As plaintiffs’ lawyers representing both people and businesses, we are no strangers to dealing with insurance companies and making them pay. We have seen some very interesting developments in the insurance world since the spread of COVID-19.
The first thing we noticed: adjusters and defense attorneys started calling and offering to settle cases. We were not surprised. The insurers’ money is tied up in the markets, and the markets suddenly became uncertain. In any time of great uncertainty, people want to regain certainty. One of the things worth knowing is that big business is often willing to pay more to obtain certainty. And insurance companies are renowned for being risk-averse, certainty-seeking enterprises. (Just watch Ben Stiller in the movie “Along Came Polly.”)
The second thing we saw: insurance companies started denying claims under commercial policies for business interruption insurance coverage. Businesses everywhere are shutting down or slowing down in the wake of COVID-19. Many paid insurance premiums for years, thinking they had business interruption insurance coverage. Now, when they need it, the insurance companies are denying the claims.