Business interruption insurance has increasingly come into the spotlight recently because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses and stores found that they needed to close up more often due to quarantining employees and staffing shortages. The US Chamber of Commerce has named this phenomenon “The Great Reshuffle.”
A lot of bad things can happen that may result in temporary closure. For example, you might be running a wine business and theft might result in the destruction of your stocks. It's smart to get a policy that will cover lost revenues in case you need to renovate or relocate to make way for business growth in case you’re running a promising LLC.
Not as many businesses are taking advantage of a business interruption insurance policy as they should. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners estimates that only 30%-40% of small businesses carry business income insurance coverage.
This article will provide a brief overview of business revenue insurance and address the common concerns about the topic, including:
What is business interruption insurance?
How is business interruption insurance different from contingent business interruption insurance?
What are the different types of business interruption?
How does business interruption insurance work?
What does business interruption insurance cover?
What is not covered by business interruption insurance?
Business interruption coverage in cyber insurance
Three proposals for a pandemic business interruption insurance coverage
The average cost of business interruption insurance
The best business interruption insurance companies
Business interruption insurance, also known as business income insurance, is an insurance policy that covers business costs directly related to situations where your regular business operations become interrupted.
This type of insurance has been around for a while. In the 1850s, a town in France introduced Chômage insurance that covered losses from factory and labor stoppages. The modern version of business interruption insurance we use today started being used in London in the 1930s.
Business interruption insurance became more common in the United States after the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic. The lack of extended business income coverage during those times was replaced by giant life insurance policies. Insurance companies would brag about how quickly they would pay out their policies to families, but the effects of business interruption would take a toll on the economy.
Today, property damage and business interruption insurance generally requires direct physical loss in many states and excludes things like pandemic viruses, but many policies are considering covering it.\
Business interruption insurance differs from contingent business interruption insurance by the location what is covered. Below is a breakdown of the differences between the two.
|Business Interruption Insurance||Contingent Business Interruption Insurance|
|Covers hazards that cause operations to cease on your businesses property||Covers hazards that cause operations to cease at a supplier or customer’s property|
|Typically only covers direct physical damage situations||Covers emergency situations|
|Covers lost business income||Covers ongoing expenses while you search for a new supplier or customer|
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Business interruption insurance works by your business forming a contract with an insurance company. In exchange for you paying a premium, the insurance company will use a payout for you to cover various business costs.
A loss of business income insurance can lead to a gap in your coverage. It is essential that the business owner stays up to date on their policy and payments to ensure that the insurance will cover their losses when it is needed.
Typically business interruption insurance is only paid out in cases of physical loss or property damage. But note that the policy can only grant coverage if such physical loss or property damage is caused by:
Other covered perils
Utility service interruption insurance policies are sold alongside business interruption policies. These grant reimbursement to the policyholder in case business operations have to be halted due to lack of power, water supply, internet, and telephone lines as caused by fire, windstorm, or other covered perils.
Business interruption insurance helps cover a variety of different costs, including:
Lost revenue–Any revenue that you lose from a temporary shutdown
Employee wages–This helps you retain employees during a shutdown by covering payroll costs
Rent or lease payments–Covers your financial obligations for your business's real estate so you don’t lose a play to do business
Taxes–Can cover tax obligations that you are unable to meet due to no longer bringing in expected revenue
Relocation costs–If your business is so severely damaged that you need to relocate, this insurance can help subsidize the cost to move and help pay for rent at the new place
Loan payments–Any loan payments that you need to make that were based on the income you expect to generate
There are several types of business interruption which include:
The standard types of business interruption policies focus on covering typical concerns. Your policy will cover costs due to your income loss from your business being forced to temporarily closed due to physical damage to the real estate.
Unlike typical business interruption insurance, non-damage business interruption covers cases where your property is not damaged. This insurance activates during cases of extreme weather with no damage, contaminated food recalls, and extreme events like protests or riots. This insurance can also cover cyber attacks and supply chain interruptions.
This type of business interruption insurance covers costs that arise from lost revenue from something happening to a customer or supplier. It typically covers when emergency situations arise that result in you not getting the business you were expecting or the supplies you need to conduct daily operations.
This type of policy covers the in-between gap period where your business has been successfully repaired and re-opened but has not yet reached the point where its expected revenue has returned. It will apply until your business income reaches its pre-loss levels. The Center for Insurance Policy and Research detailed how ten different states had drafted legislation to allow this type of insurance to apply for business insurance losses caused by the coronavirus shutdowns in 2020 retroactively.
Business interruption insurance is not a one-size-fits-all system, and there are several exceptions that insurance policies may not cover. These include:
Any extra expenses a business takes on due to closure
Interruptions that don’t involve property damage
The cost of the property damage itself
Business interruptions due to supplier problems or customer problems
Interruptions that go on for too short of a time, or your business is only partially interrupted
Many businesses report losing income due to these interruptions in day-to-day business. There has been an increase in cyber business interruption in recent years. According to the Insurance Journal, cyber attacks on business is one of the biggest drivers of business interruption and financial loss for businesses. One particularly nasty type of cyber attack is called a ransomware attack, which can interrupt normal business for an average of 23 days.
To combat this type of business interruption, many businesses choose a cyber insurance policy. However, not all cyber insurance policies cover business interruption. When protecting against business interruption, you will want to select a cyber insurance policy that will help you recoup costs from your downtime. Some companies that provide this type of insurance coverage are listed below:
|Insurance Company||Policies They Offer||In Which Policies is Cyber Business Interruption Coverage Automatically Covered?|
|The Hartford||Cyber Liability, Data Breach||Data Breach|
|CoverWallet||Cyber Liability, Data Breach||Data Breach|
|Tivly||Cyber Liability||Cyber Liability|
|Thimble||Cyber Insurance||Cyber Insurance|
|Hiscox||Cyber Security||Cyber Security|
Forbes predicts the cyber insurance market will see significant growth in the near future. Cyber insurance premiums are projected to increase 20%-30% year by year on average because of the continued reliance of businesses on technology for their daily needs.
Business Interruption insurance does not cover pandemics or contagious illnesses unless otherwise stated in its language.
When Covid-19 hit the US, a lot of affected businesses tried to file a claim on their business interruption policies. Majority of claims were rejected. And those who successfully got their claim approved have to file petitions.
The present business interruption policy can’t protect business owners against Covid-19 and other major pandemics in the future. Because of this, the Committee on Capital Markets looked into three proposals that, if adopted, may pave the way for the creation of pandemic business interruption insurance policies.
This act aims to provide a government backstop so insurers would have adequate incentives to cover pandemic losses.
The Pandemic Risk Insurance Act will make it possible for private commercial insurance companies to add a “pandemic coverage” in their current business interruption policies. Insurance companies must cover $250 million up to $750 million aggregate losses for each covered pandemic.
The Business Continuity Protection program would set up a federal fund that may be used as a revenue assistance to businesses affected by federally-declared viral emergencies. With this, businesses will enjoy coverage equal to 80% of all policyholder’s payroll and operating expenses. Nonprofit and for-profit businesses are eligible.
The proponents further added that excess coverage may be purchased. This excess coverage will be treated as an add-on or endorsement to the coverage purchased through the Business Protection Program.
Chubb’s Pandemic Business Interruption Program is a public-private partnership pandemic business interruption insurance policy divided into two components-Business Expense Insurance Program and Pandemic Re.
The first component of Chubb’s Pandemic Business Interruption Program, Business Expense Insurance Program, is designed for small to large businesses. This is designed to cover the policyholder’s losses according to a predetermined amount. Chubb states that the coverage for all businesses is $750 billion.
Pandemic Re, the second component of Chubb’s Pandemic Business Interruption Program, is for medium to large businesses with more than 500 employees. Each policyholder will receive up to $50 million worth of coverage. Coverage for all policyholders is estimated to be $500 billion.
The average business interruption insurance cost is $140 per month or $1,680 per year. Factors that affect the cost of premiums are business size, history, location, and number of employees.
High-value businesses with higher liabilities on their books can also see an increase in price when calculating business interruption insurance costs.
Here is a breakdown of some of the best business interruption insurance companies and how they compare.
|Company||Cost per Month||Cost per Year||Best for|
|Next||$40||$480||Best overall; Fastest business interruption insurance|
|Thimble||$42||$504||High business interruption policy limits|
|The Hartford||$53||$636||Business interruption insurance policy that quickly takes effect|
|CoverWallet||$80||$960||Comparing business interruption insurance quotes online|
|Tivly||$85||$1,020||Comparing business interruption insurance quotes over the phone|
You can always compare a few copies of business interruption insurance quote online to get a further idea of the cost. Start by clicking the “Get Quotes” button on this page.
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The best business interruption insurance companies are ones that can offer a competitive price and tailor their policy options to your business's needs. Listed below are some of the best options for business interruption insurance. Read to know their pros, cons, and rate.
Get an online proof of insurance and send as a text message, email, or social media post
Fastest general liability insurance for subcontractors
Great customer service and reputation
Issues an online proof of insurance instantly
Outstanding value for money
Bundle two or more insurance policies and get a 10% discount
Online-only processes can be confusing for some
NEXT is one of the best providers of business interruption insurance. Their policy options offer a good variety of customization for small business owners regardless of how many employees they have.
Best for: Best overall; Fastest business interruption insurance
Average cost: $40 per month
Our rating: 10/10
Easy to sign up
Coverage quickly kicks in within 48-72 hours
Doesn’t cover Alaska or Hawaii businesses
The Hartford excels at the ease at which they allow the customer to sign up and track their business interruption insurance policy. This lets them quickly get your coverage to kick in and start your business recovering during a difficult time.
Best for: Business interruption insurance policy that quickly takes effect
Average cost: $53 per month
Our rating: 10/10
Manage different policies all from one place
High-tech policy dashboard
The purchase process is not entirely online
We like CoverWallet for its easy-to-manage online platform that allows you to get quotes from multiple places. CoverWallet is not a provider of insurance but will help you get connected to the provider with the right policy for the job.
Best for: Comparing business interruption insurance quotes online
Average cost: $40 per month
Our rating: 10/10
Lots of partners
Thorough policy matching process
Quotes are easy to compare
Not an insurance provider
Tivly is a great place to shop for commercial insurance, like business interruption insurance. They offer an unmatched way to compare reputable insurance companies to find the best offer. Call a Tivly representative to compare business interruption insurance quotes over the phone.
Best for: Comparing business interruption insurance quotes over the phone
Average cost: $85 per month
Our rating: 10/10
Different deductible options
Customizable policy limits that let you pay for what you need
Customer support is online only
Thimble has some great features for their business insurance interruption policy offerings, like choosing your deductible and $250,000 coverage limit. They offer an excellent range of products that cater to the size of your business.
Best for: High business interruption policy limits
Average cost: $42 per month
Our rating: 10/10
Specializes in catering to the needs of small businesses
24/7 claim filing
Great customer service
Not every product is available online
Small business owners love the customized care that Hiscox offers them. It provides a personalized customer experience that tailors its products to make the most of what your business needs are.
Best for: Small businesses
Average cost: $41 per month
Our rating: 10/10
Lonnie Bell Insuranker
Policy Type: Business Insurance
Company name: Employers Insurance
Use anyone except Employers. Period. They are non-transparent and shameful. After I complained long enough to warrant a call from a supervisor, the supervisor called back from a PRIVATE NUMBER (no caller ID), left a message that they are not reversing their decision (without any communication with me), and failed to leave a phone number for me to call back. She was hiding! They also fact find via email and phone calls, which is terrific for speed and communication. However, after setting a precedence of email or phone calls, they send time sensitive information via email, without any heads up... they are hoping you miss it and forfeit via expiration. Evil policies. Go elsewhere.
This place is an absolute joke of a company and should be ashamed of the way they conduct business. I was hurt on the job at the end of July and it took them just shy of 7 weeks to issue out a paycheck to me. Yes the amount was back dated but still. Not many have the luxury of not receiving a paycheck for almost 2 months. To top it all off, the original adjuster marked me down for the wrong state which caused a problem from the get go, I've had 3 different adjusters now since each one can't seem to figure out the simplicity of my claim. All my paperwork which includes, my job, house, and drs visits all are from the same state and city but yet some how I have been filed under a completely different state 1500 miles away. They do not answer your phone calls or emails no matter how many you leave. I've had to escalate my frustrations to the supervisors of each of these individuals in order to even get some kind of response. I've had more communication and information given to me about my claim from the customer service representatives then the actual adjusters.......... please tell me how that works?! A serious overhaul needs to happen here in order to serve your clients the way they deserve to be taken care of. 10/10 do not recommend this company to a single soul on earth
I have never had the displeasure of working with a more incompetent and disrespectful person in my life. I’m an injured worker and the adjuster that was assigned to my case was named Carrie Furgeson. In the past 6 weeks that I’ve been injured and out of work I have only been able to get ahold of her twice, not for lack of trying. I have left countless voicemails, countless emails, and she ignores them all. When I am finally able to get ahold of her I’m greeted with terrible customer service. She is rude, she talks over me and I’m hardly able to get a word in edgewise. She spelled my name wrong on my documents even after I spelled it for her properly countless times, this caused a whole new issue with my bank. I have bill collectors from the hospital calling me demanding payment and Carrie Furgeson won’t do a single thing to help, or to get them paid. All of my documentation is in Colorado, my job is in Colorado, my address is in Colorado, all my Dr offices and appointments have been in Colorado and Carrie still managed to hold my claim because she wasn’t sure what state she needed to file it under. It’s been 6 weeks since my Injury and my company still hasn’t received the wage paperwork to fill out so they can get me my correct wages. When she’s not ignoring me she’s answering my questions with “I don’t know” well I don’t know how she got this job, because apparently she doesn’t know anything about it. She is a disgusting morose individual inside and out and I genuinely wish her the worst in all of her future endeavors. I highly recommend you don’t use this company. Please if you are a business owner and your looking into this company please don’t use them. I’m sure they have the cheapest payment and that’s why companies use them in the first place, but you will be doing your employees a grave disservice by forcing them to venture into this absolute dumpster fire of a company. I would rate 0/5 if possible but 1 was the lowest I was allowed.
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