It’s a COVID-19 Pandemic; It’s Everywhere – New Cal. Bill to Make Insurers Prove Otherwise
On June 29, in a development that may fundamentally change the landscape for California businesses which have sustained COVID-19 related business interruption loss, two California legislators amended pending legislation to address several of the most hotly contested issues regarding insurance recovery for these devastating losses. Read more here.
Legislation to Force Insurers to Pay COVID-19 Claims Stalls as Virus Rages
California legislation that would have forced insurers to pay more coronavirus business-interruption claims was put on hold last week when state lawmakers decided not to return from their summer recess because of a resurgence of the disease. Read more here.
Michigan Judge Rejects Restaurants’ COVID-19 Business Interruption Claim
A trial court judge in Lansing, Michigan handed a victory to insurers in what may be the nation’s first final ruling on the question of whether a property insurer is liable for financial damages caused by a coronavirus closure order. Read more here.
Circus Circus sues insurance company, claims it failed to honor contract with COVID-19 losses
Lawyers for Circus Circus filed a federal lawsuit against its insurance company this month after a COVID-19-related claim was denied. Read more here.
If we force insurers to pay COVID-19 BI claims, it “would totally bankrupt” most of them
As insurance regulators brace for an onslaught of business interruptions claims resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, one state commissioner admits forcing insurers to pay for these claims will only hurt the industry. Read more here.
COVID-19 Business Immunity Proposal Flounders in Tennessee
Just a few weeks ago, Tennessee looked like a sure bet to become the latest state to protect businesses and other organizations from lawsuits by people impacted by the coronavirus in the push to reopen the economy. Read more here.
A REPORT OF THE NAIC ON THE STATE INSURANCE REGULATORY RESPONSE TO COVID-19
COVID-19 has changed the way we live and work in ways we never would have imagined a few short months ago. As the scale and threat to the health and financial stability of our market has taken shape, at the NAIC, our mission and top priorities are very clear. Read more here.
Las Vegas Casino Workers Sue Over Coronavirus Safety Concerns
Unions representing 65,000 Las Vegas-area casino workers accused some resort operators on Monday of putting employees at risk of illness and death during the coronavirus pandemic by skimping on safety measures like a requirement for mask-wearing. Read more here.
Tribes sue insurer over denied coronavirus business loss claims
Two federally recognized tribes based in the state of Washington are suing their insurance provider, claiming that the company denied their business loss claims related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more here.
Governor Signs Louisiana Bills Shielding Businesses from Virus Lawsuits
Louisiana businesses are receiving state protection from most lawsuits involving COVID-19 deaths or injuries, after Gov. John Bel Edwards signed into law a package of measures that provides the sweeping liability limitations. Read more here.
North Carolina Lawmakers Send Bill to Allow More Business Re-Openings to Governor
North Carolina legislators sent another bill on Thursday to Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper designed to overturn parts of his executive order for COVID-19 that’s kept several types of retail businesses shuttered for months. Read more here.
Republicans consider special session for coronavirus liability
As the Tennessee General Assembly concluded its legislative business for the year early on the morning of June 19, members’ attention turned not to their re-election campaigns or summer holidays but to how quickly they could return to the Capitol. Read more here.
Lawmakers must develop a public-private partnership to address insured losses from pandemics.
The catastrophic impacts of COVID-19 have presented challenges and opportunities for the insurance industry as to how to deal with business interruption (BI) losses by firms that did not have this coverage due to a viral exclusion clause in their policies. Read more here.
Arkansas Governor’s Order Grants Businesses Virus Lawsuit Protections
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson has granted businesses protections from coronavirus lawsuits, while the state’s epidemiologist said she’s concerned loosened restrictions may have caused some to lower their guard against the virus. Read more here.
Lawsuits and legislation on COVID-19 losses inch forward
The fight around business interruption coverage and whether it will apply for businesses that experienced losses from COVID-19 shutdowns continues. Read more here.
Insurer hit with COVID-19 suits says virus doesn’t damage property
The coronavirus does not cause damage to tangible property, therefore, income lost due to COVID-19 lockdowns is not covered by commercial insurance policies, an insurer facing multiple claims from restaurants and other businesses argued Monday. Read more here.
Businesses That Remained Opened Despite Shutdown Could Face Questions About Coverage
Insurers are already seeing some pushback regarding virus-related claim denials from businesses that suffered losses while closed due to the pandemic, but what about claims a business could file if it opens despite a pandemic shutdown order? Read more here.
Looking for Covid-19 relief, restaurants sue insurers who refuse to pay
In the event of a blizzard, flood or fire, Mark Hutchinson could always look to his insurers for help in keeping his string of restaurants afloat. Read more here.
Greenlight to reopen doesn’t offset coronavirus-related risks
On a map of the United States published by The New York Times that reveals the various stages of reopening across the country, 39 states are now colored in dark blue, indicating that businesses are almost universally opening their doors again. Read more here.
In-N-Out Sues Insurance Company Over $250 Million Claim Denial During Pandemic
Zurich American was supposed to cover even “entirely unknown and novel risks,” the fast food burger company says. Read more here.
State Orders Partial Auto Insurance Refunds For Michigan Drivers Amid Pandemic
All Michigan auto insurance companies must give partial premium refunds because people are driving less during the coronavirus pandemic, state officials said Monday. Read more here.
State Insurance Commissioners Issue Notices Regarding Business Interruption Coverage
The insurance commissioners of various states including Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, North Carolina and West Virginia recently issued letters, bulletins and press releases regarding business interruption coverage. Read more here.
Legislation Enabling Policyholders to Obtain Insurance Coverage for Coronavirus Claims is Constitutional Part 1
On top of its human toll, the coronavirus pandemic has had massive economic effects. Stay-at-home orders, which remain in place in much of the United States, have resulted in massive layoffs, spiraling claims for unemployment compensation, and unprecedented federal aid. Read more here.
French restaurant ruling puts coronavirus claims on global menu
AXA (AXAF.PA) will meet the bulk of business interruption claims from some restaurant owners in France, it said on Tuesday, after losing a court case seen as a potential precedent for coronavirus-related disputes across the world. Read more here.
Kansas lawmakers OK barring COVID-19 suits, curbing governor
Republicans pushed a sweeping coronavirus measure through the GOP-controlled Kansas Legislature on Friday, aiming to shield businesses and health care providers from coronavirus-related lawsuits and take control of the state’s pandemic response from Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly. Read more here.
Courts to have final say over ‘business interruption’ coverage
With no compromise in sight, it appears the debate over business interruption insurance coverage will be solved by litigation, not legislation. Read more here.
Fla. Sports Bar’s COVID-19 Insurance Claim Should Proceed
In the short space of two months, thousands of corporate policyholders across the country have gone from pursuing normal, prosperous business operations to substantially reduced or suspended business activity in response to state and local quarantine orders to, now, conflicts with insurance carriers over coverage for extensive business interruption losses. Read more here.
Georgia Bankruptcy Firm Sues Hartford To Cover Virus Losses
A Georgia bankruptcy law firm is suing Hartford Casualty Insurance Co., alleging that it wrongfully denied coverage for business income losses resulting from state-mandated shutdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more here.
When Insurers Deny Claims, Brokers Are Next in Line for Allegations of Wrongdoing
In the wake of government orders shutting down or seriously limiting the operations of businesses to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak, many affected businesses have turned to their insurers for coverage. Read more here.
Louisiana Senate approves tort reform that might lower auto insurance rates; see what’s next
The Louisiana Senate approved Monday sweeping tort reform legislation, which supporters promise will lower the price of auto insurance in Louisiana, with more votes than needed to override a gubernatorial veto. Read more here.
Should Insurance Companies Pay For COVID Shutdown Losses?
Randy and Amanda Rucker opened River Twice, their modern American BYO on Passyunk Avenue, seven months ago, hoping that his culinary talent and her business acumen would establish the restaurant as a fixture on one of Philadelphia’s most competitive restaurant corridors. Read more here.
Auto Insurance Relief Sought For Businesses
Empty roads and vacant workplaces due to the coronavirus outbreak mean fewer cars on the road, fewer fender benders and fewer insurance clams. Read more here.
Language in Emergency Orders Gives Ammo to Plaintiffs in Business-Interruption Suits
Cities and counties across the country may have handed plaintiff’s attorneys an argument to use in lawsuits against insurers that seek business-interruption coverage for losses caused by coronavirus closure orders. Read more here.
Retroactive business interruption cover would make pricing ‘astronomical’
Washington’s state insurance commissioner is strongly opposed to plans that would retroactively force insurers to cover business interruption claims, but has instructed companies to make sure they give “sound, legal reasons” when denying claims. Read more here.
Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon
“The NAIC [National Association of Insurance Commissioners] has told Congress that if they do this; if they pass a bill, which there are several pending, the industry can’t afford it, and the industry will bankrupt. Read more here.
Pennsylvania bill would define COVID-19 as property damage
The proposed legislation would require insurers to pay claims that standard property policies do not typically cover. Read more here.
Bid to Force Interruption Insurance to Cover Virus Shelved
Louisiana lawmakers won’t try to force business interruption insurance to cover the widespread closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more here.
21 State Attorneys General Urge Congress To Protect Businesses From Coronavirus-Related Lawsuits
Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr is leading a coalition of 21 state attorney generals seeking congressional support to create federal legislation that will protect businesses from frivolous lawsuits related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more here.
RELATED: Read the letter to Congress here.
Okla. Senate passes bill to protect firms from virus lawsuits
A Republican bill that would protect businesses from lawsuits arising from the COVID-19 pandemic passed the Oklahoma Senate on Monday. Read more here.
Insurance Department Warns of Risks, Increased Liability with Non-Compliance of Business Closure Orders
Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman today reminded businesses of the importance of complying with Governor Tom Wolf and Department of Health Secretary Rachel Levine’s orders – for counties in both the red and yellow phases. Read more here.
State Regulators Seek COVID-19 P&C Insurance Data
Insurance regulators are collecting data to help determine losses related to COVID-19 and to guide future policy decisions. All 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories have agreed to participate in a data call to collect data related to insurance and COVID-19. Read more here.
Workers’ Comp, Liability Next Up for Virus Insurance Disputes (Corrected)
Coronavirus-related insurance disputes and litigation are likely to move beyond business interruption coverage and into workers compensation and general liability policy lines as states begin to lift restrictions on economic activity. Read more here.
Legal Sea Foods sues insurer for coronavirus coverage
The Boston-based restaurant chain is suing Strathmore Insurance Co. for rejecting its damages claim stemming from the coronavirus pandemic, alleging that its “all risks” policy covers financial losses after Massachusetts and other states ordered restaurants to close except for takeout service. Read more here.
Some Insurance Regulators Skeptical About Business Interruption Claims
Insurance commissioners in at least seven states have advised business owners not to get their hopes up if pursuing business-interruption claims. Scott Seaman, a partner with the Hinshaw & Culbertson law firm in Chicago, posted a blog on Friday that relayed communications from insurance commissioners in Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. Read more here.
North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey
“Mandating coverage for this size and type of loss while canceling existing exclusions in the policies would end the very existence of the business interruption insurance market as we know it.” Read more here.
North Carolina Creates Process for Insurers to Legally Offer Pandemic Premium Relief
The North Carolina Department of Insurance says it is working with insurers to allow them to offer financial relief to policyholders without filing for department approval or risking violating state law during the current coronavirus pandemic. Read more here.
Shoe Co. Sues Hartford Over Coronavirus Closure Coverage
Shoe designer Marc Fisher Footwear LLC and a slew of associated companies have sued a unit of The Hartford in California state court, alleging the insurer has wrongfully failed to cover tens of millions of dollars in losses they have suffered since coronavirus-related closures brought their business to a grinding halt. Read more here.
CONGRESSMAN MIKE THOMPSON (CA) files HR 6494
The bill requires any insurer that offers business interruption coverage to make available and provide coverage for losses resulting from any viral pandemic, any forced closure of business or mandatory evacuation (from all levels of government), any power shut off.
Requires the coverage not differ materially to what is offered for other types of loss under BIPreempts and voids exclusions for the required coverage above (viral pandemic, etc.)
Alabama Regulator Eases Process for Auto Insurers to Reduce Policyholder Premiums
The Alabama Department of Insurance says it will waive filing fees and allow for immediate implementation of premium reductions by insurers in an effort to provide some relief to Alabama consumers. Read more here.
Task force targets coronavirus fraudsters in Nevada
Nevada’s attorney general and U.S. attorney have assembled a new task force to crack down on scams and other crimes related to the new coronavirus. Read more here.
California orders car insurance rebates due to coronavirus. Many carriers already cut rates
If you haven’t already, you could soon see a refund from your car insurance carrier. California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara has ordered carriers to return premiums paid for at least the months of March and April for insurance lines where the risk of loss has fallen substantially as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more here.
Bill would up pressure on insurers to cover business interruption
South Carolina lawmakers have become the latest to introduce a bill that would force insurers to retroactively cover business interruption claims due to COVID-19. Read more here.