The UK's Supreme Court ruled today that insurers must provide business-interruption coverage to businesses for losses from lockdowns. In so ruling, the Supreme Court overturned a 2010 case decision, Orient Express Hotels Ltd., which required policyholders to show that the business interruption would not have resulted even if there had been no direct physical loss to the insured property. Policies with "add-ons" required coverage, the Supreme Court ruled, if there was a single case of COVID-19 within the specified radius of the insured property.
U.S. policyholders will not be directly affected by this decision, but may be able to use its reasoning by analogy. Many business-interruption policies have coverage for losses resulting from civil authority orders. As always, the language of the specific policy at issue will govern and deserves careful scrutiny.