Filing a Business Interruption Claim for COVID-19 with State Farm: What You Need to Know
As the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak continues to affect billions of lives around the world, it has also brought businesses in America to a standstill. States like California have issued “shelter in place” orders, mandating that all non-essential businesses must shut down or otherwise modify their operations indefinitely.
For business owners who have insured their properties through providers such as State Farm, you may have an option to file a business interruption insurance claim for temporary financial relief. However, this can be difficult in such unprecedented circumstances. The California business interruption insurance lawyers at our law firm are experienced in handling these types of claims.
If you are a business owner seeking to file a claim with State Farm due to the COVID-19 outbreak, please contact Bentley & More LLP to discuss your situation. We may be able to assist you with securing compensation while your business is non-operational.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer for Business Interruption Insurance Claims?
It is important to seek the counsel of a knowledgeable insurance attorney first before proceeding with any claims related to the COVID-19 outbreak. Because the global pandemic is an unprecedented event in our history, your business owners policy may not explicitly identify whether or not COVID-19 is valid grounds for a claim.
An attorney can help communicate the impact of Coronavirus on your business in the best way possible. Additionally, if State Farm acts in bad faith by rejecting a claim that is valid, a lawyer can help appeal and argue on your behalf, taking your case to trial if necessary to secure the compensation you deserve.
What Does State Farm Business Interruption Insurance Cover?
Although most business providers offer business interruption insurance, it is important to note that State Farm does not have an explicit policy regarding business interruption insurance for its business insurance customers. Instead, it covers elements of business interruption insurance through different components of your comprehensive policy. Policyholders may apply for protection for loss of any income in the event business operations are suspended due to a covered loss.
However, what “covered losses” entail may vary widely from policy to policy. It is best to consult your business insurance agent for clearer details, along with an attorney experienced in matters of business insurance.
How Can I Contact State Farm for More Information?
Most business owners have a State Farm agent assigned to their policy for any questions and concerns. However, if you do not have an agent, you may find one in California using State Farm’s website. Alternatively, you may contact their line for general property claims at 1 (800) 732-5246.
It is highly recommended to contact an insurance attorney first before contacting State Farm, as they may be able to advise you on how to best proceed with a business interruption claim.
What Qualifies for Business Interruption Insurance?
The requirements for business interruption insurance qualification vary based on a number of circumstances. However, if any of these situations apply to your business, you may be eligible to file a business interruption insurance claim:
- Your business has shut down due to a natural disaster or event
- Your business has reduced business operations significantly
- You have laid off staff and/or reduced the hours of your current staff
- Your business has drastically altered operations in order to comply with state regulations
If your business has been directly exposed to COVID-19 and you have had to spend prolonged hours disinfecting and cleaning the premises, you may also be eligible for compensation of time and expenses spent on preparing the business for normal operations.
What Do I Need to File for Business Interruption Insurance?
Before filing a claim with State Farm for compensation due to business interruption, it is important to gather any and all information that may be pertinent to your claim. This includes:
- The details of your business owners insurance policy
- Any previous correspondence with an agent regarding your losses
- Any documentation that explicitly displays governmental mandates that have disrupted your business
- P&L and operating expense statements from the past year at minimum
- Financial statements, invoices, and receipts that show the impact of business interruption on your company
- Any potential transactions or financial contracts that may have been canceled due to Coronavirus
- Any other unexpected expenses and financial losses that occurred due to COVID-19
We Can Help With Your California Business Interruption Insurance Claim
We understand that these are difficult times for everyone, and that the impact COVID-19 has had on your livelihood is immense. Please contact us today to see how we can help you receive some kind of financial relief while your operations are closed. We want to ensure you get the help you need.