The debate around the pandemic is considered to be an Act of God

Public Liability Insurance

The debate around the pandemic is considered to be an Act of God  08th August 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a tumultuous time for the globe, and it is no surprise that we were not ready to deal with a pandemic of this scale. It has been a trying time for everyone involved, including doctors, nurses, frontline workers, and the general public.

The global economy has taken a massive hit in the past two years of the pandemic. Businesses all around the globe are trying to figure out a way to stay afloat in these trying times, and many of them have turned to insurance companies seeking clarification for the clause called "Act of God."

While this term may seem facetious at first, an act of God used to be an actual insurance term. Although it's not commonly used in policies, an act of God is used as a term to describe natural calamities outside human control. This can range from floods, cyclones, earthquakes, typhoons, tornadoes, storms, etc. An Act of God can also be described as an event that cannot be prevented by reasonable care.

As you may have already deduced, this term is vague and does not provide clear antecedents of what businesses can claim. Insurance providers mention the disasters covered or excluded to avoid this confusion. However, being faced with this horrific pandemic that has closed down businesses and decreased revenue drastically, companies and small traders are looking for an insurance policy that will cover the revenue lost because of the pandemic.

What policies cover diseases like COVID-19?
With business owners getting desperate to stay afloat, here are the policies that generally cover or exclude disasters like the current situation:
1. General liability insurance: This policy might help with lawsuits about exposing employees, customers, or clients to the virus.
2. Worker's compensation pay: This may cover the workers' medical costs for an infectious disease such as coronavirus.

Should you be concerned about lawsuits related to COVID-19?
It's improbable for a business to be sued over a global pandemic. However, it can be sued against the negligence of its employees in following COVID guidelines or for professional negligence regarding project delays or cancellations. In this time of financial insecurity, this can be a massive liability to the company. The best way to protect your business against these scenarios is by including these in your contract with the client.

Force Majeure to the rescue.
Force Majeure clauses, like acts of God, is a relatively vague term in insurance. It relieves your business from contractual obligations under natural calamities, pandemics, or other uncontrollable events. Another significant advantage of this clause is that it clears your business from responsibility to fulfill contractual obligations in the case of armed unrest, conflicts, etc.
It can provide optimum protection in case meeting deadlines is impossible. However, suppose the client has a high-stakes project with your company, there is a high possibility that they'll ask for a narrower definition of Force Majeure that may exclude certain disasters.

There is a lot of philosophical discourse about whether COVID was an act of God, and the debate can go on for decades, but the truth is, there are a lot of businesses unable to cope with this deadly pandemic. Stores have shut down, and people's dream businesses have been halted. This has been a trying time for everyone, and some insurance policies might help. Research public liability insurance in India to get optimum protection for your business and safeguard it against unexpected financial losses.

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Disclaimer: The information provided above is for illustrative purposes only. To get more details, please refer to policy wordings and prospectus before purchasing a policy.