The COVID-19 pandemic has shut down a large majority of restaurants. Many turned to their insurance companies to help keep their businesses afloat. However, insurance companies are denying restaurants’ claims saying.
In the middle of March, a New Orleans restaurant filed the first lawsuit against their insurance company since they denied their claim. The lawsuit is to compel companies to cover losses sustained as a result of COVID-19 as part of an all-risk insurance policy.
Many restaurants are covered with an all-risk policy. This policy covers all risks unless clearly and specifically excluded. The policy provides property, business personal property, business income and extra expense, and ordinance or law coverage, and also includes coverage for losses due to civil authority shutdowns. Restaurants know that their policies do not exclude against a global pandemic. Yet, insurance companies still deny their claims.
There are five more insurance denial lawsuits. The restaurants are all over the United States, yet are experiencing the same claim denials. This includes the famous chef, Thomas Keller who sued his insurance company for declaratory judgments on behalf of business interruption insurance claims.
However, insurance providers have made the argument that COVID-19 is an exception, and that business interruption insurance was never meant to cover a universal catastrophe such as this pandemic. They are asking Congress for help.
For many, viruses are not listed in the policy exclusions. However, even if there is a virus exclusion this should only covers international acts of “nuclear, biological, bio-chemical, chemical or radioactive agent, substance, material, device or weapon.”
However, the spread of a virus like COVID-19 would not be an intentional act or weapon, and therefore the insurance company’s claim of an exception is not legally applicable.
If you or someone you love was negatively impacted by COVID-19, compensation may be available. Our attorneys are experienced with complex litigations. These claims could be complicated and problematic if you do not have the right team in place who are dedicated to fighting for your justice. Our consultations are free. Contact us today.