Sunday, March 21, 2021

Business interruption insurance and Covid: Major litigation in Illinois may go forward


Midwest, 1940s, family estate picture

Some restaurant chains in Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Tennessee are taking an Insurance Company, Business Insurance, to court, and a federal judge in Illinois is letting it go forward.  Business Insider has the story (paywall) by Grace Dean 

There is a question as to whether the insurance company needed to be more precise in wording its exclusion of viral pandemic over the usual policy on foodborne illnesse.s

Also at issue is what happens when businesses are shut down over government orders, because of a speculative public health concern (that an airborne disease spread by asymptomatic transmission will add to health care burdens exponentially, which is what happened).

Computer repair business owner Louis Rossmann, known for his videos with his charismatic cat, has pointed out that leases might be unenforceable if the government takes away the ability of the business to remain open to cover the lease.  But it’s unclear if this has been litigated. Instead, we have eviction moratoriums, imposed on residential landlords.

Online retail or media businesses have been little effected in the US as the lockdowns have been lenient and actually been easy for tech platforms to accommodate.  But that conceivably won’t always be true for hobby businesses that don’t “pay their own way”.

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