White Paper: Commercial Property Insurance Claims in Response to COVID-19

Articles / Publications

A publication of the COVID-19 Recovery Task Force for the Business Law Section of the Florida Bar

Authored by:
Christopher R. Thompson, Esq., Burr & Forman, LLP

With special thanks and recognition to:
Prof. Stephen K. Halpert, Professor of Law, University of Miami School of Law

Nearly every business and not-for-profit in the country has been impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Demand for goods and services has dropped precipitously due to stay-at-home orders, public health recommendations, and unemployment. Governmental orders have prohibited entire categories of businesses from operating. And limitations on large gatherings have prevented not-for-profits from holding traditional revenue-generating events, such as charity auctions, parties, and seminars. As a result, businesses and non-profits are scrambling to find ways to generate revenue and offset their pandemic-related losses.

This paper provides an overview of one potential source of recovery for businesses and non-profits: business interruption insurance. It defines and explains the common characteristics of standard business interruption insurance coverage and civil authority coverage included in many commercial property insurance policies. The paper identifies the possible benefits, and the limitations, that these types of coverage may have for insured businesses hoping to recover their losses as a result of the pandemic. It also briefly explains the litigation and legislation that has arisen in response to near-universal denials of coverage under these policies by insurers. Finally, this paper concludes with some practical recommendations for business owners and non-profits who are considering making a claim under their property insurance policy.

Read the complete article published on flabizlaw.org, here.

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