Some of the biggest players in Hollywood and in major sports called on leaders of the House and Senate for some form of business interruption insurance to cover serious economic losses due to government-mandated closures and restrictions to stop the spread of COVID-19.
The letter, obtained by Deadline, was written to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Democratic Leader Chuck Shumer, and was signed by the NFL, NASCAR, Motion Picture Association, Independent Film & Television Alliance, Screen Actors Guild — American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, NPACT, Producers Guild of Alabama, National Association of Broadcasters, Directors Guild of America, International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, and NCTA — The Internet & Television Association.
“Whether it be professional and collegiate sporting events, the next must-see film, a bingeworthy TV series, or a marquee Broadway production, we cannot envision any long-term recovery of these American experiences without some form of business interruption insurance that mitigates the risks associated with producing these popular events and programs in the COVID era now facing the country,” the letter stated.
“In short, the ability of American businesses like ours to secure pandemic risk insurance will be a key factor to America’s economic recovery … We stand ready to work with all parties on both sides of the Capitol to ensure the U.S. economy can re-start effectively and is prepared for future pandemic-related disruptions,” the letter continued.
Some relief is expected as part of the next COVID-19 economic relief package, but will it come in time to save struggling small to mid-sized business across the country? Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of businesses nationwide have reached out to their insurers and made claims on their business interruption insurance, only to be denied.
Business interruption insurance is part of a business owner’s policy that provides coverage of payroll and other operating expenses in the event a disaster like a hurricane or fire forces to business to temporarily close. However, businesses that have filed claims are being told that virus-related closures, which don’t cause actual physical damage (at least none that can be seen), are not considered “disasters” in the eyes of the insurers.
Upset at being left in the lurch, businesses are filing lawsuits against their insurers seeking coverage on their business interruption claims. Beasley Allen is actively pursuing cases with clients whose insurance companies denied their business interruption claims. 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.