US retailer sues insurer for $28m for BI insurance coverage denial

By Ranamita Chakraborty

Lawyers on behalf of Altar’d State, a national boutique in the US, are suing Hartford Fire Insurance for $28m after the insurer denied coverage for a business interruption (BI) insurance claim.

The retailer was forced to close its doors due to COVID-19 resulting in a significant loss of income and had previously paid substantial premiums to protect its business.

“Altar’d State purchased a comprehensive programme of business insurance from Hartford including business interruption insurance and coverage for extra incurred expense. Hartford is ignoring specific policy language that covers Altar’d State when they were forced to temporarily close 119 stores in 37 states as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Provost Umphrey Law Firm equity partner Bryan Blevins.

In response to the spread of COVID-19, essential businesses including retail stores like Altar’d State were issued orders to prohibit access to the public.

Moreover, Altar’d State suffered direct physical loss of and damage to locations insured by Hartford.

Any business interruption claim arising from COVID-19 that has been denied by an insurer is required to be reviewed by a legal counsel.

“It is clear that neither Hartford nor the insurance industry has any interest in investigating and paying valid claims. In this case, Hartford decided to deny coverage in less than 72 hours, without review of a single document or investigation of a single Altar’d State location,” said Mr Blevins.

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