Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London Refuse to Cover Covid-19 Losses Class Action

This is another class action bringing suit against an insurer that has rejected claims for business losses because of mandated closures for Covid-19. This class action brings suits against Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London, Trading as Syndicates WRB 1957 and KLN 0510 who are the insurers of the business.

The class for this action is all policyholders in the US who bought commercial property coverage, including business or interruption income (and extra expense) coverage from the defendant in this case and who have been denied coverage for lost business income after being ordered by a governmental entity to shut down or limit their business operations due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tripwire Operations Group, LLC is a Pennsylvania company that offers products and training to the US military, first responders, and law enforcement. Tripwire held an all-risk insurance policy which includes “direct physical loss of or damage to Covered Property at the premises described in the Declarations caused by or resulting from any Covered Cause of Loss.” It includes business income, extra expense, and civil authority coverage.

On March 13, 2020, the Deputy of Defense issued a Stop Movement Order which restricted travel for Department of Defense personnel, including many of Tripwire’s clients. Tripwire has been closed entirely since March 19, 2020, when the Governor of Pennsylvania issued an order closing all nonessential businesses. Also, on March 23, a Stay at Home Order was issued that limited people’s ability to leave their residences.

The complaint asserts, “Physical loss of, or damage to, property may be reasonably interpreted to occur when a covered cause of loss threatens or renders property unusable or unsuitable for its intended purpose or unsafe for ordinary human occupancy and/or continued use.”

Covid-19 is highly contagious. The aerosols remain in the air for as long as three hours and it can live on surfaces for up to fourteen days. The complaint refers to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, saying that Covid-19 “is widely accepted as a cause of physical loss and damage.”

The complaint alleges, “The closure of all ‘non-life-sustaining businesses’ evidences an awareness on the part of both state and local governments that Covid-19 causes loss of or damage to property. This is particularly true in places where in-person business is conducted, as the contract and interaction necessarily incident to such businesses causes a heightened risk of property becoming contaminated.”

Certain places, such as New York City and New Orleans, have already officially acknowledged that Covid-19 causes property loss or damage. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court concluded that “any location … where two or more people can congregate is within the disaster area.”

Tripwire has experienced significant loss of business income “due to the constraints placed on” its business, and on March 18, 2020, it provided notice to its insurer that it would be making a claim. In a letter dated July 27, 2020, the insurer denied Tripwire’s claim, declaring that there was no “physical loss of or damage to property.”

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Insurance

Most Recent Case Event

Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London Refuse to Cover Covid-19 Losses Complaint

September 14, 2020

This is another class action bringing suit against an insurer that has rejected claims for business losses because of mandated closures for Covid-19. This class action brings suits against Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London, Trading as Syndicates WRB 1957 and KLN 0510 who are the insurers of the business.

Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London Refuse to Cover Covid-19 Losses Complaint

Case Event History

Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London Refuse to Cover Covid-19 Losses Complaint

September 14, 2020

This is another class action bringing suit against an insurer that has rejected claims for business losses because of mandated closures for Covid-19. This class action brings suits against Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London, Trading as Syndicates WRB 1957 and KLN 0510 who are the insurers of the business.

Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London Refuse to Cover Covid-19 Losses Complaint
Tags: Business Insurance, Covid-19 Related, Denial of Benefits, Insurance