By Jon C. Cowen and Rosanna Sattler Viewpoint
One year after the Boston Marathon bombing, most retailers, hotels, and restaurants in the Back Bay have returned to normal business operations. Many businesses have filed claims with their insurers for business interruption losses. Not all businesses, however, have been made whole, despite having insurance policies in place that were intended to provide such coverage. According to data supplied by the Massachusetts Division of Insurance, 133 businesses made claims for business interruption losses. Only half of them (64) received insurance payments. What can be learned from their experiences and what, if anything, can business owners do to enhance insurance protection in the event of another catastrophic event?
As a participant in the Boston Bar Association’s Marathon Assistance Project, our firm, Posternak Blankstein & Lund LLP, volunteered to assist a number of Back Bay businesses impacted by the Boston Marathon bombing on a pro bono basis, in pursuing insurance claims. One of our clients is a small retail store on Newbury Street that had been open for less than a year, and which was relying on the Boston Marathon to kick off a busy tourist season. Instead, it suffered a large drop in sales after the bombing. Another client is a music recording and production studio which suffered losses from the bombing and resulting shut-down of the Back Bay. In our experience, notwithstanding public sympathy and the urging of state and local officials to act expeditiously in resolving Boston Marathon bombing-related claims, many insurers have strictly interpreted policy provisions and they have sought to aggressively enforce policy exclusions and limitations, delaying or denying insurance payments. Read more at the Boston Bar Journal.