South Florida Business Interruption Insurance Lawyers
Experienced Business Interruption Insurance Lawyers Serving Clients in Broward County, Palm Beach County, and Throughout South Florida
Running a successful business is one of the most satisfying things you can do. Being able to make your own decisions and enjoying the rewards that come from them can be quite the experience. But with this ability comes tremendous responsibility.
This responsibility is particularly burdensome when the business isn’t generating income as expected. Often, this is unavoidable and it’s a part of the risk of having your own business.
Sometimes, you can protect yourself against a loss of income in certain situations. This is possible through something called business interruption insurance.
But not all situations that result in a loss of business income will enjoy this type of insurance coverage. And filing a claim for business interruption losses can be a complex and nerve-wracking process.
If you find yourself in a situation where you may have to file a business interruption insurance claim, you should consider contacting the South Florida business interruption insurance attorneys at Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A. They can help you through this stressful and complicated time to ensure you get the insurance benefits promised under your insurance policy.
What Is Business Interruption Insurance in Broward County?
As its name implies, business interruption insurance protects against financial losses due to a business interruption. If there is a covered business interruption loss, this type of coverage will compensate the insured for:
- Lost income
- Ongoing operating expenses
- Cost associated with moving to a temporary location
- Additional costs that result from bringing back normal business activities.
These are great insurance benefits, but not all interruptions in business will be covered losses.
What’s Not Covered by Florida Business Interruption Insurance?
While each policy is different, business interruption insurance usually does not cover losses that result from the following types of interruptions:
- Evacuations that take place without an order from a government official
- Economic losses not associated with physical damage to insured property
- Short term business shutdowns, such as those lasting less than 72 hours
Does Business Interruption Insurance Cover Disease Outbreaks?
Maybe. A key requirement for business interruption coverage is that there must be a direct, physical loss to insured property. A disease outbreak, such as one caused by the coronavirus, will arguably not result in physical damage to insured property.
But that’s not the end of this analysis as there are two other potential ways to have business interruption coverage for a disease outbreak.
One way is to argue that the outbreak is the result of a microorganism that spreads by attaching itself to physical surfaces, including a business premise. There’s an argument to be made that this is a direct, physical loss to insured property.
A far easier and more reliable way of protecting yourself for business interruption losses is to ask for a special endorsement. Many insurance companies that offer business interruption loss insurance will allow insureds to purchase an endorsement that removes the direct, physical loss requirement in certain situations.
With this endorsement, if a pandemic results in a total shutdown of a particular geographic area, there could still be a covered business insurance loss. And it’s not just pandemics like the coronavirus that can take advantage of these endorsements.
Think about hurricane evacuations and situations where the hurricane changes course and doesn’t cause any physical damage to the business. Without the special endorsement, this business interruption probably would not be a covered loss.
Filing a Business Interruption Claim in South Florida
Even when there’s a covered business interruption loss, it can be difficult to obtain compensation under the insurance policy. That’s because anyone requesting a business interruption insurance claim must provide plenty of documentation or other proof of the losses sustained.
For example, pretend you run a bakery that gets destroyed in a storm. Let’s also say you gross $20,000 a month in revenue and have business expenses (including payroll) that total $10,000 per month. Also, assume your bakery is shut down for 10 months until you can find a new location and resume baking operations.
You file a business interruption claim with your insurance company and ask for $100,000. You come up with that number because your net income per month is $10,000. And the time your bakery generated zero income was 10 months.
Simple, right? If only.
The insurance company is going to ask for payroll documents, financial statements, bank statements, utility bills, receipts, invoices and basically any other record that relates to the income generation and expenses of your bakery. This can create two major headaches.
First, you may not have these documents, or it may be very difficult to obtain copies of them. After all, your bakery and everything inside was just lost to a storm.
Second, even if you can easily produce these documents, many insurance companies are going to dispute some of the numbers you give them. Depending on the insurance company, if there’s a borderline situation as to coverage, the insurance company will default to denying that portion of the claim.
In many business interruption insurance claims, a major point of disagreement doesn’t just rest with the numbers, but also with coverage as a whole. There are so many exclusions and technicalities that what may seem like an obvious covered loss may not be covered at all.
Need Help Dealing with your Florida Business Interruption Insurance Claim?
Business interruption coverage is one of the more complicated types of insurance benefits. It’s so tricky, that most insurance companies will assign only veteran adjusters to handle these types of claims. Therefore, it’s almost understandable that an insurance company will deny business interruption benefits to you.
This doesn’t mean your insurance company is off the hook, though. What it does mean is that you should consider contacting Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A., We have plenty of experience handling business interruption claims that are improperly handled or denied by the insurance company.
If you think this has happened to you, you should contact us by filling out this online contact form. Or if it’s easier, you can call one of our offices located in Pompano Beach or Lake Worth, Florida.
No matter what method you use, we will quickly get back to you to set up a free consultation. For added convenience, we speak both Spanish and English.