FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 5, 2020
Panama City Beach, FL – It’s been about six-months since the global Coronavirus pandemic has changed life as we know it, forcing businesses across the country to abruptly shut down with little notice and resulting in a loss of income in many facets. When looking at restaurants specifically, the business model is not built to survive a pandemic like what we have been experiencing, especially when forced to cease operations, reduce to takeout and delivery options or reopen with limited seating capacities. Businesses have been struggling to stay afloat, and a recent news report shows that many businesses have seen their claims for business interruption coverage denied due to lack of proof of physical damage caused by the virus. They are looking to their insurance companies for help in this time of uncertainty with little success… until now.
Noble Public Adjusting Group is thrilled to announce that one of our clients, a popular restaurant in the Florida Panhandle, recently received one of the first open coverage claims due to the pandemic for both “business interruption” and “civil authority.” Given that the general consensus among insurance companies has been denial of coverage for COVID-19 related insurance claims, this is a huge feat for Noble Public Adjusting Group. During negotiations, it was determined “that the insurance company agreed they will pay for the actual loss of business income sustained, and necessary extra expenses caused by action of civil authority that prohibits access to the described premises,” said Mary Nicholson, Public Adjuster of Noble Public Adjusting Group.
Since the insurance company has opened coverage allowing it to be a valid claim and we have a dollar amount in writing, we can start moving forward. “It’s a domino effect, and now we can go in and look for additional coverages that can be included in the claim,” said Susan McGee, Public Adjuster of Noble Public Adjusting Group. “For example, if you have a damage claim from a storm, and coverage is opened for the damaged windows, the next step would be to work on getting coverage for the floors, and continues down the list of applicable coverages.”
Business interruption coverage is defined as coverage for direct physical loss or damage to a property to protect lost revenues for the time it takes to restore business operations. Since the start of the Coronavirus, there have been issues with this, as courts across the country have not been able to reach a consensus on ruling whether the insured property has suffered a “physical loss” with the nation’s first ruling siding with the insurance company. Despite all of that, Noble’s team of experienced public adjusters were able to negotiate with the insurance company, on the client’s behalf, and show proof of a physical loss from food spoilage resulting in loss of business income.
The civil authority provision was also covered in this particular claim, which refers to instances where a federal, state or local government authority limits access to or from areas where active transmission or infectious disease has been identified. After Noble conducted a thorough review of the commercial insurance policy, it was determined that the policy had no specific virus exclusions, and since the state of Florida was under a shelter-at-home lockdown for nearly three-months, they were deemed eligible for this particular coverage.
While our client’s claim is currently still in progress, we already know they will receive the funds for loss of income and extra expenses caused by civil authority. That is no longer in question. The work is ongoing to challenge each and every applicable coverage in the policy. And it’s that level of detail that we apply to each and every insurance policy review, with the goal being to help as many businesses as possible, especially during these unprecedented times. At face value, insurance policies often appear to have good coverage, but the fine print can state otherwise. Vague wording allows the insurance company to use their own discretion when determining what is or isn’t covered. That’s why Noble Public Adjusting Group offers free, no obligation policy reviews to provide you with an unbiased overview of your policy.
If your business has been affected and you have any questions, including business interruption and civil authority coverages, simply fill out our fast and free commercial policy review form or call us and we’ll review your policy and quickly let you know about your options.
Noble Public Adjusting Group
107 Amar Place Suite 103
Panama City Beach, FL 32413
Business Interruption Claims and COVID-19 – Part 1
Business Interruption Claims and COVID-19 – Part 2