The First Party Claims Conference is going virtual this year. While trying to think of a pithy and timely topic to teach, I noticed that insurance defense attorney Shannon O’Malley of Zelle LLP, had just written an article, Commercial Property Insurance Coverage and Coronavirus.1 Since the article did not indicate that businesses being shut down by COVID-19 would have an easy time collecting under their business interruption coverages, including civil authority coverage, Shannon received much criticism from policyholder attorneys for her views.
Continue Reading Do Not Miss Analysis of Civil Authority Coverage at the First Party Claims Conference

As the year goes on, state and federal trial courts will continue to tackle legal issues brought on by COVID-19. One recent decision comes from the Middle District of Florida, which recently granted an insurance carrier’s Motion to Dismiss a dental practice’s Complaint brought under the business income and civil authority provisions of the policy.
Continue Reading Trial Court Grants Motion to Dismiss Complaint Based on Virus Exclusion in Policy

New Jersey started the coronavirus business insurance legislation, but just like a virus, it is spreading to other jurisdictions. Ohio and Massachusetts filed very similar bills to what was filed in the New Jersey Assembly.
Continue Reading Coronavirus Insurance Law Update March 26—Ohio and Massachusetts File Proposed Legislation Requiring Retroactive Removal of Virus Exclusion To Coronavirus Business Income and Civil Authority Claims

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.
Continue Reading New Orleans Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Construction Collapse Triggers Time Element Coverages

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.
Continue Reading Hurricane Michael May Trigger Civil Authority Coverage For Businesses In Florida Panhandle

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.


Continue Reading How to Recover Business Income Losses Related to Hurricane Sandy Even If Your Business Did Not Have Flood Insurance?

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.


Continue Reading Maximize Your Insurance Recovery for Business Income Losses Related to Hurricane Sandy

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.


Continue Reading Possible “Triggers” for Business Interruption Coverage For Professional Service Companies In New York and New Jersey Affected by Hurricane Sandy

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.


Continue Reading Civil Authority Coverage Should Help Atlantic City Recover from Sandy – Understanding Business Interruption Claims