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COVID-19 / Coronavirus Resources

Below are links to information that may help you sort out your situation. There are myriad variables to the many equations involved in each business and individual situation. This will not be simple and there may be apparent layers and overlaps where one method of relief will supercede another.

Use these links to jump down the page to each topic:

Employee Leave

Business Loss of Income

Changes in Your Risk

Billing/Payment Assistance

Additional COVID-19 Resources, including return to work advice

 

Employee Leave

NY State Information:

 

Federal Information:

 

Insurance Information:

Special cover page for COVID-related Paid Family Leave claims:

 

 

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Business Loss of Income 

See the Additional Resources section, below, for assistance options.

Business Interruption coverage is designed to pay for the loss of business income, and extra expenses incurred to minimize such loss of income, when the business suffers property damage covered by their policy. Because Coronavirus causes no physical damage to your property – no covered property loss – the loss of income coverage would not be triggered. This coverage was conceived, designed, rated by the companies, and approved by state insurance departments, as an add-on enhancement to assist businesses in recovering from property claims. In short, your policy wasn't meant to cover this kind of income loss and you haven't been paying for coverage for this kind of income loss.

That said, you should submit a claim for review and formal coverage determination from your company.  It is possible that there are loopholes that will allow some coverage and it is possible that the government will mandate a change even though the government previously approved the policy forms as is and premium hasn't been collected for expanded coverage. Sometimes insurance companies make nominal voluntary payments toward otherwise uncovered claims. Sometimes claim denials are required before lenders or relief organizations can approve other forms of assistance for you. Therefore, gather all appropriate business records to be able to prove your loss of income and do what you can to minimize your loss. If and when you decide to submit a claim, please provide all of those details to us. (call or email to ask for a secure email link so you can submit your claim documentation via encrypted email)

We find that some recent stories on Google further explain the coverage fairly well (for as long as these links remain unbroken):

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/business-interruption-insurance-know-205911331.html

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2020/03/20/561810.htm

https://www.natlawreview.com/article/state-governments-contemplate-action-business-interruption-coverage-covid-19


Coverage Opinions by attorneys Randy Maniloff and Randy DeLopst

•  https://www.coverageopinions.info/COVID19ISSUE/CurrentIssue.html includes links to mulitple articles

•  https://armr.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Article-DeLopst-Property-Insurance-Coverage-for-the-COVID19-Virus-3-26-20.pdf

 

Federal-level discussions:

•  President Trump on Business Income

•  US Senators on Business Income

•  Big I Article on Business Income

•  Independent Agents Association on Business Income

•  Independent Agents Assn and Business Community Leaders Proposed Solution

•  Professional Insurance Agents on Business Income

 

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Changes in Your Risk

We recognize that many companies and individuals will alter their underwriting risk in an effort to minimize their income loss. Please check with your agent or company about anything new, such as manufacturing or selling different products; using your home or vehicle for business purposes; any change from what the situation was when your insurance policies were first written. The last thing you need when trying to maintain your income is an uncovered loss that causes further lost income. Talk to your agent so they can work to help you obtain appropriate coverage.

Quite a few personal auto insurers are temporarily removing the food delivery exclusion when employees deliver (only) for their restaurant employers due to closures - ask us for the parameters of your insurance company's exclusion suspension.

Don't let your preparations to fight Coronavirus contribute to a Cyber-Liability Loss. Be careful with those remote-working setups. See this article from Insurance Journal. Cyber Liability is rarely available in standard business policies. Contact us for more information and/or a quote for this coverage.

Many tech providers are offering free and reduced-cost tools to facilitate and/or protect remote working. It's worth a look. Ask us and we'll run a quick search to match your needs.

Is your building now vacant due to work-from-home orders? Follow these suggestions to protect your property.

 

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Billing Assistance

Breaking news - NY State Executive Order 202.13 includes the following language: 

•Section 1116 and Articles 34, 53, 54, and 55 of the Insurance Law and Sections 54 and 226 of the Workers’ Compensation Law are modified to impose a moratorium on an insurer cancelling, non-renewing, or conditionally renewing any insurance policy issued to an individual or small business, or, in the case of a group insurance policy, insuring certificate holders that are individuals or small businesses, for a period of 60 days, for any policyholder, or in the case of a group insurance policy, group policyholder or certificate holder, facing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The foregoing relief shall also apply to the kinds of insurance set forth in paragraphs (16), (17), (20), (21), (24), (26), and (30) of Section 1113(a) of the Insurance Law.  For purposes of this Executive Order, a small business shall mean any business that is resident in this State, is independently owned and operated, and employs one hundred or fewer individuals;  For the full executive order.

This means that (until April 28, 2020 extended to June 6, 2020) if, due to COVID-19-related issues, you cannot make your premium payment that is due, you will have a 60-day grace period after the otherwise-applicable date of cancellation.  It is important to note that the premium will still be due in the future, this is a deferment available to you, should you need it, not a period of free coverage.  Depending upon future circumstances, a future executive order may be issued to amend or extend this order.
 

Many companies had already communicated a willingness to reduce payroll and sales exposures (mid-term versus waiting until audit) on the types of policies where rates are based upon such figures. 

Many had also indicated that they will work with individuals and businesses if they find it difficult to pay their insurance premiums in the next month or so.

Companies have or will soon prepare descriptions of coverage benefits/exclusions for various COVID-19 scenarios to share with business insurance policyholders the way their policy does and does not respond.

We will make an effort to update our website to include links to pertinent information, let us know of any you think we should add.
 

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Additional Coronavirus Resources and Information

Our payroll company, HR One, has an excellent resource center

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has created a website

Interactive Map COVID-19 Global Cases by CSSE at Johns Hopkins

This insurance would have helped, but nobody bought it

How to turn in your license plates while the DMV is closed

•  The DMV site also includes alerts regarding license and registration expirations and extensions

US Chamber of Commerce Emergency Loans Small Business Guide

Save Small Business Fund - initiative of US Chamber of Commerce Foundation

Small Business Paycheck Protection Program (PDF description)

Small Business Administration's Economic Injury Disaster Loan Application

Community Foundation Mohawk Valley Fundraiser

Feed our Frontline Families Donations to support local restaurants and frontline workers

Guide to the CARES Act - published by the US Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship

SCORE's Coronavirus Small Business Resource Hub

ShelterPoint's Resource links

Prepare to reopen - follow CDC, OSHA, FDA & NYS standards for cleaning,disinfecting, and operations. Be sure to fully document everything you do.

How to properly wear a mask video and poster from OSHA.

Business Reopening Safety Plan Template must be completed and retained on premises. Additional links within.

Essential Business Guidelines

Statewide Guidelines - incl: Beaches, Religious & Funeral Services, Racing, Dentistry

Regional UnPause Dashboard

Phase One Guidance

Phase Two Guidance

Phase Three Guidance

Phase Four Guidance

 

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We hope you and your loved ones,

co-workers, and employees

are able to stay well

throughout this event.
 

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Going to Canada?

Ask us for a Canadian ID card. "A U.S. traveler in Canada is required to carry a motor vehicle liability card, plus vehicle ownership papers. A copy of the automobile policy is recommended to be carried. And a Canadian Non-Resident Inter-provincial Motor Vehicle Liability Card is strongly recommended. U.S. travelers who do not carry a Canadian Non-Resident Inter-provincial Motor Vehicle Liability Card and are stopped by Canadian police or are in an accident while driving in Canada risk being fined or having their vehicle impounded until proof of proper coverage is obtained."