COVID-19 is affecting businesses and consumers with various types of coverage to protect them.
Coronavirus insurance losses are could prove to be quite high, as the industry starts to take a look at how many of its sectors could be implicated.
The illness has already disrupted the lives of millions by infecting tens of thousands of people.
China has already experienced significant economic implications from COVID-19 as many large businesses including Disney’s parks in Shanghai and Hong Kong, Starbucks, McDonald’s, Apple, Pizza Hut, and KFC have all closed locations there. Luxury brands have all been watching their stock prices taking a dive. A number of businesses such as Tesla have suspended their operations. As a result, many companies are looking to their coverage and could end up generating substantial coronavirus insurance losses.
Even businesses that don’t have operations specifically located in the areas most affected by the COVID-19 outbreak are dependent on businesses that are. The global supply chain is interconnected enough that many companies are affected at some point along the way. It is leading them to analyze the coverage from their insurance policies and determine where they are protected against factors linked to this infection.
Among the types of business insurance policy that could be impacted as geographic areas are increasingly affected by COVID-19 are:
• Business interruption coverage and contingent business interruption policies
• Commercial liability, Directors & Officers, and Errors & Omissions coverage
• Workers compensation
Though travel insurance may also be affected in certain specific areas, this is likely to be a much more limited impact. Most policies will not cover trips cancelled if a person chooses not to travel out of fears regarding COVID-19. Instead, it would be more likely that a person’s coverage would only kick in if travel to a certain location had been closed off and the coverage was purchased before the outbreak occurred there. Even then, it would depend on the policy.
The greatest coronavirus insurance losses are likely to come from businesses. That said, policyholders are advised to consider all the types of coverage as they decide which claims and losses that they intend to file relating to COVID-19. Policyholders who work with their insurance agent or a broker are typically the most likely to position themselves for the most efficient claim process and maximize their covered loss recovery.