In past years, courts often found coverage when a shutdown was ordered by the government. Very few insurance companies took the position that when a state or federal government told you not to operate that “loss of use” of your business wasn’t covered. Today, with so many businesses effectively shut down or destroyed, and seeing a wave of claims against their policies, it is becoming clear every insurer in the United States is taking the position that it will not honor its business interruption insurance.
The state-ordered shutdown in Michigan and forty other states of regular business operation is unprecedented only in scope. A government-ordered shutdown has long been anticipated by the insurance industry.
Our lawyers filed a class action case on behalf of Michigan business owners.
Most commercial insurance forms specifically provide for coverage if a business has been ordered to close under order of Civil Authority. Typical businesses which are covered by these policies include:
If your business was ordered to shut down, you may be covered by your Businessowners General Policy
Business owners are now finding themselves with a ruinous loss and no coverage. Often your call to your broker will get a response that it’s not worth filing a claim. You may hear about a “virus” exclusion.
The reality is that commercial business insurance is complex. Many policies run to hundreds of pages, come with endorsements, exclusions and amendments. The broker who put together your policy doesn’t work for you, but the insurance company. Their opinion whether you have coverage is worthless.
Many large law firms represent the several hundred insurance companies in the United States that wrote the coverage they don’t intend to honor. Our three firms do not.
If you have a question about your policy wording, we will examine your insurance policy to give you clear advice whether your insurer is taking advantage of this extraordinary time to deny a legitimate claim. If we believe there are grounds for demanding coverage through the courts we will tell you. We will not charge for the review.
If you have suffered a loss of business income during these extraordinary times, and your broker or insurer said you are on your own, call or email us.
Sommers, Schwartz, P.C., is a Michigan-based litigation firm specializing in complex business, class action, and injury litigation. For over forty years, the firm has been lead counsel in numerous business, fraud, securities, insurance, FLSA, intellectual property, civil rights, and other cases. The firm was recently lead counsel in an insurance coverage action against a national insurer arising from first party fire policies. Its partner in charge of the business interruption coverage group has been involved in coverage litigation since the 1990s, and was previously lead counsel in coverage disputes ranging from asbestos cleanup, to environmental property damage and individual disability insurance.
Altior Law, P.C. is a boutique business law firm specializing in complex business litigation. With over 100 years of combined experience, the attorneys at Altior represent businesses of all sizes in a wide range of matters from business ownership issues, to real estate disputes, to commercial contractual disputes, including claims related to insurance coverage issues. When it comes to navigating complex legal matters, it is important to rely on the judgment and expertise that can only be provided by experienced trial attorneys with a proven track record of success. As a small law firm, Altior offers its clients responsiveness, efficiency, flexibility, and the personal attention that each matter deserves, all with the experience and expertise of a large firm.
Hickey Hauck Bishoff & Jeffers was founded in 2016 by four lawyers who have collectively spent over 100 years practicing law at one of Michigan’s oldest and largest law firms. We have counseled and represented clients in resolving all forms of commercial disputes in the automotive, healthcare, investment management, and insurance sectors. We have decades of experience handling complex and unique commercial disputes in the insurance industry, and have helped policyholders and insurers address claims related to coverage, breach of contract, trade practices, fraud investigations, and allocation of risk. We strive to provide quality legal services to our clients through a lean, value-driven model that takes advantage of our collective wealth of experience in business counseling and commercial dispute resolution.
Contact our law group using the form or by calling any of our lawyers. We are happy to review your policy, free of charge.
Patrick F. Hickey
Jennifer M. Grieco