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Filing a Business Interruption Insurance Claim with Chubb: What You Need to Know

While the Coronavirus outbreak has impacted people on a global scale, businesses in California are also feeling the effects of the disease. With shelter in place orders for the nearly 40 million residents in California, many businesses have had to either shut down or reduce their operations significantly in order to stay open.

Fortunately, businesses which are insured by companies such as Chubb may be eligible for financial relief through their business interruption insurance coverage. However, there may be questions about what is and is not covered that can complicate matters considerably.

If you are seeking financial compensation from Chubb for a business impacted by COVID-19, contact Bentley & More LLP today to discuss your case. Our California business interruption insurance attorneys can answer any questions you may have, while also advising you on the best course of action for compensation.

What California Businesses May Qualify for Business Interruption Insurance Due to Coronavirus?

Generally, if you or your business meets one or more of these scenarios, you may qualify for financial compensation through business interruption insurance:

  1. Your business has shut down because it is deemed “non-essential”
  2. Your business has reduced hours of operation to prevent potential spread of COVID-19
  3. Your business has significantly altered your business model to stay open during shelter at home
  4. You have laid off or fired staff that were previously considered essential to operations
  5. Your business has temporarily closed while it disinfected and cleaned the premises due to potential Coronavirus exposure

Does Chubb Business Interruption Insurance Cover Losses From COVID-19?

Although it is unclear specifically whether or not Chubb policyholders can utilize business interruption insurance to cover COVID-19 losses in California, the provider was recently required to disclose information to the New York Department of Financial Services regarding coverage.

In the letter, they stated that business interruption insurance generally only covers loss of income or expenses due to a direct physical loss or damage of a property. This means the physical alteration of a property — not a loss of use, or diminished value, or a property as Coronavirus has done. Additionally, they have mentioned that the presence of an infectious agent or communicable disease at a location is not enough to constitute physical loss.

While this heavily implies that business interruption insurance does not cover any losses from COVID-19, Chubb does say that the circumstances may vary on a person to person, case by case basis. Additional supplemental policies may also help policyholders find financial relief, depending on the circumstances.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Business Interruption Insurance Claims?

Because of Chubb’s staunch position on business interruption insurance coverage for COVID-19, it is highly recommended to consult an experienced attorney first before proceeding with a claim.

An attorney can use pertinent facts and evidence to construct a comprehensive case for seeking financial relief. Additionally, an attorney may be able to negotiate with insurance providers on your behalf to find some sort of financial recourse for your halted business.

In situations where your claim is deemed valid but still rejected, a lawyer may also investigate your claim for any evidence of bad faith. If insurance bad faith is found, a lawyer can pursue a claim against the provider for further damages.

What Information is Necessary for Business Interruption Claims?

Before proceeding with a business interruption claim, make sure to have the following information on hand:

  • A copy of your business property insurance policy
  • A copy of any governmental mandates that have directly impacted your business
  • Any expense statements or profit and loss transactions from the past year
  • Documentation that clearly shows the impact of COVID-19 on your business: receipts, invoices, deliveries
  • Any financial transactions, contracts, or arrangements that have otherwise been canceled due to the Coronavirus outbreak
  • Any other financial losses or expenses incurred due to COVID-19

If you have any prior correspondence with Chubb regarding a business interruption insurance claim, it may be helpful to have that on hand as well.

Contact For Help With Your Chubb Business Interruption Insurance Claim

If you are currently dealing with a closed or reduced business capacity and are struggling as a result, please reach out immediately. We understand the profound impact an event such as the Coronavirus outbreak can have on someone’s livelihood, and we want to give you the financial support and compensation you deserve during these difficult times.

Schedule a free consultation with us today and see how we can help.