As of June 2022, most of the country finally appears to be reopening in earnest after more than two years of pandemic-related shutdowns, false starts and failed attempts to get back to “normal.” At the same time, the fate of COVID-19-related business interruption litigation is just now beginning to take shape, as an increasing number of federal and, perhaps more importantly, state appellate courts weigh in on the issue.
We’ve collected all of our coverage, analysis and expert commentary related to these cases nationwide (and, in a few instances, worldwide) and will continue to update this page with new developments.
Not All Hope is Lost: Another Policyholder Business Interruption Victory in the Wake of the Pandemic
In the most recent development in one of the first business interruption cases to be filed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Louisiana Court of Appeals has reversed the decision of the lower court, finding that there was business interruption coverage for losses due to government shutdown orders related to the pandemic.
NJ Appellate Division Orders Dismissal of Ocean Casino’s COVID-19 Business Interruption Claims
The New Jersey Appellate Division stated that the trial court “erroneously” found the defendant insurers’ policy terms to be “ambiguous and confusing.”
6th Circ. Weighs In on Another ‘Direct Physical Loss’ Claim During COVID-19, Awaiting State Supreme Court Ruling
“Regardless of whether ‘loss’ means ‘deprivation’ or ‘failing to keep possession’ or whether ‘property’ includes leaseholds or buildings, this court has squarely determined that ‘direct physical loss of’ property does not mean what [plaintiffs] say it means,” the federal appeals court wrote. “It refers to the direct physical loss of property, not the use of property.”
Appeals Court: Virus Exclusion Fatal to COVID-19 Business Interruption Claim
The New Jersey Appellate Division affirmed an order granting summary judgment to an insurer on 13 claims, all related to denied coverage for business losses incurred following Gov. Phil Murphy’s Executive Order 107, which closed nonessential businesses and prohibited social gatherings.
NJ Appeals Court Joins ‘Scores’ of Courts in Denying Business Owners Coverage for COVID-19 Losses
“We recognize that COVID-19 has caused overwhelming economic losses to untold businesses and individuals dependent on those businesses in our state, nation, and the world,” the court said. “Nevertheless, in the context of the issues presented in this appeal, plaintiffs’ insurance claims are restricted by the clear and plain meaning of their insurance policies, which we cannot rewrite to cover their unfortunate losses.”
Appeals Court Allows Botanical Garden to Go Forward With COVID-19 Business Interruption Suit
The Appellate Division, First Department court also allowed the Botanical Garden to proceed with a related breach of the implied covenant of good faith claim against the insurance company.
11th Circuit Court Rules in Favor of Insurer in COVID-19 Business Interruption Suit
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit has joined courts across the country in siding with an insurer against businesses trying to recoup profits lost during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Society Insurance Renews Push to Dismiss COVID-19 Business Interruption Claims
Citing a growing number of court decisions favoring insurers, Society Insurance has renewed its push to dismiss 57 lawsuits brought over denied business interruption claims tied to the COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns.
‘No Physical Loss’: Restaurants’ COVID-19 Business Losses Not Covered by Their Property Insurance
Circuit Judge Britt Grant’s opinion underscored the dire record of business owners seeking coverage for losses attributed to COVID-19. She said policies weren’t written with foresight of a once-in-a-century pandemic.
Another State Appellate Court Nixes a COVID-19 Business Interruption Claim
“No Maryland appellate court has decided this specific question, but hundreds of courts throughout the United States have decided it in interpreting policies that are substantially identical to the policy in this case,” Judge Kevin F. Arthur wrote.
Federal Judge Asks State Court to Weigh in on COVID-19 Business Interruption Case
A large majority of courts nationwide have sided with insurers in the recent string of pandemic-driven business interruption cases. Nevertheless, a federal judge has asked the Maryland Court of Appeals to weigh in on whether the COVID-19 virus causes “physical loss or damage” to a property such that it triggers coverage.
Citing ‘Growing National Consensus,’ 7th Circ. Again Holds That COVID-19 Does Not Cause ‘Direct Physical Loss or Damage to’ Property
Every federal appeals courts to address the issue thus far has reached the same conclusion.
First 2 State Supreme Courts Join Federal Appeals Courts in Rejecting COVID-19 Business Interruption Claims
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and the Iowa Supreme Court became the first state high courts in the country last week to decide whether businesses can recover COVID-19-related business losses under their insurance policies.
NBA Team’s Insurance Dispute Questions Whether COVID-19 Constitutes Physical Damage
The Philadelphia 76ers and the owner of its training complex are seeking declaratory judgment to reflect that COVID-19 “does not constitute direct physical loss or damage” to their property.
6th Circuit Adds to Growing Body of Federal Appellate Rulings Siding With Insurers in COVID-19 Business Interruption Suits
Adding to both its own existing case law and the growing body of federal jurisprudence on COVID-19 business interruption policies, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit on Wednesday upheld an insurer’s denial of coverage to several Michigan restaurants for pandemic-related losses.
Big Law Trio Steps Into Regal Cinemas’ Insurance Dispute Over $650M in COVID-19-Related Losses
This suit was surfaced by Law.com Radar. Read the complaint here.
Coronavirus Causes Property Damage? That’s What a Hospital Argued in Fight With Insurer
The plaintiffs claimed property damage because the virus is “spread through droplets of different sizes, which can be deposited on surfaces or objects,” which they said “physically altered and damaged” their facilities.
Tenth Circuit Holds That COVID Closure Orders Do Not Trigger Business Interruption Coverage
The court reasoned that the temporary inability to use property caused by COVID shutdown orders doesn’t involve a covered physical loss of property, and in any event, the policy’s virus exclusion applied.
Pandemic No Longer Biggest Business Interruption Fear
Business interruption is ranked as the biggest risk by U.S. business leaders.
5th Cir. Keeps Streak Alive, Joining Sister Circuits in Rejecting Plaintiffs’ COVID-19 Business Interruption Claims
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has become the latest federal appellate court to reject a plaintiff’s claims seeking insurance coverage for business losses incurred as a result of COVID-19 shutdown orders.
10th Cir. Joins Growing List of Appeals Courts Siding With Insurers in COVID-19 Business Interruption Cases
“Every circuit to address the issue has held that identical or nearly identical business income provisions did not cover losses covered by COVID closure orders,” the 10th Circuit panel ruled.
Federal Court Dismisses Another COVID Virus Exclusion Case
The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee has dismissed a COVID-19 lawsuit brought by a policyholder that had its business-interruption claim denied by its insurance carrier.
Virus Exclusion Dooms Another COVID-19 Business Interruption Lawsuit in NJ Federal Court
“The Court has great sympathy for Plaintiff and other businesses that have sustained heavy losses during the pandemic. But, as we have previously opined, the Court cannot deviate from this finding without in effect re-writing the Policy,” a federal judge wrote.
Insurer Emerges Victorious From Nation’s First COVID-19 Business Interruption Jury Trial
The Cincinnati Insurance Co. Inc., does not have to pay a Kansas City restaurant management group that was forced to close at least nine restaurants as a result of coronavirus stay-at-home orders, a jury decided last week in a Missouri federal court.
Clyde & Co. Tapped to Defend Against Restaurants’ Business Interruption Claims
This suit was surfaced by Law.com Radar. Read the document here.
State Farm Hit With COVID-based Business Interruption Class Action
This suit was surfaced by Law.com Radar. Read the complaint here.
Restaurant’s Bid for COVID-19 Insurance Coverage Faces Skepticism in 1st Circuit
Lawyers for seafood chain Legal Sea Food faced skepticism in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit during arguments over whether the company’s insurer owes money to cover financial losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hotel’s Business Interruption Suit Can Continue
A Connecticut court has refused to dismiss a COVID-19 business interruption suit stating that a hotel chain seeking coverage for a property in Louisiana had adequately alleged physical loss or damage.
Another Federal Appeals Court Says COVID-19 Shutdown Orders Aren’t Covered by Business Interruption Insurance
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has sided with insurers in the ongoing national debate over whether businesses should be entitled to coverage for lost income as a result of government shutdown orders during the pandemic.
Courts Disagree About Business Interruption Suits, But Judge Nixes Stay of Litigation Amid Pending Appeal
The plaintiff sought the stay “despite essentially conceding there are no substantive grounds for this court to distinguish this case from numerous others from just the past year,” which were dismissed, U.S. District Judge Noel Hillman wrote.
Legal Fight Over COVID-19 Insurance Coverage Heads to Appellate Courts
There are now 120 cases on appeal, in both state and federal courts, that allege insurance companies wrongfully denied coverage for pandemic-related business interruption claims. Lawyers are awaiting rulings from the Ohio Supreme Court, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals and the Oklahoma Supreme Court, as well as the U.S. Court of Appeals’ Ninth Circuit and Eighth Circuit.
‘Changing the Content of the Air’: Unique Argument Scores Rare Victory for Cinemark’s COVID-19 Insurance Claim
A couple of allegations by Cinemark seems to have swayed the court here: that COVID-19 was present in its facilities and the virus had physically changed the air.
‘Changing the Content of the Air’: Unique Argument Scores Rare Victory for Cinemark’s COVID-19 Insurance Claim
A couple of allegations by Cinemark seems to have swayed the court here: that COVID-19 was present in its facilities and the virus had physically changed the air.
Judge Grants Coverage for Business Owner in Pennsylvania’s First ‘Substantive’ COVID-Related Insurance Ruling
“It is the first substantive ruling in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania by a state court judge,” Pittsburgh attorney Jack Goodrich, who represented Ungarean, said. “What we’re hoping is that the federal courts are going to take guidance from the state court opinion and adopt that as law going forward.”
‘Shutdown Orders Do Impose a Physical Limit’: Why a Federal Judge Allowed Plaintiffs to Proceed in Bellwether Business Interruption Cases
The detailed opinion by U.S. District Judge Edmond Chang focused largely on two key elements found in the relevant policy language issued by Society Insurance: causation and the meaning of “direct physical loss” as applied to the plaintiff businesses that saw their business and profits crater as the coronavirus took grip.
Nassau County Judge Rules Commercial Insurance Policy Doesn’t Cover Movie Theater’s COVID-19 Losses
The ruling, from Justice Timothy S. Driscoll of the Supreme Court’s Commercial Division, was the first written decision by a New York state court to address COVID-19 coverage in an insurance dispute, an attorney for one of the defendants said Wednesday.
Insurer Wins in COVID-19 Case of First Impression
This ruling was handed down from the bench following a Zoom hearing, which was later posted on YouTube.
Court Opinion Finds COVID-19 Qualifies as a Natural Disaster
A Pennsylvania Supreme Court Decision may help policyholders seeking claims coverage for COVID-19 losses.
South African Insurer Loses COVID-19 Business Interruption Test Case
In a 42-page judgment, the Western Cape High Court found that Santam was liable to pay for business interruption losses related to the lockdown.
Insurers Take Business Interruption Case to U.K. Supreme Court
The U.K. Supreme Court is considering if it is incorrect to assume that insurance coverage would be unlimited during a pandemic.
Court Refuses to Apply Virus Exclusion in COVID Insurance Lawsuit
The record for rulings in cases having a virus exclusion is 39-5 in favor of insurers, and several judges have directly addressed the lack of ambiguity in the exclusions despite no direct mention of a pandemic.
A New COVID-19 Business Interruption Ruling Worries Insurance Defense Attorneys
“This could embolden plaintiffs’ attorneys to file more lawsuits,” said Womble Bond Dickinson insurance defense litigator Rachel E. Keen.
Court: Producer Cannot Be Liable for Denial of COVID-19 Business Interruption Claim
After an insurance carrier denied a lawyer and her firm’s claim for lost business income due to the COVID-19-related shutdown, she sued both her carrier and the producer that procured the policy.
Yankees Minor League Team’s COVID Coverage Dispute Goes to State Court
A New York Yankees minor league team’s lawsuit against its insurer over coverage for business losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic is being moved from federal to state court.
Another COVID-19 Win for Policyholders
In his second of the same type of ruling Justice Bough denied Owners Insurance Co.’s motion to dismiss a suit brought by a dental practice group that sought coverage for income lost due to mandatory COVID-19 lockdowns.
NJ Court Refuses to Dismiss COVID-Related Business Interruption Claims
A New Jersey state court recently rejected an insurer’s claim that COVID-related losses cannot qualify as covered losses.
COVID-19 Barbershop Dispute Results in Another Insurer Win
While it is still too early to call it a trend, insurers currently seem to hold the upper hand in these cases.
‘Only Superficial Commonality’: There Will Be No MDL for Lawsuits Against Insurers Over COVID-19 Claims
“To say this litigation would result in a complicated MDL seems an understatement,” wrote the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation in an order Wednesday rejecting coordination of lawsuits brought by small businesses against more than 100 insurance firms. But the panel opened the door for MDLs against specific insurers.
Some of the Top NYC Eateries Sue for COVID-19 Business Interruption Coverage
These New York City destination restaurants also argue in their insurance lawsuit that pandemic safety rules rendered them non-functional.
‘The World Economy Is at Play’: JPML Warned of High Stakes in Consolidating COVID-19 Business Interruption Litigation
Most of the judicial panel’s questions were directed at attorneys seeking consolidation, often asking about what the common facts would be and what would happen to litigation against insurers that are facing only a handful of claims. Some judges also appeared skeptical about how consolidation could benefit such a vast group of cases.
South African Insurers Agree to Pay COVID-19 Claims
The group of insurers includes the nation’s largest P&C carrier, which has committed to $60M in policyholder payments.
Billions at Stake? MDL Panel to Hear Arguments on COVID-19 Business-Interruption Insurance Claims
The hundreds of cases are in multiple federal courts throughout the country, including Florida, New York and Texas.
Pa. Court Consolidates State’s COVID-Related Business Interruption Litigation
On Thursday morning, Allegheny County Administrative Judge Christine Ward agreed to consolidate into the Pittsburgh-based court several lawsuits that have been filed across the state against Erie Insurance Exchange over its business interruption coverage.
Legal Drama: Actors’ Playhouse Leads Insurance Class Action Over Business Interruption
Actors’ Playhouse Productions is the operator of a landmark South Florida performing arts theater, the Miracle Theatre.
Pa. High Court Refuses to Hear COVID-Related Business Interruption Coverage Dispute
Petitioners had also asked the court to consolidate all insurance claims related to the COVID-19 shutdowns into a single court in Pennsylvania.
Insurer Opposes Restaurant Owner’s King’s Bench Petition in Pa. Business Interruption Case
An insurer sued in a coverage dispute over whether it should compensate a restaurant owner over loss of business due to COVID-19 closures has urged the Pennsylvania Supreme Court not to fast-track its review of the case.
Phila. Law Firm Sues Insurer Over Business Interruption
Sidkoff, Pincus & Green argued that it cannot conduct business or collect from clients because of a state-mandated office shutdown.
Trends and Analysis
Law.com Litigation Trendspotter: COVID-19 Business Interruption Rulings Snowballing in Favor of Insurers
The momentum in favor of insurers in business interruption litigation has picked up speed in recent weeks, with more federal appeals courts, as well as the first two state high courts in the U.S., rejecting policyholders’ claims that COVID-19 caused “direct physical harm or damage” to their properties.
COVID-19 Business Interruption Claims May Force Change to How Losses are Calculated
The impacts of COVID-19 continue to affect businesses, and claims professionals may need to change how they calculate losses as a result.
Law.com Litigation Trendspotter: Big Wins Are Piling Up for Insurers in Business Interruption Cases—But the Slugfest Continues
Right now, the momentum appears to favor defendants in these cases, but insurance recovery lawyers have signaled that they have no intention of throwing in the towel.
‘A Win for Whichever Party Wants to Be in Federal Court’: Impact of the Third Circuit’s Ruling on COVID Business Losses
“I think it’s a win for whichever party wants to be in federal court,” Jay Lavroff, a lawyer at Lindabury, McCormick, Estrabrook & Cooper, said. “In COVID business-interruption claims and virus-exclusion claims, cases that have been removed have been largely removed by insurance companies.”
In Business-Interruption Insurance Claims, Choosing State Court as the Venue Just Became Harder
“I think it’s a win for whichever party wants to be in federal court,” Jay Lavroff, a lawyer at Lindabury, McCormick, Estrabrook & Cooper in Westfield, New Jersey, said. “In COVID business-interruption claims and virus-exclusion claims, cases that have been removed have been largely removed by insurance companies.”
Gym’s Lawsuit Against Insurer Over Pandemic Losses Can Proceed, Judge Rules
Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas Judge Terrence R. Nealon refused to dismiss the COVID-19 business interruption lawsuit filed by the gym and fitness center last year.
Two Pa. Courts, Two Opposite Rulings in Similar COVID Business Insurance Cases
A downtown Pittsburgh tavern should be covered by its insurer for pandemic-related business losses, says one judge. A Lawrence County sporting goods store with the same claim should not, says another. These disparate rulings on the same subject, reached by judges in Allegheny and Lawrence counties, show that when it comes to business insurance coverage during the COVID-19 pandemic, the devil is in the details of the policy.
Key Decisions Coming on Pandemic Business-Interruption Insurance Cases.
The exercise equipment compnay is offering full refunds, software upgrades and other perks designed to diminish the potential economic damages available through a consumer class action.
Law.com Litigation Trendspotter: One Year Into the Pandemic, Business Interruption Plaintiffs Notch a Win, but Consumers’ COVID Claims Fail
Officially one year into the COVID-19 lockdown in the U.S., business interruption insurance litigation continues to be a roller coaster ride, while another strain of coronavirus-related litigation—class actions filed by consumers who purchased tickets for sporting events, concerts and trips, or had annual gym memberships, that became unusable once the country shut down—has so far been trending in favor of defendants.
COVID-19 Business Interruption Suits Getting Green Lights From Judges
The power grid operator, called the Electric Reliability Council of Texas Inc., or ERCOT, as well as regional utilities, have been targeted for failing to prepare residents for the power outages and not winterizing the state’s electrical equipment.
Law.com Litigation Trendspotter: With COVID-19 Business Interruption Rulings All Over the Map, One State Enters the Spotlight
With divergent COVID-19 business interruption insurance rulings coming down all over the U.S, the Ohio Supreme Court has been asked by a federal judge to decide whether having the coronavirus on a business’s property would constitute a compensable “physical loss.”
Is Ohio the New Center of COVID BI Claim Litigation?
Insureds might be in a race to get lower court cases to trial if rulings in favor of insurers are upheld on appeal.
Federal Judge Asks State Supreme Court for COVID-19 Ruling
Differing interpretations of Ohio law by various courts will undermine the uniform application of the law to litigants in similar situations.
Class Action Targets Australian Insurers Over COVID-19 Claims Rejections
The latest of several Australia class actions related to the global pandemic.
U.K. Supreme Court Rules Insurers Responsible for COVID-19 Losses
The ruling deals yet another blow to an industry that has endured one of its toughest years in history.
Insurance Cases Tied to Pandemic Are Sent to Pa., NY Federal Courts by MDL Panel
The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ordered coordination of about two dozen lawsuits bringing business interruption claims against Erie Insurance to the Western District of Pennsylvania. The panel also sent a dozen cases against Generali, which provided insurance for bookings on vacation rental site Vrbo, to the Southern District of New York.
Attorneys: Tide Might Be Turning Against Insurers in Business-Interruption Lawsuits
As COVID-19 continues to take its toll on such businesses as restaurants and entertainment centers, many of those businesses have had to sue their insurance carriers for denying claims.
State Insurance Departments COVID-19 Update – Interactive Map
Provides an overview of the ISO optional endorsements providing business interruption coverage for COVID-19 disruptions and constant updates from insurance departments as they issue bulletins.
Evaluating How Legislation Responds to Business Interruption
The proposed COVID-19 business interruption bills have arguably been the most controversial topic surrounding the pandemic.
Will Business Interruption Insurance Provide Coverage for Coronavirus Losses?
A summarization of challenges to business interruption coverage in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Minutia Could Mean Millions In Business Interruption Claims
Several approaches can be used to determine losses related to a business interruption claim.
Law.com Litigation Trendspotter: Plaintiffs Get Biggest Win Yet in COVID-19 Business Interruption Litigation
A recent pair of rulings out of North Carolina may have handed plaintiffs their biggest win yet in a COVID-19 business interruption insurance case—one that could definitively change the trajectory of similar litigation nationwide.
Law Firms Get Ready for Wave of Business Interruption Insurance Suits
Pandemic-related litigation promises to add work for insurance defense firms, and some plaintiff firms, as insurers refuse to pay out on some Covid-19 claims
Lawsuit Filings Related to COVID-19 Dip in August After ‘First Wave’ of Cases, Study Shows
The number of new lawsuits caused by COVID-19 dipped in August to 660, according to data released Tuesday by the Silicon Valley-based litigation research firm Lex Machina, but may just be the end of the “first wave” of cases.
Law.com Litigation Trendspotter: Plaintiffs Get a Few More Glimmers of Hope in COVID-19 Business Interruption Cases
Since a major win back in August following a string of losses, policyholders have notched two more victories, signaling that the tides of COVID-19 business interruption litigation could still change.
What Does Failure of 2 COVID-19 Exposure Claims Say About Courts’ Standards?
Judges gave the plaintiffs a chance to amend, but the rulings are a blow for those trying to get over the first hurdle at a motion to dismiss.
When It Comes to COVID-Related Business Interruption Litigation in Pa., Feds Deferring to State Courts
Over the past few weeks, three federal judges have remanded declaratory judgment actions that businesses have brought against their insurance carriers regarding whether they should receive coverage for the business interruptions they suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Missouri COVID-19 Business Interruption Ruling Gives Plaintiffs Lawyers Hope
To borrow a word from a trial lawyer, the plaintiff’s bar is “energized” by a Missouri federal judge’s ruling allowing a lawsuit to go forward against an insurance company for a coronavirus pandemic business interruption claim.
Law.com Trendspotter: COVID-19 Business Interruption Claims Are White-Hot, but Will Courts Cool Them Off?
Business interruption claims over losses incurred as a result of the pandemic are coming fast and furious against insurance companies, but there is some reason to believe the momentum may not last long.
As Business Interruption Lawsuits Pile Up, Several Lawyers Question the Strategy
Many insurance policies have an exclusion for viruses, which will be a key hurdle before any judge.
Insurers Celebrate, But Michigan Ruling Denying COVID Business Interruption Coverage Unlikely a Trendsetter
Insurers and policyholders long have debated whether business interruption insurance covers losses resulting from governmental orders—a debate intensified by numerous recent coverage claims arising from COVID-19 forced shutdowns of businesses and social distancing guidelines.
Courts Tackle Mounting Claims for COVID-19-Related Losses
The main dispute is whether the insured can demonstrate that the loss resulted from physical loss or damage to property.
Insurance Lawsuits Mounting Over Business Losses in COVID-19 Lockdowns
Law firms join a growing group of business owners suing their insurance companies for rejecting COVID-19 business-loss claims.
Class Action Lawsuits Fight Denial of Business Interruption Coverage Over COVID-19
Three class action suits have been filed in the District of New Jersey in recent days on behalf of restaurants that were denied business interruption coverage, and similar suits are popping up in other states as well.
Closed for COVID, Restaurant Asks Pa. Justices to Fast-Track Ruling on Insurance Coverage
In a petition filed to the justices Wednesday, attorneys for restaurant owner Joseph Tambellini said a ruling from the Supreme Court on the issue could provide guidance to the “hundreds, if not thousands,” of lawsuits expected to result from the statewide closures Gov. Tom Wolf mandated as an effort to stem the spread of the highly contagious disease.
Proposed Business Interruption Bills Could Lead to Disaster, Says Insurance Leaders
According to PIA, the proposed legislation would exacerbate existing disruptions and further delay economic recovery.
Is the Pendulum Swinging Back to Favor Policyholders for COVID-19 Business Interruption Losses?
By far the largest development in insurance coverage over the past year and a half has been the deluge of litigation over business interruption coverage.
Covid-19′s Mark on Insurance Coverage Litigation
Albert (Bert) B. Randall, Jr. discusses the range of pandemic-related business claims, legal outcomes to date and policy renewal advice.
Constitutionally Permissible? Can States Require Insurers To Pay Business Interruption Claims Due to Government-Imposed Business Closures?
Businesses forced to shut-down to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 are turning to their business interruption policies to recover losses. These claims are routinely denied given that the policy requires some sort of physical loss or damage before coverage will trigger. Various states have introduced legislation seeking to protect insureds from these coverage denials.
Retroactive Insurance Coverage for COVID-19 Losses
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented New York business owners with many obstacles and difficulties, and the New York Legislature has reasonably looked for ways to lessen the financial impact the crisis has had on our neighborhood’s restaurants, shops and offices.
Isn’t It Time To Consider Mediating COVID-19 Business Interruption Insurance Claims?
Mediation might help get some of these cases to satisfactory resolutions and, in other cases, may lead to a more focused litigation with narrower discovery and a related cost savings.
UK Judgment on COVID-19 Business Interruption Claims Unlikely To Impact US Coverage Disputes
In their Corporate Insurance column, Howard B. Epstein and Theodore A. Keyes discuss a recent U.K. ruling that policyholders are entitled to coverage for business interruption loss incurred due to shutdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in a test case interpreting the language of 21 different U.K. policy forms issued by eight insurers. They write that while the judgment is certainly a major development with respect to the U.K. claims, it is unlikely to have a significant impact on the business interruption coverage disputes pending in the United States.
Georgia Joins Other Jurisdictions Where COVID-19 Business Income Claims Fail
Surviving businesses have looked to their business insurance policies to try to recover the income they lost, but a recent ruling in Georgia indicates businesses will need to look elsewhere for financial healing.
Look to ‘Optical’ in Deciding COVID-19 Business Interruption Cases
To save thousands of New York business from closing their doors permanently, New York courts should look to the New Jersey case ‘Optical Services USA/JCI v. Franklin Mutual Insurance Co.,’ for a decision and rationale that is consistent with New York jurisprudence.
Is Your COVID Business Interruption Claim Arbitrable?
Although it has been six months since a pandemic was declared, the virus continues to wreak havoc on many businesses, and consequently, new business interruption lawsuits are being filed every week.
Business-Interruption Claims in the COVID-19 Era: Litigators Find Hope
The courts have, in turn, opened their ears (and maybe their hearts, too) to the plight of American businesses that have suffered on a truly historic scale.
COVID-19 Business Interruption Coverage: A Policyholder’s Perspective
As in other high-stakes coverage litigation, some insurers can be expected to advance innumerable arguments concerning limits, exclusions or other terms, pushing off the day of reckoning as long as possible, says Hunton Andrews Kurth’s Scott DeVries and Lorelie Masters.
Business Interruptions Claims Amid COVID: Wins, Losses and How to Move Forward
There was much speculation at the beginning of the COVID-19 shutdown about how insurers would respond to the pandemic. Would business interruption insurance cover losses and what those payouts would actually look like? Six months later and the picture is becoming clearer as a wave of suits have been brought by companies denied coverage and decisions are starting to come down.
Groundbreaking Opinion: COVID Sufficient to Trigger Business Interruption Coverage
In a resounding victory for policyholders a mere five months after the pandemic swept the United States, a federal court in Missouri has issued an opinion signaling that the levee has already broken.
Presence of Coronavirus at a Business May Not Result in Property Damage
Understandably, businesses are looking at ways to stem the tide of mounting losses and are looking to their all-risk insurance policies for help. Most of these claims, however, have been or likely will be denied and, as a result, hundreds of businesses all over the country are filing lawsuits against their insurance carriers.
Coronavirus Coverage Litigation: The ‘Physical Loss or Damage’ Battle Revs Up
“Insurance companies are likely prioritizing the advance of their “physical loss of damage” battle in venues where the rules of insurance policy construction and case law are favorable to insurers, and policyholders need to be encouraged that pro-policyholder venues still exist and the loss of a few of these battles does not signify the loss of the war,” says K&L Gates’ Carolyn Branthoover.
The World of Business Interruption Claims is Not a Pretty Place
The use of a parametric model for claims could save insureds and adjusters time when dealing with a covered peril.
Courts Find No Coverage for COVID-19 Business Interruption Claims
Litigation has already started and courts in Michigan, New York, Texas and Washington, D.C. have already ruled in favor of the insurance industry in four decisions. In stark contrast, only one Missouri court refused to dismiss a similar suit on procedural ground as opposed to the merits.
Valuing COVID-19 Business Interruption Loss: Considering Post-Event Economic Activity
If a business can show physical damage to property and avoid any virus exclusion how should profits be calculated?
Southern District Denies Insured’s Request for Preliminary Injunction Seeking Payment of COVID-19 Related Loss
The central issue in dispute in the vast majority of these business-interruption loss cases is whether or not the insured can demonstrate that the loss resulted from physical loss or damage to property.
Insurers Refuse to Pay Business Interruption Claims Caused by Pandemic
Hundreds of business interruption lawsuits have been filed against insurers who would rather fight than pay claims. Many more suits will follow. Time, however, may not be on the side of small businesses. The business community deserves prompt attention to their plight.
Insurance Speak: Business Interruption Claims & COVID-19
Erik Josowitz of InsuranceQuotes.com talks about the role of BI insurance for businesses forced to close due to the coronavirus.
‘Loss of Market’ Exclusions to COVID-19 Business Interruption Insurance Claims
The response from the insurance industry has been underwhelming, with the industry generally taking the position that there is no coverage for COVID-19-related business interruption losses.