National COVID-19 Business Interruption Insurance Claim Lawyers
Many Insurers Are Invoking Obscure “Pandemic” Clauses to Deny Claims, but Business Owners May Have Other Options.
Never before have so many businesses across the nation closed up shop at the same time. With “stay at home” orders hastily issued across America in March and then extended into April and May, the owners of businesses deemed “non-essential” have lost most, if not all, of their profits. Yet, they are still on the hook for rent, payroll, and other continuing expenses. This is exactly the scenario business interruption insurance seems made for. Yet, many business owners have seen their claims refused.
Insurers think they can get away without paying customers because of certain exclusion clauses in their contracts. After SARS caused business losses in 2003, many insurance companies revised their coverage offerings to exclude outbreaks of disease or illness. If you’ve had your claim denied for this reason, do not give up. Our attorneys may be able to help you challenge your insurance company’s decision so you can get the funding your business needs.
How a Lawyer Can Help with Your Insurance Claim
As a rule, insurance companies of all types use the same playbook: They try to deny and/or underpay claims so they can protect their profits. Unfortunately, experienced insurance adjusters have perfected multiple techniques that help them succeed at this unfair game. For instance, if they can get you to use certain language while making or describing your claim (and they will ask leading questions and use these words themselves, so you’re ready to follow suit), they can point to your contract’s exceptions and exclusions instead of paying.
We’ve seen many examples of insurers trying to minimize or reject claims and helped our clients fight back against these unfair techniques. When you work with us, we’ll review your contact in depth, so we know what phrases to avoid. Then, the next time an adjuster calls, you can send them straight to us. We’ve been negotiating with insurers for a long time, meaning we’ve refined methods of our own to fight back against unfair offers and denials made in bad faith.
You May Still Be Able to Receive Compensation for COVID-19 Losses
Even if your contract specifically excludes losses due to communicable illnesses, there may be other clauses you can use to support your claim. Our team can help you identify potential contractual provisions that work for, rather than against, you.
Nuances of Contract Language
Insurers are quick to point out any incongruities between your situation and the coverage conditions your contract specifies. We can do the same, but on your behalf. Some contracts may specifically exclude losses due to communicable bacterial illnesses—meaning the novel coronavirus would still be covered.
Some insurers write contracts meant to cover only physical losses, such as tornadoes or fires. But, if they include the word “damage,” even these policies could leave you an opening to argue your business has suffered and should receive compensation. Understanding and litigating the exact meaning of the words your insurer chose could be the difference between receiving a settlement and having your claim denied.
Evidence of COVID-19’s Effects
If your business had to close because workers tested positive for the novel coronavirus, this may aid your claim for damages. However, tests have been hard to come by since the pandemic hit America. Our team can help you investigate and gather evidence of employee illness if we believe it will help your claim.
Claims for Civil Authority Interruption
Some business interruption insurance covers losses incurred when government action disrupts access to your property or clientele. With both local and state governments ordering businesses deemed “non-essential” to shut down, we can help you argue this coverage should apply.
How a Lawyer Can Help with Your Insurance Claim
As a rule, insurance companies of all types use the same playbook: They try to deny and/or underpay claims so they can protect their profits. Unfortunately, experienced insurance adjusters have perfected multiple techniques that help them succeed at this unfair game. For instance, if they can get you to use certain language while making or describing your claim (and they will ask leading questions and use these words themselves, so you’re ready to follow suit), they can show how your contract excludes your situation.
Our attorneys are used to negotiating with slippery insurers who will do anything to avoid paying their clients. Rather than tying yourself up in knots, you can retain an experienced attorney to follow up on your claim until you receive a final answer.
Diverse Services to Meet Any Needs
As attorneys, our team can also provide you with resources you might have trouble accessing on your own. Especially in these cases against insurers, you are likely to need more than a baseline of legal support. We know you are willing to dig in and fight to save your business, and we’re prepared to join you in doing whatever it takes. However, this isn’t just a case of you versus your insurer. Many other business owners nationwide are facing the same struggles. Together, we may be able to do what one person could not. Peterson & Associates, P.C. is here to help with:
- Litigation & Multidistrict Litigation: Some firms are already suggesting multidistrict litigation (MDL) may be the best approach to business interruption insurance nonpayment cases. Should this be granted, our law firm will still provide you personalized support.
- State Affairs: The details of your claim may depend on Missouri’s response to the coronavirus epidemic. We can work with the relevant government agencies to gather the evidence you need.
- General Membership & Education: We care about keeping you informed and in the loop. In partnership with organizations like the Insurance Law Section and Bad Faith Insurance Litigation Group, we can create educational materials and programs for all plaintiffs.
- Communications: Any good litigator knows how to tell a story—and we will tie the concerns and complaints of entrepreneurs nationwide together into a powerful mission statement that will draw favorable media coverage.
- Legislative Assistance: As a small or medium business owner, you may have financial options beyond insurance. Work with our team to apply for government loans and other economic support programs.
Our Lawyers Can Challenge Unjust Claim Denials
After faithfully paying for business interruption insurance, it’s unfair to have your claim denied the minute you need help. Insurers should not be allowed to build loopholes into their contracts so they can get out of paying for problems when they arise. The good news is the burden of proving the validity of the denial rests with the insurance company. Simply by applying pressure, we may be able to help you negotiate a better outcome for your company.
What Our Clients Are Saying
We are proud to establish long standing relationships with our clients and we pride ourselves on offering quality, personalized, confident representation to all of our clients.
Team did a great job resolving my injury case- Daniel G.
They were instrumental in saving my life.- Kathy
I’m a witness to how wonderful they are as a law firm.- Larry
Peterson & Associates, P.C. heard me and made sure I was not taken advantage of.- Lee
I would definitely recommend Peterson & Associates- Leesa
They get the job done- Theresa
Choosing Our Team
Many people that have been injured in car accidents are unsure of where to start with a legal claim. Our team of highly trained lawyers can help to review the details of your crash and guide you through the process. Below, learn more about the attorneys at Peterson & Associates, P.C., their results, and contingency fees.