COVID-19 Virus

Civil Authority Action. Effective March 17, 2020, at 8am, the City of Houston declared that: (i) bars and nightclubs in the city of Houston must cease operations for 15 days; and (ii) food service establishments in the city of Houston must cease on-site dining service for 15 days. Since that time many restaurants have tried as best they could to offer the public take-out services. Others have shuttered their doors completely. Regardless, all have suffered and will suffer loss.

Did you know?  Business income insurance coverage, sometimes called business interruption coverage – which typically accompanies commercial property coverage – may be triggered by the action of a civil authority that prohibits access to an insured’s premises.

What does that mean for you?  If your bar, nightclub or restaurant has been affected by the March 17, 2020, order, your company’s commercial property or business income policy may provide coverage for its lost income.

What do I do about it?  If your company’s commercial property or business income policy has a civil authority provision and has lost business as a result, you should notify your company’s insurance carrier immediately.  If you’re not sure, contact an insurance coverage professional—such as The Law Offices of Orin H. Lewis, PLLC – and we’ll be pleased to check that for you.

What can my company expect?  Events that cause widespread loss, especially under novel or unusual circumstances, often bring out the worst in insurance companies. Giving your insurance carrier notice of loss, may be just the first skirmish in a long battle, the outcome of which cannot be guaranteed.  The wording of the civil authority provision or certain exclusions may be (properly or improperly) invoked to deny or limit your coverage.

How can my company afford to fight this battle?  If the loss of income you’ve been experiencing leaves you ill-equipped to pay legal fees out-of-pocket, The Law Offices of Orin H. Lewis, PLLC may be willing to take on your claim on a contingent fee basis.  Please call the firm at 713 423 6772 and we’ll let you know what we need to make that determination.