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Illustration of the coronavirus. (Photo: CDC) Illustration of the coronavirus. (Photo: CDC)

As corporate policyholders continue to submit claims to their insurers for business interruption and related losses sustained from the COVID-19 pandemic, insurers appear to be denying such claims routinely where the policies at issue contain exclusionary language specific to viruses — whether in stand-alone virus exclusions or other types of exclusions.

As an initial matter, the mere inclusion of the word “virus” in any policy exclusion does not mean that the exclusion applies to COVID-19-related losses. Both the specific wording of the exclusion and context are critical. This article does not address virus-specific exclusions, but a more detailed discussion of such exclusions can be found here.

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