Dealing with business interruptions after wide-impact catastrophes

Business is the backbone of this country. When natural disasters strike, not only are homes and buildings damaged, but so are profits. Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma swept through the country, knocking out power and businesses all along the coast. As a business owner, it is challenging to balance the budget when you see the rising costs of damage to your company and the temporary suspension in revenue-generating operations. With no money coming in while repairs are underway, businesses face a tough road ahead while the community rebuilds. Even after repairs are complete, it takes time for the economy to recover from these types of disasters. That’s why you purchased business interruption insurance.

Also known as business income insurance, BI claims can help owners protect their businesses from financial ruin while the city rebuilds. With many potentialities, businesses that were not destroyed, but are located in the same area affected by a natural disaster, can still see diminished profits that jeopardize the future of their business. Policyholders have the option to file a claim because of structural damages rendering the business inoperable, such as disaster-related closings for repairs or area-wide rebuilding.

BI coverage is not a standalone policy, but complements a business’s property insurance plan. Property insurance should protect the business from any structural or physical damage from a storm, and interruption coverage protects the business from profits that were lost after the having to temporarily close. Potential earnings are tricky for a business to project, and when it comes to convincing the insurance company of the accuracy in your numbers, things can get complicated. The real answer is that most coverage varies and you should consider seeking legal help to get the most out of your policy.

How it works

Business interruption claims cover your lost earnings if a natural disaster prevents normal operations from taking place. For starters, any structural damage, such as flooding, and large repairs that keep your doors closed for business, are covered under these types of policies. Off-premises utilities that are not functioning and affect your business operations also give you the basis to make a claim. Here is a quick rundown for making this type of claim:

  • Water providers, such as pumping stations and water mains, that prevent your business from producing its normal goods or services qualify for coverage.
  • Utility systems responsible for removing wastewater and sewage are usually covered under BI policies. Systems that drain stormwater are not covered under this policy. Any backup of sewage because of heavy rain is also typically not covered under these types of plans.
  • Communication systems are critical to modern businesses and are covered under most BI policies. Telephones, radios, satellite microwaves, and television services can all adversely affect your business and fall under communication systems. Overhead transmission lines downed in a storm are usually exempt from this claim.
  • Electric power supply is covered if the utility generating plants, switching stations, substations, transformers, or transmission lines have been affected. Overhead transmission lines are usually not covered under most policies.
  • Any loss of profits resulting from corrupted data or any electronically stored data that was destroyed, even if it was the result of an electric power utility failing, is not covered under this type of policy.
  • Raw or perishable goods lost during a resulting power outage is typically challenged by policy providers and may not be covered. Legal counsel can maximize your efforts for fair compensation.
  • Many policies vary from one another and may not cover the same type of issues affecting your business. The distance between your business and the affected utilities is sometimes limited in the policy. Other policies have provisions excluding specific natural disasters, usually flooding, from being covered.

Wide-Impact Catastrophes

On an individual basis, businesses typically have a tough time negotiating their BI claims with insurance companies. The process involves projecting sales history as the company’s future earnings, as if revenues were not affected by a disaster. When natural disasters the size of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma sweep through the country, creating thousands of claims, the process becomes very challenging. Insurance companies have and will contest business interruption claims with ferocity. If you are suffering from lost income because of Hurricane Harvey, we cannot stress enough, legal help is a great way to combat corporate bullying.

The storms that decimated our coast have affected large areas, and that means your business and your business partners are greatly affected. Companies that rely on shipping may not have access to competitive options while these areas rebuild. Sending and receiving goods that are necessary for your company’s success will also be affected by these storms. Rising costs of transporting products creates a domino-effect that poses a risk to your profits. If your company expects profits to fall because of these natural disasters, you deserve to be protected under your insurance policy. Costs of transportation is not the only risk facing businesses in the wake of the recent catastrophes. Shifting populations of workers and consumers can be a big factor in a business’s overall success after a disaster. Insurance companies know this, and they know it’s going to cost a lot of money. The best way to maximize your rightful compensation is to know how to defend against deceitful insurance practices.

It can be seemingly impossible for a small business to go against the overwhelming assets of an insurance provider, especially while trying to recover from a natural disaster. Our nationally-recognized firm has the resources and experience at winning that it takes to fight these financial giants. We pride ourselves in helping the underdog fight for what is right. Don’t make the mistake of retaining inexperienced lawyers that might be afraid of going to trial.

Our team of committed attorneys is familiar with corporate greed and the dishonest tactics they sometimes use to weasel their way out of being held responsible. We refuse to allow this pervasion of justice to stand. As members of the community, we will do our best to help you get back on your feet. If your business has been adversely affected after Hurricane Harvey, it’s only fair that you get all the help available to you. Contact us at [firm-number], chat with us online, or email us anytime.

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