The Covid-19 pandemic has a dramatic impact on small, medium, and large businesses throughout New Jersey. The restrictions on gatherings, where people can go, stay-at-home orders, and fear lead to less spending. The result is more businesses are closing than at any other time since the Great Depression. Last year, 15,204 businesses filed for bankruptcy from the pandemic’s adverse economic effects on them. In 2021, these numbers are just as bad, with 14,369 firms doing bankruptcy filings and these trends will continue.
Some have business interruption insurance to pay for lost wages, expenses, and costs during the lockdowns. The courts ruled that insurance companies have to honor these policies and cannot say they are not responsible for damages during pandemics.
As a business owner, you have the option of filing business interruption claims in New Jersey to cover these losses. There are specific tactics you need to follow to get the relief you need to keep your business going during these challenging times.
The Policy and Timeframe
The first thing you need to do is to read through your policy declaration sheet for the details of what is covered. You want to see if there is any specific language talking about pandemics and the outbreak of viruses. There is a possibility you might not understand the language and how it is written to determine what is covered.
In these situations, you can contact a private claims adjuster, your agent, or an attorney to look it over for you. Even if you feel you don’t qualify, it does not hurt to seek assistance and learn about your options for your business interruption claims in New Jersey. These are unusual times and policies written before the pandemic may have exceptions, especially with the court rulings against insurance companies.
The timeframe matters as you must give the insurance company what is known as a timely notice of the claim. It is inside the policy declaration sheet and you need to see what specifies to determine if you qualify. These areas are significant, as you must be within these guidelines to receive any assistance.
The Records and Claim
You need to keep detailed records and provide documentation when necessary to show the extent of the losses. Several items the insurance company wants to see are the fixed costs, out-of-pocket expenses, the losses from sales/customers, and cost savings. Many insurance companies have worksheets to streamline the reporting of these losses, but it is good to keep your data as a backup.
After collecting all relevant information, you want to contact your insurance agent and tell them you plan to file a claim. They will give you the documentation for reporting the losses to the carrier and explain to you how to file it. The form establishes a record dating when it occurred and shows that you are within the reporting guidelines. Having a record of this will assist greatly with your business interruption claims.
Figuring Out the Loss of Income
The pandemic, the re-openings, and new lockdowns make calculating the loss of income tricky. Some businesses had a brief period of losses and re-opened as some of the lockdowns were eased in the summer of 2020. Then, they had to re-close as we moved into the fall and winter with new lockdowns.
Other businesses never re-opened and remain closed going on one year since the outbreak began. The key here is to compare what the company was doing in previous months and years with what happened in 2020. If you re-opened in the summer for a bit and your numbers are down, you may qualify for partial assistance in these months.
We Can Help!
Filling business interruption claims in New Jersey is confusing and requires using proven tactics to get the best results. Crestview Public Adjusters can help with their years of experience and knowledge in filing these types of claims. Don’t lose your business from failing to act and call today to get the money you deserve. Call our team at (212) 481-0100 to learn more.