On Monday, a warning was published on the Pennsylvania Insurance Department website reminding businesses that choose to reopen too early that many insurance policies contain provisions that exclude coverage from business re-openings that are not in compliance with the governor’s orders. Defying the governor’s orders could be considered illegal acts or conduct under your insurance policy which could leave your business without insurance coverage. Exclusions may apply to property coverage, liability coverage, advertising injury coverage, and many other essential coverages.
Jessica Altman, Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner, stated “businesses and residents rely on insurance coverage to protect them from liability, pay for covered losses, and compensate those who may be injured or harmed. It is the duty of every business and resident in Pennsylvania to ensure that they and the public at large are provided with the maximum level of protection afforded by insurance. Any actions that could potentially create coverage gaps are the antitheses of the civil duty required of all residents during these times of emergency.”
While many businesses are reopening based on whether their NAICS classification category is considered a life sustaining business or if their county has a yellow or red status, some are pushing the envelope to reopen sooner than the official dates set by government officials. According to Altman, complying with orders issued by Governor Tom Wolf and Department of Health Secretary Rachel Levine regarding business closure orders is very important.
In the press release, the Insurance Department strongly encourages businesses or residents who have questions or concerns regarding insurance coverage during the phased reopening of businesses in this commonwealth to reach out to their insurance carrier to discuss concerns.
To read the entire press release, click here.
DISCLAIMER: The WM Daily Update COVID-19, COVID-19 Business Resources and COVID-19 Client News Alerts and other related communications are intended to provide general information on legislative COVID-19 relief measures as of the date of this communication and may reference information from reputable sources. Although our firm has made every reasonable effort to ensure that the information provided is accurate, we make no warranties, expressed or implied, on the information provided. As legislative efforts are still ongoing, we expect that there may be additional guidance and clarification from regulators that may modify some of the provisions in this communication. Some of those modifications may be significant. As such, be aware that this is not a comprehensive analysis of the subject matter covered and is not intended to provide specific recommendations to you or your business with respect to the matters addressed.