El Paso Business Interruption Claims

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During these unprecedented times, individuals and businesses alike are facing numerous challenges imposed by COVID-19.  Social distancing measures and stay-at-home orders have radically changed the way we go about our day-to-day lives.  With respect to businesses, such measures may significantly disrupt operations, ultimately placing the business at risk of shutting down.  However, relief may be available through an existing business insurance policy.  

If you are interested in making an insurance claim because of COVID-19 or any other business interruption, or to learn more about business insurance policies, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 to receive a free case evaluation with one of our experienced El Paso business interruption insurance attorneys.

COVID-19 BUSINESS INTERRUPTION INSURANCE CLAIMS IN EL PASO

In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, various orders and regulations have been implemented by state and local government.  Many of these regulations have had a major impact on local businesses.

For instance, some orders have required individuals to refrain from leaving their homes except in narrow circumstances.  Other orders have mandated that non-essential businesses such as gyms and beauty salons shut down for an indefinite amount of time.  Even as phased re-openings begin to occur, businesses such as restaurants are only allowed to accommodate a fraction of the usual occupancy.

These measures have inevitably taken a harsh toll on many businesses throughout the El Paso area.  With revenues and profits dwindling, business owners are left searching for options to keep operations afloat.  One option is to adapt and offer various promotions designed to increase the flow of business.  Another option is to file a COVID-19 business interruption claim through an existing commercial insurance policy.

Given the widespread effects of COVID-19, many businesses are resorting to filing a business interruption claim.  Such a claim seeks reimbursement for loss of revenue caused by COVID-19 and the resulting regulations imposed by state and local government.  If the cause of an interruption is covered by a business’s commercial insurance policy, the business may be able to obtain relief by filing a claim with its insurance carrier.

WHAT IS BUSINESS INTERRUPTION INSURANCE?

Business interruption insurance (BII) is a type of insurance designed to cover a business’s lost income and overhead costs in the event that a disaster or emergency interrupts the ordinary flow of business.  Business interruption insurance is not obtained through a stand-alone policy but is rather included in a comprehensive commercial policy.

The terms of a business’s insurance policy govern the types of losses that will be covered and the time frame in which losses can accrue.  For instance, business interruption coverage may be triggered upon a specified event such as a government mandate and may last until the business’ operations are restored to the state they were in before the emergency or disaster.  Types of losses that may be covered by business interruption insurance include:

  • Profits
  • Staff wages
  • Taxes
  • Fixed overhead costs
  • Loan payments
  • Relocation costs
  • Other essential costs related to operating a business

FILING A CLAIM FOR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION COVERAGE

Filing and handling a BII claim from start to finish can be an intensive and time-consuming process that often requires attention to detail and careful preparation.  Here are some best practices to keep in mind before filing a claim for business interruption coverage.

Review Your Policy

One of the most important parts of filing a claim for business interruption coverage is knowing what is covered in the first place.  Reviewing the terms and conditions of a commercial insurance policy may provide helpful insight as to what losses will be covered in certain circumstances.  Understanding the policy in its entirety may also allow you to determine how to best present your claim.

Because the impact of COVID-19 may have not been foreseen by businesses and insurance carriers, some commercial insurance policies may exclude the pandemic from the terms of coverage.  For this reason, all policies and communications with insurance agents should be reviewed to determine potential coverage.  An experienced commercial insurance lawyer may be able to provide guidance throughout the policy review process.

File A Business Interruption Coverage Claim

Another important step in the process of filing a BII claim is to contact your insurance carrier as soon as possible after an interruption to the ordinary flow of business occurs.  This step can be as simple as making a phone call to your insurance broker or agent, who may be able to file a claim for you.

In some cases, the insurance company or intermediary may tell you that there is no coverage, or that filing a claim is a waste of time.  However, it is critical to realize that this is one of many tactics used by the insurance industry to discourage businesses from filing claims.  What matters is that the claim states that your business has suffered damage due to the impacts imposed by COVID-19, and that you are seeking all coverages available under your commercial insurance policy.

Keep a Thorough Record of Important Documents

Keeping an organized, accurate, and thorough records throughout the entire claim filing process is essential to support your claim.  Some of the most important documents involved with a business interruption insurance claim may include:

  • Pre-disaster or pre-emergency financial statements and income tax returns
  • Post-disaster or post-emergency business records
  • Copies of current utility bills
  • Copies of employee wage and benefit statements
  • Copies of other records showing continuing operating expenses
  • Receipts for rental payments, if your business has temporarily relocated

DO I NEED A LAWYER TO FILE A BUSINESS INTERRUPTION CLAIM?

Filing your El Paso business interruption insurance claim can be an intricate process.  In many cases, the insurance carrier will underpay a claim, dispute coverage, or deny coverage entirely.  Even when terms of coverage are agreed upon, an insurance company may try to pay out as little as it can.

Hiring an attorney who is familiar with filing and handling business interruption claims may remove some of the stress and frustration that comes with the claim filing process.  An attorney may be able to thoroughly review the terms of a commercial insurance policy and explain in detail what losses are covered and during what time period coverage exists.  An attorney may oversee any processes that require submission of paperwork and provide guidance to the insured business as to what information should be disclosed or withheld.  Finally, an attorney may protect an insured party’s best interests by fiercely negotiating with insurance claims adjusters.

Learn More:  Bad Faith Insurance Claims

HOW ZINDA LAW GROUP HANDLES FIRST PARTY INSURANCE DISPUTES

When it comes to filing insurance claims, there are two primary claim forms.  A first-party insurance claim is a claim made by an insured directly against his own insurance.  In contrast, a third-party insurance claim occurs when an insured submits a claim to another party’s insurance provider.  Business interruption insurance claims are a form of first-party insurance claims.

At Zinda Law Group, our team of commercial insurance attorneys has years of experience handling first-party insurance disputes.  In addition to experience, our attorneys may also offer:

Excellent Client Service

Zinda Law Group’s insurance attorneys devote themselves to providing unparalleled service to their clients.  From the initial consultation up to the disposition of the case, our attorneys guide clients through the business interruption claim filing process. 

Helpful Resources

A claim may only be as strong as the resources used to support it.  Zinda Law Group has the resources needed to build a strong case.  Our offices are capable of handling large and complex insurance cases, conducting thorough interviews with the necessary parties, hiring expert witnesses, and utilizing state of the art technology.  Zinda Law Group may utilize these resources to build the strength and viability of your business interruption insurance claim.

Negotiating Experience

Handling a first-party insurance claim requires an experienced negotiator.  Zinda Law Group’s attorneys have years of experience negotiating with insurance companies and claims adjusters.  Our team of attorneys may negotiate on your behalf to ensure that multi-million-dollar insurance providers do not take advantage of you.

Litigation Focused

Zinda Law Group’s El Paso attorneys also have years of experience litigating insurance disputes from beginning to end.  Because we treat every case as if it is going to trial, we give cases the attention to detail they deserve.

ZINDA LAW GROUP’S EL PASO ATTORNEYS MAY HELP YOU AND YOUR BUSINESS

Filing a business interruption claim may not be difficult.  What is difficult, however, is dealing with insurance companies and ensuring that the claim is handled efficiently and properly from start to finish.

Fortunately, Zinda Law Group’s team of El Paso attorneys may be able to help you.  Our attorneys have years of experience handling insurance claims and protecting our clients’ legal rights.  In addition to experience, our attorneys have the resources necessary to strengthen the value of your claim.  Finally, our attorneys pride themselves in being experienced litigators, having successfully presented many cases in front of judges and juries.

If you have questions regarding your potential claim, we have answers. Call Zinda Law Group today at (800) 863-5312 to receive a free consultation with one of our experienced El Paso business interruption insurance attorneys.  You don’t owe us anything unless we win your case.  That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.

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