Am I covered?
In these uncertain times, agents are fielding calls from clients who are concerned about the Coronavirus and how the mandatory closures affect their business. Will my policy provide coverage under Business Income, Civil Authority, Communicable Disease? How coverage triggers under insurance policies are at the forefront of everyone’s mind as fear of a long-term quarantine and shut down escalates.
While I understand the desire to reassure, comfort and help your client is our natural response as agents, I want to offer the following to reduce the likelihood of an errors and omissions exposure as a result of this pandemic. My advice during this event is the same as I’ve said in the past:
- AVOID MAKING CLAIMS DECISIONS! The insurance carriers should be making the claims decision not agents.
- DO NOT OFFER YOUR OPINION IF CORONAVIRUS related claims are COVERED OR NOT! Interpretation of policy language should be left to the carrier.
- If a carrier takes the position that losses arising from the Coronavirus are not, or may not be covered, do not engage in advocacy asserting that “We thought it was covered…” Advocating in writing for your client can be used by your client to prove that you knew the client wanted coverage for perils like the Coronavirus, but you failed to procure coverage.
- Report all claims and potential claims to EACH AND EVERY CARRIER that could potentially have a policy that could apply. This includes CGL, Personal lines, Umbrella, Excess, Workers Compensation, Specialty and any other policy in place for your customers.
- DOCUMENTATION DOCUMENTATION DOCUMENTATION!!! This continues to be the foundation of sound E&O risk management. DOCUMENT EACH AND EVERY TELEPHONE CONVERSATION, EMAIL, TEXT, TWEET, OR ANY OTHER TYPE OF COMMUNICATION WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS!
I understand this is a stressful time for agents and we are here to help you navigate through these uncharted waters. Please reach out to Ashley Riley or Judy Sivy, if you have additional questions or concerns related to your E&O policy with OIA.