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Vol. 9 - Issue 4
May 31, 2020


I’ve Missed You Guys.  A Note To Coverage Opinions Readers


Greetings from my home office in Wynnewood, PA – about seven miles from Center City Philadelphia.  I hope this note finds Coverage Opinions readers safe (and sane). 

My wife, Lisa, and 14-year old daughter, Ella, are around here somewhere.  And the dogs, Barney and Gracie, are probably asleep on my bed.  Or, their bed, if you ask them. 

In addition to on-line school, Ella has made it her home-quarantine goal to watch all 363 episodes of Grey’s Anatomy (16 seasons).  She’s very close to the end.  Very productive use of her time.  When she’s not doing that she’s busy rolling her eyes at everything I say. 

Lisa, a super-talented seamstress, has been ferociously making masks from morning till night for the past two months.  She quickly outgrew her sewing room and our dining room now looks like a textile factory.  Friends, relatives, supermarket employees, the folks at our pharmacy – all of them are donning couture masks made and donated by my wonderful wife.  She even offers a choice of styles, sizes (even for toddlers) and fabrics.  New fabrics arrive in the mail every other day.   I’ve never been more proud of her.  Check out the picture below of a neat mask that she made for me. I'm all shook up about it!

It’s been a while since there has been an issue of CO.   The last one was February 26.  This is the longest gap ever between issues.  With all that was going on in the world, getting adjusted to working from home (completely foreign to me), dealing with the challenges of teaching my insurance law class remotely (see an article about that later in this issue) and keeping up with the demands of my real job, it was hard to find the time and energy for CO. 

Instead I did a bunch of Covid-19 insurance-related articles, between mid-March and mid-April, that I sent out to subscribers.  I turned them into a Special Issue which you can find on the CO website.

But it’s time to get back to CO – a real issue, one that includes an interview, the comedic stylings of the legendary Randy Spencer, some lighthearted pieces about insurance and the law generally, and, of course, a look at some recent coverage decisions addressing unique and important issues.  You will find all of this here.  And, as always, it comes with the Coverage Opinions guarantee – If the issue was worthless, you still got what you paid for.   

My CO mojo has returned.  I am excited to send out this new issue. 

Covid-19 And Insurance

Wait.  Did someone say Covid-19 and insurance?  Is there something going on with that?  I think I might have read something about that somewhere. 

For sure, Covid-19 is the biggest issue to ever face the property and casualty insurance industry.  The number of claims, and extent of potential exposure, for business interruption, is monumental. The coverage litigation over the issue is exploding.  And Covid-19 liability claims are now showing up under a variety of circumstances.  Coverage issues can be expected to arise here as well.  Needless to say, there is a lot to come in the area of Covid-19 insurance coverage.  And it is going to be with us for a long time. 

P&C coverage is not exactly a limelight area of the law or one that gets much attention from outside the trade and legal press.  You won’t learn about the pollution exclusion from LA Law.  I doubt Ally McBeal ever confronted whether faulty workmanship is an occurrence.  But this has changed.  On account of Covid-19, insurance coverage is now the stuff of the mainstream media.  I just heard that Victor Sifuentes filed two DJs against insurers for business interruption coverage.   

But there is nothing about Covid-19 and insurance in this issue of CO.  There are plenty of places out there where you can learn about this topic.  This issue of CO is Covid-19 and insurance free.  Well, with one exception.   

If you are following the Covid-19 insurance story, check out the May 14th article in Law 360 by Lee Siegel and Ryan Maxwell of Hurwitz & Fine, PC.: “Major Trends In COVID-19 Business Interruption Lawsuits.”

At the time of their article, there had been at least 167 DJs filed concerning coverage for Covid-19-related business interruption.  The authors examine the complaints, provide all kinds of interesting statistics and discuss the various approaches taken by policyholder counsel in addressing the coverage issues.  This was no small effort by Lee and Ryan and this fine work provides an excellent overview and understanding of the litigation that isn’t available by simply looking at the complaints one by one.   

Stay safe everyone, and, as always, thank you for being a loyal Coverage Opinions reader.

-- Randy

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