Many Coverage Exclusions with Coronavirus

Insurance coverage is often lacking
Many Coverage Exclusions with Coronavirus
February 4, 2020

When it comes to the new coronavirus, insurance coverage is often lacking. As a result, many companies from hotels to airlines are expected to face high costs.

Many travel cancellations and business closures will not be covered by insurance since epidemics are generally excluded, according to experts. Some global firms do buy coverage for communicable diseases, but standard insurance policies often exclude coverage. Previous viruses, such as SARS, Ebola, and Zika, also led insurers to be more cautious about exposure, with specific virus exclusions added to most basic coverage policies, industry insiders said.

Assuming that more cases of coronavirus eventually occur in the United States, insureds will likely have coverage questions, the first of which will always be “Am I covered?” The definitive answer, of course, depends on what is in the policy itself and how the carrier that issued the policy interprets it. The two links below to blog items by the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) discuss coverage of diseases generally, but not specific to individual policies.

READ: Commercial Insurance, Diseases and Epidemics (I.I.I.)

READ: Personal Insurance: Diseases and Epidemics (I.I.I.)

Insurance experts also explained that most event cancellation and business interruption policies would not cover the new virus. While some firms including Munich Re have developed specific insurance products and policies for infectious diseases, not many firms have bought them, experts said.

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