NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - “What I found out is that pandemic insurance is very very rare.” 

Sam Sanchez, Owner of Sam’s Place and Sam’s Sports Grill has 6 locations in Middle Tennessee and 2 in Alabama. 

He never expected COVID-19 would have a ripple effect on his business. Thinking his insurance companies would somehow have his back, he was surprised when they didn’t. 

“We were immediately issued an email that says by the way, don’t even bother to try to submit a claim for business interruption. It’s not going to be covered,” Sanchez said. 

Like many business owners, Sanchez pays a monthly premium. To say he’s disappointed is putting it mildly.

“If you were going through and things were just okay, and business wasn’t great, or if you were in a little trouble, you’re not gonna reopen,” Sanchez said.

News 4 discovered Tuesday several businesses are in similar situations. Attorney Blair Durham says he’s heard of thousands

“It’s tragic because all of these people that are unemployed...worried about how they’re going to put food on their family’s plate and table aren’t going to have an easy solution. And it’s unfortunate because had the insurance companies paid what they  were paid to pay premiums have been paid by these small business owners to help them had that been done, our recovery would be 100 times better,” Attorney Blair Durham said. 

The Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance encourages businesses to closely review their policies, including exclusions, coverage limits and applicable deductions. They added that not all commercial policies include business interruption insurance. 

Sanchez says he believes his business will come out this okay. He just worries about countless mom and pop shops  and the independent businesses who may not. 

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