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Head of PA Insurance Department warns businesses of increased risks, liability with non-compliance of closure orders

Commissioner Jessica Altman says many policies exclude coverage for businesses or people who engage in illegal acts or conduct

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The commissioner of the Pennsylvania Insurance Department on Monday reminded businesses statewide of the importance of complying with Governor Tom Wolf's orders for counties in the red and yellow phases of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Commissioner Jessica Altman said that in addition to critical public health objectives, non-compliant businesses that defy the governor's closure orders should remember many insurance policies contain provisions that exclude coverage for businesses or individuals who engage in illegal acts or conduct.

These exclusions may apply to property coverage, liability coverage, advertising injury coverage, and a host of other essential coverages, Altman warned.

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“Businesses and residents rely on insurance coverage to protect them from liability, pay for covered losses, and compensate those who may be injured or harmed,” said Altman. “It is the duty of every business and resident in Pennsylvania to ensure that they and the public at large are provided with the maximum level of protection afforded by insurance. Any actions that could potentially create coverage gaps are the antitheses of the civil duty required of all residents during these times of emergency.”

Altman said her reminder applies to all Pennsylvania businesses and residents, regardless of the county they reside in. 

The Insurance Department strongly encourages businesses or residents who have questions or concerns regarding insurance coverage during the phased reopening of businesses in this commonwealth to reach out to their insurance carrier to discuss concerns.