Business Interruption Insurance Claims and the Coronavirus Epidemic: Round 3
Louisiana, Pennsylvania Lawmakers Introduce COVID-19 Business Interruption Insurance Bills
As we noted in an earlier post, some state legislatures are considering proposed laws that would require insurers to cover business interruption insurance claims brought about by civil government mandatory business closing or restriction orders due to the COVID-19 epidemic. We have since learned that two more states, Louisiana and Pennsylvania, are also considering such legislation.
In today’s post, the business interruption claims lawyer at The Doan Law Firm discusses the relevant details of these proposed laws and offers suggestions to business owners regarding how to respond if their business interruption claims are rejected by their insurance carriers.
The National Law Review reports that Louisiana lawmakers have introduced two separate bills that would require insurers to retroactively cover business interruption claims brought about by the COVID-19 epidemic. Both Senate Bill 477 and House Bill 858 would apply to claims filed on business interruption policies that were in force as of March 11 2020, the date Louisiana Governor John Bell Edwards declared a state of emergency. Although there are some differences between the proposed Louisiana bills, there are some unique points of interest.
Senate Bill 477 states “… every policy of insurance in force in this state on March 11, 2020, and thereafter … shall be construed to include among the perils covered under that policy, coverage for business interruption due to imminent threat posed by COVID-19.” More importantly, the provisions of Senate Bill 477 would apply to all employers regardless of the number of employees. House Bill 858 would apply to employers with 100 or fewer employees.
According to an article posted on the Business Journal website, a bipartisan group of Pennsylvania lawmakers have that would proposed legislation that would force insurers to cover business interruption claims related to losses due to mandatory closure orders issued by civil authorities. House Bill 2372 would require insurers to cover “… loss or damage to property, which includes the loss of use and occupancy and business interruption...” including “… coverage for business interruption due to global virus transmission or pandemic.” The provisions of the proposed legislation would apply to only businesses with 100 or fewer employees.
As we have stated previously, we feel that interruptions due to the actions of civil authorities to control the COVID-19 epidemic (e.g. mandatory closure orders or orders severely restricting business operations) are covered under the “civil interruption” provision of most business insurance policies. Insurance companies, of course, are already denying these claims.
If your business civil interruption claim has been denied, we invite you to contact the business interruption claims lawyer at The Doan Law Firm, a national law firm with offices located throughout the country, to arrange a free review case review of your denied claim and a discussion of the legal options that may be available to you.
When you contact our firm, there is never a charge to review the facts in your civil authority business interruption claim denial case or for your first consultation with our business interruption claim lawyer. Should you layer decide to file a lawsuit against your business interruption insurance carrier, and that you would like for us to represent you in court, we are usually willing to assume full responsibility for the costs of preparing your case for trial in exchange for an agreed-upon percentage of the final settlement that we are prepared to win for you.