The tornado that touched down in Joplin, Missouri earlier this year reminds us just how devastating natural disasters can be. This deadly tornado not only destroyed countless homes, but also decimated a number of Joplin businesses in the process.
In a statement to CBS News, Rob O'Brian, president of the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce, estimated that as many as 300 businesses were lost due to the tornado ― affecting as many as 4,000 jobs.
Many of the area’s largest employers, including national chains and large businesses, have pledged to rebuild. Even small, local businesses are refusing to give up and plan to use their insurance proceeds to start over.
Businesses fortunate enough to have tornado damage coverage in their insurance policies may at least have the option to rebuild, but what can they do about their lost business during the time it takes to start again?
Business Interruption Insurance
Even if businesses have the option to rebuild, many cannot afford to be out of business for months at a time. The lost income may doom a business to failure before it ever has a chance to get back up and running. Business interruption insurance was created for situations exactly like this.
The basic purpose of business interruption insurance is to compensate a business for losses arising from an interruption of normal operations due to the destruction of the business by a covered hazard. Generally, business interruption insurance preserves the continuity of the business’s income and places the business in a position it would have been in, had there been no interruption at all ― basically it covers the business’s lost earnings and additional expenses incurred during the interruption.
As with any insurance claim, it is important to obtain an independent review of your damage when disaster strikes. If your business has recently been destroyed or damaged in a natural disaster, contact an experienced attorney in your area to assist you in getting the compensation you are entitled to from your insurance provider.