COVID-19 Restaurant Insurance Claim Denials
JUSTICE FOR RESTAURANTS
The hospitality industry has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic and many insurance companies across the country are denying rightful business interruption claims from restaurants that have faithfully paid their costly premiums for decades.
We think this is an atrocity that threatens to further decimate America’s beloved restaurants, and we are seeking justice on their behalf.
Common Questions About Business Insurance Claim Denials
Am I Covered Under My Current Policy?
This is the core issue at hand — many insurers are denying coverage and arguing that the government-ordered Covid-19 shutdown is outside the restaurant insurance coverage under existing policies. Restaurants conversely argue that the virus-mandated closings are exactly what such insurance policies were contracted to cover. Resolution will depend on the courts’ interpretation of policy language, which can vary from policy to policy and insurance company to insurance company.
My Claims Were Denied — What Do I Do Now?
Our lawyers feel strongly that many claim denials are improper, unsubstantiated, and even predatory, if not collusive (the result of an improper agreement among insurers to deny all Covid-19 coverage). You should contact a lawyer immediately to discuss your rights and options, along with the particulars of your insurance policy. Lieff Cabraser has a nearly 50-year history of successfully advocating for consumers and small businesses against insurance companies and other large corporations. We will review your claim for free with no obligation on your part.
Other Businesses Have Already Filed Lawsuits Or Class Actions. Should I Wait And See If Those Win?
Definitely not! It is critical for your case that you make your claim as soon as possible, and then if it is denied, initiate legal action in the same time frame. Lieff Cabraser represents its clients on a contingent fee basis, which means you only pay for our legal services if the case is successful. There are no up-front costs, and delay can only adversely affect your case.
Am I Covered If My Policy Includes “Business Interruption”?
Many insurers are denying claims even where policies specifically mention business interruption. If you have filed a claim and been denied coverage, you should discuss your situation with a lawyer as soon as possible. Some of your claim rights can be lost if too much time passes. You should speak to a lawyer as soon as you can.
What If My Insurance Includes A “Virus or Disease Exclusion”?
Proper resolution of your claims still requires formal review of your policy’s language by a court (rather than relying on the self-interested interpretation of your insurance company). Exclusions are generally interpreted narrowly rather than expansively, and often against the insurance company. As noted above, if your claim has been denied, you should absolutely speak to a lawyer with experience in litigation against insurers as soon as you can.
What Should I Do If I Haven’t Made A Claim Yet?
Claims need to be filed in as timely a manner as possible, but if you have not yet made a claim for business interruption as a result of the coronavirus, you should talk to a lawyer before filing your claim. An insurer’s response will focus on precisely how you describe your shutdown and your losses, and making the strongest case you can in your initial claim can influence the successful outcome of your policy claim. Lieff Cabraser’s business interruption lawyers will be happy to review your policy pre-claim at no cost to you. Contact us today for more information.
- If you have filed a claim and been denied, contact Robert Nelson at Lieff Cabraser or Alexandra Foote at the Law Office of Alexandra Foote today about your rights and recovery options via a lawsuit.
- If you have not yet filed a claim, you should file your claim as soon as possible, but first make sure you have the entirety of your insurance policy at hand and review it carefully before making your claim. We are happy to assist you in reviewing the language of your policy to maximize your chances of a quick and successful claim outcome.
- Continue to keep careful and detailed records of all business losses.
- Memorialize all interactions with your insurance company, whether written, telephonic, or in any other format. The details of your insurer’s denial and resistance to properly paying claims can be meaningful and persuasive to the court in future litigation.
- Lieff Cabraser is an award-winning, 100-plus attorney international plaintiff law firm with offices in San Francisco, New York, Nashville, and Munich. The Law Office of Alexandra Foote represents chefs, restaurants, and artisan and sustainable companies in general business matters, including insurance coverage denial.
- We are driven by a strong and principled sense of social responsibility and are known for our professional integrity.
- We have the legal skills and financial resources necessary for handling large, complex cases, successfully litigating against many of the nation’s largest corporations, including insurance companies.
- Lieff Cabraser has assisted our clients in recovering an astonishing $124 billion in verdicts and settlements.
- The LCHB firm has resolved hundreds of class action lawsuits including the historic litigation against Volkswagen over its “Clean Diesel” emissions fraud; the Attorney General litigation against the tobacco industry; the litigation against European banks and businesses to recover assets taken from Holocaust victims and survivors; and most recently, a $250 million settlement from State Farm for defrauded auto insurance policyholders, which resulted in recognition from Public Justice as the “Trial Lawyers of the Year.”
HOW TO ACT
- Submit a claim with your insurance company following the government-ordered shutdown of all or part of your business. This is time-sensitive as it’s important to file a claim within your current policy period.
- If you are denied, contact our team by using the form below to start the conversation and learn how to recover your losses. We welcome the conversation even if you have a virus exclusion clause in your insurance policy.
- We offer free legal consultations and contingency fee representation — you only pay us when we win compensation for you and/or your business. Our skilled legal team is here to champion your rights and work with determination and commitment to win fair compensation for your restaurant’s wrongful and destructive denial of insurance coverage.
CONTACT OUR TEAM
Contact us now for a free, no-obligation evaluation of your rights to seek insurance coverage for your losses. Let our team become your team, and work non-stop to win you the coverage you paid for.