McCarter attorneys Joann Lytle and Jennifer Black Strutt comment in the Insurance Journal’s article addressing questions concerning the availability of insurance coverage if a policyholder opens its business despite a shutdown order.
Jennifer Black Strutt, a Stamford, Conn.-based associate at McCarter & English said “neither lawmakers nor insurance professionals should make blanket statements about the availability or unavailability of coverage without analyzing the facts and the particular insurance policy.”
Although there are many types of claims that could arise if a business defies a shutdown order, it is likely that only some can be traced back to the shutdown, said Joann M. Lytle, Philadelphia, Penn.-based partner at McCarter & English. “For example, if a client slips and falls on a wet floor in a barber shop, that claim has nothing to do with COVID-19, and there should be coverage under a CGL policy,” she said. “Conversely, if that same client is infected with COVID-19 at the barber shop and the shop is sued, insurers may argue that the injury would not have occurred if the order had not been violated.”