As the coronavirus spreads around the world and economic losses mount, insurance should not be overlooked. Indeed, we believe that many kinds of insurance afford protection against economic losses associated with the spread of the coronavirus and steps taken to minimize its spread. We also believe that insurance exists for lawsuits—which have begun to be filed—relating to alleged exposures to the coronavirus or alleged failures to protect against exposure.
There already have been many statements made that insurance does not apply, that there are policy exclusions that bar coverage, or that particular losses or event cancellations are not insured. That may be true as to certain events or losses under certain policies with certain wording. But, the fact that an insured may not have one type of insurance or that one type of insurance might not provide coverage does not mean that other types of insurance will not provide coverage. The reality is that even if, for example, an insured does not have event cancellation insurance, or its event cancellation insurance has a clear express exclusion barring coverage, other policies may afford coverage. In fact, there often may be coverage afforded for coronavirus-associated losses and litigation under policies that, at first blush, might not be considered as providing coverage. Those policies include property insurance policies (because the presence of the coronavirus inside a building may constitute “loss of or damage to property”) and general liability and workers’ compensation insurance (because steps taken to prevent third parties or employees from being exposed to the coronavirus may be covered).
Below is our Legal Alert on Insurance Coverage for Losses and Claims Associated with the Coronavirus. It addresses why many common types of insurance may provide extensive coverage for the economic losses and litigation associated with the coronavirus.