Practice Areas / Business Interruption ClaimsCOVID-19 Business Interruption Claims

We make sure insurers hold up their end of the deal.

When the COVID-19 pandemic and government orders shut down business operations across the country, commercial insurance policies should have kicked in. Instead, insurance companies across the country chose to deny claims regardless of what the policy says. Our job is to hold them accountable.

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We excel in complex lawsuits.

Type of Business Interruption Cases

Our experienced attorneys handle complex cases against insurance companies and any business that acts in bad faith. We fight hard to help you regain what was lost.

  • Childcare Businesses Childcare businesses that were able to reopen face severe restrictions that continue to cause damages to businesses' bottom line.
  • Bars, Cafes, and Restaurants A significant portion of revenue was taken away when in-person dining was prohibited.
  • Retail Businesses Non-essential retailers were shut down and prohibited from operating.
  • Event Space/Music Venues Venues that entertain large groups of people were some of the first to be shut down.

Get back to business while we fight for you.

Our law firm is staying closely connected to COVID-19 business interruption claims throughout Ohio and across the country to make sure we get the best results for you. In fact, Cooper Elliott attorney Sean Alto is the Ohio co-chair of the American Association for Justice COVID-19 Business Interruption Litigation Taskforce. Here’s how the process typically works in a business insurance lawsuit:


Share your story and how the denied business insurance claim has affected your business.


We gather information, review insurance policies, and obtain other critical documents, emails, and records.


We consult with epidemiologists, forensic accountants, insurance industry experts, and other specialists who can explain public health and safety and insurance claims to a jury.


We spend time with business owners to understand the near-term and lasting effects of their financial loss.


We won't let them stand in the way of the commercial insurance coverage you paid for and deserve.


We are with you every step of the way, from filing a lawsuit to trying your case in front of a jury.


Frequently Asked Questions

My business lost income due to the COVID-19 crisis, but my insurance agent told me not to file a claim. Should I file one anyway?

Yes. Insurance agents are discouraging business owners from filing claims for COVID-19 losses. They're telling policyholders that it's a waste of time because the insurer will only deny coverage. Insurance companies are indeed making blanket denials for claims related to COVID-19, but that doesn’t mean they won’t have to pay. Cooper Elliott is working with business owners to hold insurers accountable.

Also, there is no downside to filing a business insurance claim if your business lost income due to COVID-19. We work with business owners and guide them through this process.

When states began shutting down businesses to flatten the curve for COVID-19, my insurance company sent me a questionnaire. Should I fill it out?

When an insurer sends a questionnaire, it often means they are looking for reasons not to pay your claim. They may ask if your building was damaged then use that information to deny coverage for losses related to COVID-19.

Before you fill out an insurance questionnaire about COVID-19 losses at your business, make an appointment for a free consultation at Cooper Elliott. Our attorneys can help you provide honest and complete answers about how the COVID-19 crisis affected your business in a way that won’t be used against you.

If you have already returned a COVID-related questionnaire to your insurer, we can help you amend it to make sure the insurance company has accurate information.

I bought business property insurance. Can I file a claim for losses related to COVID-19?

Yes. Commercial property insurance covers more than just structural damage from a burst pipe or natural disaster. Business property insurance is typically an "all-risk policy," which means it provides coverage for every risk of loss unless specifically excluded. Some business insurance policies list pandemic as an exclusion, but many do not. When you schedule your free consultation with our office, be sure to bring a complete copy of your policy with you so our attorneys can assess the policy language.

Insurance companies sell other forms of business coverage for additional protection, such as a business owner's policy (BOP), business-interruption insurance, or business income insurance. If your business lost income, continues to struggle, or shut down entirely as a result of the COVID-19, you should file a claim even if your only coverage is commercial property insurance.

What is a civil authority coverage in an insurance policy, and how does it apply to the COVID-19 pandemic?

The civil authority clause or public authority clause in your business insurance policy describes how the insurer handles loss of income due to an order by a government authority. When states closed businesses to contain the spread of COVID-19, it may trigger civil authority coverage.

The civil authority clause does not mean that the tornado, act of terror, or pandemic happened at your business. It means that an event led to a government order that affected your business’ ability to earn income.

Can I file an insurance claim for business losses related to COVID-19 if I received an SBA loan from the Paycheck Protection Program?

Yes. PPP loans from the Small Business Administration were intended to keep businesses afloat while state and local governments worked to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The Paycheck Protection Program has specific guidelines about how the loan funds are to be used, with most of it going toward payroll and healthcare costs. Your business insurance policy may provide coverage for other types of losses, such as loss or income, loss of profit, inventory, advertising, utilities, and operating expenses.

Also, PPP loans were designed to help businesses pay expenses for a defined period of time, originally 8 weeks. Your insurance policy may provide business loss coverage for a longer period, such as 12 or 24 months.

Business owners cannot be compensated twice for the same loss, but it is not yet certain that a PPP loan will reduce the amount of your claim. The courts will likely determine how this is handled.

How much does it cost to hire a lawyer for an insurance lawsuit?

Some law firms charge an hourly rate—from $250 to $500 per hour—whether they win or lose. Small business owners have suffered staggering financial losses due to the COVID-19 crisis, so an hourly fee could prevent many of them from filing business insurance lawsuits. At Cooper Elliott, we use a contingency-fee model, which means we are paid only if we win your lawsuit or settle your claim out of court. We will discuss the details with you every step of the way so there are no surprises.


Let us fight for your business.

Your insurance company needs to provide the coverage you paid for. Our attorneys are here to help businesses that have reopened successfully, business that have reopened but continue to lose money, and businesses that were unable to reopen.

We’re here for businesses like yours.

Schedule a free consultation with our law firm today. We will look at your policy to determine whether you have a case, then we will work hard to get your business the compensation it deserves.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Cooper Elliott is monitoring and adhering to state guidelines to protect the safety of our clients, our attorneys, and our staff. We will meet with you based on your personal level of comfort—in person, by phone, or online.

Prefer to call?

You can reach us at 614.481.6000.

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