With the pandemic, many have been forced to work from home to minimize exposure and slow the spread of the virus. Home offices have now become work headquarters and laptops or desk computers, printers, web cams, keyboards, headsets, iPads, and tablets are now essential tools to use when you show up to work every day—even if work is located at the kitchen table in slippers and PJs.

With the abrupt switch to home-based work, probably not much time, if any, has been given to the following thoughts:
Continue Reading If Your Home Office Is Now Your Work Headquarters, Will Your Homeowners Insurance Policy Cover You?

Across the country claims for business income loss presented by policyholders to their insurers and the suits that follow for business interruption caused by COVID-19 and government regulatory closures have not fared well. Most policyholders who have suffered a suspension of business operations have been denied their policy claims when relying on policy clauses covering “direct physical loss of or physical damage” to the policyholders’ place of business. Likewise, when these denied claims become lawsuits, some courts have dismissed cases based on an interpretation that the coronavirus cannot cause property damage at the policyholder’s place of business.
Continue Reading Barbershop Allowed to Pursue Business Interruption Loss Caused by COVID-19 Pursuant to a Policy Provision Containing Time Element Coverage

Fox News ran a televised segment about the ability of businesses to collect for lost income and property damage after the recent riots. The good news for most business owners is that the vast majority of all commercial policies will cover the property damage and business income losses caused as a result of these unfortunate incidents. I was happy to be the insurance commentator for Fox News reporting that coverage should be paid for business losses rather than be the bearer of bad news.
Continue Reading Business Income and Property Damage Claims Payable After Riots and Civil Commotion

This reminds me of a well-known phrase my mother used to say to ensure I knew I could never get away with well-organized mischief without her knowing. The saying goes: “You can’t pull the wool over the wool puller’s eyes.” Many carriers try their darndest to do just that: pull the wool over their own policyholders’ eyes without raising an eyebrow. Not that policyholders are the wool pullers, but you catch my drift.
Continue Reading My Insurance Company Denied My Claim for Loss of Business Income Because My Property Damages Were Caused by Both Wind and Flood – Can They Do That?

Our client owns a large food market. Last summer, it burned down. The client submitted a claim under his business insurance policy from Farmers. The insurance policy included several different types of coverage, such as Business Property, Business Income, Extra Expense, and more. The insured had insufficient insurance limits under his Business Property to replace everything needed to reopen the market. Thus, he sought coverage for those items under Extra Expense coverage. By the plain and clear terms of the policy, these items were also covered under Extra Expense. But Farmers found an excuse to wrongfully deny the claim in a textbook example of how not to interpret and apply insurance policies in California.
Continue Reading Can Business Losses Be Covered Under Multiple Parts of Your Policy?

Business Interruption coverage protects the potential earnings of the insured business while its operations are suspended as a result of damage caused by a covered peril. The period of restoration has a direct effect on the actual loss suffered. A typical definition in most ISO forms of the “period of restoration” is:
Continue Reading Can My Business Recover Additional Income Loss If Code Upgrades Are Delaying the Time to Complete Repairs?

The effort to mitigate the damage, gather supporting documents, and present an insurance claim, can for many policyholders prove to be the toughest part of the recovery process. After suffering a loss or business interruption, the main priority of most business owners is restoring their businesses or premises as soon as possible – not preparing an insurance claim. While their goal is to achieve the utmost recovery in the shortest period of time, the loss adjustment process can be long and grueling.
Continue Reading Period of Restoration – Should the time to adjust the claim be considered? Part II

Business interruption coverage is very valuable to many policyholders in the wake of Hurricane Michael. Florida business owners may seek coverage under their commercial insurance policies for business interruption, which indemnifies them for lost earnings and expenses if their businesses are partially or totally interrupted as a result of Hurricane Michael. Business interruption coverage is intended to protect the potential earnings of the insured business. Its purpose is “to do for the insured…just what the business itself would have done if no interruption had occurred—no more.”1
Continue Reading Period of Restoration – Valuing Business Interruption Claims, Part I

More states across the country are implementing legislation allowing for the legal use of cannabis. Currently 23 States and the District of Columbia allow for medical use with four of the states and D.C. also allowing recreational use. The conflicts between state and federal law have left businesses uninsured and often without access to bank accounts.
Continue Reading California Department of Insurance Has Approved the State’s First Cannabis Business Owners Policy

Never meet the enemy on their own terms. This memorable line from Rudolph Mate’s classic western, The Violent Men, motivates the hero, an embattled ranch owner, as he matches wits and brute force against a ruthless, greedy land baron.

The hero’s struggle reminded me of the coverage showdown in National Union Fire Ins. Co. v. TransCanada,1 where the policyholder matched wits against the insurers—and recovered $58M in coverage for property damage and business interruption losses stemming from the breakdown and temporary shutdown of a faulty power generating turbine.
Continue Reading New York Appellate Court Affirms Policyholder’s $58m Property Damage and Business Interruption Win