I am getting a number of emails about coverage and other issues associated with the coronavirus. Rather than reinvent the wheel, below are some resources that you might find helpful if you can invest a half hour or so perusing them. I make no claims about the veracity of the information of these sources, so I’ve included past articles related to the topic that specifically mention some coverage forms.

Note:  Be sure to scroll down to the Comments section below where I’ll be adding additional resources as they come to my attention. I just added one of the best business income coverage analyses I’ve seen



Big “I” Coronavirus Resources
Business income and workers compensation coverages, disaster preparedness, and other links

Coronavirus Insurance Checklist
Exposure analysis, insurance review, business contracts, etc.

Property and Coronavirus: Is My Business Covered?
Direct and indirect property insurance coverage issues

Coronavirus: Factors for the Insurance Industry to Consider
Part 1:  Business Interruption
Part 2:  Event Cancellation and Contingency Nonappearance Insurance
Part 3:  Liability and Workers Compensation

For Businesses Suffering From Coronavirus Losses, Insurance May Be the Remedy
Business income, general liability, event cancellation, and D&O

Novel coronavirus: commercial insurance considerations
Risk exposures, insurance considerations, the importance of being proactive

Would Insurance policies cover losses related to coronavirus?
Property, general liability, workers compensation, and other coverages

Business interruption and event cancellations due to Coronavirus
Business income, events, credit risk, etc.

Insurance Exclusions
Examples of some exclusions (more are listed in the articles below)

2019-20 Coronavirus Outbreak
Constantly updated Wikipedia article

The Coronavirus Is No 1918 Pandemic
An historical comparison

The Ostrich Paradox: Why We Underprepare for Disasters
Behavioral risk audits and overcoming biases

Business Implications of the World’s Dependence on China
Examples indicate the need to consider risk managing this dependency

Past articles on related topics:

Are You and Your Clients Ready for a Pandemic?

We’ve been hearing about it for years now, about the allegedly very real possibility of a worldwide pandemic. Is the threat for real? And, if so, what have you done to prepare your agency to continue to operate in a highly infectious environment? If such an event occurs and impacts your business clients, are they insured for what could be a catastrophic loss of income?

Much has been written about bird flu and and swine flu (H1N1 virus), so there’s no need to reinvent the wheel and now there are real concerns about Ebola as the virus is being seen in the United States. Below are links to a variety of resources that will enable your agency and your customers to better prepare for a possible pandemic. While our focus is often on insuring risk, we have to recognize that not all risk can or should be insured.

In general, there should be very little in the way of P&C coverages…property, business income, liability, and workers compensation. In addition to the inherent lack of coverage, ISO and insurers have and will introduce specific exclusions such as ISO’s CP 01 40 – Exclusion of Loss Due to Virus or Bacteria.

The lack of P&C insurance coverage means that businesses, including your agency, must use alternative risk management techniques to deal with this exposure. This may include segregating exposures via shift work or telecommuting, in addition to a myriad of loss control methods. A good starting point is to use the “Business Pandemic Influenza Planning Checklist” found under “Risk Management Planning” below to inventory your current situation. Then the other resources linked below can be used to establish a pandemic disaster plan for your agency.

From an IRMI LinkedIn board post….

“How would the GL form respond to an Ebola claim? I am thinking that there would be coverage absent a communicable disease exclusion but this just came up and I am just beginning my research.”

The Big “I” Virtual University expert response:

ISO has the CG 21 32 – Communicable Disease Exclusion endorsement for the CGL policy that would do the trick. Their corresponding BOP endorsement is the BP 14 86. As I recall from the ISO CGL filing, the CG 21 32 was introduced in response to concerns about bird flu and SARS transmissions. Expect insurers to use such exclusionary endorsements.

Swine Flu and the ISO Homeowners Policies

Your child comes down with swine flu while a friend is staying with him over the weekend. The child’s parents sue you when he is hospitalized with swine flu. An obviously sick guest at your party allegedly infects another guest with swine flu and you’re sued. Does your HO policy cover either, neither, or both of these claims?

In an October 29 “Breaking New” article entitled Flu Cases Could Spur Homeowner Claims, Lawyer Says,” the National Underwriter P&C edition quoted a medical malpractice defense attorney as saying he believes that insurers may have to modify coverage to limit liability for swine flu claims under homeowners and general liability policies.

He gave two hypothetical examples of potential legal action in a homeowners scenario. One said a suit could arise “if a guest contracted flu after attending a cocktail party where the host did not warn that their child had the illness.” Another example involved a homeowner who “failed to vaccinate their child against flu and the youngster passed on that illness to children invited for a play date—one of whom sickens and dies.”

Under an ISO homeowners policy, both of these situations should be excluded. This is what the pertinent exclusion says:

  1. Communicable Disease
    “Bodily injury” or “property damage” which
    arises out of the transmission of a
    communicable disease by an “insured”;

The HO exclusion applies to transmission “by an insured,” meaning, in the specific examples in the article, there should be no coverage or defense under the policy.

However, if the allegation was that there was another guest at the party, not an insured under the homeowner’s policy, and the homeowner was liable for that guest being at the party and allegedly spreading the virus, the exclusion should not apply.

Needless to say, a plaintiff might be hard pressed to prove that someone contracted the virus in that setting. Regardless, if the allegation involves a transmitter who was not an insured, it’s likely that the ISO form or equivalent company policy would respond to the BI claim.

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Bill Wilson

Founder at InsuranceCommentary.com
One of the premier insurance educators in America on form, coverage, and technical issues; Founder and director of the Big “I” Virtual University; Retired Assoc. VP of Education and Research from Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America. Reprint Request Information