Law360 (July 23, 2020, 8:34 PM EDT) — A group of Midwestern colleges slapped Zurich American Insurance Co. and Factory Mutual Insurance Co. with two proposed class actions Thursday, seeking a declaration that their policies worth upwards of $300 million should cover their millions in financial losses amid COVID-19.
The three private colleges said the insurers have indicated that virus-related losses are not covered, while their all-risk commercial property policies do not have a virus or pandemic exclusion. The two proposed class actions are filed by the same firms in Missouri and Kansas federal courts.
Rockhurst University, Maryville University, and Benedictine College claimed they have incurred substantial economic losses from shutting down campus activities, sports events, and student dorms in mid-March. The institutions said they also lost revenue from canceled summer camps and disinfecting campus facilities.
The three colleges said their policies specifically provide coverage for “decontamination costs,” and the civil authority coverage should also apply because they were required to shut down campuses because of state-mandated orders.
Rockhurst, a private Jesuit university in Kansas City, Missouri, said it has refunded $2.2 million in dorm fees to students. The university, which serves over 3,000 students in its 55-acre campus, holds a $278 million policy with Factory. Maryville of St. Louis, Missouri, which holds a $314 million policy with Factory, said it has reimbursed students over $2 million for room and board.