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COVID-19 and Business Interruption Insurance: Coverage Issues and Exclusions

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will address issues faced by insurers and policyholders responding to claimed losses or liabilities arising from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). It will address all types of insurance including Event Cancellation Insurance, Property Insurance, Business Interruption Coverage, Contingent Business interruption Coverage, D&O, CGL, E&O, EPL, etc.


The full impact of COVID-19 remains unknown, but insurers and policyholders are seeing claimed losses and liabilities potentially in the billions of dollars in relation to claimed canceled events, delays in work and repairs, lost revenue, lack of access, employment issues and potential liabilities for alleged action or inaction by D&Os and others.

Companies impacted by this global crisis might have insurance which insures certain damage, lost earnings and liabilities that may be incurred by infected people or stockholders or third parties who allege that a company responded to the COVID-19 outbreak in an improper manner. There are significant insurance issues that will need to be addressed as part of this claims complex including:

  • What is direct physical loss or damage?
  • Does the scope and terms of a civil authority order bar access?
  • What specific wording must be complied with to trigger Event Cancellation, Postponement or Reduction Insurance and how does governmental guidance / orders play a role in this?
  • Do the wide variety of liability products potentially respond to COVID-19 claims?
  • How will the ever-changing status of civil guidance and orders may affect coverage now and down the road?
  • The scope of contamination virus and communicable disease sublimits and exclusions?

Listen as the panel addresses what types of policies are most likely to offer coverage and what are the obstacles to coverage, including whether the presence of contagion like COVID-19 constitutes property damage.



  1. First-party property insurance policies
    1. Business interruption coverage
    2. Contingent business interruption coverage
  2. Event Cancellation Insurance
  3. Other types of policies
    1. General liability
    2. Directors and officers
    3. Corporate errors and omissions policies
    4. Employer liability
  4. Exclusions
    1. Biological agents
    2. Pollution and contamination
    3. Virus
    4. Communicable disease


The panel will review these and other essential matters:

  • Possible coverage under general liability insurance for bodily injury and property damage claims
  • Directors and officer’s insurance implications
  • Errors and omissions policies which provide coverage for "wrongful acts" which have an adverse economic effect on shareholders or third parties
  • Exclusions that might bar coverage, such as for biological agents or pollution and contamination


Harckham, Finley
Finley T. Harckham

Anderson Kill

Mr. Harckham regularly represents and advises corporate policyholders in insurance coverage matters. He has...  |  Read More

McCormack, Aidan
Aidan M. McCormack

DLA Piper

Mr. McCormack is a commercial litigator with a particular concentration on insurance and reinsurance issues. He serves...  |  Read More

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