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Insurance Coverage for Coronavirus: Mitigating Loss and Protecting the Business


Created on May 19, 2020




As the novel Coronavirus pandemic unfolds, businesses are experiencing massive disruptions to their operations, as well as potential exposure to claims from counter-parties, 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.  Coverage may depend upon resolving certain threshold issues, such as what constitutes covered "physical loss or damage" under these policies; the scope and interpretation of certain virus-related exclusions; and technically challenging issues relating to loss measurement.  

While some insurance industry representatives have expressed skepticism that Coronavirus-related claims will be covered under business interruption
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 a common insurance policy in order to discuss various scenarios to which business insurance may respond and provides practical tips for policyholders in these unprecedented times. 

Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify the various first-party coverages, including business interruption-related coverages, that may be available for businesses coping with Coronavirus related interruptions and losses
  2. Discuss best practices for pursuing insurance claims for loss due to the pandemic
  3. Answer frequently asked questions and analyze common scenarios that businesses will likely encounter in the coming months 

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