If you own a small business, you know how important it is to have insurance coverage. Unexpected accidents, incidents, and disasters can happen at any time. Being prepared with the proper insurance coverage is one way to ensure your business will survive a devastating event. When it comes to filing insurance claims, however, insurance companies and adjusters don’t always make the process easy. If your business has been impacted in some way and your claim has been denied, it’s important to know about Ohio small business insurance disputes. Filing a dispute could result in your claim being approved. Let’s take a look at insurance policies for small business owners in Ohio.
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Insurance Policies for Ohio’s Small Business Owners
Ohio’s state laws affect which insurance policies small business owners need to have to keep their location up and running. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, in 2020 there were 965,576 small businesses in the state that are required to have two types of insurance: workers’ compensation and commercial auto insurance.
The workers’ compensation system in Ohio is different than in most other states. This is because Ohio law requires every business with employees to provide workers’ compensation insurance purchased through a state agency. In the event someone is injured on the job, the policy covers medical bills for work injuries and illnesses. In regard to commercial auto insurance, all business-owned vehicles must be covered. The state requires $25,000 bodily injury liability per person, $50,000 bodily injury liability per accident, and $25,000 property damage liability per accident. While it’s not required, the state also recommends personal vehicles driven for work purposes be covered by hired and non-owned auto insurance.
Other recommended insurance policies for small businesses include:
- General liability insurance. This covers common risks, including customer property damage and insurance. The majority of commercial leases require this type of coverage.
- Professional liability insurance. This coverage is best for work mistakes and oversights, professional negligence lawsuits, and late or incomplete work.
- Cyber liability insurance. To help business owners survive data breaches and cyberattacks, this coverage is recommended.
- Business owner’s policy. This policy bundles property insurance and general liability insurance into one plan. It’s one of the most cost-effective policies for small business owners.
The Impact of the Coronavirus on Small Businesses
When a natural disaster strikes, small businesses are often left to deal with property damage and lost revenue. The arrival of Covid-19 to the United States, however, has presented unique challenges for business owners as stores, shops, and restaurants close down in every state to stop the spread of the virus and protect the elderly and immunocompromised.
If you’ve had to close your business down because of the coronavirus, you’re likely looking at profit losses you may not know how to recover from. If, however, you have business interruption insurance, you may be able to file a claim for recovery.
The requirements for business interruption insurance can be hard to understand, as policies often continue a lot of fine print and insurance jargon. In many situations, insurers will claim business interruption insurance does not apply to situations like the coronavirus outbreak because of the lack of property damage other natural disasters cause. Fortunately, our lawyers have experience helping small businesses recover from disasters, and we’re prepared to take your case on.
It’s important to note that with a natural disaster, it’s likely your insurer will be receiving a higher volume of claims than normal. Because of this, they may only give small businesses a short window in which to file a claim. There’s also the possibility of claims being incorrectly valued.
In the event your claim is denied, it’s important to understand your right to file a coronavirus business insurance dispute. Filing a dispute gives you a second opportunity to keep your business steady during challenging times.
Filing an Insurance Dispute for a Claim Denial
If your file a claim and your insurer denies it, filing a dispute could result in a reversal of the original decision. While you can handle disputes on your own, you may not have the skills, time, or leverage to get a fair resolution. That’s why we recommend working with an experienced attorney.
You’ll start by discussing the source of disagreement, which would be the denial. Before contacting the insurance company, your lawyer will get a basic understanding of your policy and review any applicable state laws. They’ll also compose a letter outlining your points and why you believe your claim should not have been denied.
If the insurance company does not resolve the issue, you can file an official complaint with the state. The Department of Insurance will investigate the complaint, while you and your lawyer continue to work on supporting your case. Depending on the situation, there could be grounds for a civil claim against the insurer for failing to handle your claim fairly.
Seek Legal Representation From Thomas Law Offices
If your business is struggling because of the coronavirus or a different disaster, get in touch with Thomas Law Offices. If you’ve submitted an insurance claim that’s been denied, we can explain your rights when it comes to Ohio small business insurance disputes. It’s also important to know that we can offer our services on a contingency fee basis. This means that you’ll only pay for our services if we get you a successful outcome. To learn more about the benefits of working with a lawyer to handle insurance claim issues, contact our law office today.