The insurance industry responded to the emergency of the COVID-19 pandemic with preemptive press statements that property insurance policies would provide no coverage—even before policyholders submitted any claims. In “Many Commercial Property Insurance Policies Provide Coverage for COVID-19 Exposures,” colleagues Robert L. Wallan, David F. Klein and Tamara D. Bruno discuss that the insurance industry’s generic arguments that there is no coverage for the COVID-19 pandemic should not be accepted at face value, as coverage may be available depending on specific policy terms and individualized facts.
The Department of Homeland Security has outlined 16 critical infrastructure sectors which represent the types of businesses that can remain operational during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, each state—in some cases, local governments—can designate what qualifies as “essential.” Businesses should be mindful of the government regulations and potential penalties for noncompliance. We recommend working with legal counsel to understand your state’s definition of an “Essential Business” and the permissible exemptions from stay-at-home orders that may exist.
Outlined below (and available here as a PDF) are practical tips to follow to ensure you are complying with all applicable orders.
In many cases, borrowers and lenders are working together to weather this crisis. A forbearance agreement is often the first step—after a pre-negotiation agreement is entered into. In “Distressed Real Estate During the Coronavirus Pandemic: Tips for Negotiating Forbearance Agreements,” colleague Caroline A. Harcourt discusses how the coronavirus pandemic, stay-at-home orders and social distancing have put unprecedented strains on borrowers—hotels are closed or barely operational, retail properties are shuttered, tenants are not paying rents (and, in many jurisdictions, shielded from eviction)—yet owners must continue to meet their debt service payment (and other) obligations and fund their required reserves.