IS YOUR COVID-19 BUSINESS INTERRUPTION OR CIVIL AUTHORITY INSURANCE LOSS COVERED?
In March 2020, the Governor, parish presidents, and mayors, issued orders closing non-essential businesses in Louisiana. Do you know whether your insurance policy has business interruption coverage or civil authority coverage that will cover your losses resulting from these closures and the COVID-19 pandemic? It may be a good idea to review your insurance policies to see if such coverage exists. Even if you think you understand the cope of your policy’s coverage, you might want to check with an experienced lawyer who handles these types of cases.
BUSINESS INTERRUPTION AND CIVIL AUTHORITY INSURANCE
Business interruption coverage permits a business to recover financial losses in the event that the business suffers physical damage or loss or if other property at a described location suffers physical damage that prevents the business from operating. This type of coverage protects against losses that occur when the normal operations of a business are not possible because of some covered cause of loss. This insurance pays the business owner based on the loss of revenue that would have been earned if the business had not been interrupted. Not all business interruption insurance policies are alike. And not all business or commercial policies cover business interruption losses. The business owner generally elects to purchase this sort of coverage. The insurance policy purchased by the business will list the types of perils that are covered. If a specific peril is not listed, it is not usually covered.
CIVIL AUTHORITY INSURANCE
Civil authority coverage allows a business to recover sustained losses when a civil authority (such as a governor, mayor, or parish president) issues an order that forces a business to close or that prevents a business from operating normally. Many Louisiana businesses closed when Governor Edwards issued a stay-at-home order in March. In other words, civil authority coverage is available if a civil authority orders a business to close after an event and there is physical damage due to a covered peril in the immediate vicinity of the business.
WHAT IF MY INSURANCE SAYS THAT MY BUSINESS IS NOT COVERED?
Numerous Louisiana insurers have asserted that claims related to COVID-19 are not covered. They are contending that coverage does not exist because there has been no physical damage to the insured property or to property at a described location or because the policy expressly excluded coverage for virus such as COVID-19. If this has happened to you, you might wish to get a second opinion from competent and experienced legal counsel.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT MY BUSINESS INTERRUPTION POLICY?
If you have a question about your insurance policy, contact an experienced lawyer today to determine if your policy provides business interruption coverage for the current COVID-19 pandemic.
HAVE LAWSUITS ALREADY BEEN FILED IN LOUISIANA?
Yes. Several Louisiana businesses have already filed lawsuits seeking a ruling from the Court that business interruption coverage applies to COVID-19 closures. Cases have been filed in Louisiana state courts as well as federal courts.
CONTACT US TODAY
Gaynell Williams, L.L.C. offers a free initial review of your potential case. This review includes an examination of your insurance policy to assist you in determining whether your policy provides coverage for financial business losses related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Contact Gaynell Williams, L.L.C. (504) 302-2462 for a free consultation or policy review as soon as possible. If you would like to schedule an appointment, please call us at 504-302-2462. Evenings and weekend sessions are available by appointment. We will work around your schedule. New Orleans lawyer Gaynell Williams, L.L.C. has offices in Gretna and Downtown New Orleans by appointment only. We also serve victims of auto accidents, work related accidents, medical malpractice, and wrongful death.
This information has been provided for informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be construed to constitute legal advice. Please consult your attorney in connection with any specific situation under federal and/or Louisiana law and the applicable state or local laws that may impose additional obligations on you and/or your family member. © 2020 Gaynell Williams LLC Attorney at Law.