BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)–Western New York businesses are taking their insurance companies to task for refusing to cover their losses due to the COVID-19 shutdown.

Many of those small businesses that have been closed for months by order of the government have lost so much, they might be lost for good.

For that very reason, some of those small firms carry “business interruption” insurance but their claims are getting rejected.  

The doors are locked because state officials consider them non-essential and their losses are piling up by the day.

It is a business interruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic but when Hutch’s restaurant filed a claim to cover some of the financial damage it was rejected.

Attorney Chris Berloth is filing a lawsuit on behalf of Hutch’s against their insurance carrier.

Those in the insurance industry contend loss of business due to bacteria or viruses such as COVID-19 poses too big a potential threat affecting millions of businesses.

Sean Kevelighan, CEO of the Insurance Information Institute told us, “business interruption” can become part of the equation due to a covered loss such as looting and vandalism stemming from civil disturbances.

But Chris Berloth says, firms such as Hutch’s have interruption clauses that cover everything, except for specific exclusions.

Industry officials say, since business losses are due to government mandates, business owners should be asking the government to cover their losses.

Chris Berloth’s advice to business owners, know what it is in your insurance policy