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?

On January 30, 2019, New Jersey residents suffered a tremendous loss. Marcal Paper, in Elmwood Park, New Jersey on the edge of Route 80, burned to the ground. Along with it, 80 years of a family owned business, jobs, community, and an iconic sign that lit up Route 80 were lost.
Continue Reading The Marcal Paper Fire: A Sad Demise to a New Jersey Landmark

A very insightful reader posted this comment to my blog post, Period of Restoration-Valuing Business Interruption Claims, Part I:

When adjusting business interruption claims, I find that the biggest disagreements I have with carriers are not with the length of the restoration period. They’re with my projected revenues had no loss occurred.
Continue Reading Business Income Loss – Recurring Measurement Loss Issues

On August 22, 2013, a fire destroyed an office building where one tenant, Bernstein Liebhard LLP, was a mass tort law practice. The firm’s mass tort practice was shut down for a year. The insured law firm sued Sentinel Insurance Company Limited for $27 million arising from lost income from several hundred mass tort clients who failed to retain the firm during the 12-month period after the fire.
Continue Reading Court Allows Insured to Recover Business Income for Potential Contingency Fees

The U.S. Virgin Islands holds a special place in my family’s heart. Nothing makes my wife Ashley and I happier than a sail full of trade winds carrying us to the next secluded cove or rowdy beach bar. While most of the national media focused on Hurricane Irma’s trek toward Florida, it is now clear that St. Thomas and St. John took the brunt of the storm while still a Category 5.
Continue Reading Business Interruption Will Play Big Role in Rebuilding the U.S. Virgin Islands After Irma

In addition to covering property damage, most first-party commercial insurance policies offer business interruption coverage. Business interruption coverage typically has two different built in coverages: business income and extra expense. Both are intended to assist businesses in the event a covered peril damages business property and impacts business operations.
Continue Reading Business Income and Extra Expense – Understanding the Differences

When calculating a business income loss, it is important to look at the company as a whole and to look at individual segments of the business. Under a standard loss calculation where the projected “but for” revenues were considered by deducting the revenues from sales of substitute products and applying a profit factor to the loss incremental revenue, the business revenue may not show a numerical decrease. At first blush, one could argue that there was not a loss, because the gross profits were higher pre-loss than post loss. However, a true loss can be masked in instances where a loss impacts one portion of the business but sales or business income in another segment of the business increases.

Continue Reading Even if Gross Profits Increase after a Loss, Business May Still Have Business Income Loss

Farm stand fresh vegetables and sweet and savory baked goods can make any day better. Verrill Farms had been in the produce and bakery industry in Concord, Massachusetts, for decades but before you could buy deli sandwiches or take home fresh heirloom tomatoes, Verrill Farms was a daily farm started in 1918.

The farm was passed down for generations and as the years passed the business grew. However, “[o]n September 20, 2008, Verrill Farms suffered a fire loss to its farm store. Within two days of the fire, Verrill Farms reopened its business at alternate locations at reduced capacity. Within another month, the business had resumed nearly full capacity in temporary facilities at nearby locations. After the fire and during the process of restarting the business at the alternate locations, no employees were laid off. All employees who remained on the payroll were involved in operations that allowed Verrill Farms to maintain its business and generate income.”

Continue Reading Business Income Loss Policy’s Contrary Provisions Result in Coverage for Payroll