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Tenth Circuit: Government COVID Closure Orders Do Not Trigger Coverage for Loss of Business Income

In a recent case, the Tenth Circuit joined other circuits in holding that government closure orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic do not trigger insurance coverage for loss of business income, reasoning that the temporary inability to use property caused by COVID shutdown orders doesn’t involve a covered physical loss of property.

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In Goodwill Industries of Central Oklahoma v. Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Co., — F.4th –, 2021 U.S. App. LEXIS 37802 (Dec. 21, 2021), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit joined other circuits in holding that government closure orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic do not trigger insurance coverage for loss of business income. The court reasoned that the temporary inability to use property caused by COVID shutdown orders doesn’t involve a covered physical loss of property, and in any event, the policy’s virus exclusion applied.

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