CCBJ Interviews McGuireWoods’ Matthew Fender on COVID-19 Insurance Claims

October 27, 2020

McGuireWoods Richmond partner Matthew Fender discussed COVID-19 related insurance recovery issues in a Q&A in the September-October issue of Corporate Counsel Business Journal.

Fender, who represents policyholders in insurance recovery disputes, described a recent federal case in Missouri in which the court concluded that the “physical loss or damage” coverage trigger is satisfied by the presence of novel coronavirus on surfaces.

“If the presence of the virus is sufficient to constitute physical loss, that won’t be terribly hard to do, as many of the emergency closure orders made in response to COVID-19 expressly recite that the virus was present at property in the state,” Fender said. If the reasoning applied in this decision takes broad hold “then carriers are going to be required to pay a lot of claims.”

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