COVID-19 is causing devastating business interruption and loss of income for countless companies. Many of these companies have business interruption insurance, but whether these policies will help cover COVID-19 business losses remains uncertain.
Stay-at-Home Orders Shut Down Businesses
First, state and local governments started ordering bars, clubs, and gyms to close. Then stay-at-home orders called for all non-essential businesses to close. According to Business Insider, 95 percent of Americans are under stay-at-home orders.
It’s unclear when these orders will be lifted. Some stay-at-home orders include end dates, but extensions are possible, and in some cases, they’ve already happened. In other states, the orders don’t include end dates. The governors of Washington, Oregon and California have announced that they will work together to reopen their economies. However, the timeline for this is not clear.
In the meantime, many businesses remain closed, and even businesses that are still open are seeing disruption. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a poll of small businesses released on April 3 found that 24 percent of businesses had already shut down temporarily and 40 percent of said they would probably shut down temporarily within the next two weeks. Almost half of small businesses thought it would take six months for the U.S. economy to recover.