Florida Court Upholds Coverage For Doctor Office’s COVID-19 Business Interruption Claim

In another win for policyholders, the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida on September 24, 2020 denied Sentinel Insurance Company’s motion to dismiss the policyholder doctor office’s claim for COVID-19 related business interruption coverage.

Urogynecology Specialist of Florida LLC v. Sentinel Insurance Company Ltd., Case No.: 6:20-cv-1174-Orl-22EJK (M.D. Fla. Sept. 25, 2020). The court engaged in a true analysis of the policy’s virus exclusion language, finding that the insurer had not met its burden of showing that its proposed reading of the exclusionary language is the only reasonable interpretation.

The policyholder was forced to close its business following Florida’s declaration of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sentinel denied the policyholder’s claim for business interruption coverage under its property policy. The policyholder sought a declaration of coverage in Florida state court, and the action was subsequently removed to the Middle District of Florida where Sentinel filed a motion to dismiss on the basis of the policy’s virus exclusion.

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