Skip to content

Construction and Procurement Blog

Home » Construction Posts » Insurance for COVID losses?

Insurance for COVID losses?

H. J. Russell & Co. v. Landmark Am. Ins. Co

The Georgia Court of Appeals denied a contractor’s attempt to recover certain COVID costs. The contractor asserted:

wrongful refusal and failure to provide coverage to the insured … for [its] substantial losses resulting from, among other things, the novel coronavirus outbreak and on-going COVID-19 pandemic, as well as civil authority orders issued by federal, state, and local governments, limiting, restricting, or prohibiting access to property within one (1) mile of [the insured’s] Covered Properties as defined in the insurance policies.

The contractor argued COVID costs were covered as “loss of or damage caused by a Covered Cause of Loss to Covered Property,” as well as loss of business activities “caused by order of civil or military authority that prohibits access” by an order that “results from a civil authority’s response to direct physical loss of or damage caused” by a covered loss to certain property.

Borrowing from the Eleventh Circuit’s handling of similar language, the Georgia Court of Appeals agreed with the insurer that the loss “does not extend to the intangible harm caused by Covid-19 or by a declaration of public emergency issued in its wake.”  Henry’s La. Grill v. Allied Ins. Co. of America, 35 F.4th 1318, 1320-1321 (III) (11th Cir. 2022).