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Thursday, 30 July 2020 22:52

Federal Panel Could Consolidate Florida Business Interruption Claims Into Class Action Suit

Written by John Haughey, The Center Square


However, Judge Joyce Draganchuk ruled COVID-19 did not tangibly alter the properties, which is necessary to provide coverage under the owner’s insurance policy---upholding a key contention by insurers.


In late April, Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier warned Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Re-Open Florida Task Force that many business owners were only then realizing their business interruption insurance policies did not cover financial losses stemming from pandemic shutdowns.


In May, state CFO Jimmy Patronis called on Florida’s 27-member congressional delegation to find a way for small businesses to recover losses related to the COVID-19 emergency shutdowns that many business interruption insurance policies don’t cover through legislation rather than litigation.


“There are a lot of business owners who purchased business interruption insurance policies thinking they would be used for times like these,” he wrote. “Many responsible businesses that care deeply for their employees and their communities have spent a lot of their hard-earned dollars on business interruption insurance policies for years, and Congress should take that into consideration as they craft programs to help businesses during this crisis.”


U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson, D-CA, has introduced HR 7412, the "Business Interruption Relief Act of 2020," which would create a Business Interruption Relief Program (BIRP) to reimburse insurers that voluntarily paid COVID-19 business interruption claims.


It awaits a first hearing before the House Financial Services Committee.


We thank The Center Square for reprint permission. 

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