States Address COVID-19 Coverage Issues
Various insurance departments have issued statements anticipating COVID-19 coverage and enforcement issues. The departments of both North Carolina and South Carolina say they do not have the authority to require insurers to extend coverage under policies where specifically excluded, or to sell this type of coverage to consumers. The Maryland Insurance Administration says, “We are monitoring relief activity efforts aimed at assisting individuals and businesses at the local, state, and federal levels. As information regarding relief programs becomes available, it will be posted on their website.”
The Texas Department of Insurance notes that for a business that does have contaminated tangible property, that contamination may qualify as direct physical damage to the property. Some business interruption policies extend coverage for “civil authority” orders that restrict access to the property or area that the business depends on for its operations, but some policies exclude epidemics and pandemics. For the latest state bulletins see the PIA coronavirus resource page at www.pianet.com/coronavirus.