*** Notice: Business Interruption Insurance and the Novel Coronavirus ***
Business Interruption Insurance policies are governed by contract law and vary from insurance company to insurance company as well as from business to business. These types of commercial policies have specific terms, conditions and exclusions. Your business interruption insurance policy should list or describe the types of events it does cover, often called the causes of loss, such as a fire that causes a temporary shutdown. Events or losses that are not listed on or not described in the policy are typically not covered for risks that are too great to be underwritten at an affordable price. For example, commercial and personal property insurance policies typically contain specific exclusions for loss or damage caused by war, nuclear action and radiation. The potential loss costs from such perils are so extreme that providing coverage would jeopardize the financial solvency of property insurers and many businesses could not afford the cost to cover unlikely catastrophic and costly events. Global pandemics like COVID-19 usually fall into this category. However, policies can be different.
It is important to review the policy exclusions, coverage limits, and applicable deductibles. The department has more information in FAQs online concerning Business Interruption Insurance.
Your broker/agent and carrier should be able explain your coverage benefits. Many of them may have a website that explains your business interruption benefits, too. While unusual, some business owners may have purchased additional coverage options, so it is important you discuss all your coverage directly with your broker/agent or carrier rather than rely on their website.
If there are issues with a claim, the Insurance Department can assist business owners on claim denials through the Consumer Affairs process. Complaints or inquiries can be sent by email to email@example.com, on the web, our through our consumer help line; (800)203-3447 or (860)297-3900. We would need to know specifics; such as name of insurance company, policy number, and claim denial reasons in order to look further into each case.
Additionally, Connecticut has been approved to begin offering disaster relief loans to Connecticut small businesses and non-profits. Companies can apply for loans of up to $2 million. More information for businesses can be found here
Since the Novel Coronavirus outbreak has been declared both a State and Federal Emergency, AND the department is directing consumers to call their carrier/agent/ broker to ask if they have Business Interruption coverage; NO company should be reporting negative claims activity when a business owner is only asking if they have Business Interruption Insurance and/or is asking if the policy covers/applies to this situation.
Insurers should contact this department if they have any questions by calling 860-297-3841 or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.