On Saturday October 12, 2019, several decks of upper floors of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino under construction just off Canal Street in New Orleans suddenly collapsed. As emergency personnel were engaged in the immediate efforts to rescue and aid the crews working at the hotel site, the City of New Orleans was busy implementing its emergency response teams.
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As the Category 4 Hurricane Michael approached Florida, many areas evacuated in preparation for the storm. During a catastrophic event, such as Hurricane Michael, governmental authorities often order evacuation and prohibit access to certain areas due to public safety. The evacuation orders in Florida forced many businesses to shut down their operations until further notice. As a result, the businesses affected by the evacuation orders may bring a claim for business interruption claim under coverage provisions for Civil Authority.
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Many businesses in the Northeast have had their business interruption claims denied because they did not have flood insurance. Flood damage is typically excluded from most commercial property policies, but businesses sustained many other types of losses that should be covered under most commercial policies despite the flood damage and lack of flood insurance.


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Many New York business owners have been denied insurance recovery based on causation issues (i.e., property damages and business income losses were caused by flood which is excluded under most policies). However, many insurance policies provide a measure of coverage and recovery through Civil Authority and Ingress/Egress provisions, which are not triggered by damages at the insured premises. Given the mandatory evacuation orders issued by the governors of New York, Delaware, New Jersey and Connecticut, insurance companies should evaluate potential coverage for business income losses under these additional coverage provisions.


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Catastrophes by definition cannot be felt in the imagination – they are only experienced as embodied in the sensation of the unimaginable. There is no doubt that the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy was unimaginable. Life along the coast line of New York and New Jersey will never be the same, but as people and businesses adjust to the “new” normal, many are considering how their insurance policies will respond.


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The destruction and devastation Hurricane Sandy left behind is disheartening. I have no doubt the greater New York City area will rise again- stronger than ever. Some news outlets have already reported that business interruption coverage may not be triggered for many commercial policyholders if the damage was caused by flood or storm surge.


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It is not unusual for government authorities (police, fire, city) to order an evacuation or prohibit access to a certain area due to public safety concerns when a natural disaster, riot or other life threatening event is imminent. When this occurs, businesses are forced to shut down their operations until further notice. If a business has purchased standard business income coverage (CP 00 30), it is likely that the policy also includes Civil Authority coverage for any business income losses caused by a government mandate.


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Approximately 4,411 delegates and alternate delegates from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories will attend the Republican National Convention from August 27 – August 30, 2012 in Tampa Bay, Florida. The convention will also host approximately 15,000 credentialed media, a press corps second only in size to this summer’s London Olympic Games. In total, the city is expecting over 50,000 visitors- managing this sudden invasion is a feat of its own. Federal and local authorities have already ordered certain road closures in anticipation of the event and many businesses will be affected by traffic re-routing and road closures.


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It is not unusual for government authorities (police, fire, city, etc) to order an evacuation or prohibit access to a certain area due to public safety concerns when a natural disaster, riot or other life threatening event is imminent. When this occurs, businesses are forced to shut down their operations until further notice. If a business has purchased standard business income coverage (CP 00 30), it is likely that the policy also includes Civil Authority coverage for any business income losses caused by a government mandate. However, Civil Authority coverage is like playing the lottery, if your numbers don’t match, you lose.


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