Texas Business Interruption Attorneys

Representing Business Owners Affected by Hurricanes & Other Disasters

When a natural disaster, such as a hurricane, or another qualifying event necessitates the closure of your business, your business interruption insurance is meant to cover your losses. However, insurance companies do not always honor these policies. In fact, insurance adjusters often make it extremely difficult for business owners to recoup their damages—even when those damages are rightfully owed. 

If you are a business owner and possess a business interruption policy, but your insurance claim has been denied or put off by your insurer, we can help. At Arnold & Itkin, our Texas business interruption attorneys are prepared to make insurance providers accountable to their policyholders. 

To schedule a complimentary consultation, contact our firm at (888) 493-1629 today.

Common Causes of Business Interruptions in Texas

Natural disasters and storms are some of the most common causes of interrupted business operations in Texas. However, interruptions can occur due to a wide variety of events.

Some examples include: 

  • Hurricanes
  • Tropical storms
  • Tornadoes 
  • Floods 
  • Wind and hailstorms
  • Fires 
  • Water damage 
  • Oil spills 
  • Power outages 
  • Riots and civil unrest 

Depending on the type of policy you have, you may be covered for losses related to interruptions caused by these and other events. We encourage you to reach out to our Texas business interruption lawyers right away if you need help understanding your coverage, filing a claim, or fighting back against the insurance company’s bad faith practices. 

History of Big Victories Against Insurers

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What Does Business Interruption Insurance Cover? 

Business interruption insurance covers certain losses in the event of a natural disaster, as well as other qualifying events. For example, if a hurricane floods your business, you can get coverage to make repairs. However, this is not all that business interruption insurance includes. 

This insurance is differentiated from regular commercial claims in that it will cover the lost income that your business would have made if it had been able to stay open. While property insurance policies cover physical damage, business interruption policies will cover the estimated cost to company profits. All businesses may apply for this kind of coverage.

Typically, businesses will elect to have a business property insurance policy and add business interruption to that policy. In some cases, these may be a packaged deal. If you live in Texas and you own a business, it may be wise for you to obtain business interruption insurance. In the event of a natural disaster, this kind of coverage is designed to put your business right back to the financial position it was in before the damage.

Understanding Insurance Bad Faith 

Business interruption insurance ensures that your financial losses are covered in the event that you must stop your business operations due to a natural disaster or some other type of qualifying event. You do not want to be left out to dry when you’re forced to shut down for an extended period, which is precisely why you have faithfully paid for your policy. But what happens when you have taken all the necessary measures to obtain coverage for your business, and your insurance company is denying your claim? There is a defense against these bad faith practices.

Insurance bad faith occurs when an insurance company fails to uphold its obligations to a policyholder. Examples include: 

  • Wrongfully denying or delaying claims 
  • Misrepresenting the terms of a policy 
  • Failing to provide a reason for denying a claim
  • Refusing to conduct a reasonable investigation 
  • Delaying an investigation into the claim 
  • Failing to pay once liability has been established

If you believe an insurance company is wrongfully denying your claim, you can seek legal help. At Arnold & Itkin, we stand up to insurance providers that engage in bad faith practices—and we have a proven track record of success in collecting the payments are clients are owed. 

How We Can Help with Your Business Interruption Claim

Wind, rain, mold, mud, and debris from hurricanes and tropical storms can inflict significant property damage, both to homes and businesses. Roofs, foundations, drywall, insulation, and garages may all need repairs in a storm's aftermath. However, some losses are unique to businesses, such as damage to equipment, machines, computers, inventory, and business records. 

Additionally, businesses may experience severe disruptions in the flow of supplies and customers. Those disruptions can last for months or even years. This is where business interruption insurance comes into play. 

When an insurance company tries to deny or delay payments, we can offer legal help with these issues:

  • Apportioning Damages: While a business policy may cover wind and rain damage, it may exclude coverage for flood damage. Our team can inspect and examine your property to make sure there is a fair apportionment between your covered and uncovered losses.
  • Extended Period of Indemnity: As it may take time before business returns to its pre-storm revenue levels, a business insurance policy often allows the insured to recover losses for a period after the business has reopened. An insurance company may try to shorten this period or argue that the losses are due to more extensive economic conditions and not a direct result of the qualifying event.
  • Contingent Business Interruption: Your business policy may allow you to recover losses connected to third parties, such as an interruption in your supplies or loss of services, like power and water. Insurance companies can contest whether these factors directly cause your losses.

Our attorneys can review your policy to determine the extent of your coverage, calculate deductibles, and identify unique business clauses in your policy that should entitle you to compensation. For instance, most businesses will have "business interruption" coverage, which compensates for loss of income during the period when repairs are made (or the "restoration period"). If your insurance provider is refusing to pay your claim, we can help you understand your legal rights and options. 

How Long Do Business Interruption Claims Usually Take?

Business interruption claims can take anywhere from several months to a year or more before a business owner sees a cent of relief. Because business interruption claims depend on your company’s forecasted earnings, insurance companies have plenty of leeway to argue about the size of your claim—tying up the process for long periods of time. The insurance company’s forensic investigators can claim that your normal or expected revenue is much lower than you estimated, even if your business was struck down during a slow month or right before a busy season.

However, the true degree of your losses can be immense. Extended periods of business interruption can lead to damages such as: 

  • Loss of employees
  • Loss of customers
  • Loss of access to offices
  • Damage to physical locations/offices
  • Diminished supplies 

Due to the significant loss of revenue and equipment that disasters normally incur, the size of an average business interruption claim exceeds $1 million—even for a small business. A large portion of the losses caused by hurricanes come from local business’ loss of revenue: of Hurricane Katrina’s $25 billion in business losses, $6-9 billion was from interruption of operation and earnings.

Recovering Business Losses After Hurricane Damage 

Since 2005, the Gulf Coast region has been slammed by two of the costliest hurricanes in U.S. history: Katrina, which exacted an estimated $110 billion in damages and Ike, which produced nearly $30 billion in losses. Then, in 2017, Hurricane Harvey hit. Businesses throughout Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida suffered the most substantial damages to their property, equipment, and inventory. Unfortunately, attempts to collect money from insurance providers have too often been met with delays in payments or denials of legitimate claims.

Arnold & Itkin has a record of protecting the rights of business owners in disputes with insurance companies. Our Texas business interruption attorneys know the unique insurance issues that businesses face, and we use a nationwide network of resources and experts to seek successful verdicts and settlements in our clients' favor.

Oil Spills and Business Interruption Claims 

Business interruption insurance is supposed to help cover economic losses when an event beyond your control causes you to be unable to operate your business. However, many business owners are finding that either their insurance policies do not cover losses resulting from oil spills, or the insurance companies are finding ways to avoid paying for damages. Many insurance policies fail to cover damages resulting from environmental disasters. This is unacceptable.

Arnold & Itkin represents clients in Texas and the Gulf Coast region in business interruption cases resulting from the BP oil spill, as well as other catastrophic spills. Our business insurance claim attorneys know that many companies suffered tremendously, and the economic toll continued to rise in the aftermath of the BP oil spill. We also believe that when one company's negligence causes your business to suffer, you have the right to file a claim for economic damages—which is why our law firm formed a Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Task Force to evaluate and investigate the commercial damages.

If you were affected by the BP oil spill or another catastrophic spill, reach out to our team right away for help with your insurance claim. 

Our Business Interruption Attorneys Are Here to Help

At the heart of an insurance contract is a promise: your insurance company agrees to take your monthly premiums in return for the assurance that they will pay for your losses in a disaster. If an insurer refuses to uphold their end of the deal (or your insurance agent knowingly sold you a policy that would never benefit you), that’s not only unethical—it’s illegal. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what insurance companies are doing.

If you are a smart business owner who possesses a business interruption policy, then you should not be punished for faithfully investing in a policy that should have helped you in times of trouble. What will often happen in the case of widespread disasters is that insurance companies will be overwhelmed by how many claims are coming in. They might deny some claims or put others off or even supply just partial payment to policyholders. This constitutes insurance bad faith, and there is a defense against these practices.

At Arnold & Itkin, we have experience in getting our clients the money that they deserve from their insurance policies. We invite you to get in touch with our firm today if you have business interruption insurance, but your claim has been denied. If you need help with a business interruption claim, a Texas business interruption attorney at our firm is ready to handle your case. We will work hard to seek the compensation you deserve so you can prevent further damage to your business during this extremely challenging time. Whether you need representation or just have questions, we can help provide you with the right recommendations.

Contact our firm today for more information: (888) 493-1629.

Common Questions

  • How Are Most Business Interruption Claims Handled?

    When there is a dispute about a business interruption claim, it can be resolved through negotiation, arbitration, or litigation. Most of these claims are settled through negotiation, in which the claimant (business owner) and insurance company sit down and reach an agreement regarding the losses and payout. Having a competent legal team in your corner will ensure that your losses are properly presented, with supporting documentation. If your insurance company tries to give you the runaround or deny a valid claim, you can take your case to court. Insurance companies that act in bad faith in handling business interruption claims can be held liable for the full value of the claim and additional damages.

  • I Lost Business Because of a Flood. Will Insurance Cover This?

    In many cases, property damage and business interruption related to flooding are not covered in standard insurance policies. You should carefully review your policy to see if it covers damages related to floods and other natural disasters. If you have questions about your policy or believe that your insurance provider is not treating you fairly in this process, you should talk to an attorney. Arnold & Itkin’s business insurance attorneys have extensive experience with interruption claims and can help determine whether your losses are covered, and to what extent.

  • What Is My Business Interruption Claim Worth?

    A typical business interruption claim for a small business may easily exceed $1 million. Claims for larger companies and lengthy periods of interruption may be worth far more. Part of the counsel we provide as business interruption claim attorneys is investigating the full and fair value of your claim. With clear and convincing evidence of your losses, we can pursue a fair settlement or award on your behalf. A business interruption claim may include compensation for lost employees, lost customers, property damage, and lost assets. A fair payout may make all the difference in a company’s ability to rebuild, reopen, and thrive.
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