Pollution Insurance – Potential Coverage for COVID-19 Losses and Liabilities


CLE credits earned: 1 General Credit (WA 1 Law and Legal)

This program will start with a brief overview of typical pollution insurance policies and then move into a discussion about how policies define “pollution” and whether COVID-19 fits within those definitions. We will talk about potential obstacles to coverage including whether or not policies require proof that the virus was present and how government shut down orders impact potential coverage. We will discuss mitigation/prevention coverage. Throughout, we will examine the types of losses that business have experienced and how those different losses may or may not be covered. We will conclude with a general discussion about COVID-19 insurance coverage litigation including current class action initiatives.

This course is co-sponsored with myLawCLE.

Key topics to be discussed:

• How pollution policy coverage ties to the definition of “pollutant” and the extent to which COVID-19 is included
• Types of losses that may be covered including first and third party
• Potential challenges to coverage depending on policy terms
• Potential coverage for expenses to prevent COVID-19 losses

Date / Time: August 14, 2020

•   2:00 pm – 3:00 pm Eastern
•   1:00 pm – 2:00 pm Central
•   12:00 pm – 1:00 pm Mountain
•   11:00 am – 12:00 pm Pacific

Choose a format:

•   Live Video Broadcast/Re-Broadcast: Watch Program “live” in real-time, must sign-in and watch program on date and time set above. May ask questions during presentation via chat box. Qualifies for “live” CLE credit.
•   On-Demand Video: Access CLE 24/7 via on-demand library and watch program anytime. Qualifies for self-study CLE credit. On-demand versions are made available 5 business days after the original recording date and are view-able for up to one year.
Closed-captioning available upon request

Select your state to see if this class is approved for CLE credit.

Choose the format you want.


SKU: N/A Categories: ,
Original Broadcast Date: August 14, 2020

Jeremiah Welch | Saxe Doernberger & Vita

Jeremiah Welch serves as Managing Partner of SDV’s West Coast office and as a member of the firm’s Executive committee. He has represented major stakeholders in some of the most significant construction disasters of the past decade, including the Florida University bridge collapse, the Louisiana Hard Rock Hotel collapse, and the “tilting” San Francisco Millennium Tower. Jeremiah also played a key role as coverage counsel to stakeholders in the post-9/11 World Trade Center debris removal litigation.
His experience deems him one of the foremost leaders in handling complex insurance challenges that require creativity and tenacity. He guided a major retailer through the complex business interruption coverage challenges following the devastating trio of hurricanes Katrina, Wilma, and Rita. Jeremiah also won coverage for an airline whose pilot was mistakenly seized by a foreign government and imprisoned in one of the world’s worst prisons.
Outside the courtroom, Jeremiah is amongst the insurance industry’s most-respected scholars. He provides education, training, and advice as a consultant to insured corpora¬tions and several of the world’s largest retail and wholesale brokerages. As an architect of the innovative and industry-leading Labor Guard Insurance Program, Jeremiah has forged a path of insurance product innovation based on cooperative risk management between the insurer and the insured. Overall, Jeremiah’s practice is focused on lever¬aging a 25-year culmination of knowledge and experience very few insurance profes-sionals have – litigation of some of the country’s most significant insurance disputes, combined with day-to-day challenges facing brokers and their clients, and placing complex coverage for many of the largest commercial and civil construction projects.
“Clients want practical advice. ‘How does what you’re telling me matter in the real world?’ You only get there by understanding the whole industry – by knowing the insurance transaction from start to finish, by appreciating the different perspectives, and, most importantly, how it fits into the client’s business model,” Jeremiah states.
A U.S. Army Veteran and Connecticut native, Jeremiah joined SDV in 2007 and returned to California in 2016 to establish the firm’s West Coast office. After starting with just himself, the office now hosts 14 lawyers, paralegals, and law clerks. Jeremiah currently resides in Fallbrook, California with his family.

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• General discussion of pollution policy coverage 2:00-2:10
o Discuss first and third-party coverage
o Discuss claims made versus occurrence and implications on notice and renewal timing

• COVID-19 and the definition of “pollutant” 2:10-2:20
o Policy language variations
o Court interpretations
o Virus exclusions

• Types of losses and liabilities potentially covered 2:20-2:30
o Bodily injury
o Third-party property
o Insured’s property
o Clean-up costs
o Consequential damages/business interruption
o Prevention costs

• Do policies require proof of the virus’ presence on property? 2:30-2:40

• Potential obstacles to coverage 2:40-2:50
o Caused by the insured
o Arise from site operations
o “Traditional pollution”/environmental law

• COVID-19 insurance litigation 2:50-3:00
o Timing of notice
o Suit limitation provisions
o Choice of law and forum clauses
o Insurer strategies
o Class actions/mass plaintiff