Business Interruption Insurance Lawyers and Bad Faith for COVID-19
Accepting cases in New York, Pennsylvania, and Throughout the Northeast
The COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating for business owners. For the tens of thousands of owners who have had to endure months of shutdown time, the loss of customers and revenue has put their business on the brink of failure. And for many thousands of other affected businesses, the shutdown has proven too much, forcing countless business owners to shut down their businesses for good.
One of the big differences between businesses that have failed and those that remain open may be the availability of business interruption insurance. Business interruption insurance is supposed to provide owners with payments in accordance with the terms of the policy if a major event occurs beyond the control of the business owner which results in the loss of revenue. Commonly, business interruption insurance will provide for a degree of income replacement for an event like a fire.
As business interruption insurance lawyers for COVID-19 and other matters, we are available to represent clients when their insurers wrongly fail to promptly provide business interruption benefits. If you are not being timely paid what you are owed, we invite you to call us and to learn how we can help in seeking to secure for you the full compensation to which you may be entitled as the result of the business closure occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic.
We Accept Business Interruption and Insurance Bad Faith Cases on a Contingency Fee Basis.
We offer a free consultation so that you can learn about the benefits to which you may be entitled. In addition to business interruption benefits, if the insurance company is wrongly withholding payment, Pennsylvania business owners may be entitled to additional compensation for a separate cause of action – bad faith.
When we learn more about your case, we can advise of the full benefits to which you may be entitled, explain how we can help, and answer any questions that you may have. We are tenacious in demanding full and complete compensation in business interruption and insurance matters, including damages for bad faith when such a claim is warranted.
Understanding Business Bad Faith and Business Interruption Insurance
When you secure insurance, your insurance policy is in essence a contract between you and the insurance company. In addition to the normal contract terms of paying for benefits that may be provided, in insurance contracts there is an implied covenant of good faith on behalf of the insurance company. As part of this covenant of good faith, an insurance company cannot simply refuse to pay you what they owe (or try to pay you less than what they owe) under the terms of the insurance policy.
Instead, they must act in a reasonable manner when a claim is made. They must also provide you – the policyholder – with equal consideration and weight as their own position. In other words, they are not entitled to automatically see the facts and circumstances of a claim in the manner that benefits their position.
“Acting in a reasonable manner” includes a number of responsibilities. The insurance company must promptly investigate and process the claim. They are entitled to ask questions and seek additional information (such as financial records in a business interruption claims) in order to evaluate a claim, but they must do so promptly.
How Do Insurance Companies Act in Bad Faith?
In some situations, when a claim is filed, instead of legitimately seeking information relating to a claim, the insurance company will instead engage in deliberate tactics to avoid or minimize liability. These tactics usually involve significant delays, a seemingly never-ending course of additional information requests, blaming the policyholder or others for the underlying event, or denying all or parts of claims without any solid justification for doing so.
These actions can constitute insurance bad faith.
It’s also important to understand that some insurance companies will deliberately try to take advantage of those who are in precarious financial situations (such as business owners in the COVID-19 pandemic, who may have gone months with little or no income). As a result, they may try to “low-ball” a payment on a take-it-or-leave-it basis. They know that people will often accept less than the full amount to which they are entitled so that they can take care of bills now. This is not right.
What are the Damages in an Insurance Bad Faith Case?
Under the law, insurance bad faith is a separate cause of action that an insured may have against an insurance company in addition to the underlying claim (such as a claim for business interruption insurance).
Bad Faith damages are considered “punitive” damages in that they are meant solely to punish the insurance company for egregious and outrageous conduct, and to deter the insurance company (and other insurance companies) not to ever engage in similar conduct in the future. As a result, it’s up to a jury to determine what amount of damages is fair compensation. Typically, the worse the conduct, the higher the damage award will be.
You Deserve to Be Treated Right by Your Insurance Company
You’ve faithfully paid the premiums. When a claim for a covered matter is made under a policy, the insurance company needs to fulfill their end of the bargain.
Call us today if you’re not being treated fairly by your insurance company, and learn how we can help.