Legislation Seeks to Force Insurers to Cover COVID-19 Business Interruption Losses
Massachusetts Senator James B. Eldridge recently filed Massachusetts Senate Bill 2888, “An Act Concerning Business Interruption Insurance.” If enacted, the proposed legislation decrees that every policy of insurance insuring against loss or damage to property which includes the loss of use and occupancy and business interruption shall be construed to include among the covered perils those resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Attached is a copy of Senate Bill 2888, which was yesterday referred to the Joint Committee on Rules.
As many of you know or may have recently heard, in many instances, insurance policies require “direct physical damage” for such claims. This can be difficult to prove with respect to the on-going viral pandemic. In addition, some policies also have exclusions specifically for viruses. Senate Bill 2888 effectively compels insurance carriers to pay these claims to businesses in the Commonwealth, regardless of the language in the policies. Such legislation could be particularly helpful to hotels, restaurants, and retail business. We will continue to monitor, and report developments related to the bill.
If you have any questions on filing a claim under your policy, or about how COVID-19 is impacting you or your business, please contact your Bernkopf Goodman team member, or the author of this client alert, Jason Manekas at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617.790.3308.
The spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to produce global uncertainty, interrupt supply chains, restrict travel and raise employee safety concerns, among other challenges.
Bernkopf Goodman LLP is closely monitoring cases here and abroad and combining our capabilities to provide critical guidance to clients in an urgent and quickly evolving situation. If you have questions about how COVID-19 could impact you or your business, please contact us.