There is literally no one in the United States and beyond that has not been impacted on some level by COVID-19. The full economic impact has yet to unfold. Some clients have called wondering if they have any insurance coverage to help them out during this time. Here is some information to explain what’s covered and what is not.
Question: I have a business owner’s policy. Is there coverage for loss of income due to shut down because of the Coronavirus?
Answer: The short answer is, there is no coverage. For Loss of Business Income Coverage to respond there must be physical damage to your property from a covered cause of loss. There is no "direct physical loss" to property that would cause a loss of income.
What the Government is doing is considered Civil Authority in the insurance world.
However, for a loss to be covered, the Civil Authority must have happened as a reaction to a physical loss. If the building you were holding an event at was partially damaged and a Government authority closed the whole building and thus your event, there would be coverage for loss of business income.
Policies that may have some coverage for loss of income due to the shut down from COVID-19 are for those businesses in the hospitality field that may have coverage for “loss of attraction” or “event interruption”.
Question: If an employee files a claim because they got sick from the Coronavirus due to exposure at work is there coverage on my worker’s compensation policy?
Answer: Maybe.Health Care Workers and First Res-ponders – Yes. Others -whether COVID-19 is compensable under workers’ comp depends on the specific facts. In general, the worker must show that the illness or disease arose out of or was caused by conditions peculiar to the work and that he or she had a greater risk of contracting the disease and in a different manner than the general public. Our suggestion is, if an employee thinks they have contracted COVID-19 on the job submit a claim and let the insurance company sort it out.
Question: What if a client sues me because they think they contracted COVID-19 at my store/restaurant/office?
Answer: Your General Liability policy covers you for bodily injury, personal injury, and property damage caused by the insured’s business operations, products or an injury that occurs on the insured premises for which the business owner is legally liable. Coverage is also provided for defense.
If it was determined that you were legally liable for the bodily injury (someone getting sick) your policy would respond. An example might be, you as the business owner knew that an employee was sick with COVID-19 or they had been exposed and you let them continue to work and did not take adequate precautions to stop the spread of the virus.
So, there is very limited coverage from an insurance standpoint for the impact of COVID-19. We urge you to abide by the Government’s requests of social distancing. Stay home as much as possible. Wash you hands frequently.
If you are a business that does not normally deliver to customers but is now, please call our office so we can make sure you have the proper coverage on your business auto insurance. And if you are now driving for Door Dash or Uber Eats, again, please call us so we can make sure your Personal Auto insurance is written correctly.
If you need to make arrangements to delay a payment or payments on your insurance, please call as soon as possible. Insurance Companies are making accommodations. Don’t let your insurance lapse. We are here to help.
Since we are a small, family owned agency with no employees who aren’t family and we can work remotely, we will stay open during this difficult time. However, we are not allowing in office/face to face meetings. We are, however, available over the phone and via email, during our normal business hours. We can also conduct meetings via Microsoft Teams and Zoom if need be.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us.