Filing a Business Interruption Claim for COVID-19 with The Hartford: What You Need to Know
The rapid spread of COVID-19 throughout the United States has severely impacted the lives of millions of citizens, as they follow “shelter in place” orders and stay home whenever possible. This has also impacted business-owners, many who are forced to reduce or shut down operations that the government has deemed non-essential.
Fortunately, if your business property is insured by a provider such as The Hartford, you may be able to recoup losses from Coronavirus if you have business interruption insurance. If you have any questions or require assistance filing a business interruption insurance claim, please contact Bentley & More, LLP today to discuss your situation. Our California business interruption insurance lawyers are here to assist all businesses who have been affected by COVID-19.
What Does The Hartford Business Interruption Insurance Cover?
Under The Hartford policies, business interruption insurance is known as business income insurance. According to The Hartford, basic business income insurance only covers loss of income from physical losses stemming from:
- Fire damage
- Wind damage
However, The Hartford offers a variety of add-on options to business income insurance that may cover your business in the case of a global pandemic. This includes additional interruption coverage for:
- Essential personnel
- Cloud service interruption
- Off premises operations
- Off premises utility services
- Dependent properties
- Electronic vandalism
In specifically addressing COVID-19, The Hartford has stated that business interruption insurance is meant to cover losses from direct physical loss or damage to the property and that “generally does not apply in the case of a virus.” However, they also have not completely ruled out all COVID-19 claims, mentioning that all situations will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Do I Need an Attorney for Business Interruption Claims in California?
Based on The Hartford’s statement on COVID-19 claims, it is highly recommended to first consult an experienced attorney before proceeding with your claim. Because this is fairly uncharted territory, many providers may not explicitly mention outbreaks such as COVID-19 in their coverage qualifications. However, just because it is not specifically written does not necessarily mean it is not covered.
An attorney with experience in business insurance can help construct a compelling case by gathering data and evidence to support your claim. They can then help you file your claim in a way such that it is not rejected for careless mistakes or missing information.
If your claim is summarily rejected, a business interruption insurance lawyer can help evaluate your claim to determine whether or not it was rejected in bad faith. Sometimes a claim is valid, but may be rejected for seemingly random or inexplicable reasons. An experienced attorney can help investigate these matters, taking providers to trial if necessary to give you the compensation you need and deserve.
What Qualifies for Business Interruption Insurance?
Generally, you may be eligible for a business income insurance claim if:
- Your business has been shut down due to COVID-19 for an indefinite amount of time.
- Your business has reduced its hours of operation due to COVID-19 or a government mandate.
- Your business has slightly altered its normal operations in order to comply with state mandates (dine-in restaurants switching to to-go only, etc.).
- You have had to lay off or furlough staff members.
- You may also be eligible if your business has been potentially exposed to the Coronavirus and has been closed for a prolonged period of time for disinfection and cleaning.
How Can I Contact The Hartford for More Information?
The Hartford has several convenient ways to contact their agents for any questions or concerns about your claim.
- You may start your claims process online.
- You may contact a general help line at (800) 327-3636.
- You may even find an agency near you, whether you’re a small business or a mid-sized business.
- It is always recommended to consult a lawyer before starting an insurance claim, so that you have all of your evidence and other information on hand.
What Do I Need to File for Business Interruption Insurance in CA?
We thoroughly evaluate business interruption claims based on a large amount of information. Before filing a business interruption claim, be sure to have the following with you:
- A copy of your commercial property insurance policy
- Any established correspondence with a local agent, if you have already started the claims process
- Any information that clearly shows a governmental mandate that has impacted your business
- Profit and loss statements and operating expense statements for the previous year, at minimum
- Financial information such as statements, receipts, and invoices that clearly show the impact of the interruption on your business
- Any financial transactions that may have been postponed or otherwise put on hold due to any interruptions such as COVID-19
This information will be vital in substantiating your business interruption insurance claim, helping you receive the recovery you need.
Contact Us For Help with Your Business Interruption Insurance Claim
We understand this is a difficult time for all those who may have been impacted by the Coronavirus outbreak, and we want to help you today. If you have a business that has been impacted by COVID-19, please contact us immediately — we are here to assist you in any way that we can.