Liability Insurers Still Fighting Boston Marathon Claims, Almost One Year Later

As if we here in Massachusetts haven’t spent the past 11 months being inundated with the media’s (especially The Boston Globe’s) nonstop dead-horse-beating of last year’s April 2013 Marathon bombings, the media here is now gearing up to re-hype the whole thing all over again. Talk about both sickening and pathetic …

When this happened last year, the first thing I thought of was the direct victims of this event. However, the second thing I thought of, being a Boston injury lawyer, was the liability insurance claims that would follow the event, from affected businesses and individuals. The claims I’m referring to aren’t injury claims, but instead property/casualty claims. They’re filed by businesses and individuals that suffered both physical property damage to stores and facilities, as well as economic losses from the events of that day. Claims submitted to insurers for economic losses generally arise from loss of revenues due to the fact that the businesses could not operate for several days or weeks after the bombing events. That type of claim is made pursuant to a special type of coverage known as “Business Interruption Insurance.”

Within all this renewed news media “coverage,” a little factoid has made its way out: I know this will come as a shock to many readers of this blog, but guess what? Many business in the Boylston Street, Dartmouth Street and Newbury Street areas of the Back Bay, are still fighting with their insurance companies because their coverage claims have been denied. Yes, even almost one year later. According to the Massachusetts Division of Insurance, the state’s largest property /casualty insurers have paid a total of $1.9 million in bombing-related claims. First of all, as an attorney who works with liability insurance companies all the time, I can say that’s not a very high figure, given the number of businesses involved. Second, according to reports from The Boston Globe, insurers have rejected nearly half of all bombing-related claims connected to losses from business interruption. Third, insurers have also rejected payment for just fewer than 50% of claims for commercial property damage.

Of course, insurance industry officials insist there are valid reasons for all these rejected claims. Their answer, essentially: “It’s complicated.” Funny, I thought that was the name of a B-rated comedy film released in the past year…

As a Boston Massachusetts accident lawyer, I can assure you that this is par for the course when it comes to insurance companies. I see it every day in my Boston injury law firm. Whether it involves a Massachusetts car accident, a Massachusetts bus accident, a Massachusetts liquor liability claim, a Massachusetts Nursing home neglect case, a Massachusetts slip & fall claim, a Massachusetts negligent security claim, a social host liability claim or a Massachusetts wrongful death claim, it’s always the same story: If you don’t have a talented and experienced Massachusetts injury law firm at your side, insurance companies will take you to the proverbial cleaner. Their business model has always been the same – it’s remarkably simple, actually:

• Take in as many premium dollars as possible with slick and even humorous advertising (do Geico’s talking Gecko and Progressive’s Flo and ring any bells?)
• Invest premiums in the highest investment vehicles available, to generate maximum investment income.
• Deny as many claims as possible, using every legal and technical maneuver possible, to keep as much of money as possible.

Sad, but true. If you’ve been injured in a Massachusetts accident and wish to make any kind of a liability insurance claim, make sure you are represented by an experienced Massachusetts injury law firm.