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August 2020; Business Interruption Insurance and COVID-19
Business Interruption Insurance and COVID-19
By: Stephen Dornewass, Mullica Hill Insurance
With businesses all over South Jersey examining their bottom lines, many business owners are asking if their business interruption (BI) insurance will cover any potential losses.
What is business interruption insurance?
To put it simply, business interruption insurance is intended to replace lost income in the event that business is halted, and may entitle the insured to recover additional expenses that would not have been incurred during the ordinary course of business. Generally, this means that your business is covered for any loss suffered as a result of direct loss, damage, or destruction to insured property. BI policies generally include the following coverages.
The Civil Authority Clause within a BI policy indicates whether the insurer will pay for business income losses in the case that a civil authority prevents the policyholder from accessing the premises covered by the policy. In New Jersey the state mandated closure of businesses has directly affected countless small business owners.
Supply Chain Coverage, more commonly called Contingent property or dependent property coverage, is designed to cover the loss of income or increase in expenses resulting from damage from a covered cause of loss to the premises of another organization on which the insured depends, such as a key supplier or customer.
We are living through unprecedented circumstances with COVID-19 and it still remains to be seen whether the presence of the virus or the threat of contamination will prove sufficient cause for BI coverage.
What happens next?
The New Jersey State Legislature is currently considering a bill that would ensure coverage for business owners lost income due to COVID-19. New Jersey Bill A-3844, could force insurance companies to pay COVID-19 related BI claims, even when “viruses” are specifically excluded from many BI policies. The bill currently has 18 sponsors and is undergoing its second Reading in the Assembly. The bill would apply to businesses covered by such a policy with less than 100 eligible employees in the State of New Jersey.
What can I do now?
For now, until the State of New Jersey makes a decision there are a few things business owners can do to prepare.
Take steps to mitigate the losses:
As an example, restaurant owners that have pivoted to focusing on take-out and delivery might want to develop a “visible” plan to make customers feel safe supporting your business. If your business is dependent on another business you might want to consider finding alternative suppliers.
Keep up with the latest regulations & restrictions coming from state and federal governments so you can be sure that your business is operating within compliance.
Review all of your policies:
Take some time to be sure that you have complete copies of all of your insurance policies and review them in order to be familiar with the coverages you have as well as to be sure that you have the correct coverage for your business.
Document your losses:
Take stock of what you believe your losses are specific to the COVID-19 pandemic so that if the day comes when you can make an insurance claim you are ready.
If you have any specific questions or concerns regarding your current policies Mullica Hill Insurance is here to help other small businesses in South Jersey, feel free to call our office at your convenience.
September 2020; Contractors & Inland Marine Coverage
Contractors & Inland Marine Coverage
By: Stephen Dornewass, Mullica Hill Insurance
Inland marine insurance is a type of business insurance that is designed to cover products, materials and equipment while they are being transported on land, such as by truck or train. Commonly referred to as Tools & Equipment Insurance, this coverage is meant to help protect business property that is movable or used for transportation or communication purposes. Inland Marine Coverage is a supplemental policy designed to fill the gaps sometimes left in Businessowners Policies and Commercial Package Policies property coverage.
Why should contractors be sure their policies include inland marine coverage?
Inland marine coverage provides valuable protection for contractors and tradesmen who frequently travel for work with tools and equipment in tow. If a piece of equipment owned by you or one of your employees were to be damaged or stolen – you’re covered.
Specific types of covered property:
• Property moving over land
• Property stored off-site
• Property stored in a moving vehicle
• Property owned by another party being stored @ your facility
• Property that is part of infrastructure (e.g. communication towers that an insured owns)
Inland Marine Coverage does not cover:
• Vehicles listed under a business auto policy
• Damage from an earthquake or flood
• Property shipped by sea/air
• Property damaged prior to shipment
As a contractor, with inland marine coverage you can be comfortable knowing that your valuables are protected when they are being; transported between locations, stored in a commercial vehicle, stored on the jobsite, and even shipped by land.
If you are a contractor and you would like to make sure that your business assets are protected, or if you have questions regarding your current exposure contact Mullica Hill Insurance today to discuss your coverage options. We would like to be the place to turn for all general contractors in South Jersey, and our experienced commercial agents are here to help.