Coronavirus: Communicable Disease Coverage

In December of 2019, a new disease was identified in Wuhan, China. The disease, (COVID-19), more commonly known as the Coronavirus, spread rapidly throughout China and surrounding countries. As the disease begins to spread to the United States, the CDC has reported 1,215 cases and 36 deaths as of March 13, 2020. You may be asking yourself, what does this have to do with my homeowner’s insurance? More than you have probably considered.

Many people enjoy entertaining friends and family in their homes. Would the hosts in these cases be liable if their guests were to fall ill while in their home? Homeowner’s insurance offers liability coverage (limits vary) should a host have people over and someone get injured. But what about getting sick? Will your homeowner’s or umbrella policy protect you?

No, it won’t.

Neither homeowner’s nor umbrella policies provide coverage in this situation as these policies exclude coverage for any “Communicable Disease”. The International Risk Management Institute defines this as the spread from one person to another by either direct transmission of bacteria or viruses between the carrier and infected person, or through a vector, such as food contaminated by the carrier and consumed by the infected person. This has resulted on homeowner and umbrella policies to exclude coverage leaving the insured to self-insure this exposure should they be found liable.

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