COVID-19 BUSINESS INTERRUPTION CLAIMS: If you own a business that has been closed or limited by the COVID-19 crisis, we may BE ABLE TO HELP you make a claim. Learn more.

COVID-19 BUSINESS INTERRUPTION CLAIMS

If you own a business that has been closed or limited by the COVID-19 crisis, we may BE ABLE TO HELP you make a claim.

GLAGO WILLIAMS WAS HEAVILY INVOLVED IN THE BUSINESS INTERRUPTION CLAIMS RESULTING FROM HURRICANE KATRINA AND THE BP OIL SPILL AND HAS ALREADY ASSEMBLED AN ORGANIZED, EXPERIENCED AND KNOWLEDGEABLE TEAM THAT IS TRACKING THESE AND OTHER DEVELOPMENTS IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19. 

To determine possible relief from the impact of the coronavirus (“COVID-19”), the first crucial step is to determine whether your business has any of the following insurance coverage:

  • business interruption
  • civil authority
  • contingency business interruption

Most property insurance policies offer business interruption coverage and/or civil authority coverage, which provide a way for your business to recoup lost profits during a period of suspension of operations.  Additionally, some insurance policies may also contain a provision for contingent business interruption losses, which may allow your business to recover lost profits if damages to a supplier or customer harms your business.

While insurance agents have been telling business owners that this crisis is not covered under their BUSINESS INTERRUPTION COVERAGE, this may not be true.

In almost all cases, these coverage provisions require that the suspension of operations be caused by “direct physical loss or damage” to the business’ property. Currently, there are no published cases in Louisiana or elsewhere that address whether these provisions provide coverage due to COVID-19.  There are, however, two bills (House Bill No. 858 and Senate Bill No. 477) currently in the Louisiana legislature to extend business interruption coverage to COVID-19 claims.

Due to the scientific research showing that the virus taints the property it lands on, along with Glago Williams’ COVID-19 team and their own research, both Governor Edwards and Mayor Cantrell have stated in their legal orders that the governmental limitations and closures of businesses are linked to this temporary taint/damage to business property which could spread the virus if patrons and workers were in contact with it.  As a result of this fact — and its basis in the closure orders, Glago Williams will argue that BUSINESS INTERRUPTION INSURANCE CLAIMS FOR COVID-19 SHOULD BE COVERED AND PAID.

Unfortunately, based on what has already been demonstrated, the insurance companies most likely will not honor these claims without a fight.  Although we expect that filing a claim right now is likely to result in a quick denial of coverage, doing so is an effective way to secure your business’ rights as circumstances and governing law continue to evolve. Additionally, filing a proof of loss is usually required under these policies.  Regardless of whether a claim is denied or not, the proof of loss should be filed.  Under Louisiana law, if an insurer does not pay the claim within 30 days of submission of the proof of loss, the insurer could be liable for bad faith penalties should your business ultimately be found to have coverage.

If you are seeking guidance with respect to your business interruption insurance policy or other matters, we would be pleased to assist in identifying all potential means of insurance recovery and strategies to protect your business’ rights.

Please call us if your business has been impacted to ensure your claim(s) is protected. (504) 500-2020