Glass blowing business demands COVID-19 payout from insurance company

Problem Solvers

DENVER (KDVR) — Businesses across the nation are seeing billions of dollars in pandemic losses. With many describing the pandemic as unprecedented, how to handle some contracts and policies can cause confusion and disagreement.

Codey Bingham saw her pride and joy, the Denver Glass Academy, close its doors in June of 2020 after mandated health guidelines went into effect.

“I built it from the ground up. It is my everything,” she said.

She tells FOX31 Problem Solvers her Denver and Wisconsin locations sustained more than $500,000 in losses.

“It hit us really hard,” Bingham said.

The business has insurance coverage but Bingham tells the Problem Solvers their claim was denied because “the company is classifying COVID-19 as a pollutant.”

Cincinnati Insurance provided FOX31 with the following statement:  

“Thank you for reaching out to Cincinnati Insurance. We respect the rights of all parties to have their issues heard and resolved in a court of law. For that reason, we do not comment on pending litigation. Cincinnati Insurance remains committed to doing our part to support the families and businesses in our agents’ communities, helping them to proactively manage risks and promptly paying covered claims.”

FOX31 found in other cases nationwide, insurance companies have had complaints against them dismissed on the grounds that the threat of COVID-19 is not classified as a direct physical loss to the business.  

Bingham tells FOX31 she hopes a resolution can be made soon, so she can reopen and get back to business.

“I love doing this and I’m going to fight for it,” she said.

Legal experts tell the Problem Solvers many business contracts have “Act of God” clauses that weren’t written with a pandemic in mind. Before signing a contract or obtaining insurance coverage, make sure you know exactly what will be covered especially in the case of a government shutdown.

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