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Property Damage and COVID-19

In the beginning of 2020, many businesses were forced to shutter their doors due to the outbreak of COVID-19. As society has grappled with dealing with a pandemic, businesses have also grappled with dealing with outbreaks, resulting in expensive sanitization practices and even temporary closure. The question as to whether COVID-19 causes property damage under commercial property insurance policies has continued to pop-up.

Insurance companies typically argue that a virus cannot cause property damage, as it does not cause any "direct physical loss or damage." However, courts across the country have disagreed with this line of thinking, finding that "direct physical loss" also includes the loss of use or access to covered property, even when not structurally altered.

Although no Florida court has yet to deal with this question, science may now back up the other courts which have faced it. Scientists have recently discovered that COVID-19 adheres to surfaces and creates "fomites" when it comes into contact with surfaces, or objects likely to carry infection. In addition, scientists have discovered that disinfectants are not entirely effective in removing COVID-19 from surfaces and are especially ineffective on surfaces that are continually reintroduced to the virus.

This means that in some cases, business owners may be entitled to coverage under their commercial property insurance policies in the event they are forced to close due to a COVID-19 outbreak or engage in costly sanitization practices.

This article is not intended to be legal advice nor create an attorney-client relationship.

Client Reviews
"I was told by my insurance adjuster that Rina was a fabulous attorney who will fight hard for her clients and he was right. She did an outstanding job communicating with me throughout a stressful negotiation process and I was so happy with the settlement she got for me. Highly recommend the Law Offices of Rina Feld!” Mark L.
I had water damage to the inside of my home and homeowners insurance automatically rejected my claim. After giving up fighting them on my own i contacted Rina and she petsonally discussed options and explained the procedure. After about 4 months my claim was resolved , Rina worked pro bono so did not cost me a penny. I now have new ceilings ! Thoroughly recommended. Christopher D.
Rina is very efficient. She always kept me updated and worked very quickly. She took the time to explain everything thoroughly and made sure that I understood, although my primary language is Spanish. Mariel C.