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Business Interruption and COVID-19

By Michael J. Skweres, Kevin O’Toole, Stan Johnson

March 24, 2020

Business Interruption Services

The COVID-19 pandemic outbreak throughout the world is a significant health threat and has caused wide-scale disruption to supply chains and commerce. While the well-being of the public is of first concern, businesses are being impacted by economic losses that are expected to continue in the foreseeable future.

Companies may have protected themselves against such risks through traditional, as well as specialized, business interruption coverage provisions. Specialized coverages may include event cancellation or other endorsements, that provide coverage for losses resulting from infectious disease, pandemic and/or outbreaks such as COVID-19. However, collecting on claims can prove to be complicated. Here, the expertise of seasoned professionals, who understand the requirements involved with demonstrating losses and submitting claims, under specialized coverage provisions.

Our Forensic Accounting and Claims Consulting practice focuses on assisting commercial policyholders with evaluating the economic losses associated with catastrophic events. Our industry experts prepare and submit comprehensive business interruption insurance claims based on our direct experience with the operational impacts that stem from events such as COVID-19.  We produce compelling analyses that align with the requirements of applicable insurance coverage. As an illustration, we successfully recovered claims for losses caused by the rare, Zika fever outbreak (2017).

Risk and Resiliency Preparedness

Pandemics do not represent a traditional business continuity risk. Specifically, they do not impact a single physical location over a finite period. The COVID-19 pandemic is challenging the way many organizations respond to risk. In this case, their physical assets (e.g., factories and systems) may not be available for use, employees, suppliers, and customers may not be available, and a civil authority may pass an ordinance that restricts operations.

Our experts provide organizations with assurance that their action plans are appropriate and prioritized to respond to a pandemic or other significant impact. We test incident scenarios to validate continuity plans, or in the current environment, immediately assess the effectiveness of actual response. Where we identify gaps in these plans or actions, we provide pragmatic, industry specialized solutions. We support clients by focusing on:

  • The effectiveness of current tactics;
  • The integration of situation-specific processes into core processes; and,
  • The level of staff familiarity and training with plans.

Because we believe that effective communication prior to, and during, any crisis is key to maintaining momentum, our work is crucial in dialogue with customers, employees, shareholders, and insurance underwriters.

The Ankura Difference

Our 200+ Construction industry professionals combine real-world industry experience, robust credentials, and technical expertise in finance, accounting, architecture, engineering, real estate, critical path method scheduling, program and project analysis, and construction management. 

For more on Ankura’s construction services and experts, please visit:  www.ankura.com/construction