Reopening? Check Insurance Coverages First
As states across the nation – including New Mexico – are preparing to relax or rescind COVID-19 related restrictions, many business owners are anxious to reopen their doors to the public. Before reopening their businesses, however, owners should carefully review their insurance coverages; businesses may be exposed to uninsured liabilities in a COVID-19 positive world because of disease-related exclusions in coverage. Specifically, and most notably, business owners should ensure their commercial general liability (CGL) insurance policies (which generally provide coverage for personal injury and property damage claims by third parties) do not include the Communicable Disease Exclusion or other similar exclusions. This type of exclusion excludes coverage for bodily injury and property damage arising out of the actual or alleged transmission of a communicable disease. If this type of exclusion applies to a CGL policy, any third-party claims against a business that allege bodily injury due to a COVID-19 infection will be excluded from coverage under the CGL policy.
The terms and coverages of insurance policies vary. Affected business owners should contact their insurance brokers and/or regular contacts at Sutin, Thayer & Browne for more detailed analyses of all insurance-related questions.
Return-to-Work Guidance from Workforce Solutions
The New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions has issued guidance regarding returning to work and Unemployment Insurance. Topics include sections on non-essential employees, safe working conditions, and declining suitable work.