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The purpose of this coverage is to protect businesses from lost revenue as the result of a disaster or emergency. The most common “trigger” for this type of coverage is when an insured property sustains a “direct physical loss” from a disaster, such as a tornado. Your policy should list the types of events it covers and those it excludes. If a type of event is not listed in your policy, then it is probably not covered. The only way to determine whether an event is covered is to read your policy.
You should read your policy to determine whether there is a business interruption coverage exclusion for viruses, such as COVID-19. The industry trend has been to exclude business interruption coverage for viruses, but this may not be universal. Each claim for business interruption coverage is unique to the specific underlying facts and policy language.
Many policies include very specific language regarding Emergency Declarations. Declarations in and of themselves do not automatically result in a situation where business interruption claims are within the scope of the policy language.
If you haven’t already, find your policy and read it. If you need help, find someone experienced in reading policies and making claims. Often these types of claims require some creativity to bring them within coverage. Expect the insurance companies to fight back hard against claims because it will be costly for them, but now is the time to use the coverage you’ve been paying for.
AWD LAW® attorney Jason Bliss has been interpreting and litigating insurance policies for more than 20 years. He is a good resource to call for help in understanding your policy and sleuthing out whether coverage is available. He can be reached at JBliss@awdlaw.com or at (928) 774-1478.