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Filing a Business Interruption Claim for COVID-19 with Nationwide: What You Need to Know

With many businesses forced to modify or shut down their operations due to the Coronavirus outbreak, California business-owners may be left in a financial bind. Fortunately, property insurance providers such as Nationwide offer business interruption insurance in most comprehensive property policies.

If your business is insured by Nationwide and is currently closed due to COVID-19, you may be able to secure compensation via your business interruption insurance. The California business interruption insurance attorneys at Bentley & More LLP can help answer any questions about the process, help you file for a claim, and ensure that all qualified claims receive the compensation they deserve.

What Does Nationwide Business Interruption Insurance Cover?

According to Nationwide, business interruption insurance can compensate you for:

  • Lost net income or revenue if your business was operating normally
  • Continuing expenses such as rent, a mortgage, taxes, and salaries
  • Relocation and advertising fees if you have been forced to move to a temporary site

Interestingly, Nationwide’s business interruption insurance does not cover any costs in the event that a business is disrupted or closed due to an unforeseen event causing interruptions in utilities, such as a water main break or gas leak. In these circumstances, policyholders must purchase utility interruption insurance in order to be recouped for these losses. Although this may not be pertinent now, the ever-evolving scope of COVID-19 may result in water and gas shutoffs for select businesses.

What Qualifies for Business Interruption Insurance?

Although qualifications for business interruption insurance vary from provider to provider and policy to policy, typically you may qualify if:

  • Your business was forced to shut down due to a natural disaster or event
  • Your business reduced its hours in reaction to a natural disaster or event
  • Your business has had to lay off staff due to a disaster
  • You may have had to alter business operations in order to comply with government orders
  • Regarding the Coronavirus outbreak, you may also qualify if you have had to cease operations in order to disinfect and clean your business after exposure to Coronavirus

What Do I Need to File for Business Interruption Insurance with Nationwide?

Before filing for business interruption insurance, it is highly recommended to consult an attorney who is knowledgeable in business insurance. In these uncertain, difficult times, an insurance lawyer can give you peace of mind by detailing the claims process in a simple, straightforward way. At Bentley & More LLP, this includes a full evaluation of your business, your business property policy, and your grounds for a claim. We recommend having:

  • A copy of your commercial insurance policy
  • Any correspondence with your insurer regarding your loss
  • Any orders, emails, correspondence, or other information from a governmental authority that clearly displays an impact to your business
  • P&L and operating expense statements for at least the past year
  • Any documentation that clearly shows the impact of a reduction or shutdown in business, e.g. receipts, invoices, orders
  • Any contracts, transactions, meetings, or other business functions that have been canceled or postponed due to the Coronavirus
  • Any other financial problems that have arisen due to the Coronavirus
  • These documents can be vital to securing business interruption insurance from Nationwide and other insurance providers

How Can I Contact Nationwide for More Information?

Most businesses commonly have an insurance agent specifically assigned to them for any insurance questions and needs. However, if you are insured by Nationwide and you do not know who to contact to start the claims process, you may call 1 (888) 490-1549 to find an insurance agent near you.

Additionally, Nationwide offers a comprehensive directory of agency locations in California. Although many may be impacted by the same “shelter in place’ order, they should be able to direct you to an agent who can give you assistance.

Is a Lawyer Necessary for a Business Interruption Claim for Coronavirus?

Before contacting Nationwide, we highly recommend consulting an experienced lawyer who has experience in California insurance law.

Many business interruption insurance policies are written ambiguously so that coverage is open to interpretation. To add to that, the COVID-19 outbreak is an unprecedented world event. As a result, many policies may not explicitly detail what is and is not covered in the event of a global pandemic. An attorney can help gather evidence and form an argument that effectively proves that Coronavirus is covered under a business interruption insurance plan.

Additionally, in circumstances where a qualified claim gets rejected, a lawyer can fight on your behalf to ensure Nationwide is not acting in bad faith, getting you the compensation you deserve.

Contact Us Today

In these difficult times, you need all the help you can get. At Bentley & More LLP, we want to help you receive the compensation you need while your business operations are indefinitely shut down or drastically reduced.

Contact us immediately and schedule a free consultation to see how we can facilitate your needs.