Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Claim Against Insurance Agent For Failing to Sell Insurance That Would Cover Business Interruption Claims Caused by COVID-19 Allowed to Proceed

In the case of Brown’s Gym, Inc. v. The Cincinnati Insurance Company, No. 20-CV-3113 (C.P. Lacka. Co. Dec. 18, 2020 Nealon, J.), Judge Terrence R. Nealon of the Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas overruled an insurance agent’s Preliminary Objections filed in a case in which a gym and fitness center, which was required to close its premises and cease its business operations in compliance with the government orders issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to suing its commercial insurer under a declaratory judgment action seeking coverage for its pandemic related losses under an “all risk” policy, the gym also sued its insurance agent under claims of negligence and negligent misrepresentation for failing to provide the gym with the insurance coverage it allegedly requested. 

Based upon a review of the allegations of the Complaint, the court noted that the insurance agent arguably breached its duty to exercise reasonable care, skill, and judgment in securing and providing insurance coverage that was specifically requested by the gym. The court additionally ruled that the insurance agent need not be a named party to the insurance contract in order for the gym to state valid claims of negligence against the agent.

As such, the court overruled the Preliminary Objections in the nature of a demurer filed by the insurance agent.

Anyone wishing to review a copy of this decision may click this LINK.

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