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Business Interruption Attorneys in Chicago

Assisting Business Owners Affected by COVID-19 & Other Disruptive Events

With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, many business owners have been forced to temporarily close their doors or conduct partial operations in compliance with stay-at-home orders and social distancing. As a result, many of these business owners are facing serious financial burdens, and some have begun turning to their insurance policies as a potential form of relief. But the question remains: does business interruption insurance cover losses caused by COVID-19 and the government’s response to the pandemic?

Unfortunately, the answer is not always black-and-white. In many cases, this will depend on the specific language of your policy—and many policies have specific inclusions for illnesses and diseases like COVID-19. That being said, this is an unprecedented situation, and it is not yet entirely clear how these claims will be treated. We recommend that you reach out to an experienced business interruption attorney in Chicago, like those at our firm, to learn more about your potential options for financial relief through your business interruption policy.

Contact us online or call (312) 888-8700 today to request a free, confidential consultation.

What Is Business Interruption Insurance & What Does It Cover?

Put simply, business interruption insurance is a form of insurance that covers business owners in the event of certain business disruptions. Typically, these disruptions must result in a “physical loss” to the business, meaning actual physical damage to the structure itself. Additionally, only certain “perils” are usually covered by business interruption insurance.

Though every policy is different, “covered perils” often include:

  • Fires/smoke
  • Windstorms
  • Hurricanes
  • Lightning strikes
  • Hailstorms
  • Explosions
  • Vandalism
  • Theft
  • Vehicle-caused damage

This is not a complete list of covered perils; it’s important that you go over your business interruption policy to determine exactly which perils you are covered for, as well as which are excluded. Many business interruption policies have specific exclusions for infectious diseases and other “normal illnesses of life,” such as the common cold. Under such exclusions, your insurance provider could dispute that COVID-19 losses are covered.

What Damages Can I Recover with Business Interruption Insurance?

In the event of physical damage caused by a covered peril, you could recover damages such as:

  • Operating expenses
  • Payroll
  • Taxes
  • Loan payments
  • Temporary relocation
  • Equipment rentals
  • Inventory

Again, the exact language of your policy will determine what damages you can recover for; you may be able to recover these and/or additional damages in the event that you are affected by a covered peril. However, if your business is affected by something other than a covered peril, such as the coronavirus pandemic, you may not be able to recover compensation for your losses.

Speak to a Knowledgeable Attorney Today

Currently, whether or not businesses will be able to recover for coronavirus-related losses through their business interruption policies is unknown. Many insurance providers have contended that such losses are not covered, but many business owners are fighting back. Ongoing litigation will likely play a large role in setting a precedent for the future of these types of claims.

If you are a business owner in Chicago or the nearby areas who has been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, our firm can help. Our Chicago business interruption lawyers can help you review your policy and determine if you are covered and/or if you should file a claim. In some cases, it could be beneficial to file a claim as a record of your losses caused by the pandemic and the local, state, and federal government’s responses to it. We can walk you through this process and inform you of your rights while working to ensure your best interests are protected.

Reach out to our team today to schedule a free consultation.

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