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(Photo: Buzz Fuller/Shutterstock) Of the $5 trillion the insurance industry generated in revenue last year, P&C accounted for  $1.6 trillion — double the amount insurers claim they would lose if they paid every single COVID-19 claim. (Photo: Buzz Fuller/Shutterstock)

Just three days after the first coronavirus case was reported in the United States on Jan. 21, 2020, insurance companies began incorporating coronavirus-specific exclusions into newly issued policies. Less than two weeks later, nearly every insurance carrier had followed suit, including coronavirus exclusions on new policies while declaring to anyone who would listen that standard property and casualty insurance policies were not “designed” or “intended” to respond to COVID-19 losses.

Thus, well before the first shelter in place order was issued, P&C insurers made a loud and clear announcement to their policyholders: we have no intention of paying any COVID-19 claims regardless of what your policy says. Six months on, the pandemic persists, as does the nearly uniform refusal by insurers to acknowledge coverage and pay claims for COVID-19-related losses.

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