Submitting proof of business interruption can get complicated. The business may have to submit proof of its revenue before the storm and what it would have generated in revenue if not for the storm, attorneys said.
For instance, a law firm submitting a claim for business interruption may have to submit affidavits attesting to its hourly rates for the affected attorneys, what attorneys would have billed if not for the storm and what they billed directly after the storm, Garbowski said. The firm may have to submit billing records as part of its evidence, he said.
"Anytime you're dealing with the hypothetical, 'if this had not happened, things would have gone that way,'…there's always room to argue," he added.
Meanwhile, the insurance company may hire forensic accountants to evaluate the business interruption claims, Troisi said.
Frenchman said litigation over Sandy-related damage could go on for years, "but the first thing we try to do…is get the claims resolved outside of court to the best of our ability."
Lawyers stress that each policy varies, and many claims will be resolved without litigation.
But for those with disputes, many policies require suits to be filed within a specified period from date of the loss, such as one or two years, Garbowski said.
In a letter to the New York congressional delegation, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the estimated total public and private loss to the city from Sandy is $19 billion, including $3.8 billion in insured private losses, $4.8 billion in uninsured private losses and $5.7 billion in lost gross product.
This article originally appeared in the New York Law Journal.