Recently I was at a site inspection centered on business personal property. Items were skewed about in piles, where they had been placed in the aftermath of a storm. The building was damaged, as well as the contents inside of it. Upon review of the item catalogue, I remarked that such is akin to a scavenger hunt, where children hunt for items on a list and take a picture as proof of its existence. To which opposing counsel replied that this exercise of reviewing the catalogue was better simply because each proof of existence resulted in a monetary reward. He was right.
Continue Reading Business Personal Property Claim: The Scavenger Hunt

Businesses forced closed by COVID-19 and denied coverage by their insurers received a legal boost this month. In a recent North Carolina ruling, the court held that a commonly worded business interruption policy covered losses arising from closures mandated by COVID-19.
Continue Reading Court Finds Coverage for Restaurants’ COVID-19 Business Interruption Claims

Although they typically insure personal property owned or used by insureds while it is anywhere in the world, most homeowner insurance policies contain a special limitation of liability for “business” personal property. For example, under the 2011 edition of the ISO Homeowners 3-Special Form, property on the residence premises used primarily for business purposes is limited to $2,500, while property off the residence premises used primarily for business purposes is limited to $500. The form defines “business” as

  1. a trade, profession or occupation engaged in on a full-time, part-time or occasional basis or
  2. any other activity engaged in for money or other compensation subject to certain exceptions.1

Continue Reading When Does Business Personal Property Become Personal Property?

Maximizing recovery after a catastrophic loss requires expertise in preparing hospitality business interruption claims, combined with a thorough understanding of the hotel’s unique market and operation.

Continue Reading Considerations for the Hospitality Industry – Understanding Business Interruption Claims, Part 58

Most commercial landlords require new tenants to purchase a property insurance policy that will provide coverage during the tenants’ lease period. By requiring the tenant to purchase property insurance, the landlord does not bear the responsibility of purchasing a broad, all-encompassing insurance policy – an “all risk” policy – that would cover every possible activity that could take place on the landlord’s property. All risk policies tend to be expensive, and instead of passing that cost to the tenant, the tenant can purchase a less expensive insurance policy tailored to his business. However, as the landlord in the case below discovered, just because a tenant purchases an insurance policy does not mean all the landlord’s property interests are properly covered.

Continue Reading How to Properly Protect a Landlord’s Property Interests in Texas through a Tenant’s Insurance Policy

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently issued a 21-page opinion in the case of Consolidated Companies, Inc. v. Lexington Insurance Company, No. 09-30178, ___ F. 3d ___ (5th Cir. August 17, 2010). The opinion is dense, to say the least, but it resolves an issue that sometimes can make or break a settlement in business interruption claims.

Continue Reading Court Reduces Continuing Charges and Expenses From Net Profits When a Business Resumed Partial Operations After a Loss – Understanding Business Interruption Claims, Part 35

*(Note: Bob Glasser is a managing director at BDO Consulting, a division of BDO and Seidman, LLP, in the New York office. Mr. Glasser is a certified public accountant, a certified fraud examiner and a certified insolvency reorganization accountant, with more than thirty years of diverse financial management and accounting experience at public and private companies. Mr. Glasser leads the firm’s New York Insurance Claim Services practice).

Most CFOs and risk managers have an understanding of their property and liability insurance needs and dollar limits and are comfortable purchasing coverage that protects their companies from a loss due to an insured peril. However, it has been my experience that their comfort level drops dramatically when it comes to business interruption coverage and limits. The uncertainty surrounding business interruption coverage, extensions of coverage and respective limits of that coverage consistently results in many middle-market organizations finding themselves underinsured and short of cash when faced with a major loss. Even the fortunate CFOs and risk managers who have not experienced a major loss may eventually discover that they have been significantly overinsured for business interruption losses and paying unnecessarily higher premiums for their coverage. Of course, the more devastating situation is finding out after a shutdown of operations from a loss that company management has not mitigated the company’s risk of lost profits and now has insufficient coverage to protect profits and cash flow during a potentially long period of restoration.

Continue Reading How to Prepare for the Hurricane Season and Avoid Being Underinsured for Business Interruption Coverage

Yesterday, Rocco Calaci posted a blog entry announcing that La Niña conditions are already being observed. While I dare not attempt to explain the mechanics of these conditions, it is generally understood that La Niña is a climate phenomenon that is marked by an unusual cooling of the sea surface in the Pacific Ocean, which in turn affects wind and weather patterns globally. It is also generally said that these conditions foster more frequent and stronger storms in the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. As a result, NOAA has forecasted 14 to 23 named storms, of which 8 to 14 are expected to be hurricanes and 3 to 7 major hurricanes during this season.

Continue Reading Bracing for the Worst – Understanding Business Interruption Claims, Part 29

The “Period of Restoration” in a business interruption claim is a concept of time. The period, as defined in most ISO forms, begins at the time of “direct physical loss or damage” and ends on the earlier of “the date when the property should be repaired, rebuilt, or replaced with reasonable speed and similar quality.” […] or “the date when the business is resumed at a new permanent location.”

Continue Reading Can “Real World Circumstances” Be Considered To Establish a Theoretical Period of Restoration? – Understanding Business Interruption Claims, Part 26

(Note: This Guest Blog is by Michelle Claverol, an attorney with Merlin Law Group in the Coral Gables, Florida, office. This is the part of a series she is writing on business interruption claims).

Most extra expense provisions state that coverage will be extended for necessary expenses that the insured incurs during the “period of restoration.”

Continue Reading Extra Expense and the Period of Restoration – Understanding Business Interruption Claims, Part 22