The COVID-19 global pandemic continues to cause mass commercial real estate vacancies throughout the US. Many buildings were ordered closed with limited notice and without proper decommissioning of building systems. These abrupt closures have created a great deal of uncertainty for property owners, including the physical and environmental conditions of their assets.
Who bears responsibility when government officials shut down a business or premises due to COVID-19? Do the insureds maintain the same duties during the crisis or are they absolved from their responsibilities? With the risk of properties becoming impaired or diminished during the vacancy period, building owners must protect the value of their assets, protect themselves from liability, and understand the protections and limitations of their insurance policies.