As the novel Coronavirus pandemic unfolds, businesses are experiencing massive disruptions to their operations, as well as potential exposure to claims from counterparties, customers, and others. Various types of business insurance policies may respond, depending on policy language and the particular facts on the ground pertaining to a loss. First-party insurance policies may offer “communicable disease” or similar coverage to defray the costs of decontamination, and/or coverage for protection and preservation of property, business interruption, shut-down or slow-down resulting from government-ordered restrictions, loss resulting from COVID-19’s impact on other “dependent” businesses up and down the supply chain, and other loss. Event cancellation coverage may also be available. Shipping and transport-related loss may also be covered under certain policies. On the liability side, general liability coverage may be available for claims by third parties alleging failure to protect their safety and property. Directors & officers and errors & omission coverage may apply to claims that management decisions or inactions harmed third parties. Layoffs and other labor and employment realities may also result in claims by former employees. In addition, the dramatic increase in online business and personal activities in response to the closure of brick-and-mortar workplaces could result in increased cyber claims. And while some exclusions purport to apply to virus-related loss, such language may not be an absolute bar to coverage.
While some insurance industry representatives have expressed skepticism that Coronavirus-related claims will be covered under business insurance policies, the situation is currently in flux, and all potential paths to insurance recovery should be carefully scrutinized. This program, taught by Benjamin Tievsky, an insurance recovery attorney with Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP in New York, walks participants through various scenarios to which business insurance may respond and provides practical tips for policyholders in these unprecedented times.
This presentation will be available on demand after April 1st.