Do I need business interruption insurance?

Most people would never contemplate starting a business unless they first purchased property insurance to cover the expense of repairing or replacing a structure or equipment damaged by a covered risk. However, far too many business owners fail to consider how they would keep their operations running if they were forced to temporarily close. Business income (interruption) coverage, commonly known as business income coverage (BI), can assist with operational expenditures during the restoration time and covers the following:

  • Net revenue lost (according to financial documents)
  • Payments for mortgages, rent, and leases
  • Payments on a loan
  • Taxes
  • Payroll for employees

Business owners should ensure that the insurance limits are adequate to cover their operation for more than a few days. After a severe calamity, it might take longer than most people anticipate to be “back in business.” Business income coverage most likely includes a “restoration period.” This is the amount of time that a policy will cover lost income and extra expenditures while the firm is being rebuilt.Typically, there is a 48 to 72-hour waiting time before the healing phase begins. The basic property policy restricts the term for restoring business revenue to 30 days, however this period can be extended to 360 days with an endorsement.


For small-to-medium-sized firms, a business owner’s policy (BOP) frequently includes property, liability, and business income (interruption) coverages. Coverage purchased as a bundle is typically less expensive than coverage purchased separately and can assist ensure suitable underlying limitations are in place. Companies with 100 or less workers and revenues of up to $5 million or less are often candidates for a BOP. Some companies, such as restaurants, may be unsuitable for a BOP due to the inherent risks of the business and may need to explore purchasing the individual coverages independently. A commercial property insurance policy can be supplemented with an endorsement or rider that extends coverage to business income (interruption) losses.

The following are not covered by business income (interruption) insurance:

  • Items broken as a result of a covered occurrence or loss (such as glass)
  • Damage from flooding or earthquakes is covered by a different policy.
  • Undocumented money that is not reflected in your company’s financial records
  • Utilities
  • Pandemics, viruses, and communicable illnesses (for example, COVID-19)
  • How much company income (interruption) insurance is required?

A reasonable rule of thumb is to forecast future profits and establish the appropriate level of coverage using a company’s gross earnings and estimates. Remember that if the costs of company income (interruption) exceed the coverage maximum specified, the business owner will be responsible for any additional charges.


What is the cost of company income (interruption) insurance?

It is determined by a variety of factors, including your:

  • Industry
  • The number of employees and the extent of coverage
  • Previous claim experience (if you’ve ever had to make a claim with your insurance)

The cost of the coverage may also differ based on where you live. For example, if the company is located in a region prone to storms, the cost of business income (interruption) insurance may rise. Because of the higher danger of fire, a restaurant may have higher rates than a real estate office. A real estate agency can also function more simply from another location.

  • Business income (interruption) coverage options and endorsements
  • Insurance for contingent business interruption (also known as dependent properties)

Provides insurance coverage in the event that non-owned property damage or destruction affects or terminates the company owner’s earnings. Businesses are losing money and experiencing more expenditures as a result of COVID-19 affecting global supply chains and sales.

Entities that qualify as qualified dependent properties fall under four categories:

Suppliers: Contributing sites that offer the components, materials, or services required by the business owner to create its product or perform its service.
Buyers: A recipient location purchases or accepts the insured business owner’s products, goods, or services. T

his might be a solitary buyer for a business owner or a buyer who purchases the majority of the insured’s output. Suppliers: Also known as “manufacturing location” A manufacturing facility produces goods for delivery to the clients of a company owner under a contract of sale.

Drivers: Also referred to as a “Leader Location” Anchor stores (Target, Wal-Mart, Macy’s, and so on), sports and entertainment facilities, and other similar businesses that drive consumers to the region are examples of such entities.

Insurance for unexpected expenses

firm income (interruption) insurance can also include supplementary expenditures that cover anything over and above the typical day-to-day operational expenses required to keep a firm running. Examples of additional costs include:

  • Renting a temporary location while the old location is being renovated
  • Hardware, technology, and furniture replacement
  • Paying employees overtime or employing additional workers
  • Equipment leasing

Extra expenditure insurance can be included in a Business Owner’s Policy (BOP), purchased separately, or added as a rider to a commercial property policy.

Civil government

This coverage applies when a civil authority (e.g., a state, local, or federal governmental entity) prohibits access to an insured’s premises due to a government order as a result of physical damage to an adjacent or nearby property that is not owned or controlled by the insured, but rather the adjacent property of another.

Business revenue (interruption) and/or excess spending coverage is extended by civil authority coverage.Even if a government order limits or otherwise restricts entry to an insured property, the policy may still need a direct physical loss before compensation is triggered.

Note: In early February 2020, the Insurance Services Office (ISO) introduced two new endorsement forms: “Business Interruption: Limited Coverage for Certain Civil Authority Orders Relating to Coronavirus,” and “Business Interruption: Limited Coverage for Certain Civil Authority Orders Relating to Coronavirus.” These forms cover real loss of business revenue and extra expenditures resulting from a government order shutting or quarantining the insured’s premises or quarantining all or part of the premises, as well as a government suspension of particular means of public transit. If dependent properties, such as a supplier’s or customer’s premises, are covered in the coverage, the coverage extends to the dependent property as well. It should be noted that the forms were not submitted with any states and will not be included in ISO’s form portfolio.

Services related to utilities

A utility services endorsement broadens business income (interruption) and/or additional expenditure coverage to include a stoppage of activities caused by a disruption in fundamental utility services to a firm’s premises provided by public or private utility providers, such as electricity, gas, or water.

There are two particular endorsements to think about:

Time element: If winds down a power line or a water main, this coverage can pay damages, including lost income and expenditures, for a defined period of time or until electricity or water service is restored. Direct harm: This endorsement is an extension of property insurance that protects a business owner’s property from damage caused by a disruption in any of the utility services mentioned in the policy as a consequence of a covered cause, such as a windstorm.

Recognizing the limitations of business income (interruption) coverage

While business income (interruption) insurance can help a company withstand a crisis, it has restrictions and exceptions. If a business owner purchases business interruption coverage as part of a commercial property insurance, the coverage is limited to the circumstances specified in the core coverage. If the property insurance does not cover flood damage, the business owner will be unable to obtain business income (interruption) insurance if the firm is forced to relocate due to a flood.
There are also time limits on business income (interruption) coverage, therefore company owners should consult with their insurer or insurance specialist to understand limitations and exceptions.