force that is committed to our clients and their best interests.
You’re not alone if you’ve been denied coverage under your business insurance policy because of COVID-19. We’re serious about helping our fellow community members through these difficult times, especially when insurance companies are trying to take advantage of policyholders.
Call us today for your free consultation with our team of business interruption insurance claim experts.