COVID-19 has created unprecedented losses and trying conditions across the world. Loved ones have been lost to the disease, many lives have been upended, and the economy is suffering enormously.
Business owners in Minnesota and across the country are suffering substantially due to COVID-19 related losses. These losses are the result of both executive orders mandating closure of certain businesses and temporary business closures due to the risk of COVID-19 cases at the workplace.
Why Are Business Interruption Claims Being Denied?
Many business owners hold property insurance coverage to support them in times like these when their business experiences unexpected losses due to damage to the business. Property insurance policies are supposed to cover business monetary losses in the event of damage to property as well as the inability to operate a business related to executive orders.
Unfortunately, most insurance carriers in Minnesota and nationwide have been denying business owner claims for coverage after they sustained substantial income losses related to COVID-19. These carriers claim their policies were not meant to cover losses from a pandemic such as COVID-19 and that the pandemic does not constitute physical damage to property. However, the public policy and personal implications from such a conclusion could forever harm business owners and cause further damage to an already fragile economy.
Business Interruption Insurance Litigation Status
At this time, there are several individual actions filed in various state and federal courts across the country over claim denial issues related to business income loss coverage. There have also been several petitions filed before the Judicial Panel of Multidistrict Litigation [JPML] to consolidate such claims into a multidistrict litigation. The petitions argue that while insurance plan language may vary across carriers and plan-holders, that the issues at stake, what constitutes property damage to trigger coverage, are similar for every plaintiff.
The JPML will hear arguments on these petitions on July 30, 2020. Shortly thereafter, the JPML will issue an order deciding whether these types of claims are appropriate for consolidation, and if so, the location for such consolidated proceeding.
Let GoldenbergLaw Help
GoldenbergLaw is representing business owners to further pursue these denials from their insurance carriers. If you have a claim or know someone who has a business income loss claim, please let us help. It is important to report and track losses and make a claim in a timely manner to preserve coverage opportunities. Time is of the essence.