Since I once loved the law enough to do my first year of law school, there are occasionally articles that attract my interest that most people would skip over. One I saw this past week on Above The Law was about insurance claims in the wake of Covid-19. The author noted that the topic isn’t interesting to everyone, but a factoid at the beginning caught my attention:
But I heard something interesting about insurance last week that I just had to share with you: Some European insurance companies are now seeing fewer automobile insurance claims than at any time since World War II. (On second thought, maybe my definition of “interesting” and yours don’t match up precisely.) That gives you an idea of what the pandemic has done to travel across a big swath of the world.The Waves Of COVID-19 Insurance Claims | Above the Law
But the rest of his article is pretty interesting too, as he noted what he sees as three likely waves of insurance claims:
- Travel — in the OP, it argues this one has already passed with people filing claims related to cancelled trips, etc. in the wake of the shut-down. I’m not sure about that, as lots of claims were denied, and now lots of people are fighting about it still.
- Property and business interruption claims — the OP notes that most insurance of this sort is geared towards catastrophes that cause property damage and therefore the business has to shut-down. It isn’t clear if insurance policies will cover a non-physical shut-down and the fighting is just beginning. What’s really cool is how it will play out because some of the shut down was legislative so they may order insurance companies to cover the losses!
- Working from home claims — cyber insurance for future losses from unsecured operations, employment insurance offered by companies if the shutdowns result in closures, workers’ compensation if employees become ill at work or injured at home, and if companies do shut down, then do they have options for bankruptcy or trade credits beyond the original business disruption insurance?
Looks like a fascinating area for the future…but for me, I think they are missing a huge area that is going to show up fast. Are any of the insurance companies going to try and balk at paying life insurance claims if someone didn’t practice social distancing i.e., they contributed to their own demise?