For anyone following the daily flood of developments regarding business interruption and COVID-19, insurance commentator Bill Wilson is a good source to read and follow. Astutely, his website is www.insurancecommentary.com. Mr. Wilson’s newest post, It’s Not Just About ‘Direct Physical Damage’,1 raises interesting new arguments about Civil Authority claims – a sub-coverage within business interruption. He breaks down some factors that lean both for and against civil authority coverage for COVID-19 claims based on some interesting historical research.
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With COVID-19 business closures, legislatures across the country have been grappling with new questions, including what protections may be afforded by business income insurance. As of late, members of legislatures in states like New York1 and Pennsylvania2 have all proposed legislation in favor of affording coverage for claims that might otherwise be excluded. While these bills have not passed, they may offer some indication about what legal issues could arise in the future.3
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Business interruption can be a hot button topic among business owners and carriers alike. The purpose of business interruption insurance is to protect business owners for the loss that occurs for not being able to use a specified location.1 Questions often arise on how to compute the loss of revenue when a business’s operations fully close due to a covered loss. However, what can a business do to better protect itself if its operations are only partially interrupted?
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When I saw my colleague Mike Pappitoninio, who sponsors Mass Torts Made Perfect, started advertising for what must have been his first ever seminar on the intricacies of a property insurance policy, I knew it was only a matter of time before the Mass Tort Lawyers would start to file their lawsuits and ask the Federal Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to consolidate the litigation.
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In case you missed yesterday’s post and video, Breaking News—President Trump Demands Insurance Companies to Pay Up! Business Interruption Coverage, the trend is clear in the state and federal political arena—insurance companies should Pay Up!
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NOTE: This guest blog post is by Holly Soffer, Esq., a policyholder attorney and General Counsel to the American Association of Public Insurance Adjusters.

Much has changed in the world since my blog on March 24th. Not only are there new phrases in our lexicon such as “Zoom happy hour,” but also the legislative response to COVID-19 Business Interruption claims has taken a new tone. At first, a few states1 offered bill similar to the New Jersey2 one, but then, as Chip has commented, the insurance industry has made its views known—as we knew they would.
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Pennsylvania has followed five other states to propose legislation eradicating the “virus” exclusion for small businesses having commercial business income policies. Insurance company lobbyists are fighting this legislation in numerous ways. One is the argument that such legislation, if passed, would be unconstitutional.
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On March 31, 2020, six Northern California Bay Area counties significantly limited construction activity. These orders will result in thousands of construction projects shutting down until at least May 3, 2020. What impact does this have on existing property insurance claims? The answer: a lot, and they will probably result in significant legal disputes.
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