Debate continues over the issue of business interruption insurance. While business owners counted on these policies to help them during the government-mandated coronavirus shut-downs, insurance companies are refusing their claims. Instead, restaurants, bars, hair salons, and retail stores are forced to lay off staff or close permanently under the economic strain.
For years, many businesses have paid for business interruption insurance as part of their business owners policies to cover payroll, bills, and other operating expenses in the event of a disaster that cause them to temporarily close. But when they’ve reached out to their insurers for this much needed lifeline, they were told the one disaster their policies don’t cover is a pandemic.
Insurance companies are trying to protect themselves, argued Chubb Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Evan Greenberg. Covering business interruption claims for businesses forced to temporarily shutter due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic would bankrupt the industry, the head of the world’s largest publicly traded property and casualty company said.
According to the American Property Casualty Insurance Association, companies with 100 employees or fewer could see losses topping $431 billion a month. That would be detrimental to the industry, Greenberg said. But it’s already destroying small businesses. And they just want what is owed to them.
Many lawmakers have thrown their support behind businesses, introducing legislation that would force insurance companies to cover business interruption claims.
“The insurance industry is sitting on $900 billion in reserves while small businesses who have paid business interruption premiums for years have their claims denied over and over again because the insurance industry claims COVID-19 doesn’t constitute a business interruption,” said Robert Carroll, a Brooklyn, New York, assemblyman, and one of the lawmakers who sponsored a bill to protect local businesses hurt by the closures. “This is absurd, greedy, immoral, and factually incorrect.”
Attorneys with Beasley Allen Law Firm are actively pursuing these cases already with our clients who received a denial communication from their insurance companies. Dee Miles, Head of our Consumer Fraud Section, Rachel Boyd and Paul Evans are spearheading this litigation for our firm. They would like to talk to you about any potential claims.