Swanson Insurance Answers COVID-19 Questions

NEW ORLEANS – From Swanson Insurance:

If you’ve found your way to this article then you may be among the many business owners that have found themselves in the unknown. States around the country are gradually mandating non-essential businesses close their doors and that restaurants operate as takeout or delivery only. But have no fear, here is your guide to navigating your business insurance through this process while maintaining social distancing.

Will My Business Interruption Insurance Kick In?

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I’ve have been getting many inquiries from clients about whether or not this pandemic will be covered. It has been a hot topic among insurance agents and businesses alike, wondering if coverage is in place or not. The short answer for this question right now is no, but maybe later, but also unlikely. Standard Commercial policies do not provide coverage for such a pandemic (see communicable disease under exclusions in your policy). Several states have attempted to pass legislation that would require the insurance companies to pay out for these uncovered losses, but this is highly unlikely due to the financial strain that it would put on the industry by paying for losses it did not properly rate for. 

If there is a light at the end of the tunnel, any losses resulting from the pandemic should be reported during audit of your policy. This should result in either a premium reduction or refund. Requesting your agent make these changes now is also an option.

I would also like to take this time to advocate for why having an agent is important. 

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What If My Business Was Forced to Close By the Government?

This coverage would still have to be triggered by direct physical loss to property. As always, contact your agent or company to review your policy or discuss possible claims.

What If My Restaurant Can Only Conduct Takeout and Delivery – Hired and Non-Owned Autos?

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If your policy was originally written for dine-in service, then you may need to make some changes to ensure that delivery is properly covered. For one, if you have your employees performing the delivery service using their own vehicles then Hired and Non Owned Auto Insurance is for you. Many carriers are offering this as a short term policy, but I for one think it is great for any business to have permanently. 

example: I have an employee pick up a check for me…employee gets in a wreck…the employee’s insurance would be primary, then the Hired and Non-owned Auto Insurance of Swanson Insurance Agency would kick in. 

What If I Am Unable to Make My Insurance Payments?

Lucky for you insurance companies are made up of people just like you and me, and we are all going through this together. Many carriers and companies are willing to work with their clients on payments. Many states have also mandated that cancellations be halted until the pandemic is over.

Louisiana has issued a number of emergency rules to protect policyholders during this time, with the most notable being Emergency Rule 40. This prevents carriers from issuing cancellations and non-renewals on policies from March 12-May 12. Although cancellations and non renewals cannot be submitted, this does not remove the obligation to pay insurance premiums.

Should I Consider Cyber Insurance Now That My Team Is Remote?

A pandemic of this size and the nature of many businesses converting to remote work has created an opportunity for hackers to take advantage of. This is a great time to review your cyber protections as well as adding cyber coverage to your policies. Cyber coverage can protect your business from the devastating effects of a hack on your business by covering the liability and recovery costs associated with an attack as well as damage to equipment. 

I am wishing you all the best as we navigate through these difficult times. For any coverage questions or policy inquires, contact me at kristin@theswansongroup.net


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