Negligence is defined as failure to use a degree of care considered reasonable under a given set of circumstances. As a result of COVID-19 and potential allegations regarding the presumption of where a person (employee or others) contracted COVID-19 or any other communicable disease, K&A latest updates have focused on training, sample policies and procedures to help protect you against alleged negligence. Because current insurance policies are not rated to cover pandemics, our updates have been provided in anticipation of the insurance market responding to the communicable disease exposure. With the lack of governmental legislation to limit employer liability, insurers are taking action and introducing two new communicable disease exclusions. Exclusions can be significant. Employees, or others, may make allegations which can be actual, groundless, false, or even fraudulent; when communicable disease exclusions are in place, an employer/business will not have defense coverage.
The commercial general liability exclusion applies to bodily injury, property damage, personal and advertising injury arising out of the actual or alleged transmission of a communicable disease. The exclusion does not define communicable disease, but does eliminate coverage for “artful pleadings” such as alleged negligence or other wrongdoing in supervising, hiring, employing, training, or monitoring of others that may be infected with and spread the disease, negligence in testing for a communicable disease, failure to prevent the spread of the disease, or failure to report the disease to authorities.
The commercial umbrella liability exclusion applies to any liability, claim, or suit arising out of the actual or alleged transmission of a communicable disease.
We anticipate insurance carriers will be adding these exclusions upon policy renewal dates.
Koppinger & Associates will continue to monitor and stay current on developments that will directly affect your business and risk management plan.