Insurance Law Update on COVID-19: Part III
Today, March 23, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice issued Executive Order No. 9-20, relating to the closure of certain businesses and limiting the operation of non-essential businesses “because of the propensity of the COVID-19 virus to spread via personal interactions and because of physical contamination of property due to its ability to remain on surfaces for prolonged periods of time.” Essential businesses and operations shall continue to operate. Individuals may leave their residence to provide any services or to perform any work necessary to offer, provision, supply, operate, maintain and/or repair Essential Businesses and Operations.
The term “Essential Businesses and Operations” includes those industries and workers described in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s March 19, 2020, Memorandum on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During COVID-19 Response and its “Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce: Ensuring Community and National Resilience in COVID-19 Response” (the “CISA Guidance”). In addition to those industries and workers identified in the CISA Guidance, a number of industries, businesses, and/or workers employed in such industries and businesses are specifically included as Essential Businesses and Operations under the Order.
Specifically included as an Essential Business and Operations under the Executive Order are “j. Financial and insurance institutions.” The list includes banks and banking services including without limitation ATM services, currency exchanges, consumer lenders, credit unions, appraisers, title companies, financial markets, trading and futures exchanges, payday lenders, affiliates of financial institutions, professional debt collectors and related creditor service workers, workers engaged in payment clearing and settlement, wholesale funding, and capital market activities, entities that issue bonds, related financial institutions, institutions selling financial products, insurance companies, underwriting agents, brokers, and related insurance claims and agency services.