By: Ryan O. Hemminger, Esq.
The World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have declared the novel coronavirus (“COVID-19”) a “public health emergency of international concern.” In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government and many state and local governments throughout the United States have taken unprecedented measures to protect and preserve public health and safety, including travel restrictions and mandated business closures.
COVID-19 and the government response has impacted and will continue to impact businesses of all sizes and types. In this unprecedented situation, certain business losses may be covered by insurance. Coverage may be triggered by various events, such as the physical closure of your business, the loss of supply chains, limitations on travel, event cancellations, the incapacitation of key personnel, and actions taken to prevent or mitigate business loss. The following are examples of coverage that may be available for COVID-19-related losses under standard business policies or endorsements:
- Business Income loss coverage,
- Civil authority coverage,
- Event cancellation policies or coverage,
- Supply chain disruption,
- Coverage for disruption to Ingress/egress,
- Crisis response and management, and
- Key persons coverage.
What You Can Do
With relatively little precedent on how insurance will apply to a pandemic of this scope, businesses must carefully document their losses and prepare their claim to be in the best position to secure coverage. Even if some policies have exclusions that insurers rely on to initially deny coverage, claims arising out of COVID-19 will likely present a number of novel legal issues that may be treated differently depending on the specific policy language and jurisdiction.
Given the complex legal issues that are likely to arise from COVID-19, businesses experiencing losses should consult with legal counsel for an analysis of their specific policies. Whether coverage exists will depend heavily on the language of the policy and the law in your State.
Leech Tishman attorneys are available to review your policy and advise on a course of action. If you have any questions, please contact:
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Leech Tishman Fuscaldo & Lampl is a full-service law firm dedicated to assisting individuals, businesses, and institutions. Leech Tishman offers legal services in alternative dispute resolution, aviation & aerospace, bankruptcy & creditors’ rights, construction, corporate, employee benefits, employment, energy, environmental, estates & trusts, family law, government relations, immigration, insurance coverage & corporate risk mitigation, intellectual property, international legal matters, litigation, real estate, and taxation. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA, Leech Tishman also has offices in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Sarasota and Wilmington, DE.