The economic impact on small businesses due to COVID-19 is undeniable. Further, the uncertainty surrounding the length of the shut-down and the availability of funds for relief loans has left many business owners wondering whether the business interruption coverage in their commercial general liability policy will provide coverage to offset financial losses incurred. Politicians in Washington have asked insurers to justify the refusal to pay out claims, and already class action lawsuits are being filed around the country against insurance companies.
When assessing whether business interruption coverage in a commercial general liability insurance policy applies to economic losses caused by COVID-19, the answer is—it depends on the particular policy. Generally speaking, however, most business interruption clauses require the loss of business income to be caused by direct physical loss or damage to the property that prevents the business from operating. Although it appears the COVID-19 virus can survive on surfaces for up to five (5) days, it is doubtful that this phenomenon would qualify as direct physical loss or damage to the property or be of sufficient duration to trigger most insurance clauses. In addition, many commercial general liability insurance policies exclude coverage for losses caused by viral contamination.
On the contrary, it is possible that the specific wording and coverages in any particular policy may provide coverage. For example, businesses operating in the food service industry or the hospitality industry may have specific clauses in their respective insurance policies that relate to losses caused by viruses or alternative business interruption losses like event cancellations. Consequently, all business owners who have sustained financial losses due to COVID-19 are encouraged to examine their insurance contracts.
If you need legal assistance in these matters, please contact us for a free initial legal consultation.
Volunteers with NOPAL Cultural promoting their Dia de los Muertos event last weekend at the Indy 11 game.
Our good friends at NOPAL Cultural have a special celebration of Day of the Dead planned for this Saturday, October 31, 2015 from 11am to 5pm at the Eiteljorg Museum in downtown Indianapolis. The event will highlight the exhibition of ofrendas and altares made by local artists and civic groups to honor their loved ones. There will be special musical performances, art projects, a marketplace and a Catrina parade. The event is free and open to the public. You can find out more at the event page on Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/events/770875693040591/ We hope to see you there!
How does your family remember your loved ones? How do you celebrate Day of the Dead? Let us know in the comments!
The U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx kicked off the National Distracted Driving Enforcement Campaign across the United States entitled: “U Drive. U Text. U Pay.”
This catchy phrase is simple and to the point when only a financial loss is considered; however, the “Pay” portion also includes the emotional element people go through when involved in a motor vehicle accident. Per statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 10 percent of traffic accidents resulting in death and 18 percent of personal injury traffic accidents were due to distracted driving. 2013 had 244 teenagers lose their life due to distracted driving. The emotional toll that is taken on people injured and their friends and family is impossible to quantify. The guilt the distracted driver will experience and “pay” is also impossible to quantify.
It is important for all of us to put down our cell phones and concentrate on our driving. For adults, it is also important to set a good example for our children and teenagers that a cell phone should not be used while driving, as pretty soon, they will also be behind the wheel as an inexperienced and novice driver.
Be safe and put down the cell phone while driving.
Goodin Abernathy Partner, Elizabeth Wysong-Berg is one of 25 attorneys from across the state of Indiana chosen to participate in the Indiana State Bar Association’s Leadership Development Academy. This is just one more feather in Elizabeth’s cap, and we are all very proud of her achievement. She is a tremendous asset and will serve the State Bar Association well for many years to come.
HELLO, FORT WAYNE INDIANA! Goodin Abernathy LLP is excited about its expansion into the Fort Wayne region. We’ll meet in person with clients in the area, providing a variety of legal services. Call 800-625-4710 or E-mail us to schedule appointments! Listen for us on Hot 107.9
Congratulations to our own Elizabeth Wysong-Berg for being named Young Title Professional of the Year at the annual meeting of the Indiana Land Title Association (“ITLA”) in French Lick. Great job, Elizabeth!