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TBHR STAFF ARTICLES (click individual articles to read)

Important Insurance Coverage Issues for Construction Projects from COVID-19:  Project developers and managers, along with general and subcontractors, are finding that construction insurers are rejecting COVID-19 claims against policies written pre-pandemic. The construction industry needs lawsuit protection from liability exposure and depends on insurers to stand behind those policies.

Alternate Routes for Relief of Lease Obligations:  If force majeure claims are denied there are other ways for a tenant to seek relief from a commercial lease payment. 

Will Your Business Interruption Insurance Claim Be Paid?:  In recent weeks, business interruption policy holders have been outraged to learn that insurance companies have been routinely denying BI claims for losses associated with the Covid-19 pandemic. Click to learn more.

Contracts in the Age of Coronavirus:  Some businesses will face a critical question of how they – or a contract counterparty – can or will be able to perform under contracts entered into prior to this crisis. Some will have to decide whether to assert that it should be excused from performing its part of an agreement due to force majeure. This article provides an overview of the issue.

Virtual Notarization Act Passed in Massachusetts:  The Act allows remote notarization (via video conference) of estate planning documents like wills, trusts, durable powers of attorney, health care proxies and HIPAA authorizations, as well as mortgages and other documents transferring title to real estate, during the COVID-19 state of emergency.

Landlords and a Claim of Force Majeure in the Age of Coronavirus:  Almost all commercial landlord leases will contain a force majeure provision. While the terms “Act of God” and “force majeure” are sometimes used interchangeably, the term force majeure is usually defined more broadly than simply an Act of God. Learn how this may be applied during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Payroll Protection Plan (PPP) Guidance Updated: Under SBA guidelines published on April 2, it appears that, while the the loan will be fully forgiven if the funds are used only for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities, at least 75% of the forgiven amount must have been used for payroll. This 75% rule was not in the CARES Act and may have been added by Treasury due to the likelihood of oversubscription.

Notary Bill Needs Support: With social distancing, individuals are prevented from signing estate planning documents during the COVID-19 state of emergency. A bill, referred to as the “Notary Bill,” is in development within the Massachusetts legislature. This bill allows for remote notarization of conveyancing and estate planning documents during the COVID-19 state of emergency. But it needs support for its passage.

Lease Issues During the Covid-19 Crisis: April 1st (and the first day of the next several months) will bring a new kind of anxiety for landlords and tenants, as the gravity of the current events surrounding the ongoing coronavirus crisis plays out. Inevitably, the economic fallout from the pandemic will make it impossible for many tenants to pay their normal rent, or even a portion of the amount due. Until the funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) arrives, any changes to the ordinary payments will quickly flow upstream to landlords, their lenders and their investors. Moving forward, here are some critical things landlords and tenants should do to avoid surprises.

Insurance Coverage Under Covid-19: Beyond the terrible human and social cost of the coronavirus pandemic, Covid-19 is causing enormous business losses from disrupted workforces and supply chains, social distancing practices, travel restrictions, cancelled events and, more recently, government ordered shelter-in-place/stay-home orders. Some business owners may be wondering whether they can blunt the effect of Covid-19 related losses by filing claims under their insurance policies – perhaps their business interruption coverage. We highly advise business owners to do a quick review of the fine print in their insurance coverage to prepare for what might come next.

Funding Matters During the Coronavirus Crisis: What a difference a few weeks makes. The longest bull market in U.S. history has come to an abrupt end – at whiplash speed. It ended on the back of a novel coronavirus – COVID -19. Here are a few things you can do now relating to your funding matters to help manage the uncertainty that currently exists.