If your business has suffered property damage and lost income due to a natural disaster or other catastrophic event, you may be entitled to receive benefits under your business interruption policy. The experienced New York insurance lawyers at Hiller, PC can help you gather evidence of your loss and present a compelling claim for benefits.
What Must a Business Owner Prove in Order to Recover Benefits?
In order to receive benefits under a business interruption policy, you must establish a covered loss and provide evidence of the amount of that loss.
Establishing a Covered Loss
Whether your loss is covered will depend on the terms of your policy, but, generally, a policyholder must establish:
- Property covered under the policy was damaged;
- The damage was caused by a covered event;
- The covered property damage caused an interruption in business;
- An actual loss of business income occurred during the relevant time period (that is, the time period between the date on which the property damage occurred and the date on which business was restored and no longer “interrupted”); and
- The loss of income was caused by the interruption to the business, not by some other factor.
In most cases, the major hurdle will be establishing causation – proving a causal connection between the property damage to your business and the monetary loss suffered by your business.
Establishing the Amount of Your Loss
Even if the insurer accepts that your business interruption loss is a covered loss, it may dispute the amount of your loss or the time period for which any losses are covered. The purpose of business interruption coverage is to restore the business to the position it would have been in had the loss-event not occurred. Insurance companies closely scrutinize business interruption claims for any evidence that the policyholder is attempting to use this coverage to put his business in a better position than it would have been otherwise. Consequently, in order to prove the value of your claim to the satisfaction of the insurer, you will need to present objective, verifiable evidence of your losses. This may include:
- Your business’ general ledger, financial statements, and tax returns;
- Orders from customers;
- Correspondence from suppliers and vendors;
- Correspondence and reports re: the rebuilding/restoration process;
- Independent market forecasts.
Get Help from our Top New York Insurance Lawyers
When your business – your livelihood – is negatively affected by a disastrous event, the last thing you want to do is fight with your insurance company. At Hiller, PC, our experienced New York insurance lawyers know how the claims process works. We can help you evaluate and calculate your business losses, and put together a clear, concise and persuasive claim for benefits that will be easily understood by a busy adjuster. Call us today, at 212-319-4000, for a free consultation.