April 13, 2020
South Carolina legislators are the latest to introduce a bill addressing business interruption coverage in the wake of COVID-19. The South Carolina bill is similar to those introduced in other states, but notably specifies that an insurer may not deny a claim for loss of use and occupancy or business interruption with respect to COVID-19 – including denials on account of (a) COVID-19 being a virus, even if the policy excludes losses resulting from viruses; (b) there being no physical damage to the property; or (c) orders issued by any civil authority, or acts or decisions of a governmental entity. In this way, the legislation anticipates (and rejects) potential arguments that would likely be raised by insurers in attempting to deny claims. The legislation also permits insurers to seek relief and reimbursement from the state, as we’ve seen in other states’ proposed bills.