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Chiropractor Sues State Farm Seeking Virus Coverage

A Pennsylvania chiropractic clinic brought a proposed class action against State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. for coverage of pandemic-related losses, saying government restrictions caused the type of physical loss required for coverage under its "all-risk" policy.

Eli Flesch writes in Law360 Insurance Authority that "Sewickley Chiropractic Center told a Pennsylvania federal court that pandemic shutdown orders forced the Pittsburgh-area clinic to discontinue the primary use of its property.

"That amounted to a covered loss under its commercial property insurance policy with State Farm, the clinic argued, saying that even if the orders didn't cause the property loss, the ubiquity of the coronavirus still did.

'The covered property has been rendered unusable for its intended purpose because the highly contagious nature of COVID-19, particularly when people gather inside a building or other closed space for extended periods of time, precludes any meaningful use of the covered property,' the clinic said.

"The clinic is seeking to represent a national class of policyholders that have been denied coverage from State Farm for their pandemic-related losses. The members are facing similar questions concerning whether exclusions apply to bar coverage, the clinic said, as well as what damages they might be entitled to."

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