The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and the Iowa Supreme Court became the first state high courts in the country last week to decide whether businesses can recover COVID-19-related business losses under their insurance policies.

Falling in line with a number of federal jurisdictions that have weighed in on the issue, both state supreme courts held that the mere loss of use of a business does not constitute “direct physical loss or damage to” within the meaning of the insurance policy provisions. Therefore, coverage is not triggered and the insurance companies are off the hook from such payments, the court opinions said.

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