Insureds Argue Pandemic Losses Due To Civil Authority; Insurers Cite Constitution Against Legislation Forcing Coverage

 Monday, May 18, 2020

 The Philadelphia Enquirer

Randy and Amanda Rucker opened River Twice, their modern American BYO on Passyunk Avenue, seven months ago, hoping that his culinary talent and her business acumen would establish the restaurant as a fixture on one of Philadelphia’s most competitive restaurant corridors.

Reviews were strong. Rucker’s food found an audience. The diners streamed in. Then came coronavirus.

River Twice, like all other restaurants in the city, was ordered to close its dining room March 16, cutting off revenue overnight. And while the Ruckers assumed that insurance would help their business survive, they were stunned to hear from their broker that their claim would likely be denied.

Lawrence Highbloom, Amanda’s father and managing member of the restaurant, likened the discovery to a “guillotine coming down.” Now, River Twice is suing its insurer.

“That’s the point of insurance, isn’t it?” Highbloom asked. “It’s not to protect you from bad decisions by the business operator. It’s to protect the business operator from circumstances beyond their control.”
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