For more than a year now, policyholders across the country have urged courts and insurance carriers that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused “physical loss and damage” to insured property, resulting in covered business interruption loss. Lawyers and judges have since grappled with related legal arguments over what is, at least in part, a question that only scientific research can adequately answer. What does the SARS-Cov-2 virus, which causes the disease known as COVID-19, actually do to insured property?
Many carriers (and some courts) have simply assumed that, when expelled by respiration from infected humans, SARS-CoV-2 (the “Coronavirus”) falls and remains gravitationally and harmlessly at rest on solid surfaces until someone simply wipes the virus away with disinfectant. Emerging science has caught up with these assumptions to confirm that the Coronavirus does, in fact, cause a physical alteration to tangible property, qualifying as “physical loss and damage” even under the most narrow reading of those terms.
Read the full alert here.
If you have any questions about pandemic-related business interruption coverage or about insurance recovery in general, please contact one of Haynes and Boone’s Insurance Coverage Practice Group partners listed below.