Small business owners are having a devastating time with the COVID-19 pandemic. Most are either shut down or severely hemorrhaging with lost profits. I am frequently asked whether business owners have insurance coverage for this shut down and what they should do.
Continue Reading What Should a Small Business Owner Do Regarding Business Interruption Caused by COVID-19? And Understanding What Physical Damage Means Under a Property Insurance Policy—Do Not Miss Tuesday’s At 2 with Chip Merlin

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!
Continue Reading Coronavirus Insurance Coverage Update for April 11—Are Trump Republicans and Other Politicians Going to Support Legislation Forcing Insurance Companies to Pay Pandemic Coverage?

As discussed in my blog post last week, the coronavirus may impact deadlines for property insurance claims, including deadlines in which to receive replacement cost benefits. To ensure that Illinois insurance consumer rights are protected and that Illinois consumers do not suffer unnecessary hardship during this pandemic, the Illinois Department of Insurance implemented Bulletin 2020-09. In that Bulletin, the Department requested that all insurers licensed or authorized to transact insurance business in Illinois consider implementing certain protective measures.
Continue Reading The Illinois Department of Insurance Requests Property and Casualty Insurers Implement Various Safeguards Due to the Coronavirus Impact

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.
Continue Reading Through the Rabbit Hole—Update on proposed COVID-19 Business Interruption Legislation

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.
Continue Reading Coronavirus Insurance Coverage Update April 8—Pennsylvania Files Proposed Legislation, An Official “Trickle” of Lawsuits is Filed and Is There A Test That Finds Covid-19 on Property?

This past weekend I was asked the question above. This is what I found in Louisiana. On March 26, 2020, by Proclamation No. JBE 2020-37, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards transferred certain insurance matters to Commissioner of Insurance James J. Donelon. Commissioner Donelon quickly instituted reasonable emergency measures to address the growing concerns of Louisiana’s residents through Emergency Rule 40 – Moratorium on Policy Cancellations and Non-Renewals for Policyholders in Louisiana during the Outbreak of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) (“Rule 40”).1
Continue Reading Louisiana–COVID-19 Pandemic Relief: My Mortgage is Deferred, What about My Insurance Premiums?

Why sue one at a time when you can sue by the bushel full? Billy Goat Taverns are ganging up against their mutual insurance company, Society National, in a federal class action lawsuit. This lawsuit is seeking damages and a declaration of coverage due to their closure from the coronavirus. This class action lawsuit was filed by a personal injury attorney.
Continue Reading Coronavirus Insurance Update April 3—A Class of Billy Goats Joins the Fray Along With Advertising Attorneys While The ISO Says No, No, No

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.
Continue Reading California Bay Area Shuts Down Construction – How Does This Affect an Ongoing Business Claim?

The National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (NAPIA) has sent a notice to each Department of Insurance requesting that claims deadlines be extended as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Continue Reading Coronavirus Insurance Coverage Update April 2—National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters Asks For Claim Deadline Extensions And Florida Restaurant Lawsuit Filed