Insurance property policies generally have a few things in common; one is that they provide coverage for some form of physical damage; it may be listed as “direct physical damage”, “direct physical loss or damage”, “loss or damage” caused by a particular peril, “direct physical loss to property” or similar phrasing. It is clear that actual physical damage must occur. But what exactly is damage? The policies do not include damage as a defined term. While it seems straightforward, circumstances arise, such as COVID-19, that bring the question to the forefront.
Currently COVID-19 has swept the world, and is now working its way through the United States where governors and other officials are ordering closings of schools, restaurants, bars, gyms, movie theaters, and other businesses. Many small businesses will struggle to survive without their normal cash flow. Therefore, they look to their insurance policy for coverage. But what is physical damage?
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