Each year, business owners pay insurance companies millions of dollars in premiums for “business interruption” insurance to protect their business from factors outside of their control. As a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic, on March 15, 2020, Illinois Governor Pritzker ordered all restaurants and bars to close their doors to the public. Five days later, the Governor ordered all non-essential businesses to close. The pandemic and government ordered closures have brought many restaurants, bars and other business to their knees, causing substantial lost profits. These lost profits and related expenses may be recoverable under a business owners’ insurance policy.
The attorneys at DeBlasio & Gower have been asked to investigate claims by business owners who have had their COVID-19 insurance claim denied by their insurance company, and several lawsuits have already been filed against insurance companies for denying such claims. Many of the business interruption insurance policies we have examined specifically cover loss of business income, and those same insurance policies do not exclude coverage for losses caused by a virus or pandemic, such as COVID-19.