During the White House’s April 10 coronavirus task force press briefing, President Donald Trump railed against insurance companies, calling on them to do the right thing for customers whose businesses are being adversely affected by the government-mandated shutdowns — cover business interruption insurance claims unless policies specifically exclude pandemics, the Insurance Journal reported.
“You have people that have never asked for business interruption insurance and they have been paying a lot of money for a lot of years for the privilege of having it and then when they finally need it, the insurance company says, ‘We’re not going to give it.’ We can’t let that happen,” Trump said.
Trump said that even he had purchased business interruption insurance for his businesses prior to taking the nation’s highest office. “I’m very good at reading language,” he said. “I did very well in these subjects, OK? I don’t see pandemic mentioned. Now, in some cases it is; it’s an exclusion. But in a lot of cases I don’t see it.”
Business interruption insurance is one of the core coverages of a business owner’s policy, offering businesses — like restaurants, hotels and dress shops — coverage of payroll and other bills in the event a disaster forces them to temporarily close. For example, a business that had to shut down to repair the building after a fire could collect on business interruption insurance to cover employees’ payroll, operating expenses, and profits until they can reopen.
But businesses that have shuttered due to government orders to prevent the spread of COVID-19 have turned to their insurance companies to file a business interruption claim only to be told this is one disaster their insurance does not cover.
Several businesses have filed lawsuits against insurance companies arguing that the companies are required to do the right thing and make good on the claims. At least four states have introduced legislation to force them.
According to the president’s rant, he’s taking the businesses’ side on the matter. “I would like to see the insurance companies pay if they need to pay, if it’s fair,” he said. “And they know what’s fair. And I know what’s fair. I can tell you really quickly.”
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.