There has been a lot in the news about the coronavirus (COVID-19). You’ve probably heard many different stats, stories, and warnings about it. Since the coronavirus has been affecting multiple countries worldwide, small businesses may be concerned about what would happen if their supply or inventory was cut off. Small businesses may also be concerned about other effects of the coronavirus – for example, if COVID-19 hit their area and they had to close. It’s a little complicated. We’ll explain what you as a small business should know.
Business interruption reimbursement and coronavirus.
What if a supplier can’t deliver inventory because of coronavirus?
So, let’s take a look at the first scenario. What if you get a lot of your inventory or supplies from an area that has been affected by COVID-19? The question is whether business interruption coverage will cover the income that was lost as a result.
The answer would be probably not. For a larger business, if a supplier is integral to the function of the business, that potential loss would likely be scheduled onto its business interruption coverage. There would be certain causes of loss included in their policy. (Overseas, though can be complicated, so it’s important that the business has the proper coverage to cover that specific loss.) Small businesses, however, may not have that coverage scheduled onto their insurance, so this would not be covered.
Unless it’s a specifically covered loss, the loss of income that happens if a supplier cannot deliver the orders would not be taken care of by insurance.
What if I have to close my business due to the coronavirus?
The next question is whether a small business would be reimbursed for lost income if they had to close due to the coronavirus. Well, that depends on whether they’ve been ordered to close by government action – like if the government forces you to quarantine and close. That could trigger business interruption coverage, but without a government action, you would probably not be reimbursed for your lost income.
Pro tip: It’s important that you read through your coverage very carefully and ask questions if you need clarification. This holds true when you’re handling any kind of insurance, whether it be personal insurance or commercial insurance.
Where can I find more information about COVID-19?
With all the media coverage about coronavirus, it can be hard to know where to turn to get reputable information and updates about the virus. (It can also be difficult to know just how worried to be about COVID-19 when it is all over the news.) To find out what is happening with the virus, you can go to the Center for Disease Control’s website. They have a lot of information and updates about the coronavirus, both worldwide and in the United States. You can also visit the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) website – they have recommendations for business owners. Both of these resources have information about preventing the spread of coronaviruses and how businesses can prepare.
Stay informed about coronavirus.
Everyone wants to know what’s going on with the coronavirus. Small businesses might worry about what happens if they cannot receive supplies or inventory, or what would happen if they were forced to close. While there are no easy answers to these questions, you can stay up-to-date on COVID-19 with resources such as the CDC and OSHA.