South Florida Business Interruption Checkup: Maximizing Insurance Coverage during COVID-19

As we all work together as a global community to mitigate the dynamic COVID-19 crisis through social distancing, limiting travel and reducing person-to-person contact, South Florida businesses are understandably concerned about the financial impact it is having on their operations.

 

Fortunately, local Miami businesses can try and proactively manage their Coronavirus exposure now by carefully reviewing existing policies to determine whether you have adequate coverage for COVID-19 or other infectious disease related losses.

 

Business Interruption Insurance

Business interruption insurance may respond with coverage for this type of income loss. Typically purchased as part of a company’s commercial property insurance policy, business interruption insurance is intended to protect businesses against income losses sustained as a result of disruptions to their operations. Contingent business interruption coverage similarly provides insurance for financial losses resulting from disruptions to a business's customers or suppliers, usually requiring that the underlying cause of damage to the customer or supplier be of a type covered with respect to the business's own property. 

 

Business interruption insurance is usually triggered when the policyholder sustains some sort of direct physical loss or damage to an insured property by a covered cause of loss. COVID-19 related business loss claims may be disputed as carriers will argue whether this “physical loss” requirement has been met. This is why it’s important to have an experienced property insurance attorney on your side.

 

There is no uniform rule for when an insured property has suffered a physical loss. Many courts have determined that contamination that renders a property uninhabitable or unfit for its intended use constitutes a loss that is adequate to trigger business interruption coverage. The determination of physical loss is the key component to this and will require close examination by an attorney to determine the factors in your case.

 

Additionally, many commercial property insurance policies provide coverage for business income loss due to “civil authority” that prohibits or impairs access to your business. It depends on the wording in your contract, which is another reason it’s a good idea to have a property insurance attorney review your existing policy with you.

 

In conclusion, your scope of coverage will ultimately depend on the specific language of your insurance policy. South Florida businesses interested in proactively managing their COVID-19 exposure should be reviewing their policies now. Call Acle Law now at 305-447-4667 or visit aclelaw.com to schedule an absolutely free and private consultation with our business interruption specialists.