Miami Business Interruption Insurance and COVID-19

The implications of business interruption insurance coverage across the Miami business community is causing unprecedented uncertainty and anxiety during the COVID-19 quarantine in South Florida. As businesses and carriers across all verticals review policies for possible coverage during the coronavirus pandemic, questions are falling into a few predictable buckets of coverage, including: 

  • Workers Compensation
  • Property Damage
  • Event Cancellation
  • Supply Chain Interruption
  • Business Interruption
  • General Liability

Today, Acle Law is specifically focusing on business interruption. Clients of the firm continue to reach into their files to review what losses related to the pandemic may be covered while insurance carriers continue to review those same policies to determine what claims to expect. Both regulators and litigators will be impacted for many years to come on this singular issue because to say the Coronavirus outbreak is paramount to a catastrophic event is a gross understatement. Insurers are bracing for potential worldwide losses at a magnitude never seen before.

 

Business Interruption Insurance

The most direct loss felt by most businesses during the quarantine has been and will continue to be business interruption. It’s caused by a variety of factors including an ill workforce, government mandates, supply chain disruption, customer loss or a combination of all of the above. Part of most business commercial property coverage requires some kind of physical loss to the premise to trigger business interruption coverage. This requirement is triggering many questions about what physical loss looks like in the age of COVID-19 pandemic.

 

That’s why it’s important that you have an expert review your policy to help you best determine what is covered. At Acle Law, our experienced attorneys have been pouring over dozens of small and large business policies across South Florida to help determine a best course of action. It’s important to remember that insurance is not a “commodity,” which means that no two policies are likely the same. The language in each individual policy will determine your ability to recover a claim.

 

Some policies include business interruption for contagious diseases, but many will likely exclude coverage for losses caused by a pandemic, partially in response to previous outbreaks of SARS and H1N1. Again, each policy needs to be carefully reviewed to determine when coverage may be allowed and what facts are present for each instance.

 

The Law and Regulations

As business losses mount, it’s critical to review the actions taken by the State of Florida, Departments of Insurance and the federal government as approaches so far have vacillated between protecting the solvency of insurers to mandating payments of business interruption insurance, even when such coverage was not written into the policies.  

 

It remains to be seen where federal and state governments will land on this issue, but the discussion will continue for quite a while, even after certain definitive action has been taken. In the meantime, insureds have not waited for guidance, and litigation has already begun.

 

We don’t know what the coming days and months will bring, but Acle Law will be here whenever you need us. We may be a team of property insurance lawyers, but we’re people first. We are your neighbors in your community and we’re in this with you. Call our Miami property insurance claim attorneys at the Acle Law Firm today at 305-447-4667 or visit Acle Law for a free consultation.