Most Hollywood Companies Not Insured Against Pandemics, Will Have to ‘Absorb the Losses’

Beatrice Verhoeven

Over the past week, many companies have canceled or postponed their events or halted production on TV shows and films due to coronavirus scares. According to insurance lawyers and brokers, most entertainment and business policies don’t cover pandemics and many companies will have to “absorb their losses” on their own. “It would be a specialized insurance policy that would provide coverage for these expenses and damages,” Kent J. Schmidt, a partner at the international law firm Dorsey & Whitney who specializes in business litigation, told TheWrap. “Most companies have only a general liability policy that covers a relatively narrow subset of potential claims, such as personal injuries or claims specific to an industry,” Schmidt said. “Unless the company has a specialized insurance policy relating to disruption of their business, they are going to have to absorb the losses.” Stephan Buckley, an insurance agent at State Farm, added that he has not heard of insurance companies covering pandemics at all because the severity of the exposure is too “unpredictable” and too difficult to price. While most policies have a “business interruption” coverage, he added, “there is also an exclusion for disease. There are some unconventional insurance companies that might consider the...

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