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Opening Business Against Governor’s Orders

Planning to Open for Business Against The Governor’s Orders? — Here’s why you shouldn’t

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Many Pennsylvania businesses are under orders to remain closed. Governor Tom Ridge forced the closure of all non-essential businesses. Pennsylvania is still under at stay-at-home order due to COVID-19. The governor has yet to remove the executive order closing many businesses. Although many businesses are obeying the order, others grow tired of waiting.

Business owners have experienced a devastating blow. The governor forced most businesses to shut down and many face dire straits financially. This puts business owners in a harrowing predicament. Open against the law, or close forever.

Illegal Business Opening

Some business owners open in defiance of the governor’s order. This may seem like a civil liberty issue but there is a serious risk involved. You may find your business uninsured.

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Business Insurance Coverage

In normal circumstances, business insurance covers most claims that might hurt business. Some common insurance coverages include:

  • Worker’s compensation insurance
  • Health insurance
  • Liability insurance
  • Property insurance

These insurances are in place to protect both the business and employees. When a business does not have proper coverage or no insurance, results can be disastrous.

Insurance Exclusions

Every business insurance policy has exclusions in the policy. Nearly every insurance policy specifically excludes illegal business activities and risks. This means if a business is doing something against the law, the business has no insurance coverage.

Many insurance policies exclude coverage for losses that occur due to criminal acts. Operating non-essential businesses during a forced closure qualifies as a criminal act. This is considered illegal and is an exclusion of insurance policy coverage.

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Property, Liability, Injury Coverage

Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman states, “Your insurance company may find it appropriate to exclude coverage if you open in violation of the governor’s order…”

Property, liability, and injury coverage could be revoked. Insurance companies may legally withhold paying out claims. This is frustrating news for businesses already denied coverage for business interruption claims.

These clauses cannot be violated under any circumstances. Operating illegally removes the responsibility of insurance companies to pay injury and damage claims. Any claims to insurance would be denied. Fire, damage to the property, injury claims, all can be denied if the business is operating illegally.

Pennsylvania Business Insurance Lawyer

If you have questions about exclusions in your policy or if your business is covered during forced closure, call us today. We have two of the best bad faith insurance attorneys in the state of Pennsylvania. Our attorneys are here to answer your questions with a free consultation.

Please consult the legal advice of a reputable Pennsylvania attorney before attempting to reopen against governor’s orders. Stay safe.