Separate proposed class action lawsuits filed by Washington dental practices allege the Aspen American Insurance Company, the Dentists Insurance Company and Sentinel Insurance Company Limited have wrongfully denied claims for COVID-19 business closure damages submitted by all-risk policyholders.
The lawsuits stress that all non-essential businesses, including the plaintiffs’ dental practices, were prohibited from operating after Washington Governor Jay Inslee issued on March 23 the state’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order. While the practices were not prohibited from performing urgent or emergency procedures, the plaintiffs claim their properties sustained covered, direct physical loss and/or damages related to Governor Inslee’s temporary shuttering of non-essential businesses.
“Plaintiff’s property cannot be used for its intended purposes,” the complaints read.
The complaint filed against Aspen American Insurance Company claims the plaintiff held one or more policies promising to cover “all risk of direct physical loss” and containing practice income, extra expense, extended practice income and civil authority coverages effective between September 2019 and September 2020. According to the case, Aspen America has wrongfully denied coverage for damages to the plaintiff’s property that stemmed from COVID-19 and/or Washington’s stay-at-home orders.
Ringing similar, the lawsuits against the Dentists Insurance Company and Sentinel Insurance Company Limited, which faces at least its second case over allegedly wrongful claims denials in recent weeks, say the groups breached their contracts with policyholders in declining to cover direct physical loss and/or damage claims submitted amid the COVID-19 crisis.