Hurricane Ida Business Interruption Claims & Loss of Business Income
While officials are trying to restore power as quickly as possible, they warn that it may take weeks for power to be restored from Hurricane Ida.
The harmful impacts to businesses unable to continue operating as usual due to hurricane loss can be catastrophic to profits and even overall sustainability.
Any prolonged interruption of service to consumers of manufactured products and business services can cost privately owned companies and corporations a massive loss in revenue.
Moreover, in today’s marketplace with consumer accustomed to next day deliveries, when one business goes down online (even if just for a short time), it provides competition greater opportunities to gain new customers. This is a risk most small companies cannot afford.
This is why all business insurance coverage should include coverage for both physical property damage as well as business income loss resulting from suspended business operations due to circumstances beyond the control of a business owner.
What is Typically Covered in Commercial Property Insurance
There are varying commercial insurance packages. Generally business insurance policies are formed and composed to meet with the specific terms, provisions, and conditions unique to specific commercial enterprises.
Standard commercial property insurance policies primarily provide for building coverage (if you own the building that houses your business) and personal property coverage. This includes computers, office furniture, machinery, equipment and retail or wholesale inventory. If you rent or lease where you conduct your business, coverage usually extends to all personal property owned and used, including computers, office furniture, machinery, equipment, and retail or wholesale inventory.
Depending on the scope and type of business being insured, specific coverage may include losses resulting from natural disasters that impact operating conditions, employee working hardship conditions, perishable inventory spoilage and temporary loss of building lease occupancy.
What to Know About Business Interruption Insurance
Business interruption insurance is geared to protect businesses from the financial and physical losses caused by unforeseeable catastrophic events.
Business interruption coverage is an integral and critical component of comprehensive commercial insurance policies. It is important to note that typically business interruption insurance is not purchased as an independent policy. It is easily included or added to commercial property insurance policies, although some commercial providers do provide wider-reaching packages to exceed available standard business interrupted coverage for business income loss and suspension of regular business operations.
In order for policyholders to prove losses and verify a business interruption claim, it is imperative that policyholders keep accurate records of all expenditures and receipts incurred while in a state of suspension or relocation caused by natural disasters to provide sufficient documentation tracking business interrupted income losses.
What Does Business Interruption Insurance Cover?
The terms and conditions of your policy will dictate what is covered. Generally, business interruption claims require property damage that triggers loss of revenue. This can be a result of enforced closure due to off-premise power failure causing the business to relocate temporarily or various other reasons, sometimes causing a business to incur additional operating expenses and training costs.
The interplay language in this portion of the policy is essential. While insurance providers will argue there is only one way to interpret business interruption coverage as stated in the policy, contractual terms and conditions that specify “cause of loss” and “cause of income loss” will invariably leave room for negotiation.
Sufficient documentation and record of receipts are also important to keep in mind before filing business interruption claims in order to ensure your claim of business interruption losses and additional costs and expenditures can be verified.
What if my Business Interrupted Claim is Denied?
If your business interruption claim is denied, you need to take action immediately and know what legal options are available to you.
There are many reasons why a commercial insurance provider will deny a claim. When a claim is denied, the insurer must provide the reason for their decision. If your insurer denies your claim and will not provide a reason, they have breached their contract with you and you may be able to file a claim of bad faith against your insurer.
A skilled attorney knowledgeable in the nuances of interpreting commercial insurance will be able to competently steer the legal complexities of commercial insurance and can negotiate on your behalf to recover the compensation you were initially denied.
Bringing Legal Action Against The Insurance Carrier That Denied Your Claim is Within Your Legal Rights
Working with an experienced attorney is an invaluable business asset and ensures you have the best chance of recovering the maximum compensation you deserve and paid for with your insurance premiums.
The attorneys at Alvendia, Kelly & Demarest are very familiar with all the deceptive tricks insurance companies use to deny claims and we know how to fight and how to negotiate with insurers. We will carefully review your insurance policy, evaluate your case, and explain your legal options.
Call us now at (504) 200-0000 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.