With COVID-19, known more commonly as the coronavirus, creating large scale disruptions, businesses like yours are likely asking many questions regarding how to handle related losses.
When it comes to coronavirus insurance claims and coverage, the current situation is very fluid and subject to change. We recommend you report your claims immediately to your insurance carrier. To stay up to date with best practices to keep you, your business, and your family safe during this time of crisis, please refer to ourr Coronavirus Resource Center.
In the meantime, here are some quick answers to some frequently asked questions to point you in the right direction. We will update these FAQs as more information becomes available.
Q: What factors constitute COVID-19 or coronavirus business interruption?
A: Generally, coverage for lost business requires physical damage to property and, at this time carriers have indicated contamination from coronavirus is not physical damage to property.
Q: Will business interruption insurance cover coronavirus?
A: Business interruption generally does not cover losses stemming from viral outbreaks or pandemics. Nonetheless, we encourage customers to file all claims for carrier review.
Q: Does business interruption insurance cover pandemics in general?
A: Standard policy terms feature exclusions for pandemics and viruses, which generally means there is no coverage.
Q: What coverage does my organization need to cover coronavirus loss of income associated with COVID-19?
A: Unfortunately, a policy does not exist to cover the current coronavirus pandemic event. You should still report claims to your carrier – and also keep an eye out for governmental relief programs that you may qualify for.
Q: How can we establish a coronavirus business plan and identify coverage solutions for plant shutdowns?
A: HUB can help. Work with your local HUB insurance broker, risk services consultant, and claims team to review your existing policies.
Q: How can our organization recover lost revenue from forced closures with COVID-19 business interruption insurance coverage?
A: Your business interruption policy will likely not cover lost revenue resulting from COVID-19. Businesses should follow the expansion of government programs, such as small business loans, or pursue other relief.
Q: My business was forced to shut down due to a “stay at home” order by the government. Will my business interruption claim be covered?
A: You are encouraged to file the claim and allow the carrier to investigate. Coverage typically requires a physical loss and has viral exclusions.
Q: Is COVID-19 a physical loss?
A: COVID-19 is not classified as a physical loss.
Q: Should I file a workers’ compensation claim?
A: Yes. Document all information related to the filed claim and classify it as “COVID-19” in the description.
Q: What should I be thinking of when I file a workers’ compensation claim?
A: Was the worker exposed to someone with Covid-19 and how? When did the symptoms occur? Did they contract this from their normal course and scope of employment?
Q: What are coronavirus workers’ compensation policies in relation to an employee contracting this illness on the job and taking it home to their family, should they be exposed?
A: These benefits are being treated differently on a state-by-state basis. For workers’ compensation policies to apply, the illness will have to be deemed to have been contracted by the policyholder in the course and scope of employment. Coverage is not being afforded at this time for transfer to a family member, as it is difficult to prove.
Q: Because at-home locations are not a consideration in our workers’ compensation policy, how does COVID-19 affect workers' compensation if our employees must work from home?
A: Workers’ compensation policies treat remote employees as if they are in the office. Only illnesses contracted while in the course and scope of employment will be considered. Coverage will be evaluated on a state-by-state basis.
Q: Has the government mandated coverage for workers’ compensation?
A: Certain states (WA, CO, MI) have asked carriers to provide coverage in the quarantine stage for health care and first responder workers.
Q: When would a filed workers’ compensation claim be denied?
A: When the contraction is incidental to the workplace or common to all employment (such as an office worker who contracts the condition from a fellow employee), the claim will be denied.
Q: Will all workers’ compensation claims filed for individuals in quarantine be covered?
A: If the worker is in healthcare and/or a first responder the claim will be strongly considered.
Q: My business shut down and I have lost my job, is this a covered workers’ compensation claim?
A: This is not a covered workers’ compensation claim. The worker did not contract Covid-19 while in the course and scope of employment.
Q: Will COVID-19 be considered as a work-related condition?
A: Under certain circumstances, claims from health care providers and first responders may be allowed.
Q: May I file a claim for a coronavirus “phishing” email that I opened?
A: Yes. File with your cyber policy immediately. Coverage may be awarded.
Q: My concert has been cancelled. May I file with my event cancellation carrier?
A: Yes. File immediately. If you have a buy back clause for the virus exclusion there is a good chance the claim will be covered.
Q: Can there be a Directors’ and Officers’ claim?
A: Yes. Shareholders may file a claim for lack of notice of the pandemic. File immediately and seek exclusions.