The Coronavirus has lead to us being in an unprecedented time both economically and socially. With the government mandated closure of schools, businesses and places of social gatherings there is a rising tide of questions on what your insurance will cover. Whether that means becoming an Uber Eats/Door Dash driver temporarily to make ends meet or working to figure out how to cover your losses due to the ongoing shutdown.
We had the privilege of being able to pose some of these questions regarding business insurance to our friends at Jennifer Ferrell’s American Family Insurance Agency.
Q: Does my insurance cover lost income due to the Coronavirus?
A: Unfortunately, the answer is no and here is the reason why.
In order for the business insurance policy to respond to a claim, the initial loss needs to be from a covered peril (Covered Cause of Loss). A few examples of covered perils are fire, wind, smoke, theft and vandalism. The coronavirus (virus or bacteria) is specifically excluded in business policies as a covered cause of loss. Also, because the initial loss is not due to a covered cause of loss, the Governmental Action and Virus/Bacteria exclusions would still apply.
It is an extremely difficult time for most businessowners and my heart goes out to each one of you and your families and those that have been impacted due to the closure. There are additional resources available to those that have been impacted. Please check out https://www.sba.gov to see if any of the federal emergency assistance programs can help you during this time.
Q: Do I need special insurance to do deliveries like Uber Eats/Door Dash?
A: Under normal circumstances if a vehicle is used for delivery of goods, then it would need to be covered under a commercial auto insurance policy. However, due to the Coronavirus, insurance companies are temporarily offering to waive the exclusion of using personal vehicles for business use. If your business has been impacted and you are having your employees deliver your products or goods to customers and they use their personal vehicle for these deliveries, have them check with their insurance carrier to make sure that they would be covered if they were involved in an accident while out delivering.
Q: Is there any relief assistance available during this time?
A: On Monday, American Family Insurance and Allstate said that it will be giving back $800 million in premium to their auto insurance customers because of the reduction in driving due to the Coronavirus crisis. People are driving less and experiencing fewer claims. Because of these results, these industry leading companies are leading the way in giving back. Other carriers will more than likely follow suit, so please watch to see if your insurance carrier will be offering some relief during this time.
You should also reach out to your insurance provider and see what they are offering in regards to relief. Some may be able to help you out by placing you on a payment plan that works for you during this time.