Dallas County Business Interruption Lawyer
With a surging population of approximately 2 million people, Dallas County is home to thousands of assorted and unique businesses for every industry. To keep their operations up, most business owners never take a day off. Unfortunately, the arrival of the global coronavirus pandemic has put a stopper in Dallas County’s economy. Now, thousands of Dallas County businesses have been forced to suspend or limit their business operations due to strict state and local government “stay at home” orders.
The outbreak has put millions of business owners at risk of losing their livelihood with little to no options. Many are now turning to their insurance companies in search of business interruption loss coverage, so they can keep their business afloat. Business interruption insurance provides coverage for loss profits or income due to unforeseen events, natural disasters and other covered perils. The insurance is designed to put the policyholder in the same financial position they were before the business interruption.
Unfortunately, insurers may still attempt to delay, dispute or deny your business interruption claim for a variety of reasons. Many of these reasons have been untested in the courts so you could have an argument for coverage regardless. If you’re having difficulty obtaining business interruption coverage from your insurer, it’s within your best interest to secure legal representation.
Attorney for Coronavirus Business Interruption Claims in Dallas County, TX
Is your insurance company disputing or denying your business interruption claim related to COVID-19? If yes, then you may want to get in contact with LeMaster & Ahmed PLLC. The skilled and experienced insurance lawyers at LeMaster & Ahmed PLLC can assess your policy and determine if there exists a strong argument for coverage.
The lawyers at LeMaster & Ahmed PLLC collectively have more than 30 years of combined experience. We are passionate about representing the rights of policyholders and will do whatever possible to help you receive the settlement your business needs. Call us now at (888) 306-2119 to set up your first consultation free of charge. LeMaster & Ahmed PLLC accepts clients throughout the Dallas County area including DeSoto, Dallas, Duncanville, Addison, Irving, Highland Park, Garland and Lancaster.
Overview of Dallas County Business Interruption Lawyers
- What Does Business Interruption Insurance Cover?
- Why Did My Insurance Deny My COVID-19 Business Interruption Claim?
- Why Insurance Companies are Denying Coronavirus Claims
- Legal and Court Resources in Dallas County
What Does Business Interruption Insurance Cover?
Most policyholders purchase a business interruption coverage alongside a commercial property or business owner’s policy. However, some do choose to purchase it as a stand-alone policy. Business interruption insurance provides coverage for income or profit loss due to a natural disaster, unfortunate situation or unforeseen event that’s listed in your policy.
Business interruption differs from a property damage claims because it doesn’t provide any coverage for physical repairs. You won’t receive compensation for a damaged roof or battered pipes if you file a business interruption claim, your insurance company will instead provide compensation for any profits you lost while your business was being restored. The idea behind policy is that it should put you in the same financial position prior to the business interruption.
The insurance market offers various types of business interruption coverage to purchase from for different scenarios. The four different types of business interruption coverage include:
- Business Income Coverage: All net profits and loss before taxes as well as coverage for continuing normal operating expenses. It also includes payroll.
- Extra Expense Coverage: Coverage for extra expenses that are considered above and beyond the normal monthly expenses that are used solely to restore the business to a new or original location.
- Contingent Business Interruption Coverage: Coverage for income you lost due to a supplier or customer suffering from property loss or damage.
- Civil Authority Coverage: Coverage for income loss or extra expenses due to the state, local or federal government denying you access to your business due to a covered loss at a location owned by another person.
Why Did My Insurance Deny My Coronavirus Business Interruption Claim?
In December 2019, it was revealed that a strain of coronavirus was spreading rapidly throughout parts of China. In just a few short months the virus had extended from China into nearly every country in the world. American businesses both big and small have been forced to shut their doors due to lockdown measures by both local and state governments.
As a result of the pandemic, there has been a flood of business interruption claims related to COVID-19 being sent to insurance companies across the United States. It would seem logical that a forced closure by a government entity due to a deadly virus would trigger business interruption coverage. However, many insurance companies are disputing or denying business interruption coverage related to COVID-19 for a multitude of reasons.
The Physical Damage Threshold for Business Interruption Coverage
The majority of business interruption policies are triggered by “direct physical loss or damage to” the insured property. As a result, some insurance companies are now claiming that the introduction of the COVID-19 virus does not constitute direct physical loss or damage to the insured nor is it a covered peril. Insurers who take this stance will likely dispute or deny any coronavirus related business interruption claim. In the end, leaving their policyholders who depended on the with nearly no options.
That doesn’t mean there’s no chance for coverage. It’s important to know there is no uniform rule for what determines physical loss or damage. The interpretation and meaning of “direct physical loss or damage” has been a hot subject in the courts for years. The court has still not resolved some outstanding issues as to the nature and extent of what’s required to determine physical damage. So, insurance companies who take this unfounded position are not on the side of the policyholder. Instead of providing coverage, they are utilizing an unsupported argument to disputing or denying your covered claim. If you’re stuck in a similar situation, we suggest you contact an experienced insurance attorney. They can conduct an exhaustive examination of your policy and determine if a solid argument for coverage exists.
The Virus Exclusion and COVID-19
The coronavirus pandemic isn’t the first time insurers have encountered claims regarding viruses and infectious diseases. Another virus known as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARs) shook up headlines around the world in the early 2000’s. The event caused many insurers to review and edit their policies, which caused them to implement an “communicable or infectious disease” exclusion to avoid coverage for virus or other pollutant related losses. As a result of this, many insurance companies have denied COVID-19 related claims because of their “virus and infectious disease” exclusion.
If you already have a virus exclusion in your policy, that doesn’t mean you should give up trying to pursue coverage. It’s important to remember that the majority of virus and infectious disease exclusions have been untested in the courts and could be considered inapplicable during a worldwide pandemic. The best way to determine if you have an argument to fight your virus exclusion is to get in contact with an experienced insurance lawyer. They can examine your policy, determine if any coverage arguments exist and do whatever’s possible to help you receive the best settlement for your case.
My COVID-19 Business Interruption Claim Was Denied, What Do I Do?
To determine if you have a strong argument for coverage, it’s very important you thoroughly examine your business interruption policy. You can do this by getting in contact with your insurance broker or agent and simply asking them if they can send you a copy of your policy. Don’t be swayed by your insurance agent if they say “no coverage exists” for your coronavirus related losses. Just pay no heed and ask again, your insurance company is obligated to provide you a copy of your policy if you request it.
After you’ve acquired your policy, you will want to get in touch with an attorney who is experienced in insurance law and litigation. A skilled insurance law attorney will analyze your policy to the point of exhaustion to determine if a coverage argument exists. If your business needs assistance with analyzing their insurance policy, the attorneys at LeMaster & Ahmed PLLC are here to help.
Dallas County Court and Insurance Resources
Dallas County District Courts – The District Courts in Dallas County have jurisdiction over all types of court cases which does include civil court cases where $200 at a minimum are being claimed. Access the site to view information find their location, read their docket schedules, court location and download imperative forms you may need.
Dallas County Clerk – The Dallas County clerk is the recorder, custodian and registrar for all records and court documents. Access the site to search up public court records, request a public record from the clerk or pay a court related fine.
Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) – The Texas Department of Insurance acts as an overseer to insurance companies and ensures they are following the rules in the Texas Insurance Code. The department also heads the administration of the Texas’s worker’s compensation system as provided by the Texas Labor Code.
Texas Insurance Code – Visit the official website for the Texas Insurance Code and learn more about their legislation regarding insurance laws and standards. Access the site and read more on what how an insurer is practicing unfair settlement practices and when they can be held liable in court.
Dallas Business Interruption Claims Attorneys in Texas | Coronavirus
As a loyal policyholder, you expect your insurance company to have your back during the COVID-19 pandemic. If your coronavirus business interruption claim has been delayed, disputed or denied without a reasonable justification, we suggest you call LeMaster & Ahmed PLLC. Our 30 years of extensive insurance law experience will give you the advantage you need to receive the best possible coverage for your claim.
LeMaster & Ahmed PLLC have litigated for all sorts of commercial or business insurance claims of all sizes. We will do work diligently to advocate for you and your interests both in and out of court. Call us now at (888) 306-2119 and we will set up your first consultation free. LeMaster & Ahmed PLLC accepts clients throughout the Dallas and Dallas County area.