The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic spurred policyholders and businesses to turn to their insurance carriers to seek potential “business interruption” and “civil authority” coverage. Policyholders are hoping this coverage will help offset some of the losses incurred as a result of the government shutdown orders in March and April 2020, which closed “non-essential businesses” and limited the operations of “essential businesses,” in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Insurers have been almost unanimously denying every claim across the country by taking the position that Covid-19 does not constitute a “direct physical loss or damage” to covered property because the virus does not physically alter or tangibly destroy the property like fire damage.
The wheels on these “business interruption” and “civil authority” cases are starting to turn, as courts from around the United States have now had the opportunity to review motions to dismiss or motions for summary judgment filed by insurers.
October 30, 2020
The Restaurant Law Center and the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington filed an amicus curiae brief in the first business interruption insurance case to be presented in an appeals court.