But that doesn’t mean your policy doesn’t provide you with coverage for pandemic-related losses.
When a business owner purchases commercial property insurance, they buy coverage that is tailored to their specific needs. Essentially what this means is that every business’s insurance policy is going to be different in some way. For instance, we can assume a large restaurant chain would likely buy more coverage and with higher limits than a small fashion boutique that operates with less risk. With that said, if you purchased a commercial property insurance policy that includes business interruption coverage, then you need to refer to your policy to determine what is and is not covered.
While West Virginia’s Insurance Commissioner recently stated in an insurance bulletin that business interruption insurance is not designed or priced to cover against communicable diseases, that doesn’t mean there aren’t policyholders who are not entitled to coverage for COVID-19-related losses. There are. In fact, there are some policies that were crafted to include coverage for viruses. However, because most insurance companies are not covering claims related to coronavirus, many business owners are left wondering whether their policy actually includes coverage for viruses, bacteria, and pandemics or if their insurer is providing them with inaccurate information.
How do I know if my business interruption insurance should cover my COVID-19 claims?
It all comes down to the wording in your policy. Regardless of what your insurance agent says, you need to review the wording in your policy to determine whether it specifically excludes viruses, bacteria, and pandemics or if it doesn’t list them at all. West Virginia’s Insurance Commissioner, James Dodrill, says that “a business interruption insurance policy should clearly list or describe the types of events, commonly known as perils, that it covers.” Dodrill says that perils that are not listed or described in your policy or are specifically excluded are generally not covered. The commissioner says that “these excluded perils are typically risks that are too great to be underwritten at an affordable price.”
Now, because business interruption policies can be confusing and unclear, the best way to tell if you are entitled to coverage for COVID-19-related losses is to have a West Virginia insurance claims denial attorneyinterpret it for you. USAttorneys.com is a reliable source that can help you locate West Virginia insurance claims denial lawyers in your area who can determine if coverage is warranted under your policy. In the event you are entitled to coverage, yet your insurance carrier denied your business interruption claim, an attorney can help you gather the evidence needed to challenge your insurer’s decision and potentially get your claim paid.