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Business Interruption Claims for Car Dealers

Business Interruption Claims for Car Dealers

According to Forbes, car dealers have lost more than $41 billion in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of the businesses categorised as ‘non-essential’, the auto industry is one of the worst hit. 

For eateries and similar businesses, customers have the option of pickup, delivery or curbside. For auto sales, even though shopping can be conducted online, buyers would still want to set an appointment, test-drive it and make sure they like it before making a purchase.

It is no longer business as usual for many car sellers. Apparently, the lockdown and ‘shelter-in-place’ rules are in conflict with the desire of buyers to test-drive the car before purchase. Even though online sales are experiencing a boom, they are not enough to supplement the loss of traditional sales due to the coronavirus pandemic.

As the coronavirus subsists, car dealers are wondering whether their ‘business interruption’ insurance will cover their loss during this pandemic.

If you’re a car dealer and your business has experienced a decline in revenue as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, your insurance policy may be able to cover the loss.

Our car dealer business interruption lawyers at Oshan and Associates can offer insight on the options available to you. Call us today on (206) 335-3880 or (646) 421-4062.

What is business interruption insurance?

Most businesses have some form of insurance that is supposed to protect them when the ‘unforeseen’ happens. The ‘business disruption’ insurance is one of it. The business disruption insurance is not an independent policy on its own. 

As part of an overall comprehensive insurance or property/casualty policy, the policy exists to protect your business in the event of a ‘disaster’ or event that leads to its closure.

Depending on the policy, the business disruption insurance may cover repairs to the facility or even income lost due to the disruption. In many other policies, it may also cover you (the policy holder) for lost income resulting from:

  • Damage to your property (business interruption),
  • Damage to the property of a customer or supplier (contingent business interruption),
  • Government action (or order of civil authority),
  • Damage to properties that attract customers to your business, etc.

Can business interruption insurance protect you during this coronavirus pandemic?

Whether or not your business interruption insurance covers you during this pandemic no doubt depends on the exact wordings of your policy or the exclusions stated in it. An insurance claim lawyer can help you decide whether you should immediately contact your insurer or file a claim.

If your policy covers the pandemic, your insurer could compensate you for the loss incurred during the entire period of time your business is out of operation as a result of the lockdown order given by the government.

Insurance companies and the new laws protecting your business

Due to the large amount of payouts expected as a result of the number of businesses affected, insurers are trying to wriggle their way out of fulfilling their obligation. Their reason for denying some claims is that businesses were not shut down because of a ‘structural damage’.

The argument against this is that the business interruption insurance applies because as a result of the presence of the virus in the business premises, there is an interruption to the business. Nonetheless, while some policies may exclude the presence of ‘bacteria’, the COVID-19 is a virus.

While the back and forth between insurers and policyholders go on, some states have stepped in to make certain that business interruption insurance covers the pandemic. In New York, for instance, two bills have now been introduced:

  • SB 8178 (which would apply to policyholders with no more than 100 employees), and
  • S8211A (no more than 250 employees).

Each bill provides that every policy insuring against property damage “shall” provide business interruption coverage for COVID-19.

Call the business interruption attorneys at Oshan and Associates on (206) 335-3880 or (646) 421-4062 to know the status of your own state.

Get in touch with an experienced business interruption attorney today

Even if you have filed a claim for ‘business interruption’ and it has been denied, an experienced business interruption attorney may still be able to negotiate your claim or file a suit to make sure you get the benefit you deserve.

At Oshan and Associates, our experienced attorneys are skilled in the art of navigating insurance claims. Our attorneys in our offices in New York, Washington, Pennsylvania, Illinois, California, & Puerto Rico are up and ready to get your insurance claim to you.

Get in touch with us in our offices. You can contact us online for a free 'no obligation' consultation here or call us at (206) 335-3880 or (646) 421-4062.

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