No one knew exactly what to expect when COVID-19 came to America. As we sent workers home and shuttered entire industries to slow the spread of the virus, many small and medium businesses looked to their insurers for help. However, most of them did not receive it. In fact, some insurers denied all COVID-19 related claims without investigating them.
If you are in this situation, you may be able to fight back. After paying for an insurance policy for years, it’s reasonable to expect your losses to be covered when outside forces require you to temporarily halt operations. Now that we are in a position to do so, we would like to help our fellow entrepreneurs.
If you are looking for legal support for a denied business insurance claim caused by COVID-19, call Monge & Associates and (800) 860-8021. We’re here to help you 24/7.
Why Insurers Are Denying Claims
Though it’s been decades since the world has seen a pandemic like the one we’re experiencing now, insurance companies noted the disruption caused by SARS when it struck in 2002. To prevent future losses—their term for any money they have to pay out to their customers—they lobbied for permission to add an exclusion to their contracts for interruptions caused by disease outbreaks. Because of that exclusion, they are now pointing to these exception clauses. However, this does not mean you have no way to fight back.
Understanding Contractual Language
Writing a clean contract is a skill that some companies haven’t mastered. It’s possible your agreement doesn’t actually exclude the circumstances we have all faced in recent times. Our High Powered attorneys can help you go through your policy line by line to look for unclear language or other reasons to challenge your insurer’s response.
Civil Authority Coverage
Even if your insurance does not cover losses caused by a viral outbreak, it may have a clause for “civil authority” interruptions: any circumstance in which a business cannot operate because it has been ordered to shut down by the government. Though this clause was not written with pandemics in mind, it may cover those “non-essential businesses” forced to close during Stay at Home and Safer at Home orders across the country. Our team can help you identify if you could be eligible for reimbursement through such coverage.
The Possibility of Legislative Action
Because so many businesses are facing ruinous losses, legislators have taken note of insurers’ refusal to pay. Many companies, if forced to bear the cost of the pandemic alone, may be and have been forced to close. On the state level, some governments are therefore considering stepping in on business owners’ behalf. Just as intervention was needed after 2001, when insurers raced to exclude terrorist events from their coverages, the pandemic might be time for more government-backed regulation to the insurance industry. Under proposed laws, insurers might be offered government funding to help cover the expenses caused by the pandemic. Though no state has passed such a bill, they’ve been introduced into more than one legislature. We are watching the Georgia Senate and House for any sign they are following suit.
We Can Help Challenge a Denial
Insurers may have shut down all claims related to the novel coronavirus without looking closely, but you have the right to challenge their decision and ask for a full explanation of why your policy does not cover your losses. If their explanation has any gaps or inconsistencies, it may be worth fighting.
While we are waiting to see whether action will be taken on a larger scale, you can get started right now with a free consultation. We are here to support local businesses like ours.
Call Monge & Associates at (800) 860-8021 to schedule your free case evaluation. We answer our phones 24/7.