What to Do if Your Business is Impacted by Coronavirus
May 26, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has had dramatic effects on the way of life for most people in this country. This is particularly true for businesses. In March of this year, California Governor Gavin Newsom implemented stay at home orders and closed all non-essential businesses across the state. This has had a devastating impact on most businesses, and many business owners are wondering whether they can recover compensation for their losses. The most important thing you can do as a business owner is prepare for making a COVID-19 Business Interruption Insurance claim with your insurance carrier.
Do what you can now to get through this pandemic
All businesses should do everything they can to simply survive through this pandemic. This includes taking advantage of and trying to get qualified for any government-grants or loans available, such as the Payroll Protection Program. Admittedly, this program has had significant issues concerning getting funds to the businesses that truly need assistance. Recently, Congress has allocated more funds to this program to help small businesses get the money they need to keep their employees.
Will business interruption insurance cover COVID-19 claims?
Business interruption insurance is designed to help businesses cover losses in the event of a major shut down. Typically, we see this type of coverage being used by businesses after:
- Natural disasters such as floods, major storms, fires, etc.
- Water damage (natural or infrastructure failure)
- Explosions and fires
- Loss of running water or electricity
- Supplier failure
- Supply chain disruption
- Machinery breakdown
- Cyber-attacks on the business
- Major crime or vandalism
- Government-ordered shutdowns or imposed curfews
Business interruption insurance policies are designed to place the affected business in the same financial position they would have been in had they not incurred their losses. This can include coverage of:
- Income lost due to halted business
- Payroll taxes
- Loan payments
- Operating expenses
If your business has been impacted by COVID-19, the first thing you need to do is thoroughly examine all business insurance policies that you have. If you have purchased additional business interruption insurance coverage, you need to thoroughly review the policy and look for any exclusions. While many business interruption insurance claims do include coverage for civil authority or governmental shutdown orders, some specifically exclude losses caused by viral infections.
Will you need an attorney to help with your case?
If your business has sustained extensive losses caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, you may wonder if you are entitled to any coverage through business interruption insurance. We strongly advise that you speak to a skilled attorney who can help assess your situation. At Aitken * Aitken * Cohn, we will thoroughly investigate your claim and review your business interruption insurance policy in order to ascertain whether you are entitled to any compensation. We will help you gather the evidence you need for your case. This can include obtaining the following:
- All recent tax returns
- Your business bank statements
- All payroll statements
- Bills and receipts other ongoing expenses
- Information on loans you owe payments for
An attorney will use this information and work with economic and financial experts to analyze the effects that COVID-19 has had on your area and your business specifically. You can contact us for a free consultation of your case by clicking here or by calling 855-904-1851.