A dispute over denied insurance coverage raises the question of whether or not the presence of the COVID-19 virus can be considered “direct physical loss or damage” to a property. 

The Philadelphia 76ers and SPF Owner LLC, which owns a 76ers training complex and office building in New Jersey, say the term should apply to damage caused by the pandemic. They are seeking declaratory judgment to reflect that interpretation after the Hartford Fire Insurance Co. declined to compensate them for lost income under the reasoning that the disease “does not constitute direct physical loss or damage.”