As a small business owner, you know the importance of having an insurance policy that protects your business. Unfortunately, insurance carriers are known to refuse payouts for legitimate claims. When this happens, you should know about your rights and Illinois small business insurance disputes. With the help of an attorney in Chicago, you’ll receive the compensation you need to keep your business afloat during difficult times.
Small Business Insurance in Illinois
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, there are approximately 1.2 million small businesses in Illinois that employ 2.5 million workers. With numbers like that, it’s important for business owners to protect their companies and employees.
State law requires small business owners to purchase workers’ compensation insurance and commercial auto insurance. In addition to those, other recommended insurance policies include general liability insurance, professional liability insurance, cyber liability insurance, and business interruption insurance.
You know your business best, which is why you’ll know which coverage you need to ensure any issues are resolved as efficiently as possible. In the event an incident, accident, or disaster does arise, you’ll need to file a claim with your insurer to receive compensation.
Why Small Business Claims are Denied
There are a variety of reasons why small business claims are refused. When a business owner learns their claim has been denied, it can spark frustration, confusion, and additional profit loss. If you’ve been denied, it’s possible it’s for one of the following reasons:
- Lack of Coverage. Because of the various types of small business insurance, your insurer could claim you do not have the proper coverage to receive compensation for your issue. Oftentimes, the fine print of a policy contains exclusion information that the insured party may not be aware of. This can make the denial that much more frustrating.
- Failure to Notify the Insurance Company. Businesses are required to notify their insurance company of their issue in a timely fashion. With a natural disaster or virus this can be challenging to do, as it’s almost impossible to predict what will happen next. If you wait too long to file a disruption claim, you could be looking at a denial. An insurance adjuster could claim your business is not in peril because you did not seek immediate relief.
- Expired or Lapsed Coverage. Business owners may not realize that coverage is not always automatically extended. Sometimes, policyholders forget or neglect to renew their coverage. It’s important to remember that’s it’s unlikely for the insurance company to send you a reminder or ask if you want to renew your coverage. Make sure when you apply, you understand what the renewal process is so you don’t receive a denial that could cost you thousands of dollars.
There’s also the possibility of the insurer denying a claim for bad-faith reasons. This means that they may try to justify the denial with insurance jargon, but the actual reason is that they don’t want to provide a payout. Anytime you believe an insurance company is acting in bad faith, it’s imperative to contact a lawyer as soon as possible.
Filing a Claim for Losses Related to Covid-19
As the coronavirus spread across the country, small businesses are closing to reduce the spread of the virus. While this has the potential to result in fewer cases and deaths, business owners are now scrambling and worried about the health of their business and finances.
This is where business interruption insurance comes in. While it can be challenging to receive a monetary award with this type of claim when your business hasn’t been physically damaged, a lawyer can help you present a valid claim that won’t be denied.
Since business interruption insurance covers revenue your business would have earned, you’ll need to maintain detailed, comprehensive financial records. It’s important that you know your policy limits cover your company for more than just a few days. There’s no way of knowing how long your business could be shut down with something as serious as Covid-19.
In the event your claim is denied, you can file a coronavirus business insurance dispute.
File an Insurance Dispute in Illinois with Thomas Law Offices
Once you file a claim, your insurance company is obliged to conduct a reasonable investigation and provide a prompt explanation of why your claim has been accepted or denied. If you receive a denial, you have the right to file an insurance dispute. While you can do so by yourself, it’s often best to involve an attorney who will have a comprehensive understanding of your rights.
Insurance companies are required to release information regarding your denial, including why your claim for coverage was denied, your right to appeal the insurance company and how to do so, and your right to have an independent review conducted by a third party.
To start a successful dispute, review your policy. You’ll want to interpret the policy, so you understand your rights. Determine if the reason for the denial is clearly stated in the policy. Your lawyer can help you research and document your interpretation, so you can plead your case. Your goal should be to tilt the scales in your direction based on the evidence you’ve collected, reason, and authoritative support.
In the event your dispute is not successful, you have the option of proceeding to court for an official verdict. If it comes to that, your lawyer will guide you through the process and ensure you understand what’s happening every step of the way.
If you have questions about Illinois small business disputes, the impact of the coronavirus or other natural disasters, or the different types of coverage you need to protect your business, schedule a meeting with Thomas Law Offices. We’ll review your situation and provide you with the legal guidance you need to secure your future. Depending on your situation, we may be able to provide our services on a contingency fee basis. This means that we only get paid if we help you win your case.