We know you have lots of questions on insurance coverage when it comes to how COVID-19 is affecting them – particularly with business interruption insurance. Several types of insurance, including business interruption, have provisions and exclusions that may be triggered as a result of COVID-19 or other viruses and communicable diseases.
Please see below for more specific information regarding the following types of coverages. Also keep in mind that each policy is different and takes into consideration state mandates, guidelines, and regulations.
For questions about workers compensation coverage as it pertains to Coronavirus (COVID-19), Markel is continuing to monitor and adhere to any state mandates for coverage of coronavirus. These mandates vary by state, and each case is different when it comes to determining if the disease is compensable. Workers compensation laws provide compensation for “occupational diseases” that can arise during employment, but many states exclude “ordinary diseases of life” like the cold or flu. Visit The National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) website for more information.
Businessowners policy (BOP)
In regard to general questions about coverage for Coronavirus (COVID-19) claims under our Businessowners policy (BOP), please note that there is typically no coverage for property damage or business income virus-related losses in our BOP product. Generally, Business Income Coverage does not apply when business slows or suspends operations due to viruses because coverage for viruses is excluded in most policies.
More specifically, Business Income Coverage typically reads, “We 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.” “Direct physical loss of or damage to property” is the key phrase. Reaction to the threat of a virus, that in turn reduced sales, is not direct physical loss or property damage. Likewise, it is not a direct physical loss or property damage when suppliers cannot deliver items businesses need or cause operations to slow, even when that action is directed by an order of “Civil Authority”.
And, most importantly, virus, bacteria, and fungi-related losses are excluded under most BOP policies for property claims.
Generally, property insurance policies require direct physical loss or damage to covered property in order to trigger coverage. Thus, for business income coverage to apply to a COVID-19 claim, there must be direct physical loss or damage to the insured’s covered property that causes a loss of business income. In addition, the cause of loss of business income must be covered, and many property policies include a virus exclusion.
General liability only
General liability polices generally do not cover business interruption claims.
Markel Specialty is now offering event cancellation and postponement policies in select states. Markel’s event cancellation and postponement policy and endorsement purchased on or after September 18, 2020 will specifically exclude loss due to communicable diseases, including COVID-19. To learn more, including to see if event cancellation or postponement policies are currently available in your state, please visit our communicable disease notice page.
How to file a claim:
If you are unsure regarding any potentially affected employees and whether to report a claim, it is our recommendation to err on the side of caution and report all potential claims. To file a claim online, visit our "file a claim" page.
Please contact our Claims team at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive a definitive answer and response to the loss. Each claim will be evaluated based upon its own unique set of facts and circumstances and the relevant policy language.
To view your policy documents,
Coverage may vary depending on your policy terms. Policyholders should always review their specific policy documents and contact their insurance agent with any questions.
The information on this webpage is intended for general information purposes only, and should not be construed as advice or opinions on any specific facts or circumstances. Markel Specialty does not guarantee that this information is or can be relied on for compliance with any law or regulation, assurance against preventable losses, or freedom from legal liability. This webpage is not intended to be legal, underwriting, or any other type of professional advice. Persons requiring advice should consult an independent adviser. Markel Specialty makes no commitment to update any information herein, or remove any items that are no longer accurate or complete. Furthermore, Markel Specialty does not assume any liability to any person or organization for loss of damage caused by or resulting from any reliance placed on that content.