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A couple of weeks ago, I highlighted the curious case of New Orleans and its peculiar Emergency Order language. The New Orleans Emergency Proclamation included this statement:

Specifically, the language stating COVID-19 caused “property loss and damage” caught my attention, and it also caught the attention of attorney John Houghtaling, who suggested the language bolstered insurance claims and litigation.

As a result, I have spent the last two weeks researching and building an interactive map of government language related to COVID-19 shutdowns that may impact claims.

Please keep in mind that I am not declaring any particular language will or will not result in a valid claim or successful litigation. I am pointing out government language that I believe will be used (and is already being used) by attorneys to support claims and litigation for COVID-19 business interruptions.

The Map

If you want to view the map on your entire screen, go here: RiskGenius Emergency Orders Interactive Map

How to use the map

This is an interactive map.

To get started, click on a state or city of your choice. I think Florida is interesting. When you click a state, the map should zoom in.

When you click a state, a white box on the right will also open and show all of the Florida jurisdictions that have issued government edicts that I have reviewed. Jurisdictions may include cities, counties or state governments.

Each jurisdiction will include three or four elements:

If there is language that could be construed as possibly triggering or aiding a property claim, I have embedded the language. In a future post, I will evaluate two key variations in Emergency Orders language that will likely be used to try and trigger claims of viral-caused “physical loss or damage.”

How I Evaluated State-Wide Risk to Insurers

You will also notice some states are colored yellow, orange, and red. These colors indicate the aggregated risk level in the state for insurers based on city, county, and state proclamations and proposed legislation.

The color scale works like this:

  • Yellow – low to no risk to insurers
  • Medium – medium risk to insurers
  • High – high risk to insurers

In a future post I will also detail how I created aggregate scores for each state.

Initial Observations

Florida is a hotbed for government proclamations that contain language that may be used to try and trigger property claims. I have more details on where this Florida movement may have originated.

There are state legislators that have proposed legislation that would retroactively create business interruption coverage despite the presence of a virus exclusion. I have identified these states as high risk.

West Virginia is an interesting outlier. It is the only Governor-issued Emergency Proclomation that asserts COVID-19 is creating “physical contamination of property” that I have identified to date; although this language falls short of other more oblique references.

If you have any questions or ideas on government orders I should be looking at, email me at chris@riskgenius.com.