In what may be the first federal appeals board ruling in the matter, the eighth district court on Friday ruled against an oral surgeon's practice whether a policyholder can recover for COVID-19 losses during its business interruption coverage.  In its decision in Oral Surgeons, PC v. The Cincinnati Insurance Co., a three-judge panel of St. The Louis-based Board of Appeal agreed with the U.S. District Court in Des Moines, Iowa, that practice policies required "physical loss" or "physical harm" to trigger business interruption and additional cost recovery.
"Oral Surgeons did not claim any physical alteration of property. "The complaint generally appealed to the discontinuation of non-emergency oral surgeons due to the COVID-1
" We reject Oral Surgeon's argument that the lost business revenue and the extra cost they sustained as a result of the suspension of emergency procedures were caused by direct "loss" of property, "the panel said in confirming the lower court's decision in September.
Cincinnati said in a statement, "We thank the Court for its careful consideration of this matter and are pleased with its decision confirming that neither the COVID-19 pandemic nor the associated government-imposed restrictions constitute the direct physical loss or damage required red for to trigger coverage according to our property insurance.
“We know that many companies have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and we sympathize with them. We continue to look for ways to support our policyholders through philanthropic relief and to help them proactively manage risks and immediately pay covered claims.
The complainant's lawyers did not respond to a request for comment.
Experts have cited this case. , is believed to be the first federal level of appeal involving oral arguments on COVID-19 related business interruptions, as among those that will provide clarity to policyholders on the issue.
More insurance and risk management news about the coronavirus crisis here . Catalog