Business Interruption Insurance Claims for Power Outages and Rolling Blackouts
Recently in Portland, Oregon, Portland City Hall and eight blocks of businesses and government offices in the downtown area were hit by a major blackout that lasted from the weekend into the workweek. This multi-day shut down hit during the biggest shopping season of the year. The businesses affected by the blackout have been instructed to “consult their own insurance policies to help recover losses from being closed by the power outage, although they may also submit a claim against PGE if they believe they have one” (OregonLive.com). What exactly does that mean?
Nearly every business needs power in order to function on a daily basis. Some businesses can lose large sums of money when they are hit by a power outage or rolling blackout. In addition, when they have to shut down without warning they may be required to provide employees their wages even though they are not able to perform their work tasks. Because of this, it is important companies have the appropriate amount of business interruption insurance, and understand their policy.
Business Interruption Insurance is designed to protect the prospective earnings of the insured business in the event they are unable to continue the normal daily operations and functions of the business (FindLaw.com). Some business insurance policies will cover economic losses resulting from a power interruption or blackout, but this is not always the case. In fact, some policies require there to be some sort of property damage before the Business Interruption coverage kicks in. That is why it is vital for business owners to take the time to read and understand their policies. If there is uncertainty your policy covers everything you need it to, you should consider consulting with a lawyer.
If you have questions about whether your insurance policy covers what you need it to, or if it would help you to have a clear understanding of your insurance policies in case of a situation like those unfortunate businesses in Downtown Portland recently experienced, you should consider consulting with a lawyer.
Millard & Bragg Attorneys at Law P.C. practicing law in both Oregon and Washington.