COVID-19 has challenged Americans over the past year in ways that are reminiscent of war times past. There has been much stress and suffering.
Sunnier skies lie ahead, but the one year anniversary is far from the end of the recovery work that needs to be done.
Just as UP helps and advocates for people impacted by wildfires, floods, hurricanes and other natural disasters, we are helping businesses that have been interrupted and economically devastated.
As soon as public safety orders shut down businesses across the nation in early 2020, causing economic devastation and massive job losses, we began helping those with Business Interruption insurance get their claims paid and advocating with regulators, courts and lawmakers to compel insurers to honor their promises.
As with every disaster, insurance funds are a critical source of recovery aid. But for the businesses that paid big bucks for “Business Interruption” (“B.I.”) insurance protection, those funds have scarcely flowed at all. Less than 3% had been paid as of November, 2020.
Many policyholders either gave up or hired lawyers who are fighting it out in court on their behalf. The coverage battles that are being fought in state and federal courts of appeal are still in their early stages. At the trial court level, policyholders have lost more than we’ve won, especially in federal courts, but UP is in it for the long haul and undeterred.
Through our COVID 19 Recovery Loss Initiative, our staff and volunteers are advancing arguments that support coverage for business interruption claims. We are filing friend of the court briefs, (21 to date) and leading an organized approach to countering the insurance industry’s sweeping efforts to convince the public, media, lawmakers, judges and regulators that if they are compelled to pay these claims it will bankrupt their entire system. Just not true, for many reasons: Only a third of U.S. businesses have B.I. coverage, and the policies limit what insurers’ owe on their claims. Insurers can and should deliver on their promises.
We are inspired that some of the greatest insurance legal minds are volunteering and sharing their expertise and time to support our COVID-19 Loss Recovery Initiative. Together we are making a BIG impact.
30 Years: Educating – Advocating – Empowering