US: Travelers says flower cos. can't claim $2M pandemic losses

Travelers Property Casualty Co. has asked a California federal court to nix a flower importers' suit over their $2 million COVID-19-induced property loss insurance claims, arguing that the importers' insurance policy excludes coverage of the consequences of the government's decisions.

Travelers argued Wednesday that the "acts or decisions exclusion" within the policy held by the plaintiffs, FlorExpo LLC and its subsidiary Kendal Floral Supply LLC, bars coverage for losses resulting from a decision by any third party, including, specifically, a "governmental body."

"Plaintiffs allege that the cut flowers stored in the warehouses 'perished' because 'governmental authorities' prevented plaintiffs from accessing the warehouses," Travelers said. "It is difficult to imagine a clearer case for application of the acts or decisions exclusion."

The importers told the court in their June complaint that Travelers sent them a generic pandemic business loss denial letter in late April whereas they did not mention COVID-19 or business interruption at all when seeking coverage of physical damage for their perished flowers.

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