Business Disruption Insurance and the Coronavirus

hands holding a ripped paper that says covid-19

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has affected the world economy and the insurance industry. Workers are being urged to stay at home, and businesses are closing to avoid the spread of the disease. The hospitality industry and tourism are facing serious losses as a result. Additionally, conferences, festivals, and any form of gathering have been canceled. 

Based on these challenges, businesses should look for ways to minimize loss of income. So, will business liability insurance cover your company if the COVID-19 pandemic impacts it? 

What is Business Disruption Insurance?

Business disruption insurance—also known as pandemic business interruption insurance—can protect you against losses after a suspended period of operation during the coronavirus outbreak. Keep in mind that commercial liability insurance covers the actual loss after the suspension of operations. Most insurance companies are facing the challenge of evaluating whether the insured has lost income as a result of damage or physical loss. 

Below are some tips on how to read the policy when considering business interruption insurance and coronavirus coverage.

Insured Physical Damage

Some shareholders are linking the virus to property damage. The specific language is analyzed when the insured submits a claim after the coronavirus event. The factual issue is whether the property is physically affected by the outbreak or not. Make sure you understand whether the coverage includes the actual loss or damage. 

The Property Must be Physically Affected by the Virus

While the virus is believed to spread through sneezes and coughing, it can also spread when an infected person gets into contact with objects or surfaces. This means that properties such as restaurants, spas, bars, and other places may be physically affected. 

worried business man in front of laptop business disruption coronavirus

Does the Policy Have Non-Physical Damage Extensions?

Some insurance companies require that you sustain physical damage or loss. Thankfully, some policies have extended the coverage relating to the epidemic. Be sure to look at the provisions within the plan and the extent of the physical damage. The waiting period also matters. 

Restoration Period

Some property policies take into consideration the restoration period. This is the period of an accidental physical loss at the described premises that ends when the property is repaired. When calculating the business interruption insurance cost, the insurer will consider potential shutdowns, periods of delays, and prolonged physical activity.  

The first page of the insurance policy contains declarations. It summarizes relevant information like the type of coverage, duration of the policy, and limits of coverage. Be sure to read the policy definitions. 

Analyze the policy insuring agreement. Look for business liability insurance coverage that has a section on businesses being affected by unexpected circumstances. Be sure to review the exclusions, limitations, and conditions carefully. And don’t skip on the small stuff. Pay attention to specific language like and, or, always, never, etc. 

Business disruption insurance costs will vary, so do research to find which company and policy work for your business. It’s important for policyholders to fully understand what kind of coverage you have so that you can be prepared.

Don’t’ let emergencies take you by surprise, protect yourself with a business owner insurance policy from InsureOne. Get a free quote online or over the phone today.

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