The Institutes

Examining the Current Status of COVID-Related Business Interruption Claims

 Friday, October 21, 2022

 Risk Management Magazine

More than two and a half years into the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses around the world have developed new and innovative ways to resume operations, even though the virus remains an ever-present threat. However, it took some time for businesses to pivot their operations in order to provide a safe atmosphere for both their customers and employees.

During that downtime, especially at the outset of the pandemic, many businesses were forced to temporarily cease operations due to government orders. Other business owners made the choice to close temporarily for myriad reasons.

While the federal government eventually provided some financial assistance to businesses that were affected by COVID-19 in the form of PPP loans and other programs, many businesses looked to their insurance carriers to help shoulder the blow by filing business interruption claims.

While court decisions initially varied by state as to whether COVID-19 losses were covered under the business interruption provisions of commercial insurance policies, a clear body of law is emerging that excludes coverage for such claims.

The claims filed by insureds for COVID-19-related business interruption claims typically cite to two main provisions of the policy: business interruption and civil authority.

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