The insurance industry is not a stranger to change. After multiple past industry changing events and unexpected losses that caused these changes, it Is safe to assume that the effects of the 2020 global pandemic will also change the industry. Businesses are suffering, as governmental mandates have caused companies to lose revenue because they cannot operate at normal capacity and others must shut down completely. As of November of 2020, there are many lawsuits that policyholders have filed against their insurance company because they denied their claims against the loss that was caused by the COVID-19 virus. This study will look at these lawsuits and three contracts that are playing a huge role in this litigation. We will try to determine if a ruling in favor of the plaintiffs is reasonable or if the policy language in the contracts excluded coverage for a virus. This study used past insurance events, such as the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, to try to determine how the industry will change after the pandemic is over. What we did find was that insurance companies are denying the claims made by their insured because of the virus exclusions, and the fact that direct physical loss has not occurred. We were also able to make predictions on what may happen in the litigation: the most compelling and interesting being the possibility of a new policy to cover losses due to a pandemic.

Semester/Year of Award

Fall 11-30-2020


Christel D. Siglock

Mentor Department Affiliation


Access Options

Closed Access Thesis

Document Type

Bachelor Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level




Department Name when Degree Awarded

Accounting, Finance, and Information Systems