Tuesday, December 1, 2020
Both of these stories come from Bloomberg Law.
The first is a new podcast series from Bloomberg called Uncommon Law. Bloomberg does not seem quite sure of how it wants to characterize this occasional format, alternating between calling it a "podcast" and a "audio documentary." In any case, the episode from earlier this month on "virus exclusions" in insurance policies is a new twist on a theme we have explored in other posts here, here, and here.
Here is Bloomberg's summary of its podcast/audio documentary:
Businesses all across the country have been shutdown for days, weeks, or even months at a time due to the coronavirus pandemic. Many assumed their insurance policies would help them defray some of their lost revenue. But those assumptions were, by and large, wrong.
In this special audio documentary, “Business, Interrupted” we look at why insurers denied the claims of their shuttered policyholders. A team of reporters from Bloomberg Law and Bloomberg Tax look into the so-called “virus exclusion” clauses, that insurers quietly inserted into many of their business policies, and how those clauses are now creating strife between insurers and businesses.
We hear from several small business owners across the country about the shock they felt when their pandemic claims were denied, in some cases within hours after filing. We also hear from regulators and lawmakers about whether they will force insurers to retroactively honor these claims, a possibility that insurers view as an existential threat to their entire industry.
A second Bloomberg report summarizes developments in the gig economy, ranging from a review of court cases in which gig workers try to get courts to force employers recognize their status as employees to a discussion of California's Proposition 22 and a possible intervention by the U.S. Department of Labor.