Washington tribes sue insurance group for virus coverage

The Associated Press

BREMERTON — Two Washington state Native tribes sued a group of insurance providers they said have not covered claims for business losses resulting from the coronavirus.

The Suquamish and Port Gamble S’Klallam tribes and their business arms filed separate lawsuits against Tribal First Alliant Underwriting Solutions, The Kitsap Sun reported Sunday.

The civil claims filed earlier this month say the tribes bought $50 million of coverage in policies that should cover losses caused by the pandemic outbreak.

The policies provide broad coverage for losses resulting from any cause unless expressly excluded in the policy. The policies do not exclude losses from communicable diseases or viruses, the lawsuits say.

Messages seeking comment were not returned by Tribal First and Boston-based Lexington Insurance Company, identified in court documents as the group’s lead insurer.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. But for some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.

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