What is business interruption coverage?
This type of coverage is known by several names: business interruption, loss of use, and loss of income are the most common descriptions. Often this coverage is part of a liability or commercial policy. Business interruption coverage provides loss of income following a disaster. The question is will this insurance cover COVID-related losses?
When we first reached out to insurance companies in early March, we were told they did not believe any coverage was available due to exclusions. Some policies have specific virus-related exclusions while others have additional exclusions that seemed to indicate no coverage was available.
Why does filing a claim now seem more viable?
Since our initial conversations in March, we have watched several webinars and read numerous articles by attorneys who specialize in insurance claims. We now believe dentists should consider filing a business interruption claim. Even though policies have exclusions, since practices were forced to shut down due to government mandates and ADA recommendations, there may be coverage available for loss of income.
Here is a link to a great article written by attorneys Doug Alexander and David Briggs that provides more information about business interruption coverage and potential claims: https://sglaw.com/business-interruption-coverage-in-the-age-of-covid-19/
In addition, we recommend that you listen to the Art of Dental Finance podcast, produced and hosted by one of our ADCPA colleagues, Art Wiederman, CPA. Art’s most recent podcast covers business interruption insurance and claims, and we highly recommend that you listen to it: https://www.hmwccpa.com/2020/04/29/are-your-losses-from-covid-19-covered-under-your-business-interruption-insurance-policy-with-attorney-randy-curry-the-art-of-dental-finance-and-management-podcast/
What to do next?
The statute of limitations for filing a claim could be 60 – 90 days after the Governor mandated practices to close. Therefore, we recommend contacting your corporate attorney as soon as possible. Ask your attorney to review your insurance policies to determine the best course of action to take.
If you want to file a claim, it is very important for the claim to be filed correctly and in a timely manner. While it is very likely the claim will be initially denied, a correctly filed claim may be eligible for reconsideration as part of a class action lawsuit or other government action.
If you want to be directed to a firm that will consider your case as part of a larger group of contingent fee claimants, please contact Fluence and we can pass along their contact information.