Will your insurance policy cover COVID-19?

Local News

EAST SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — As restaurants and small businesses have been forced to shut their doors because of the coronavirus health crisis, many have asked NewsChannel 9 what happens to their revenue.

It all comes down to your policy, but just because you have business income insurance doesn’t mean you’re covered for something like this.

Typically, it helps cover lost revenue when you have to shut down for things like floods and fires. It doesn’t always have to be a natural disaster, so what about COVID-19?

“There probably will be litigation over these issues but generally, there’s a physical loss required before you can make a claim,” said lawyer Tim Lambrecht with The Wladis Law Firm.

Lambrecht laid out the example of someone with coronavirus passing through a bed and breakfast.

“You’re forced to clean a business, sanitize it, I think there’s an argument that you have a physical loss but in other instances maybe it’s not so clear,” he said.

Some policies may have a provision for communicable diseases.

“There’s also coverage occasionally for situations where civil authority has issued a quarantine or otherwise shut down a business, an industry, or self-quarantine a certain area,” said Lambrecht. This type of language, however, is less likely to be in your average policy.

The best advice Lambrecht can give is to check your policy, contact your broker and be prepared. Unfortunately, he’s anticipating a lot of people to continue to feel the financial burden of COVID-19 as it continues to spread.


More from NewsChannel 9:

For more local news follow Nicole Sommavilla on Twitter/NeSommavilla.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Live Doppler 9 Map Center

CNY View

CNY View

CNY View

Oswego Area

Oswego Area

Syracuse Area

Syracuse Area