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Small businesses suing insurance companies after being denied claims

Coronavirus

TAMPA, Fla (WFLA) – This is a tough time for small businesses, and they are looking for help anywhere they can get it. What should you do if your insurance company isn’t there when you need them most?

At Prime Time Sports Grill in Tampa, the owner, Douglas Craine is trying to keep his cool.

“I keep my lights off and we’ve got a waycool for the air conditioner so we open up the doors and try to keep it cool with the waycool,” said craine.

Craine thought his business interruption insurance would help take the heat off, too.

“It’s business interruption and we’re interrupted,” said craine.

Craine’s insurance claim came back…Denied.

“We’re just trying to make ends meet. I would’ve thought they could at least help us out after 20 years of paying insurance. What do we pay it for,” asked craine.

“I think as we see those denials come in we’re going to start to see those lawsuits,” said matthew hall an insurance attorney with hill, ward, henderson law firm.

Douglas craine did just that; suing the underwriters for his policy on april 2nd. While other businesses have found pandemic clauses in their policies craine’s attorney michael laurato with austin and laurato p.A. In tampa says prime time sports grill’s policy had no such clause.

“If you have a business interruption policy and you’re subject to any sort of restrictions for your work, which is essentially everybody almost, file the claim. It usually doesn’t cost anything to file a claim,” advised hall.

At least 7 states are proposing bills that would force insurance companies to pay out business interruption policies to businesses affected by COVID-19.
So far, Florida is not one of them.

For now Prime Time Sports just wants their insurance company to do right by them.

“Without the help of that we’re not going to make it,” said Craine.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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