The West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce (WHCC) is asking local businesses forced to close because of the COVID-19 pandemic to file insurance claims, despite the fact that they may be denied.
The Chamber has allied itself with over 80 chambers of commerce and business associations across the nation to create the Save Small Business Coalition (SSBC) to push the federal government to take steps to help small businesses stay alive during government ordered shutdowns. One of those steps would be to force insurance carriers to cover the costs of those shutdowns, which some are denying. Those carriers and brokers are denying coverage, saying that the insurance policies include language that says insurers don’t have to cover losses because associated with viruses or pandemics.
“Businesses need cash now, period,” says a statement from the Chamber. “The coalition, spanning 15 states, wants to empower a solution for both small businesses and the insurance industry, backed by the federal government. The most pressing priority is insurance coverage for claims of lost revenue.”
“There is nothing in any business’s insurance that covers this unprecedented event of the Civil Authority of closing of businesses. Trying to reform the policy contracts after-the-fact will likely end up in protracted legal battles and debate while businesses fail and the families, they employ suffer irreparable harm.”
The Chamber and SSBC urge all business owners to file an insurance claim, no matter what their insurance policy or insurance broker states. While the claim may be denied, it will be on the record, which will be important if the federal government decides make grants to business owners feeling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. SSBC says that “insurance carriers and agents could potentially act as a distribution center for funds and likely help define the terms of the grants based on their experience as claims payors and policy writers. The coalition advocates that government funding be provided to the insurance carriers for a streamlined process without adversely impacting the overall insurance safety net.”
“Small business is the backbone of our economy and it is vital to rebuilding that economy once we defeat the COVID-19 virus,” SSBC says. “However, it is imperative that the insurance industry recognize the ‘business continuity’ claims of small business if this essential part of our economy is to survive.
In a recent email to its members, the Chamber provided a list of upcoming virtual seminars and resources for businesses:
Upcoming Seminars for Small Business for COVID-19
- Wednesday, April 1 at 1 p m. – COVID-19 Strategies for Employers. Free seminar | Register here
- Wednesday, April 1, 4 to 5:30 p.m. CARES & New Loan Laws of EIDL Presented by the SBDC. Free Zoom seminar | Register here
- Thursday, April 2, 3:15 to 4:15 p.m, COVID-19 & California withState Senator Ben Allen presented by the SBACC – Free Zoom seminar – Register here
- Thursday April 2. 7 p.m. – Virtual Town Hall with Mayor pro-Tem Lindsey Horvath; Register here
Small Business Resources