COVID-19 (Coronavirus) & Insurance
Updated: Mar 26
COVID-19, the new coronavirus causing respiratory illness, has changed life in the United States and around the world. Deaths attributed to the virus have passed 1,000 in the United States. While officials have been announcing progressively aggressive mitigation methods, businesses are grappling with unforeseen dips in sales and supplies. The following blog aims to clarify information in regards to insurance and the steps our organization is taking to ensure your or your business's security.
Is Coronavirus covered by Business Interruption Insurance?
Unfortunately, the business interruption language in commercial property insurance policy forms only cover "losses caused by direct physical loss of or damage to property at the described premises." Please find an excerpt of the language found in Insurance Services Offices (ISO) form # BP 00 03 01 06 below.
(a) We [the insurer] will pay for the actual loss of Business Income you sustain due to the necessary suspension of your "operations" during the "period of restoration". The suspension must be caused by direct physical loss of or damage to property at the described premises. The loss or damage must be caused by or result from a Covered Cause of Loss. With respect to loss of or damage to personal property in the open or personal property in a vehicle, the described premises include the area within 100 feet of the site at which the described premises are located.
Moreover, policies may specifically exclude coverage for losses arising from viruses. The name of your Property Insurance Policy Form of interest would be likely similar to EXCLUSION OF LOSS DUE TO VIRUS OR BACTERIA.
Please see example language found in the standard ISO form # BP 01 01 07 below.
B. We [the insurer] will not pay for loss or damage caused by or resulting from any virus, bacterium or other microorganism that induces or is capable of inducing physical distress, illness or disease.
If you feel that your Business Interruption loss is not excluded based off of your claim & policy, please communicate with our agency and we'd be happy to discuss.
To learn more about workers compensation coverage as it relates to COVID-19, please read the article by International Risk Management Institute (IRMI), Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Is it Compensable?
What is Fenix doing in response to Coronavirus?
The purpose of our business is: to Build & Rebuild. As such, we've researched ways to manage the risk of the Coronavirus. Here are a few items to consider:
Goodr: Route Surplus Food to NGOs & Earn a Tax Deduction
Goodr, an Atlanta-based social enterprise, enables eateries to donate their excess food to local organizations that feed the hungry. In doing so, these businesses earn tax deductions and divert food from landfills.
The organization has introduced an emergency one time pick-up request option for businesses looking to donate surplus food to a local non-profit.
US Government Financial Relief
The government is supporting businesses - please read more using the links below.
US Department of Treasury - includes Legislation supporting Businesses
US Small Business Administration (SBA) - includes information regarding Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs)
Our office is currently telecommuting. Unless you're visiting our physical offices, you should experience no difference in operations from our office.
What is my insurer's response to Coronavirus?
We're proud to partner with insurers that are proactively engaging with you during this challenging time. Please click on the insurer of interest below to learn more.
What should my business be doing during the pandemic?
File Unemployment Claims
The Labor Department of the State of Georgia has deemed it mandatory for employers to file partial claims on behalf of their employees whenever it is necessary to temporarily reduce work hours or there is no work available for a short period. Please check with your designated municipality to learn if there are any additional requirements of your business.
Aid with Critical Healthcare Needs
Leaders across the country, including Governor Kemp of Georgia, are calling on businesses who are able to help the state provide, produce, distribute, or store critical health care items needed to fight the spread of COVID-19.
Adhere to Health Safety Recommendations of Authorities
As per the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention's (CDC) guidance, our agency has concluded that we're able to maintain our standard of service while lowering our risk of contagion by social distancing via a virtual office. Please review this guidance as well as that from your local agencies when determining the appropriate safe working environment for your business.
Fenix Risk Management is an independent insurance agency proudly serving families & businesses in GA, AL, NC, SC, TN, FL, KY, NJ, TX & VA.
Simmy is an adviser at Fenix Risk Management, helping businesses and individuals navigate their insurance portfolios.
Note: the opinions expressed in this blog are that of the author, not of any other individual or organization referenced.