International risk team: Aggregation issues in Covid-19 related claims
A lot of electronic ink has been used by lawyers to debate whether coronavirus on the surface of physical things constitutes damage. Although that may have seemed a crucial question some weeks ago before the lock-down it is probably largely academic now.
Economic activity in the UK and globally has ground to a halt not because of contaminated door handles and lift buttons but because of the measures taken by governments around the world to limit human interaction in an attempt to stop the spread of the disease. For example, in the UK the Government provided ‘guidance’ on social distancing in mid-March. And in late March 2020, the UK government required a large number of non-essential businesses to close their premises and imposed restrictions on individuals’ movement: see Health Protection (Coronavirus, Business Closure) (England) Regulations 2020 (SI 350/2020). Around the world other national governments and agencies and state and provincial governments have imposed similar restrictions at different times.
These governmental measures have had a devastating effect on the domestic and global economy. And the disease itself has brought about a terrible human cost, notwithstanding the governmental measures. The loss of life and the loss to economies around the world will continue for months, if not years. Although it is not the purpose of this article to reinforce the misery that everyone is experiencing, it necessarily informs how various insurance products may be engaged and also the extent to which they may be engaged.
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