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NY High Court Sides With Other State Courts: COVID-19 Business Interruption Not Enough to State Claim Under Commercial Property Insurance

Many businesses have sought to recover their pandemic losses under commercial property insurance policies, only to be denied coverage. A significant number of policyholders have filed lawsuits challenging these disclaimers, primarily in state courts. But to the dismay of the insureds, a growing majority of high state courts have sided with the insurers in these disputes.

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The COVID-19 pandemic upended the lives of people throughout the world and continues to have lasting impacts four years later. In addition to the significant and sometimes devastating health issues caused by COVID-19, pandemic-related shutdowns gave rise to considerable economic loss. According to Reuters, COVID-19 caused insured losses of $44 billion in the first two years of the pandemic alone, making the COVID-19 pandemic the third largest event of loss ever — surpassed only by Hurricane Katrina and the Sept. 11 attacks.

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