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April 13, 2020

Documentation for a Possible COVID-19 Business Interruption Claim

business interruption claim

The new coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak continues to be a top-of-mind concern for organizations and individuals across the globe. As COVID-19 becomes increasingly widespread, it’s not only raising fears about the well-being of the general public, but it’s also disrupting business operations and creating insurance exposures.

In fact, COVID-19 has already led to business interruptions, supply chain issues and significant liability concerns — all of which can lead to claims. In most business interruptions policies, coverage is only triggered if there is physical damage to the insured property. Determining coverage for a loss will depend on the policy language and its interpretation. Actions taken by federal and state authorities may also impact coverage.

While COVID-19 introduces a level of uncertainty when it comes to available insurance protection, having the appropriate documentation can help you prepare for a claim, if covered.

Documentation:

1. Timing

  • Timeline of business impact, including dates of slowdowns or shutdowns
  • Copies of signed civil authority shutdown orders

2. Business Metrics

  • Track operational metrics such as production statistics, inventory, price data, material expenses, etc.
  • Financial records to show year over year impact, including profit and loss statements, invoices and purchase orders

3. New and Increased Expenses Incurred to Respond to Pandemic

  • Expenses incurred to respond to pandemic - cleaning costs, protective equipment, addition of new/temporary employees, overtime, etc.
  • Maintain purchase orders, invoices, receipts, credit card bills, expense reports, payroll support and other
  • underlying supporting documentation

4. Specific Activity Related to the Interruption

  • Record the reason for the loss of income
  • Keep a log of business interruptions (event cancellations, ticket refunds, cancelled orders, returns, penalties, loss of key employees, operating hour impacts, client complaints, etc.)
  • Keep a log of employee impacts such as layoffs, remote work, etc.
  • Payroll allocations, separating those paid without working
  • Record of employees, clients or visitors known to have contracted COVID-19 at your facility
  • Contracts of affected clients and vendors

Documentation needed to support a business interruption claim varies by business type and industry. Planning ahead for a possible claim can help ensure a smooth process.

For additional protection, it’s important for businesses to seek the help of a qualified insurance broker. These professionals can help you review your insurance programs and recommend potential solutions to address your exposures. For more information, please contact a member of our team.

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