The LEGAL LEDGER
P E R S O N A L I N J U R Y A N D T R I A L L A W Y E R S
T here’s nothing “small” about owning and Thanks to COVID-19, the daily hurdles small-business owners — namely those in the restaurant, hotel, and tourist industries — are facing have been exacerbated. operating a small business. There’s plenty of competition, margins are slim, and hard work needs to be done in order to keep the lights on. During a pandemic, all this is magnified. Like many states, Florida issued a stay-at-home order this spring to limit the spread of the virus, which effectively shut down our economy. Hoteliers are projecting a 50% loss in profit for 2020, while restaurants are struggling to get by on shoestring budgets with limited cash flow. All of this comes as Florida hits peak tourist season. Business interruption insurance exists for this very reason, but in true insurance industry fashion, many business owners filing a claim are hitting a brick wall. Why is this happening? The answer is simple: Insurance companies always protect their bottom line before helping the insured. The focus is often on protecting their profits rather than protecting those who are paying for service. But that doesn’t mean small-business owners should stop fighting! In fact, they have a right to that compensation after paying years of high premiums to protect themselves. If you’re facing tremendous business and profit loss due to COVID-19, then here DENMONPEARLMAN.COM PROTECT YOUR BUSINESS 6 STEPS TO RECEIVE COMPENSATION THROUGH BUSINESS INTERRUPTION INSURANCE
are a few steps to help you through the business interruption insurance claim process.
1. DO YOU HAVE THIS INSURANCE? The first step is to call your broker or insurance claims representative to confirm that you have business interruption insurance or loss of income insurance. If you don’t, then consider investing in this protection, and in the interim, look to other resources for compensation. 2. DON’T BELIEVE THE HYPE. If you do have this insurance, then your broker will likely say that it will not apply to COVID-19. As a representative of the insurance company, the broker has been told that the company will deny these claims, but the broker is not the expert on how courts will interpret these claims. Keep moving forward if you hear this. 3. ASK FOR A COPY. Have your broker send you a copy of the declaration page of your policy. This will provide you with all the information you need to make a claim. 4. REVIEW IT! All policies are written differently, and getting into the nitty-gritty of what’s possible and how individual state laws may impact you is vital to understanding your claim. Not all the language in these agreements is easy to understand, so contact our team if you need help. 5. FILE FOR COMPENSATION. Once you understand what your policy covers, you can submit a formal claim. You have two options for business loss claims in the era of COVID-19: lost income due to COVID-19 or lost income due to the civil mandate to shut down due to COVID-19. It’s vital that you make both claims if you can because your insurance company may break up the sub-limits of what is paid out into different categories. Making two claims allows you to optimize what may be available to you.
THERE’S NOTHING ‘SMALL’ ABOUT OWNING AND OPERATING A SMALL BUSINESS.
6. FIGHT THE DENIAL. Your insurance company will likely deny your claim because many will suggest COVID-19
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