HARRISBURG, Pa. (KDKA) – The Pennsylvania Insurance Department is reminding businesses of the increased risks and liabilities involved if they decide to open against the orders of Governor Tom Wolf and Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine.

Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman today reminded businesses of these importance for businesses located in counties in both the red and yellow phases.

Commissioner Altman’s reminder warned businesses that are choosing defying the governor and secretary’s business closure orders that many insurance policies contain clauses that exclude coverage for businesses or individuals engaging in illegal acts or conduct.

24 counties in the Northwest and North-central regions of Pennsylvania were moved into the ‘yellow’ phase on May 8.

An additional 13 counties in Southwestern Pennsylvania will move into the ‘yellow’ phase on May 15.

Related: ‘I Am Trying To Save What Is Left Of My Community’; Greene Co. DA Says He Won’t Prosecute Businesses That Open Before Entering ‘Yellow’ Phase Of Gov. Wolf’s Reopening Plan

Commissioner Altman says that these exclusions may apply to property coverage, liability coverage, advertising injury coverage, and a host of other essential coverages.

“Businesses and residents rely on insurance coverage to protect them from liability, pay for covered losses, and compensate those who may be injured or harmed,” said Commissioner Altman in a press release. “It is the duty of every business and resident in Pennsylvania to ensure that they and the public at large are provided with the maximum level of protection afforded by insurance. Any actions that could potentially create coverage gaps are the antitheses of the civil duty required of all residents during these times of emergency.”

The Insurance Department is strongly encouraging businesses or residents who have questions or concerns regarding their insurance coverage as counties and the state begin the process of reopening businesses to reach out to their insurance provider.

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