To hear Century 21 Stores tell it, the New York retailer should have survived the pandemic because it had business interruption insurance. Instead, insurers refused to pay, and Century 21 is shutting down after almost 60 years in business.
More than 1,000 companies have found themselves in the same predicament and have sued, with cases playing out across the U.S. and U.K. Insurers are arguing they don’t have to pay out on pandemic claims in part because the coronavirus didn’t damage property.
Their stance will be tested as new cases are filed by bigger businesses with the resources to wage long, sophisticated court battles where the stakes are much higher. Until recently, the typical lawsuit demanding insurance payments came from smaller companies that couldn’t sustain a fight, said Walter J. Andrews, who represents Ralph Lauren Corp. in its $700 million insurance case filed last month in New Jersey.
“Their business … Read More