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Cheers owner sues insurers over refusal to cover coronavirus-related losses

Hampshire House Corp., which owns both the original and Faneuil Hall Cheers bars and the 75 on Liberty waterfront bar, this week sued three insurance companies to recoup the losses its incurred since the city and state shut down bars in March due to Covid-19 reasons.

In its lawsuit, filed this week in US District Court in Boston, the company says the losses should be covered under an "an all-risk" commercial-property policy it purchased last August, and that the three insurance companies that backed the policy should pay for losses at the bars, the related restaurants and function facility and at the Cheers gift shop.

"The Policy includes cause of loss coverages for business income losses and extra expenses from all risks including for civil authority actions," which certainly includes the orders issued by Mayor Walsh on March 15 and Gov. Baker on March 23 that effectively put the bars and function hall out of business and dramatically reduced the income from the restaurants and gift shop.

In a denial letter, Allianz Global Risks United States Insurance Co., says the policy only relates to physical damage to property and related "civil authority actions" and that the Hampshire House properties have not suffered any physical damage, nor has the government issued any orders related directly to them or their surrounding neighborhoods.

That's a similar argument made by Legal Sea Foods's insurer in denying that chain Covid-19 coverage - over which Legal has sued.

PDF icon Complete complaint285.41 KB
PDF icon Insurance-company denial letter279.05 KB



Business Interruption coverage, typically a rider on the property insurance policy, usually have a carve-out for pandemics.


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Yeah, insurance companies have been playing this game a lot longer than you have. So they made sure to add exclusions for anything that might actually lead to a claim.

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and say they have lawyers... who know more about this than you... and they've actually read the contract--unlike you.

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I attempt to read my insurance contracts. But have you ever read one? They make it pretty hard to understand.

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Never forget that a person who owns a bar got lucky when a production company came up with an idea for a tv show that happened to look a hell of a lot like a local production on Channel 5 (See Park Street Under - the tv show), and turned it into an 11-year run of one of the funniest tv shows to ever grace the screen.

Never forget, though it seems to have been scrubbed from Google, that a certain bar owner, who made millions and millions of dollars selling t-shirts to the Jeds and Melindas of the world called for financial relief only a few days after 9/11 because no one was coming to his establishment to buy t-shirts.

This person compared his plight to the same as the temporarily shut down airlines, since you all know that t-shirts are as vital to the economy as the ability to move around the country quickly. All this while fires will still raging in Lower Manhattan and services were being held for those lost.

I'd never thought I would cheer on an insurance company, but go Allianz go.

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If I recall correctly, a Globe columnist referred to him as a “pathetic t-shirt peddler” after his 9-11 claim.

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After the SARS outbreak in 03-04, many insurance companies added a virus exclusion because it is extremely hard to prove a virus caused physical damage that interrupts businesses. I believe some (but not many) are coming up with ways to work with their insured.

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No more mystique of Brahmin history.

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It will be interesting to see how this works out. And how it works out might depend on how the insurance company sold the policy and how it is structured. I won't make any guesses because insurance companies sometimes price products based on known risks rather than unknown risks, then claim the unknown ones were not covered under the word "all" when they are not specifically excluded.

It is indeed up to the courts to decide what that "all" means.

Wimbledon wasn't taking any chances with this game: https://www.sbnation.com/tennis/2020/4/8/21214031/wimbledon-canceled-pan...

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