Man holding a lit light bulb. New challenges often provide the impetus to approach operations differently, leading to creative solutions and opportunities for growth. (Photo: Shutterstock)

After several months of adjusting to remote work, telemedicine, using food delivery services for carryout and groceries, and spending quality time with our pets and families, businesses are slowly beginning to reopen. However, the losses have been devastating and no industry or company has been spared. The personal cost of the coronavirus has been high in terms of lives lost, individuals with residual health effects, businesses closed, schools and programs affected, graduations and milestone events missed, and a host of other impacts. For carriers, the challenges are just beginning.

Policyholder claims will escalate as companies seek to recover some of their losses. Policy interpretation and exclusions will play a critical role. As multiple states seek to legislate coverage where it may not exist, carriers will be forced into court to defend their decisions. If coverage can be legislated, it interferes with the contract between the insurer and the insured, and sets a dangerous precedent not just for the insurance industry, but for any line of business where a customer can sustain a loss such as investing or real estate. We will continue to watch these developments.

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Patricia L. Harman

Patricia L. Harman is the editor-in-chief of Claims magazine, a contributing editor to, and chairs the annual America's Claims Event (ACE), which focuses on providing claims professionals with cutting-edge education and networking opportunities. She covers auto, property & casualty, workers' compensation, fraud, risk and cybersecurity, and is a frequent speaker at insurance industry events. Contact her at [email protected]

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