COVID-19 AND BUSINESS INTERRUPTION LOSSES
The ongoing COVID-19 emergency has resulted in a devastating impact on the world through loss of life and economic crisis. Over 68,000 people have died in the United States. Over 30 million people have filed for unemployment. Hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue have been lost. These numbers are continuing to grow. Millions of small businesses are facing permanent closure. Small businesses in Kentucky are no exception.
Insurance companies have taken the position that business interruption losses due to COVID-19 are not covered under standard commercial insurance policies. The insurance companies argue that business losses do not satisfy the requirement of “direct physical loss or damage.” Many policies also contain exclusions caused by a virus. Insurance companies are denying the claims of small business owners on this basis sometimes without a proper and thorough investigation.
The successful resolution of a commercial property insurance claim requires complex legal analysis. While the insurance companies have taken the blanket position that business losses due to COVID-19 are not covered, the law is not that clear and is changing fast. We know how to challenge the denial of your claim. While the traditional legal standards remain in place, many litigants have already asserted novel legal theories in an attempt to establish coverage. It is unclear how the courts will decide if, and to what extent, coverage exists. There is also the possibility of governmental intervention in the insurance arena. We are constantly monitoring for any new developments.
The specific terms of a policy will determine whether coverage exists. However, any ambiguities in an insurance policy will be interpreted against the insurance company in favor of coverage. Kentucky law also recognizes the doctrine of “reasonable expectations,” which means that insurance companies cannot induce the payment of premiums by giving the policyholder “reasonable expectations” that certain losses will be covered and then deny protection on the basis of overly technical definitions. Insurance companies also have the burden of proving that exclusions apply to justify the denial of coverage. Many policies have expanded coverages that may negate or supersede exclusions and denials.
DO NOT TAKE “NO” FOR AN ANSWER! Contact the Ron Aslam Law Office for a free consultation to determine whether you are entitled to coverage for your business losses. An insurance policy is a contract. You have faithfully held up your end of the bargain by paying your premiums. Our attorneys have been trained in cutting edge responses to the denial of coverage for business interruption losses. We will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.