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Policyholder loses another Florida COVID business interruption ruling


A Florida state appeals court on Wednesday again ruled against a policyholder in a COIVD-19-related business interruption case, holding that a wedding design business is not entitled to coverage.

The plaintiffs in the case, Homestead-Florida based Suhaag Garden Inc. and Suhaag Garden Real Estate LLC., were deemed nonessential and forced to temporarily suspend operations in March 2020, according to Florida’s 3rd District Court of Appeal in University Park in Suhaag Garden Inc., et al. v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s London, etc.

“Although Suhaag’s policy did provide coverage for loss of income resulting from a suspension of business operations, the express terms of the policy requires that the suspension ‘must be caused by direct physical loss of or damage to property’ at premises which are described in the Declarations,” the policy said.

The ruling referred to the court’s May decision in Commodore Inc. d/b/a GreenStreet Café Inc. v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s London, etc., et al., in what was apparently the first Florida state appeals court ruling on the issue, which also denied coverage, stating the two cases are “indistinguishable.”

Attorneys in the case did not respond to requests for comment.