The first cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) were reported in late 2019 and were primarily from the Chinese Hubei Province. Since the first reports, the viral outbreak has spread at a rapid pace. Chinese officials have traced the source of the outbreak back to the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, a large “wet” seafood and live animal market located in Wuhan. It is thought that an animal source from the market was responsible for some of the first human infections. Although first detected in China, several hundred cases have been identified in countries around the world.

It is equally important for businesses to consider the effects a viral outbreak will have on their insurance policies and programs. Businesses should have a keen understanding of the reach and limitations of their insurance policies, how these policies will respond to a viral incident, and how those insurance products will minimize or mitigate the financial impact a viral incident may have on their business. The following guide outlines the potential impact COVID-19 may have on a company’s commercial insurance programs and policies.

Please be advised that any and all information, comments, analysis, and/or recommendations set forth above relative to the possible impact of COVID-19 on potential insurance coverage or other policy implications are intended solely for informational purposes and should not be relied upon as legal advice. As an insurance broker, we have no authority to make coverage decisions as that ability rests solely with the issuing carrier. Therefore, all claims should be submitted to the carrier for evaluation. The positions expressed herein are opinions only and are not to be construed as any form of guarantee or warranty. Finally, given the extremely dynamic and rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation, comments above do not take into account any applicable pending or future legislation introduced with the intent to override, alter or amend current policy language.

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