Do all-risk insurance policies cover business losses suffered because of COVID-19? A Washington Post article profiled Venable attorneys Michael Davis, David Feinberg, and Mary Gardner, who are representing some of DC’s finest restaurants in an insurance coverage lawsuit seeking business interruption coverage caused by the pandemic. The restaurants include the Michelin-starred Gravitas and Pineapple and Pearls.
Although the restaurateurs purchased all-risk insurance policies that do not contain any exclusion for viruses, their insurer, the Erie Insurance Group, nonetheless denied coverage, based on its assertion that government closure orders do not constitute a "direct physical loss.”
However, as quoted in the article, Mike Davis stated that “all-risk policies are supposed to cover every single risk. It doesn’t matter whether the risk is listed. It doesn’t matter if it’s a risk no one ever heard of. It doesn’t matter if it’s Martians coming down from Mars. Unless it’s specifically excluded, you’ve got to cover it. That’s the way all-risk policies work, and that’s how they were marketed to restaurants.”
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