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Honesty Is the Best Policy: A Misstatement in Your Application May Void Your Coverage

“It is inherent in human nature to question whether we will be accepted for who we are. Sometimes, this may tempt us to “hedge” a bit in how we present ourselves. But a recent Illinois appellate court decision[1] adds new meaning to the adage “honesty is the best policy.” In that case, misstatements in the business insurance policyholder’s application voided coverage for the very risk that prompted the company to purchase the policy in the first place…”

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COVID-19 and Business Insurance Claims: 3 Important Questions for Restaurants

Among the most tangible disruptions to regular life caused by the coronavirus pandemic is the current prohibition on dining in restaurants. Restaurants play a central role in our communities and are where we celebrate, commiserate, commune and network. For restaurant owners, the closures have set off a devastating chain of events, from layoffs to unpaid bills to, in some cases, permanent closures. The disruption to the restaurant industry will continue for the foreseeable future, even after restaurants reopen because their operations will be subject to significant restrictions. Restaurant owners purchased

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Business Insurance and COVID-19 Three Questions Manufacturers Need to Answer

As the COVID-19 fallout continues to unfold in the coming weeks and months, business owners will be turning to their contracts and insurance policies to determine their options for risk-mitigation, recovery, and to defend themselves against contract claims. The devil is in the details, and the details will necessarily vary by document and situation, but here are three questions that should guide manufacturers as they gather information and devise strategies for moving forward in continually evolving circumstances. How do your contracts with customers and suppliers address force majeure? Under certain

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Business Insurance Claims and COVID-19

Business insurance may cover losses companies experience due to the virus, but only if owners are smart about how they file claims. As business owners react day to day to the complex and unprecedented impact of COVID- 19 on the marketplace, supply chain and labor force — an impact that is very much still unfolding — they are juggling concern for their employees and customers in the short term with longer term worries about what all this is going to mean for the future of their business. Even if the

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Intentional Acts

In my experience, insurance isn’t the first thing most people think about when they wake up in the morning. Whether something will be covered isn’t even a thought until a person has a claim against them or they experience a loss and are seeking reimbursement for damages. The “general liability insurance policies” through which most businesses protect themselves will include an exclusion from coverage for “intentional acts.” After all, insurance companies cannot be expected to insure a business for the intentional consequences of that business’ conduct. An intentional act is

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Reservation of Rights

In a perfect world, you pay for insurance, something bad happens, you file a claim, the insurance company pays for it, the end. Unfortunately, that outcome is too often the exception rather than the rule. Claims are time sensitive. When a policyholder is sued or experiences a loss and files a claim, they hope and need to receive a prompt and clear response from the insurer. But there is no hard and fast rule as to what constitutes a “reasonable” response time. Indeed, the initial response may be that the

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