Loss of Business Income Caused by Civil Authority Action
Setnor Byer Insurance & Risk
Insurance, Risk Management, Property Insurance
Public safety concerns may prompt civil authorities to take action to protect people and property. For example, a governor can issue a mandatory hurricane evacuation, a mayor can close roads during inclement weather, the police can enforce curfews during riots, or a fire department can restrict access to a neighborhood during a gas leak. Though these actions may be good for public safety, they may be bad for business.
In some cases, a Business Interruption policy’s Civil Authority coverage may offset income losses suffered during a civil authority action. Business Interruption, also known as Business Income, is a type of commercial insurance that protects against loss of income when a covered loss causes a business to reduce or suspend its operations. Civil Authority coverage is an additional protection that may be included in a Business Interruption policy.
A typical Civil Authority clause states: We will pay for the actual loss of Business Income you sustain and necessary Extra Expense caused by action of civil authority that prohibits access to the described premises due to direct physical loss of or damage to property, other than at the described premises, caused by or resulting from any Covered Cause of Loss.
Under this framework, the Civil Authority provision will not provide coverage unless all four of the following conditions are met.
1. The loss of business income must be caused by the civil authority action. There must be a direct relation between a civil authority action and a loss of income.
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