There are also businesses away from the coastline,that might suffer business income losses. Where we go (Seagrove Beach), there is a direct financial hit being felt in towns like Defuniak Springs, Florida, as well as towns filled with hardworking folks -Florala, Flomaton, Chipley. Gas stations like the Tom Thumb on 30-A in Seagrove seems bustling - are other service stations doing the same?
I spoke with an inn owner east of Destin who had massive losses for June, and July looked even worse.
While home and condo owners and other businesses are looking first at responsible parties to cover their losses, lawsuits against BP, Transocean and others could stretch out over a decade - or more.
So, now what? Folks should start thinking now about their own insurance coverage.
Affected business owners may want to look at their insurance policies, checking to see if business interruption coverage is included. In our experience most business property policies have "BI".
BI coverage is designed to protect businesses from losses stemming from unavoidable interruptions in their daily operations. BI coverage may apply in a variety of circumstances, such as a forced shutdown, a downturn in business due to the damage from the oil spill, or a substantial impairment in access to products, services, or a premise.
There may be other coverage, such as Civil Authority coverage:
- Interruption by Civil Authority. Losses caused by orders of city or governmental authority which prohibits access to your premises due to direct physical loss to the property are covered under some policies. There may be a time limitation of the period of indemnity of one, two or three weeks.
- Extra Expenses. Extra expenses are those cost that a business operator incurs as a result of a covered period to avoid or minimize his or her business income loss. These extra expenses are covered to the extent that they reduce the amount of the loss of the insured.
- Extended Period: Some policies provide for an extended coverage period to allow a business to return to normal operations. This period is usually limited, and is in addition to the period of restoration.
What makes sense to do right now: The list may be long, but looking at it makes sense.
- Locate all of your insurance policies
- Read each one -- Liability, D&O or first-party property insurance. Then, read them again
- As you read keep in mind that that property damage, business income, contingent business income and extra expense coverage may be available under your policy - but you need to read it for yourself.
- In some jurisdiction, an argument may be made that coverage may be available even without direct physical loss or damage
- If you think there is coverage, it's time to consider if the next step is giving notice to all levels of coverage
- Consider whether insurance coverage may be available under other insurance policies.
Now's the time to looks over what you have - what you paid for - to see if your risk is covered. If you need help, call us.