Texas business owners have experienced significant challenges as a result of the coronavirus. Most major cities in the state had strong “stay at home” orders in place that permitted businesses to open only if they provided essential services. With a statewide order now in effect for the foreseeable future, many owners have no idea exactly when they can get back to normal, if they can even withstand the financial hit that they are taking at this time.
Some owners are looking to their insurance policies to determine if they would be able to recover compensation due the virus basically shutting down the economy. Many policies have business interruption clauses, which typically would apply in situations where civil authorities act in a manner that results in the business losing revenue.
While this may seem to be a solution to the serious problems facing small business owners and their families, insurance companies are once again resorting to their old tricks when it comes to deciding these claims. Insurers are doing everything they can to prevent paying out on business interruption policies, leaving business owners unsure of what to do next.
How insurers are handling coronavirus-related business interruption claims
When an insurance company receives a claim under a policy, they must determine if the submitted request falls under the coverage provided in the actual policy. This is where most of the problems are arising for small business owners, as they are encountering obstacles when trying to obtain the benefits they are entitled to receive under the policy.
Many insurers are simply denying these claims as quickly as they are filed. The insurer tells the policyholder that the claim is not valid under the policy for one reason or another, hoping that this will cause the owner to move along without questioning the company’s decision. Other insurers pledge to investigate the claim, but put no end date on the investigation, which provides no clarity to those who need these funds to make ends meet.
What this means for business owners
If you’ve submitted a request that’s been denied or still in progress, know that help may be available to you. There have been several lawsuits against insurance companies for denying these claims across the country. Courts may decide to force insurers to pay business interruption policyholders, which could make things much easier for those who submit requests. Additionally, it is possible that legislation may be enacted in stimulus packages that require insurers to compensate certain business owners, but there is no real certainty about either of these happening at this time.
The best way for you to preserve your claim is to file a request for benefits under your policy as soon as possible. Doing so allows you to connect your losses to the current shutdown orders in place. If the insurers refuse to honor your request, you may need to pursue legal action to obtain the compensation you deserve. Our team can help you determine what options are available to you.