According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one of the ways that the novel coronavirus spreads is by clinging to surfaces or objects that other, uninfected people then touch. If an employee of the business or a customer came down with the virus after touching a contaminated surface within the business, then business interruption insurance might cover the business’ loss because there had been loss of or damage to the business’ property.
The same sort of analysis applies to shutdown by governmental order. ISO form CP 00 30 10 12 covers closure by “civil authority,” but only when a business is ordered closed because of “damage to property other than property at the described premises.” Again, does contagion by the novel coronavirus of business premises amount to property damage?
Court decisions on similar conditions have suggested that there will be coverage. Rulings include a showing of physical damage by the existence of gasoline fumes, toxic cases and odors from making methamphetamine.
If your business has declined or been closed by the novel coronavirus pandemic, you should immediately consult with an attorney because business interruption insurance policies often have short deadlines within which to file a claim.