Businesses closed by COVID-19 worry if insurance will cover lost revenue

West Virginia

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KEARNEYSVILLE, W.Va. (WDVM) — With so many small businesses forced to close their doors from the COVID-19 public health emergency, many owners want to know if their business insurance can cover the lost revenue.

In the past, many claims have been filed through a “business interruption” rider, a provision that compensates for lost sales during a severe storm or natural disaster when power may be lost for days at a time.

But experts say the coronavirus is new territory on the commercial insurance landscape. A diner, for example, that has to shut its doors may need help from the Small Business Administration.

Insurance agent Wesley Weigle says that the public health emergency is on such a vast scale that government assistance will need to complement whatever private insurance may cover from losses. He predicts some SBA business loans “may be forgiven.”

The American Property Casualty Insurance Association says business losses from the pandemic will run into “the hundreds of billions of dollars.”

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