Understanding Your Insurance Coverage
From Jennifer Urmston of Sports & Fitness Insurance Corporation
“It is important to remember that viruses are excluded from standard Commercial General Liability insurance policies. This means that insurance companies will most likely not pay members for claiming they contracted a virus at your school.
It is very difficult to track where a virus comes from, so it would be difficult to prove that someone caught a cold or the flu or the coronavirus from their martial arts school.
However, a martial arts school should still focus on cleanliness at all times to protect themselves from a claim of negligence.
At this time with the Covid-19 Coronavirus crisis, we recommend following the guidelines of your local health department and the CDC.
All third party claims of any type of injury including from a virus should be turned in to the school’s General Liability carrier for a claims adjuster to respond.
Viruses are also not a covered cause of loss under a standard Commercial Property Insurance policy.
A covered cause of loss is required in order to trigger Business Income Coverage on a Commercial Property policy.
Business Income coverage replaces loss of income sustained during a period of restoration, following a covered property loss.”
This is usually when a building is being repaired after physical damage has occurred.
Therefore, a school will not necessarily be eligible for business income-related insurance coverage even if that school experiences reduced business because students are fearful of contracting a virus.
Jennifer Urmston Lowe goes on to say, “Standard Commercial Property policies include an Exclusion for Virus and Bacteria that applies to Business Income and Civil Authority coverage. We recommend, however, that all business owners review their own specific policy language and file a claim with their carrier if they feel that they have coverage.
It is vitally important to maintain the power, lighting and security systems for your martial arts school at all times.
Your premises can have water damage, fire damage or vandalism and other physical damage during a slow down or shut down.
Finally, we strongly recommend that business owners do not let their insurance lapse at this time because these types of claims could be expensive and threaten the long term viability of the business.”
We have spent the week working with Liberty Mutual to help our staff answer coverage questions and recommend appropriate resources related to the Coronavirus.
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Examine.com. Summary of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
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