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November 25, 2020

Can I Seek Relief for a Business Disruption Related to COVID-19?

The COVID-19 (coronavirus) health pandemic has taken the world by storm, creating a fog of uncertainty, fear, anxiety, stress, and economic hardship. Although it is a matter of global and public health, COVID-19 has directly impacted our local communities because virtually every type of business, whether professional services, retail, restaurant/bar, or manufacturing, has been negatively affected by less foot traffic, fewer customers, fewer orders, fewer clients, and so on. 

Has Your Business Been Affected by COVID-19?

No business, whether a start-up or a large corporation, is immune. It has caused many business owners and entrepreneurs—people who have poured their heart and soul into their passion and work—to face unprecedented challenges and be forced to make very hard decisions. Some have had to furlough employees; others have had to fire them. Some have reduced staff or operating hours; others have closed their doors for good. The money has stopped coming in, but the financial obligations attendant to any business (e.g., payroll, rent, etc.) haven’t ceased to exist. 

Our law firm is dedicating valuable resources to helping give these businesses and their owners relief. 

Commercial Insurance Policies Might Offer a Path Toward Relief

At all levels of government, we have seen or heard about initiatives to help out businesses. Any business affected by COVID-19 is encouraged to fully pursue any of the programs offered by the government. But our law firm is focused on trying to find relief for businesses a different way: commercial insurance policies.

If your business has insurance, this is commonly referred to as a commercial insurance policy. These policies can cover an array of different potential situations or claims that might arise. Many commercial policies have provisions within them that, in our view, create an obligation for your insurance company to provide coverage for any interruption—temporary or otherwise—to your business.

You might have already started to Google things like “Will my insurance cover COVID-19?” If so, you might have been discouraged by some of the initial information you found online. We have seen a host of large law firms (almost all of which work for insurance companies or defend insurance companies) putting out overly generic and pessimistic views on whether commercial insurance policies cover COVID-19–related issues. 

We believe this is ill advised on their part and not something you should take as gospel. For one thing, every insurance claim is unique, and each one is heavily dependent on the exact wording within the insurance policy. This means it is more likely that Business A and Business B (even if both are operating in the same locale and offering the same services/goods) will have different coverage determinations than identical. This is the nature of insurance. At its core, it is contract law. Not all insurance policies (i.e., contracts) are drafted identically. 

We believe that common provisions within commercial policies, such as business interruption, civil authority, and dependent property or business interruption, might, depending on their language in your company’s specific insurance policy, offer relief. Nobody (and we mean nobody) can tell you definitively. Why? Unless you have had an experienced set of eyes review the policy (looking out for your interests, not the insurance company’s, as an agent, adjuster, or insurance defense lawyer might) and fight for coverage through all available channels, including legal action, then they just don’t know. 

This is a complicated process that calls for nuance, extensive legal research, and hard work. There is no one-size-fits-all approach or uniform answer that will apply to all businesses. 

That’s where we come in. It costs you nothing out of pocket or up front to hire our law firm to track down all potentially available insurance policies for your business, review them, open and pursue claims, and, if necessary, take the appropriate legal steps to enforce your rights. Our work is done on a contingency basis, which means that we do not earn a fee unless and until we make a recovery for your business. It’s that simple and, we believe, the only fair way to help our fellow businesses in this time of unprecedented need.

How Do I Know if I Have Business Interruption or Civil Authority Insurance Coverage?

There are steps we can take to make demands that insurance companies provide all available insurance policies to us. From there, our attorneys will carefully parse through them and decide what strategy or course of action is best. 

Even if you already have insurance documents and you’ve tried to review them, we urge you not to draw any final conclusions. This is a hyper-technical area of contract and insurance law and far from a black-and-white scenario. If there is a chance to find coverage and get relief, that is what we want to do for you. Give us the chance to serve you.

What about All of the Exclusions That Don’t Cover COVID-19 Claims?

Whatever you’ve heard, seen, or read on the internet, news, TV, or by word of mouth must be taken with a grain of salt. Nobody—and we mean nobody—can definitively tell you whether or not your commercial insurance policy or policies do or do not provide coverage for any disruption to your business (unless, of course, you’ve already pursued certain legal action and there is an adverse judgment against your business, which, let’s face it, given the timing of all of this unfolding is very, very unlikely). 

Think of the source of a lot of this information. Much of this initial wave of information that has been published is by an insurance company, an insurance agent, an insurance adjuster, or a lawyer or law firm that predominantly defends and represents insurance companies. These groups do not have your best interests in mind as an insured. 

The law firm of Fischer Redavid PLLC has long been dedicated to serving, protecting, and advocating for the interests of the consumer or insured against the massive insurance industry. While this coronavirus health pandemic is certainly new, it presents new opportunities for businesses to get the benefit of the bargain they made when paying all of those insurance premiums: coverage and protection when they need it most. 

How Much Does This Cost? My Business Doesn’t Have the Money to Hire a Lawyer!

We operate on a contingency fee basis, which means that you do not need to pay us any money up front or out of pocket. We only earn a fee if and when we make a recovery for your business. Thus, there is no financial risk from allowing us to serve you. We undertake all the work, pay for and advance any necessary case costs, and do everything we can within the law to find your company relief. 

If and when we are successful in doing so, then our contingency fee triggers and we are entitled to a fee. Sometimes that fee is simply an award of attorneys’ fees by a court or judge in which an insurance company is obligated to pay us, not you or your business. Other times it might be just a percentage of the recovery we make for your business. But no matter what, there is no upfront cost to hire us. 

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Have a legal question? Would you like to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case with an attorney? You can get in touch with us via the form on the right, by call or text (FL: 954-860-8434; GA: 404-287-2856), or on our social media profiles below.

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4601 Sheridan St. # 320
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Call or Text: 954-860-8434
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Atlanta, GA 30326

Call or Text: 404-287-2856