State of Emergency in Ferguson is an Insurance Claims Game-Changer for Business Owners
For more than a week, law enforcement has grappled with bringing order back to the community of Ferguson while preserving the rights of protestors to express their grief and anger over the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown. Not only has this crisis disrupted the lives of many families, it has taken a toll on the Ferguson business community as well.
Over the weekend of August 16, Gov. Nixon declared a state of emergency to quell vandalism, looting and violence after several businesses were looted and sustained substantial damage Friday night into early Saturday morning. Similar events occurred on Sunday evening and it’s unclear when the unrest will end.
How the Disaster Declaration Changes Business Interruption Claims
Business interruption insurance (BII) is designed to cover loss of profits when a business has sustained physical damage. Now that the governor has declared a state of emergency in Ferguson, businesses that haven’t sustained damage, but have lost profits due to the crisis may file a claim.
For example, it may be difficult for customers to access the impacted businesses due to the fact that major thoroughfares that provide access to businesses like West Florissant have been closed at various points during the last week. It’s almost a certainty that these actions would result in a loss of profits.
Business interruption claims can be difficult to calculate. Consult an insurance expert to calculate your loss to ensure you recoup every dime you deserve. Many policies will cover the cost of a third party to conduct a BII assessment, so there’s no out-of-pocket cost to the business owner.
Does the Same Apply to Businesses in Neighboring Municipalities?
On Sunday evening, looting spread to the neighboring municipality of Dellwood. According to a local news report, the mayor of Dellwood said that eight businesses were damaged.
It’s likely that businesses are in close proximity to Ferguson that sustain business interruption as a direct result of the continuing unrest in Ferguson may have a claim. It may take additional effort to link the events to your loss. Again, a third party insurance expert can help you present your case to your insurance company to recoup any losses.
Now is the time for Ferguson businesses owners and business owners across the St. Louis region to take a closer look at their business-related insurance policies.