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.”