Posted on: 12 August 2020
COVID-19, otherwise known as the coronavirus, is turning the business world upside down. Many businesses of all kinds have either been forced to shut down or are experiencing significantly lower traffic or customers than they did before the pandemic began. If you are a business owner, you may have some questions about your current business insurance policies or you might be wondering if there is any other kind of insurance you should look into given the current circumstances. While the best option is to go to your local business insurance agent directly, here are some tips that might help as you navigate this unprecedented time.
Is COVID-19 Covered By Interruption Policies?
First things first, please keep in mind that this is general advice and that your specific insurance policy might have unique terms, which is why you should go to your agent as well as read your policy in detail. But in general, one of the more common questions business owners are asking right now in relation to COVID-19 is whether or not a work stoppage or shutdown will be covered by the company's business interruption policy.
The short answer, in general, is probably not. Most business interruption policies cover events that lead to physical damage. For example, your store burned down and you lost all of your inventory or a flood went through the area and now you're all washed up and dealing with water damage. A COVID-19 related shutdown obviously isn't causing physical damage to your business space, so the typical interruption policy will likely not be able to help you.
What Kind of Policy Can Help You With COVID-19?
One type of business insurance policy that some companies are now offering because of the pandemic is disaster relief. You may be able to seek out a disaster relief policy that specifically covers coronavirus related shutdowns. You will again want to talk to an agent though and make sure that the policy you are looking at will cover this specific issue.
Can You Be Held Liable for a COVID-19 Outbreak?
In a worst-case scenario, an employee catches the virus and blames their workplace for the exposure. In this scenario, the worker might possibly pursue a workers' compensation claim. But in order for a workers' compensation claim to be successful, the employee will have to prove beyond any doubt that they caught the virus at work, and this could be hard to do. Still, if your company does not yet carry workers' compensation insurance, this would be a good time to talk to a local insurance agent. You might need the coverage someday for a non-coronavirus related incident, and then, you'll be happy you have it.Share