COVID-19 Claim for Business Interruption Survives Motion to Dismiss

September 14, 2020
Tred R. Eyerly - Insurance Law Hawaii

In the first noteworthy decision recognizing a possible business interruption claim due to the presence of COVID-19 and the associated closure orders, the insureds survived a motion to dismiss. Studio 417, Inc. v. The Cincinnati Ins. Co., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147600 (W.D. Mo. Aug.12, 2020).

The insureds operated hair salons and a restaurant. They held "all-risk" policies from Cincinnati. The policies provided that Cincinnati would pay for "direct loss" unless excluded. A "Covered Cause of Loss" was defined to mean accidental physical loss or accidental property damage.The policies did not define "physical loss" or "physical damage." The policies also did not have exclusions for virus or communicable disease.

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