Author: Chris Boggs
Lawyers, legislators and the media, in their individual attempts to rewrite the business income policy, have a keen interest in and take perverse pleasure in pointing out that the business income policy does not contain a “pandemic" exclusion. Even President Trump made this point in one of his briefings.
Without question they are correct. There is no pandemic exclusion in the business income policy. I concede the point.
However, there doesn't need to be a “pandemic" exclusion in the business income policy. The absence of the word or an exclusion containing the word does not change the facts of coverage. In fact, adding a “pandemic" exclusion would be deceitful and regulators would disapprove the attempt immediately upon filing.
A pandemic exclusion is unnecessary and ultimately disingenuous for one key reason – a pandemic is not a peril. “Pandemic" is the term used to describe how widely a biological condition has spread, where it is – nothing else.
Property insurance policies respond when the loss or damage is caused by a covered “peril." A peril is defined as the undesired event that causes loss or damage. In property insurance a peril arises from physical, chemical or biological events that alter the physical characteristics of property such that repair is required. When a biological condition extends into several countries, that is a pandemic.
In short, a “pandemic" cannot cause a loss. Something that cannot cause a loss does not need to be excluded.
Last Updated: April 24, 2020