In addition to its human costs, the COVID-19 pandemic is causing unprecedented economic dislocation across Canada and around the world. Insurers of Canadian businesses are receiving record numbers of claims seeking coverage under property and business interruption insurance policies, while they also grapple with rapidly evolving legal, regulatory, economic, and epidemiological environments. Insureds are also seeking assistance from their liability insurers for bodily injury and purely economic claims relating to COVID-19 and coronaviruses.
To help its clients through these challenging circumstances, DWF has created a COVID-19 practice group to provide coverage advice to insurers, domestically and in the United States, United Kingdom, and elsewhere. Key areas within our expertise include whether:
- claims related to coronaviruses constitute “property damage”;
- governmental and health authority closure orders and guidelines trigger “interruption by order of civil authority” coverage;
- insureds’ suspensions of business operations are voluntary or mandatory; and whether
- insureds have incurred “extra expenses” or “lost profits” as a result of the pandemic.
DWF also assists insurers with interpreting exclusions – or extensions – of coverage for communicable illnesses, foodborne illnesses, negative publicity, outbreak expense, microorganisms, and contamination. We also advise insurers on revisions to existing insurance policy wordings, and help with the drafting of new exclusions, endorsements, and extensions of coverage.
For an introduction to several important coverage issues relating to COVID-19, see our April 22, 2020 “InsureUpdates” newsletter, “COVID-19: What Will Insurance Cover?”
If we might be able to assist you with coverage matters in this area, please contact one of the lawyers below.