Louisiana residents are no strangers to hurricanes. Some of the strongest, deadliest, most costly hurricanes and tropical storms to ever make landfall in the United States have hit the Louisiana shoreline. Every hurricane season, New Orleans homeowners and business owners do their best to protect themselves (and their property) from the high speed winds, storm surge flooding, and heavy rainfall that makes its way to the Gulf Coast every year.
Despite the best protective measures, many homes and businesses are damaged when tropical storms and hurricanes barrel down the coast. Even if your business isn’t physically damaged by the storm, post-hurricane challenges like roadway flooding, power outages, and other factors may shut down your business completely. This is where business interruption insurance comes in. Although not required in the state of Louisiana, many business owners opt for this add-on insurance to protect themselves against losses from natural disasters such as hurricanes.
Unfortunately, sometimes insurance companies don’t always play fair when you file a business interruption claim, making it more difficult to get the compensation you need to keep your business afloat. If your claim has been denied or you’re getting the runaround from your insurance company, contact a Louisiana business interruption attorney for a free insurance claim review and consultation.
Does Business Interruption Insurance Cover Hurricanes?
Business interruption insurance is often an add-on to traditional commercial property insurance coverage. In most cases, it does not include coverage related to hurricanes by name, but it often covers a myriad of circumstances brought about by a hurricane or tropical storm. These may include, but are not limited to:
- Disruption of power and other utilities
- Wind or flood damage
- Flood-related fires
- Roadway obstruction and/or damage
- Damage to suppliers, infrastructure, or other related properties
- Damage to/closure of railroads, roadways, and waterways
- Curfews and prohibitions against entry enacted by civil authorities
In particular, two things must usually happen in order to trigger business interruption coverage. Firstly, damage caused by what’s known as a “covered peril” (see list of possible covered perils above) must be incurred by the insured commercial property. Secondly, depending on the wording of the policy, the interruption of business operations must be related to the direct physical damage to your business.
It’s important to note here that no two insurance policies are the same, and that not all will have the same coverage terms. In order to determine whether or not you qualify for hurricane-related business interruption coverage in Louisiana, you must carefully review your commercial property insurance policy and any additional riders. A business interruption attorney may be able to help you obtain a copy of your insurance policy and review your eligibility.
How Much Business Interruption Compensation Can I Claim?
Business interruption insurance only covers certain types of losses. How much compensation you’ll receive depends on your policy inclusions, exclusions, your average monthly profits and business expenses, and a variety of other factors. To start, let’s take a look at what losses business interruption coverage may cover:
- Profits. This includes how much money your business would have made if the interruption had not occurred. The amount is often based on prior months’ earnings.
- Employee wages. Business interruption coverage can provide compensation to ensure that employees don’t miss out on payroll.
- Operating expenses. This may include mortgage, rent, or lease payments for your business space.
- Loan payments and taxes. You may receive compensation to help pay for monthly loan payments and taxes you may not otherwise be able to afford due to lost income.
- Temporary relocation. If you are forced to temporarily relocate your business elsewhere to continue operations, your insurance may cover some of the cost to do so.
- Civil authority egress/ingress. If the government mandates the closure of your business due to a natural disaster or other event and you sustain financial losses, you could be eligible for compensation*.
*Note that in most cases, mandated COVID-19 shutdowns do not qualify for business interruption insurance due to policy exclusions. Learn more about COVID-19 business interruption claims.
Get a FREE Business Interruption Claim Review
If you are a small business owner whose property or business operations have been affected by a recent hurricane, tropical storm, or other natural disaster, it’s crucial that you review your insurance policy and any riders as soon as possible so that you can begin the claims process and keep your business afloat.
In addition to meticulously documenting your losses, you’ll also need to know what kind of coverage you’re entitled to. To have your commercial property insurance policy reviewed for free by an experienced business interruption attorney at Mike Brandner Injury Attorneys, give us a call 24/7 at one of the numbers below.
Our legal team is also available around the clock via LiveChat to answer your questions. To forward your information directly to our office, please fill out this form. The call is free, the consultation is free, and we charge no legal fees unless we make a recovery on your behalf.